If you do have an infection, the jewelry should be left in the piercing to allow for drainage of pus. If the jewelry is removed, the holes can close up, resulting in an abscess. LEAVE YOUR JEWELRY IN!
WHAT TO AVOID
Don’t use alcohol, peroxide, Betadine or Hibiclens as they are overly strong and drying which can hinder healing.
- Don’t apply any ointment such as Bacitracin, Neosporin or any triple antibiotic ointment on your piercing. These prevent oxygen from reaching the wound and form a sticky residue which can cause complications. They are not designed for use on healing piercings.
- Don’t over clean. Cleaning more often than once or twice a day is NOT better. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
- Don’t use too many different products; select and use only one cleaning solution (such as Provon or Satin) plus sea salt.
- Avoid oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
- Don’t use band-aids on a healing piercing, they limit air circulation and the adhesive can irritate the area.
- Wash your hands prior to contact on or near the area of your healing piercing!
- Leave the piercing alone except for when you are cleaning it. It is not necessary or advisable to rotate the ring while healing except during cleanings.
- Leave the starter jewelry in during the entire minimum initial healing time! (Assuming your initial jewelry is appropriate in terms of metal content, style, and size. Inappropriate jewelry should be changed out by a professional.) Those with captive-style rings or barbells (straight, bent, or circular) can change the bead portion of the jewelry at any time.
- Check twice daily with clean hands to make sure the balls are screwed on tight on threaded jewelry such as barbells. Both balls tighten to the right.
- If you like your piercing leave jewelry in at all times. Even old, well-healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person, and even if your ear lobe piercings stay open without jewelry, your body piercing may not! Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be temporarily removed (such as for a medical procedure). Monofilament nylon or another inert metallic substance may be able to be inserted to maintain the piercing until jewelry can be reinserted.
- Make sure your bedding is clean and changed frequently while you are healing, especially if pets get into your bed.
- Wear clean, comfortable, breathable fabric clothing in the area of a body piercing.
- A multi-vitamin mineral supplement containing zinc and vitamin C may help boost your body’s healing abilities. Take it with your morning meal according to package instructions.
- Get enough sleep, eat a nutritious diet, and avoid undue stress, recreational drugs, and alcohol consumption. The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal.
- Showering is safer than taking a bath, as bath tubs tend to harbor bacteria. To bathe safely, clean your tub with a bleach product before each bath, and rinse the tub before you fill it. Also, be sure to do a running water rinse on your piercing when you are done in the tub.
- In the event that the piercing drains a thick pus discharge instead of the normal liquid secretion, you may wish to see a doctor.
HINTS FOR PARTICULAR AREAS
• Avoid tight, cinching belts and waistbands and inflexible clothing on the area during healing.
• A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of ace bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from the adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.