A Quick Guide to Piercing Cleaning
Did you know that 83% of Americans have pierced ears? The navel is the most popular spot to get a piercing for women. For men, it’s their ears.
Are you interested in getting a new piercing and wondering what to do to take care of it? This article gives tips on piercing cleaning, ensuring your new piercing doesn’t get infected.
New Piercing Cleaning Tips
When you first get a new piercing, you’ll probably be fascinated by it, wanting to touch it all the time. Refrain from that urge as much as you can.
Every time you touch a new piercing with your bacteria-laden fingers, it could result in an infection. Always wash your hands before touching your piercing, whether it’s on your navel, ears, or somewhere else.
Your tattoo artist would have given you some aftercare instructions, so follow them to a T. Don’t be lazy about it. You don’t want to skip some of these tips and then have to remove the piercing because it got infected.
Make sure to clean the piercing with a saline solution or an anti-microbial soap (fragrance-free, ideally) once or twice daily. Rinse the piercing properly after you use the saline or soap.
Don’t dry your piercing using your everyday towels, but use a clean, disposable paper towel or tissue, throwing it out after using it. The cloth might catch on the jewelry you have chosen, which could be painful and tear your piercing.
Throughout the Day
As you go about your day, you must ensure that your piercing stays clean and sweat-free. Also, keep all other bodily fluids away from your piercing for at least a couple of weeks, especially saliva (as it’s laden with germs and bacteria).
This won’t be possible with a tongue piercing, but with everything else, be careful to follow this advice.
Also, your social life might take a bit of a hit for a few days, especially if you plan to go out to swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, lakes, or rivers, after getting the piercing. Avoid all these places for at least 2 to 3 weeks.
The best thing for you to do when washing your body is to take short showers, as bathtubs can hold bacteria that can infect your piercing.
Don’t even think about using anti-bacterial ointments on your piercing. This can restrict airflow through the piercing, which it needs to heal. So avoid lotions or ointments of any kind in and around your piercing.
If you feel your piercing is getting infected or looks like it’s not healing correctly, visit your tattoo artist immediately to get their opinion on it, and maybe even remove it if it’s infected. Once your jewelry is off, it doesn’t mean that you can give up cleaning your pierced area every day.
It’s still healing with or without the jewelry, so you’ll have to pay careful attention to it until it’s fully healed.
Sleeping With a Piercing
Depending on where your piercing is, you’ll have to do different things to take care of it.
For example, if your ears are pierced, you’ll want to be careful not to sleep on your bacteria-laden pillows. Cover them with a clean t-shirt making sure to change it daily, so your ears can rest on a clean, bacteria-free surface.
If you have a piercing somewhere else, you’ll want to wear loose, comfortable clothes so your piercing can breathe at night and heal properly.
Nowadays, cartilage piercings are becoming common, particularly on the upper ear or septum (the inside of the nose).
Make sure to clean these piercings quite carefully since you don’t want to deal with necrosis (tissue death) due to infection. Clean your piercing two times a day at least, and don’t get your septum pierced if you have a cold or allergies.
Most people are surprised at how much their tongue swells when getting their tongue pierced. It will heal quickly enough, so don’t worry.
Since you cannot clean your oral piercing using a cloth or soap, you’ll want to use an anti-microbial, anti-bacterial mouthwash. Swirl it around in your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds at least 4 to 5 times daily.
Make sure to do this, especially after meals and before bedtime. It might seem like a pain to spend so much time on something so small, but this way, it won’t get infected by all the bacteria in your mouth.
Be careful as well when eating food. Take small bites, and chew slowly.
Avoid salty, spicy, or hot foods and beverages in the beginning. Cold foods and drinks are good, as they keep your swelling down.
Don’t worry if you notice white-yellow fluid oozing from the wound or crust on the jewelry. That’s a normal part of the healing process. Your piercing will also itch quite a bit – so be careful not to scratch it or touch it with unwashed hands.
There’s no point getting cute nose rings and other body jewelry if you do not care for your pierced areas properly.
Piercing Cleaning Requires Diligence
Getting a piercing isn’t for the faint-hearted; we aren’t speaking just about the pain while you get it. The aftercare efforts required might be enough to deter most people from getting piercings.
But if you can do an excellent job with piercing cleaning, you’ll be rewarded with a healed piercing. And that’s worth the time and energy you put into cleaning it daily.
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