Piercing Aftercare

Please remember new piercings are open wounds. It is extremely important to keep them clean and take care of them properly to avoid potential infection or improper healing. 

Do not touch your new piercing unless you are performing piercing aftercare or changing your jewelry. Hands come in contact with many surfaces which may transmit bacteria on a daily basis, i.e. money, door knobs, etc. Touching your piercing with dirty hands is the #1 way to cause an infection. You should wash your hands prior with unscented liquid anti-bacterial soap (Dial Gold). Do not let anyone else touch your piercing with dirty hands. Do not pick or scratch your new piercing. It may be uncomfortable and itchy, but this is normal in early healing. Leave it alone!

What to avoid:

Avoid any contact with chlorinated water, ponds, lakes, pools, or hot tubs. These pools of water house bacteria which will almost certainly lead to infection. Avoid the following while your piercing is in the healing stage: sleeping on the location of the piercing, rough housing or other activities which will potentially bump, rub, or otherwise irritate the piercing site. This could cause a hypertrophic scar tissue bump or scarring. Avoid putting anything with make-up, scents or dyes on your piercing. The chemicals in those products may irritate the wound. 

What you should do:

You should shower normally, avoiding scented body wash or scrubbing your piercing. Be aware of using anything abrasive to wash your piercing, such as a washcloth which may catch on the piercing. Gently hand-wash the area with care using unscented liquid anti-bacterial soap. Rinse piercing thoroughly, soap is only effective if it’s rinsed away after cleaning. Wash your piercing and the jewelry (without removing jewelry) 2-3 times a day with anti bacterial soap. You can speed up the healing process by using H2Ocean sea salt spray. Oral piercings such as tongue piercings, labret piercings, and other lip piercings should rinse with 50/50 antiseptic nonalcoholic mouthwash & water OR H2Ocean mouthwash for no more than 30 seconds, especially after smoking (4-5 times per day). Avoid drinking out of straws for the duration of healing. Clean your piercing after any physical workout. Avoid activities which may cause your piercing to get exposed to dirt, oil, grease, chemicals, or any other irritants. 

What you should expect during the healing process:

As a normal part of the healing process, a white to yellow discharge will be released from the piercing hole. This can form a crust on the piercing so be sure to wash this away daily. Avoid Neosporin and other triple antibiotic ointments. Avoid such common mistakes as the use of: isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, or other similar home remedies. Do not clean your piercing with BACTINE. Bactine is not meant for puncture wounds and states so on the bottle.

It is also important to consider the affects of the clothing worn during the healing process and to dress accordingly. It is a good idea to wear loose fitting clothes made of non-irritating material such as cotton. Tight fitting or rough clothing such as wool should be avoided to aid in healing and reduce local irritation. A common problem in this area arises when high cut jeans are worn with a new navel piercing causing a constant source of pressure and irritation to the piercing. Low cut or hip hugger style jeans are a much better choice.

Body piercings, because of their very nature, take an incredibly long time to heal and are extremely prone to bacterial infections, allergic reactions, or rejection of the jewelry. Healing times for body piercings can vary considerably depending on many factors ranging from the location of the piercing to variations in individual physiological factors; they can also be lengthened by other irritations. The healing periods listed below are generalized, and do not include the extended healing times to be able to take your jewelry out and leave it out for long periods without closing.

Healing time:

Some of the average healing times for body piercings include: 

• eyebrow piercings: 3 months

• ear lobe piercings: 2 months

• ear cartilage piercings: up to 1 year

• tongue piercings: 1 month

• navel piercings: 3-6 months

• nipple piercings: 3-6 months

• female genital piercings: 3 months

• male genital piercings: 3 months

• nostril piercings: 3-4 months

• septum piercings: 2 months 

• lip piercings: 1-2 months

• surface piercings: up to 6 months

• dermal piercings: up to 6 months

SURFACE PIERCINGS because of their very nature are extremely prone to migrate out over time.

These healing times are averages and can quite commonly be as much as two or three times as long. With this in mind, the necessity of cleanliness becomes quite obvious. When changing out body jewelry, the new jewelry, regardless of its origin, should be soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol for a period of 3 minutes immediately prior to being inserted in the piercing.

For the amount of time listed above please follow the suggested aftercare instructions. The better you take care of your piercing, the better it will heal. Furthermore, don’t listen to your friends when it comes to healing this new addition to your body, listen to the professionals. Protect your investment.


If you have any questions at all, call or email the shop. There are no stupid questions, so if you were planning on asking your friends, please ask us first.

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