You've just received a body piercing by a skilled and knowledgeable professional who cleaned and disinfected the area pierced, used sterile instruments, jewelry and single use needle.
NOW IT IS UP TO YOU TO TAKE PROPER CARE OF YOUR PIERCING DURING THE CRUCIAL HEALING PERIOD. HOW YOUR PIERCING HEALS IS UP TO YOU AND YOUR BODY.
What is Normal?
· Initially, some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness or bruising.
· During healing: Some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
· Once healed: The jewelry 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 route, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
· A piercing may seem healed before healing is complete. This is because piercings heal from the outside in, and although it feels healed the tissue remains fragile on the inside. BE PATIENT, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
What to Do
· Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry while healing except possibly during cleaning. However, if your jewelry has a screw-on ball, regular tightening of this ball is recommended after cleaning to prevent the ball from falling out.
· Make sure that your jewelry and skin is free from any discharge before you attempt to move the jewelry. Irritation can occur when crusty matter is accidentally forced into the piercing.
· Stay healthy! Eat a nutritious diet. The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Exercise during healing is fine, just "listen" to your body.
· Make sure your bedding is kept clean and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while sleeping.
· Showering is safer than taking a bath, because bathtubs tend to harbor bacteria. If you would like to take a bath, clean the tub well before each use.
Use either one or both of the following solutions for cleaning body piercings:
· Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (read the label!) or non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better! Saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
· Liquid anti-microbial or germicidal soap.
Cleaning Instructions for Body Piercings
1. WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching on or near your piercing.
2. SALINE soak at least two to three times daily. Simply invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum for a few minutes. The longer you soak, the better. For certain placements, it may be easier to apply using fresh gauze of a cotton ball saturated in saline solution. A brief rinse will remove any residue.
3. SOAP no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soak to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds, then rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing.
4. DRY with disposable paper products such as gauze or tissues, because cloth towels can harbor bacteria and catch on new piercings causing injury. Pat gently to avoid trauma.
What to Avoid
· Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing and other complications.
· Avoid the use of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Hibiclens or ointment.
· Avoid over cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
· Avoid 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 bodies of water such as lakes, pools, jacuzzis, etc. Or protect your piercing using a special water-proof bandage such as Tegaderm, which is available in drug stores.
· Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, sprays, etc.
· Don't hang charms or any other object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.
Consult a health care practitioner at the first sign of infection or an allergic reaction, and report any diagnosed infection, allergic reaction, or adverse reaction resulting from the body piercing to the artist and to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Drugs and Medical Devices Group, at 1-888-839-6676.