Since you have gotten your new piercing, you now need to learn how to care for it. Piercing aftercare is a crucial part of the healing process. Taking the time to care for your piercing will greatly reduce your chances of incidents like infection, irritation, or rejection.
In this post, we will first provide you with a quick checklist on how to take care of your piercing, provide you with in-depth instructions on how to do this, outlined our favorite researched and tested piercing aftercare products that we reviewed, and conclude with your most frequent ask piercing aftercare and healing questions.
Piercing Aftercare and Healing Checklist
- First and foremost, you must ensure that you choose a reputable studio staffed with licensed professional piercers. You may spend a few more dollars, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
- Refrain from pulling, spinning, or touching your new piercing. Doing so puts you at risk for irritation or infection.
- Create a cleaning routine and implement it twice a day. Store-bought cleaning solutions can be utilized to simplify this process.
- Your new piercing is no different than an open wound. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before making contact with the jewelry or surrounding skin area.
- The jewelry you choose will make a huge impact on the healing process. The best option to choose is a small stud. A stud reduces the chance of the jewelry getting caught on bed linens or towels.
- Opt for a longer bar on the jewelry you will be healing in. Your piercing is likely to swell during this process, so allowing extra room for this will alleviate any irritation and make for a speedier healing process.
- Avoid over-cleaning your piercing. The natural bacteria that surrounds this area is powerful in the healing process. Stripping these natural bacteria might slow the process.
- Avoid piercing guns for any piercing. A sharp, sterilized needle is the best tool to use regardless of piercing location. Piercing with a gun is likely to create scar tissue or crushed cartilage, depending on what you are having pierced.
- If experience discomfort or notice discoloration around the piercing area, see a doctor or piercing professional immediately. Early detection is the best way to prevent further complications in many cases.
Piercing Aftercare General Instructions
You should always begin by washing your hands with unscented, antibacterial soap. Take your time on this step and be sure you get under your fingernails and in all the nooks and crannies.
Next, you want to prepare your cleaning solution. This can be a store-bought saline solution, or you would prefer, you can make your own. Your homemade concoction should be 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodine salt to 8 ounces of water.
Gently clean the area around the jewelry and spin the bar a few times. Then, rinse thoroughly with warm water. Pat dry with a clean paper towel. You should never rub the area as this poses the risk of snagging the jewelry and injuring the
Piercing Types Specific Aftercare Instructions
Piercing aftercare entails different things for different piercings; read below for some more specific instructions.
Nose Piercing Aftercare Instructions
Nose piercings are more susceptible to infection due to the bacteria that surrounds that area. For this reason, you will need to take special care when tending to your new body modification.
The best way to care for a new nose piercing is by using a lukewarm sea salt solution. This option offers a great way to sterilize the area without damaging the surrounding tissue in the process.
Once you prepare the solution, pour it into a shot glass or porcelain container. Take care not to use plastic or paper products, as these materials will contaminate the cleaning solution.
Place the cup over your nose and tilt your head back so that your piercing is fully submerged in the liquid. Hold it like this for anywhere from seven to fifteen minutes. After you complete this step, rinse your piercing with water and pat dry with a clean towel.
The healing period for a new nose piercing ranges anywhere from two to three months. During this time, avoid cleaning your piercing with antibacterial soap, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, or other medicated solution.
You will also want to avoid using cotton balls or paper towels around your nose piercing. These products can leave fibers behind on your skin that can irritate the area and leave behind infection-causing bacteria.
Bellybutton Piercing Aftercare Instructions
The first thing you should consider is the type of jewelry you use for a belly button piercing. The option you choose will impact the healing process and how comfortable you feel during it. The best option to consider is a curved barbell, followed by a circular barbell. Regardless of the type, the most important thing is that the bar is long enough to allow for swelling.
Your new belly piercing is a bit more labor-intensive to care for. Unlike the other examples we talked about here, you need to clean it three to six times a day.
The aftercare regimen you choose should consist of two things: sea salt solution and sea salt spray. The idea is to alternate these two options for the quickest and easiest healing process.
Cleaning Your Bellybutton Piercing
The best way to apply a sea salt soak to your bellybutton is with cotton balls. Saturate a cotton ball in the solution and place it over your piercing for five to ten minutes. Once completed, wash thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.
In between soaks, a sea salt spray can be used to keep the area free of bacteria. You can purchase this in-store or online. Many piercing shops offer them, as well. To use this, spray the area, let it sit for about five minutes and rinse. Pat dry with a clean towel.
When showering, it is important to avoid directly washing the area with soap. The perfumes and additives in body soap can irritate the area and impede the healing process.
There is nothing to worry about if sudsy water flows over the piercing but be sure that you are only washing it with sea salt solutions. This method is the best way to be sure the piercing stays clean and hydrated.
The locating of the bellybutton piercing makes it extra susceptible to snagging. In the six to eight weeks, it takes to heal, avoid wearing tight clothing. You should eliminate garments such as tight-fitting shirts, leggings, and skinny jeans.
Instead, you can opt for looser clothing such as sweatpants or sundresses. Once your piercing has fully healed, you can resume wearing your typical wardrobe.
Tongue Piercing Aftercare Instructions
The tongue piercing poses a unique set of instructions due to its location. When you are caring for a tongue piercing, you will need to take special care regarding how you eat and how often you clean your piercing.
Rather than using a cleaning solution of any kind, consider an alcohol-free,
antibacterial or antimicrobial mouthwash. The mouth should be rinsed for around thirty to sixty seconds each time you clean your piercing.
To be sure you don’t damage your piercing, you will need to
pay close attention while earing. Rather than consuming your meal regularly, use your hands to put the food directly on your molars. You will need to wash your hands well to avoid infection or sickness.
After you eat, you should rinse the mouth with the mouthwash above, but ensure that you aren’t rinsing more than five times daily.
Brushing your teeth is an important part of tongue piercing
aftercare. Use a new, soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid introducing old
bacteria into the area and causing an infection. In addition to brushing your teeth well, it is recommended to gently brush the area surrounding the piercing as well.
This brushing method will eliminate any food particles that may have gotten lodged in the piercing or stuck to your tongue.
Tongue Piercing Healing Process
It normally takes around four to six weeks for a tongue
piercing to heal completely. During this time, you may need to alter your
lifestyle. You will need to eliminate spicy and greasy foods from your diet.=
Additionally, caffeine, alcohol, and aspirin can make swelling worse and
prolong the healing process. You should also remember that playing with the piercing or clicking it against your teeth can damage the piercing and your teeth. You should avoid this to promote long-term oral health.
Best Piercing Aftercare Solutions and Products Reviewed
Good aftercare starts with choosing quality products. Choosing a good quality cleaning solution makes it easier for you to care for your piercing. Additionally, since these solutions are specially formulated to do the job, they offer the best combination of ingredients for the quickest and easiest recovery period.
Piercing Aftercare Skin Spray
- Electrically-charged to support your skin against irritations, inflammation and post-procedure sensitivities
- An all-natural and potent signaling solution that mimics the essence of human healing
This piercing aftercare skin spray is great for speeding up healing and healing soreness or tenderness. This product comes highly recommended from the tattoo and piercing industry. We love it because it works almost immediately!
Piercing Aftercare Saltwater Spray
H2Ocean saltwater spray is the gold standard of saline sprays on the market. It allows you to get your twice daily sea salt soaks in without the hassle or mess of creating your own solution and holding it against your piercing. Just give it a quick spray, let it sit for five to ten minutes, and rinse!
Piercing Relief Solution
- PIERCING RELIEF Solution - the natural solution to AFTERCARE! Ready to use, 4 oz. Medicated Sea Salt soaks are the best...
- Healing Sea Salts are full of vitamins and minerals. Tea Tree Oil helps your body heal quickly! Rosemary helps shrink...
Healing new piercings isn’t always the most pleasant experience. This piercing aftercare relief solution soothes new piercings so you can be more comfortable while you are healing.
Piercing Aftercare Swabs
- Pack of 36 medicated swabs
- Cleans, soothes and protects piercings
When testing this product we were amazed at how quickly this took the soreness out of our piercings! Within 6 weeks it was healed and it’s still tender, but you can actually sleep on it after using these swabs daily.
Piercing Aftercare Sea Salt Concentrate
- Urban ReLeaf PIERCING RELIEF Sea Salt Concentrate AFTERCARE ! Safely Clean, Soothe & Gently Heal New, Irritated, &...
- Healing Sea Salts are full of vitamins and minerals. Botanical Oils help your body heal quickly! Now... with both...
This product is a must-have for anyone looking to quickly heal a piercing in the most gentle way. We love this concentrate because it lasts a long time, which means a bigger bang for your buck!
Piercing Aftercare Fine Mist
- Sterile, drug free, and preservative free
- No burning or stinging
Piercing aftercare mist is a great option for people who are needing a spray solution, but want it to last longer than your typical saline spray. We have used this fine mist on inner ear piercings and other hard to reach areas since the bottle sprays well even when turned upside down.
Antibacterial Foam Soap Piercing Aftercare Solution
Antibacterial soap needs to be used each time you wash your hands before tending to your piercing. This soap comes from a reputable company and is specifically formulated for aftercare. We opt for this any time we reach for soap during our healing routine.
Piercing Aftercare FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions you may have about piercing aftercare that many of our readers have emailed us, therefore we decided to outline them here for you.
How long will I need to care for my piercing?
The healing time frame will vary from piercing to piercing, but most are fully healed within eight weeks. Even after your piercing is fully healed, you will still need to care for it. The best way to promote the health and longevity of your piercing is to implement caring for it into your daily routine.
How can I tell if my piercing is infected?
There are many signs of an infected piercing. Some of the most common indications include redness, swelling, and tenderness surrounding the pierced area. If the infection is more severe, you might notice drainage, crustiness, or you might even have a fever.
If you are displaying any of these symptoms, it is best to consult a licensed professional or a doctor. If these issues are left unattended, the infection could become much worse, and in some cases might even be life-threatening.
My piercing is bleeding. Is that normal?
In most cases, a bleeding piercing is completely normal. A small amount of blood is nothing to worry about and can be gently cleaned off using a saline solution and rinsed with water. If you are bleeding excessively or if the bleeding occurs with tenderness or other discharge, you should consult a professional for more advice.
Is it okay to twist my new piercing?
Twisting your piercing should be avoided. The best practice you can implement is to leave the area alone except when you are cleaning it. Twisting the jewelry leads to possible irritation and infection.
Can I remove crust off my piercing?
The crust that forms around your new piercing is helping it to heal. Like a scab, it works to protect the area and also keeps it moisturized. If you notice crusts hanging from your jewelry, you may gently remove them with the point of a piece of toilet paper or paper towel.
Taking care of your Piercing
Getting a new piercing means you will need to educate yourself regarding the aftercare of it. Doing your research guarantees that you have all the information you need to take care of yourself and your modification.
If you take the time to care for your piercing properly, you will be able to enjoy it for years to come. The best way to can ensure you are taking the best care is by paying close attention to the instructions and sticking to them.
If you want to make your job easier, take your time researching the best product for you. The tools you use to aid you in this process will make a big difference. At the end of the day, you will be able to enjoy your new body modification without the worry of infection or rejection.
Hello! My name is Emily and I obsessed with piercings (and tattoos) since I was a little girl of 6 years old. I was fortunate enough to make my passion my work after meeting my amazing husband Jeffrey who owned his own tattoo shop. I just recently finished my internships at some of America’s most famous piercing shops and a dream to start something together was born. After falling in love with each other (and each other’s piercings and tattoos) we decided to expand his tattoo shop and I got to manage my own piercing shop in the same space! I’ve never been so happy being able to share my love for piercings through my shop and this blog I started back in 2013. We love to share models and inspiration, so feel free to email me your suggestions, pictures or if you just want to say hi!