• Leave your piercing alone, except for when you clean it. Avoid rough play and contact with other people’s bodily fluids on or near your piercing while it is healing.
  • When you do touch your piercing, make sure you wash your hands prior to touching it.


  • Clean your hands to clean your piercing.
  • Clean your piercing using a non-iodized saline solution.
    • You may purchase a pre-packaged cleaning solution such as H2Ocean or After Inked, or make your own mixture:
      • Dissolve 1/4 a teaspoon of non-iodized (iodide-free) sea salt into 8 oz of warm, distilled water. (4 teaspoons to 1 gallon)
      • The solution should taste as salty as your tears and can be as hot as a drinkable cup of coffee.

    • Soak your piercing with the solution for 5-10 minutes at least two times a day.
      • You may do so by:
        • Inverting a cup or a shot glass of the warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum.
        • Soaking a clean cotton ball or Q-tip with the solution and covering the new piercing.

    • Remove any crusting or discharge from on or around your piercing and jewelry.
    • Do so with Q-tips saturated with the saline solution–use as many as needed. Do not pick the crusting off of your jewelry, soak them off with the saline solution.

    • Dry the area by gently patting with a clean, disposable paper product such as tissues, paper towels, or Q-tips.

    • When showering, simply spend the last five minutes of your shower gently rinsing the piercing thoroughly to remove all traces of soap. Soap that is not removed can fester in your new piercing and cause infection.
    • Soap no more than once or twice a day.
    • Avoid washcloths and loofas on or around your piercing–they can harbor bacteria and can snag on jewelry causing injury, infection, and unnecessary pain.


  • AVOID: Cleaning with rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Bactine, Betadine, Hibiclens, pierced ear-care solutions, Benzalkonium Chloride, Dial or other harsh soaps, as these can be irritating to your new piercing.
  • AVOID: Applying ointments like Neosporin or any other petroleum-based products on your piercing, as they prevent air circulation necessary for healing.
  • AVOID: Over-cleansing. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
  • AVOID: Undue trauma such as friction from your clothing, excessive motion in the area, playing with your jewelry, and vigorous cleaning. Those can cause scar tissue build up, migration, prolonged healing and other complications.
  • AVOID: Stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.
  • AVOID: Submerging your piercing in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, bath tubs, etc. If you do decide to do so, protect your piercing using a water proof bandage such as 3M Nexcare Clean Seals or Tegaderm).
  • AVOID: Using beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, perfumes, etc.
  • AVOID: Removing or changing out jewelry, or hanging charms or any objects from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.


  • Initially, you can expect some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising at the piercing site.
  • During healing some discoloration, itching, and secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not puss) will form some crust on your jewelry. The tissue may also tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
  • Once healed the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it. If you do not include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but odorous 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 even if it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. BE PATIENT and maintain your cleaning routine 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 your jewelry in!
  • 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, just listen to your body.
  • Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you sleep.
  • Showers tend to be safer than baths, as bathtubs harbor bacteria. If you prefer bathing, clean the tub well prior to use and rinse your piercing thoroughly when you get out of the tub.

Remember: Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably.



4 responses to “AFTERCARE

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