HOW TO CLEAN YOUR NEW PIERCING
As your piercing heals, you need to make sure that you’re keeping it clean. Essentially, your body is healing from an open wound. As with any injury, you must keep the area clean to avoid infection.
Saline sprays are the best way to clean your piercing. To use, you just need to follow three simple steps:
Wash your hands with soap.
Spray the solution on a cotton swab or clean paper towel.
Gently wipe the front and back of the piercing.
Dab the piercing dry with a clean cotton swab or paper towel.
• Initially: some bleeding, localised swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
• During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewellery. The tissue may tighten around the jewellery as it heals.
• Once healed: the jewellery may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
• A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
• Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in—do not leave it empty.
WHAT TO AVOID
• Avoid moving jewellery in an unhealed piercing, or picking away dried discharge with your fingers.
• Avoid cleaning with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other soaps containing triclosan, as these can damage cells.
• Avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
• Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
• Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewellery, and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.
• Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others' bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
• Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
• Avoid submerging the piercing in unhygenic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Protect your piercing using a waterproof wound-sealant bandage. These are available in the pharmacy.
• Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
• Drink lots of water
• Stay healthy; the healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body.
• Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping.
• Try to avoid sleeping on your new piercing. A travel pillow is a good idea to make sure you are avoiding any pressure on your new ear piercings.
• Showers tend to be safer than taking baths, as bathtubs can harbor bacteria. If you use a bath, clean it well before each use and rinse off your piercing when you get out.