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Piercing Aftercare

Congratulations on your brand-new piercing!

Taking proper care of your piercing will contribute to a faster and easier healing process.

For the most part your body does a great job of healing itself. Leading a healthy and hygienic lifestyle by showering and washing your hair, clothes and bedding regularly, eating well, minimising drug and alcohol use and staying hydrated will keep your body fit for a faster healing process. Making sure to keep the area FREE of makeup, fake tan, body sprays, lotions, beauty products and chemicals is vital. This also includes not touching with unclean hands or fiddling with your piercing. The less movement to the jewellery, and exposure to foreign substances the better.

Aftercare Products

 Saline and aftercare are used to keep the site clean so your body can do its job the best it can. Saline is recommended by professional piercers because it is a gentle way of removing bacteria and build up from the wound. Harsh chemicals or ointments such as antiseptic spray, tea tree oil and peroxide can cause harm to your piercing, dry out the area and can be toxic if it enters your bloodstream.

Using sterile products such as sterile single packaged non-woven gauze and sterile wound wash (saline) will reduce the amount of bacteria introduced to the area, as well as keep it free from unwanted build-up of fibres Q-tips, tissues and cotton balls can leave behind.

 

Irrigating vs soaking

When it comes to how you clean your piercing following to your piercers instructions is important to avoid cross contamination. It is very important to Never use the same gauze or saline to soak, or dry multiple piercings. Always use fresh products for each site.

Irrigating is when you use a constant stream of clean fresh saline to flush a wound. This ensures bacteria and foreign objects are being washed away from the area.

Soaking is when you take a shot glass of sterile saline and heat it for 20 seconds in the microwave until it is warm to the touch, then use it to wet the gauze and wrap them around your piercing or place the full shot glass over the piercing for a few minutes until the build-up is soft. This is only to be used for breaking down and softening heavy build up around the jewellery or wound, and should always be followed by thorough irrigation to the area, to remove left over bacteria or skin cells.

Scabbing and build-up is porous and will harbour nasty things that can negatively impact your healing, but if you force scabbing away before it is ready or softened enough to easily detach, you will also be removing the fresh healthy skin underneath that your body has been working hard to produce, under that scab to protect. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself or if your build up is substantial we offer a professional cleaning service for $10 that you can book through our BOOK NOW option.

 

Downsizing

 Your piercing will initially have some swelling, your first bar is usually a few millimetres longer to accommodate for this. Once your swelling goes down, leaving the long bar in will cause excessive movement, trauma and will cause your bar to be displaced and angled when pressure is applied e.g, when sleeping on your piercing. Once a piercing is healing on an angle it can be impossible to fix or heal, and will need to be removed. This is why downsizing your bar within the recommended timeframe on your aftercare sheet is crucial for a happy piercing.

Aftercare Steps

YOU WILL NEED

– Single packaged non-woven Sterile gauze

– Sterile Saline labelled as wound wash (warm clean fresh water is the only recommended substitute on occasions where saline is not available)

  1. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap, then dry with single use paper towel before touching your piercing. (Handling your piercing outside of your advised cleaning routine is not recommended)
  2. If there are ‘crusties’ built up around your jewellery, apply wet sterile gauze with saline, then soak crust until soft. Once softened build up should easily wipe away from area. Do not pick or force it away.
  3. Once area is clear irrigate or ‘flush’ your piercing site with sterile saline as per your piercer’s instructions.
  4. Pat dry the area and surrounds gently with a fresh sterile gauze pad. Make sure to dry all nooks and crannies in the area to avoid bacteria growth.

Normal healing signs

  • Initial localised swelling, small amounts of bleeding, redness, bruising and tenderness is expected but don’t occur for everyone.
  • As your piercing heals it can become itchy, there may also be yellow/clear/white discharge from the site, causing build up on the jewellery.
  • Dry skin may form around the piercing area but will clear up once your piercing is healed

DO NOT

  • Use alternative cleaning solutions, even if they are labelled for body piercing use.
  • Use cotton buds or balls to clean your piercing these leave behind fibres that can irritate.
  • Touch, pick at, twist or play with your piercing site or jewellery.
  • Remove the jewellery for any reason, unless you are wanting the piercing to close over.
  • Skip your downsize! Downsizing once swelling has subsided stops movement and trauma to your piercing. Take note of your downsize info and make a booking close to this date.
  • Put direct pressure on a new piercing e.g., sleeping on it or wearing tight clothing.
  • Head to Facebook, family or friends for aftercare or healing advise. The internet is full of misinformation that can damage your piercing. If you are experiencing issues, please have an angel inspect your piercing instore by booking in for a professional clean through our website.
  • Submerge in unsterile water for 2 weeks, Baths, Pools, Spas etc.

 

 

ORAL PIERCINGS

The mouth is a fast healer but is also the biggest harbourer of bacteria. Good oral health and hygiene is very important for a healthy piercing. Mouth tissue also likes to swell a lot. Extra-long bars will be used to accommodate this but will cause damage to your teeth and gums if not downsized in time. Keeping snug bars in your oral piercings long term, will reduce damage and keep your dentist smiling

  • Use alcohol free mouthwash or warm saline when you wake up, after eating and before bed. Do not do this more than 5 times a day. For outer oral piercings also irrigate and dry the outside twice daily.
  • Do not smoke (anything) for at least 2 weeks.
  • Do not consume dairy for 2
  • No alcohol (especially beer) for 2 weeks
  • Drinking icy drinks or letting ice sit in your mouth (do not suck on it) will help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Stick to soft foods and chew slowly and carefully.
  • Do not play with your jewellery.
  • Do not perform oral sex for the duration of your healing. Your piercing is an open wound. Treat it as such.

 

Tongue: Healing 3-8 weeks Downsize 2 weeks

Frenum: Healing 2-6 weeks Downsize 4 weeks

Upper Lip: Healing 6-10 months Downsize 10 weeks

Lower Lip: Healing 3-6 months Downsize 8 weeks

Cheeks or Dahlias: Healing 12-24 months Downsize when needed

 

 

EARS

  • Spray each side of the jewellery and then pat dry with sterile gauze twice a day.
  • Do not touch or twist your jewellery.
  • Do not sleep on your piercing. You can use a doughnut pillow or a U-shaped pillow, to keep pressure off your jewellery.
  • Keeping your hair away and making sure the nooks and crannies of your ears are clean and dry will help keep your piercings happy.
  • Do not change to a ring until your piercing is totally healed.
  • Remember makeup can make its way to your ears especially powder, clean with saline after use.
  • Cartilage takes time and patience to heal and can easily set crooked, so it is imperative to come in for your downsize.

 

Lobes: Healing 8-12 weeks Downsize 8 weeks

Cartilage: Healing 10-12 months Downsize 12 weeks

Industrial: Healing 12- 24 months Downsize when needed

 

 

NOSES 

  • Put warm saline in a shallow dish, place over piercing and blow bubbles out your nose. Then irrigate the outside of the piercing and pat dry. Alternatively use fresh saline on sterile gauze and hold over the wounds located on the inside or your nostrils. Do this twice a day.
  • Do not twist or play with your jewellery
  • Do not change to a ring for until your piercing is totally healed (6-8 months for nostrils)
  • Avoid putting makeup on your piercing, always clean around the area with saline after foundation or skincare.
  • Take extra care when blowing your nose.
  • Take care when drying your face. Consider using paper towel to try while you’re healing.

 

Nostril: Healing 6-12 months Downsize 12 weeks

Septum: Healing 8-12 weeks No downsize needed but can usually be changed at 8 weeks

 

 

EYEBROWS, NAVELS AND NIPPLES  

The healing of these piercings is heavily dependent on your anatomy and suitability for the piercing, (we have to turn many people away for these piercings, due to unsuitable anatomy) If you are lucky enough to be suitable, these piercings can still be hard to heal. Any signs of rejection such as purple irritated skin, or excessive dry peeling skin around the area please book in for a professional clean so we can assess your piercings health.

  • Spray each side of your piercing then pat dry for navels make sure the inside of your navel is completely clean and dry twice a day.
  • Slide gauze under jewellery to ensure the skin under the beads is not left damp.
  • Wearing a clean fitted singlet to bed can help avoid snagging your torso jewellery during sleep.
  • Avoid touching or excessive movement/ rubbing to the area.
  • Avoid going over your piercings with body/ face wash and rinse well after use.
  • Avoid wearing lacy garments that can snag or pull jewellery.
  • Do NOT use a loofa around torso jewellery for the duration of your healing.

 

Eyebrow: Healing 3-6months Downsize 10-12 weeks

Navel: Healing 3-8 months Downsize 12 weeks if needed

Nipple: Healing 6-12 months Downsize 12 weeks

 

 

SURFACE ANCHORS (DERMALS)

Dermals are another piercing where healing is heavily dependent on placement and anatomy. A professional piercer will place your dermal in a spot most ideal for healing (based on your anatomy) but dermals can still be very temperamental.

  • Spray the site and pat dry twice a day
  • Do not submerge in water for 4 weeks, softening the surrounding skin can cause the jewellery to lift, once it no longer sits flush with your skin your dermal has less chance of healing.
  • Cover with waterproof tape when showering for the first week of healing.
  • Avoid covering with clothing that can pull or snag the jewellery.
  • Do not remove the dermal top for at least 3 months to avoid sinking.

 

Surface Anchors can take up to 6 months to heal and do not require downsizing.

 

Remember aftercare is important for the healing of your piercing, if you are seeking further advice please call into our studios before seeking untrained or medical advice from a doctor.

Happy Healing!

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