You've just received a body piercing by a trained professional who has disinfected the piercing area, used a sterile needle, used sterile piercing instruments and brand new jewelry. Now it is up to you to take care of it!
Chemicals will not make you heal faster!!!
In fact the opposite is true, your body is made to heal on it's own. Chemicals will upset the balance within your newly forming cells and create a condition in which your piercing will heal slowly (if at all). Therefore... DO NOT use any products marked "For external use only", including but not limited to: Rubbing alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, bactine, ear care solutions, neosporin, betadine or hibiclens.
Quick mix for sea salt:
*1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to 8 ounces of water = Saline Solution
Use this as your primary cleaning solution. Store solution in a clean plastic or glass container with a non-metal lid (tupperware works great). Mix more as needed. Use solution twice daily until healed.
*1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to 4 ounces of warm water for soaks.
Soak piercing in a cup, or place cup against piercing. For some piercings a bowl may work better. If nothing else, saturate cotton balls in solution and hold the warm, wet solution against the piercing. This should be done 1-3 times weekly during healing and as needed.
*1/8 (no more than 1/4) teaspoon of sea salt to 8 ounces of warm water for below the waist soak or rinse.
Do not use table salt, iodized salt or epsom salt... they are not the same as sea salt.
Saline solution is the key to fast healing, it does not upset the natural balance of your body and you will heal faster. You may use the recipes above or you may use pre-mixed saline found in the eye care department of most stores. If you prefer pre-mixed saline, please remember to mix sea salt for your soaks as the strength is different.
For oral piercings, use an antiseptic, alcohol free mouthwash. Stay away from Listerine (contains alcohol) and Scope (not antiseptic). Saline can also be used inside of the mouth.
Do not touch or handle your piercing AT ALL during healing. Piercings DO NOT need to be turned or rotated. This will increase irritation and slow healing. If your piercing is covered with clothing, be sure they are clean, breathable and loose fitting.
Navel: Healing can take 6+ months to heal. Clean twice daily with saline. Soak with sea salt solution 2 times per week and as needed. Fingers and tight clothing are the biggest problems for navels... avoid both for an entire 6 months. Expect some minor redness/puffiness for the first few months.
Nipples: Usually heal in 3-6 months but they can produce 'crusties' for a year or more (especially in women.) For the first several days, women report that wearing a supportive bra is very helpful, a sports bra is good at night. Men can use band-aids or a clean, snug tank top.
Clean twice daily with saline and soak 2 times per week and as needed. No oral contact during healing.
Nostrils: Usually heal in 8-12 weeks. Clean twice daily with saline both inside and outside with a q-tip. Sea salt soaks 2-3 times weekly using the cotton ball method on the outside. Be extra careful when washing the face. Towels and was cloths can get caught on the piercing and pull the jewelry out. If this happens, insert a clean, quality ear stud into the piercing to maintain the hole until we can help you re-insert the piercing jewelry. Jewelry can be adjusted as needed (it is generally bent a little long initially and will need to be tightened at the end of healing).
Eyebrows: 8-10 weeks for healing. Clean twice daily with saline. Soak if puffy.
Lobes: 4-8 weeks for healing. Use saline twice daily. Soak if puffy.
Cartilage: 6 months, up to 1 year for healing. Clean twice daily with saline and soak 2 time per week and as needed. Be sure to rinse jewelry and ear after shampooing. Clean ear after applying any hair product. It is normal for cartilage piercings to be tender to sleep on, avoid sleeping on your new piercing, irritation will extent the healing time.
Tongue: 4-5 weeks for healing. Use an antiseptic, alcohol free mouthwash 3-5 times per day. You may also use saline up to 8 times per day. It is best to rinse after eating or smoking. You will have swelling for up to a week, rest your tongue, do not stick it out. Eat small frequent meals and lots of cold things like pop cycles. Advil, Aleve and Motrin will help with swelling, but they can also increase bleeding, so don't over use it. Spicy and hot (temperature) foods can bother your piercing at first. Beer and alcohol will dramatically increase and prolong swelling. Stay well hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day. Brush teeth gently at first, do not brush the tongue during healing. Expect to see some lymph drainage coming from the piercing site. No kissing or oral/sexual contact to the piercing until healed. Be sure the balls are staying tight on the barbell by checking them regularly. The first barbell is long to allow for swelling, downsize after the swelling is completely gone.
Labrets and Beauty Marks: Takes 8-10 weeks for healing. Use aftercare for ear lobes for the outside of the piercing. Use tongue aftercare for the inside of the piercing. Remember that 'scabs' in the mouth look whitish, don't pick at this. If a labret stud was used, expect the disc to embed slightly into the lip, but do not allow new skin to form over the disc, if this begins, see us immediately for a jewelry change. The piercing stud is long to allow for swelling, expect to need a shorter one after healing is complete.
Below The Waist:
No oral contact during healing. Bodily fluids that do not belong to you will cause an infection. Use condoms for any sexual contact during healing.
Female: 4-12 weeks for most healing, depends of type of piercing. Over cleaning will leave you with a yeast infection. Rinse with BTW sea salt water as needed.
Male: 4-16 weeks for most healing, depends on type of piercing. Soak piercing once daily using the BTW sea salt solution.
Avoid playing with new piercings; physical irritation is the worst! Leave them alone to heal!!! When clothing is in contact or over the piercing, make sure it is clean, loose, and breathable.