So you just got a new piercing and you’re proud of yourself for sitting through the pain. Congratulations! Now comes the tough part. Do you have what it takes to care for your piercing for the next 3 weeks to 6 months? Well don’t worry! Whether you’re new to piercings or you’re complacent about them like me, here are some tips for you to take care of your new piercing.
Whether you were pierced with a gun or a needle, you’ll have to take care of your piercing well. That means cleaning it at least twice a day and not putting any pressure on it.
How to clean your piercing
First and foremost, NO ALCOHOL.
Do NOT use any form of alcohol on your new piercing. Alcohol dries up the skin and that is the last thing you want on a new piercings. Piercings are essentially open wounds. Using alcohol on it could delay the healing process. Also, applying alcohol on the piercing will only cause it to sting. While it is able to disinfect the piercing, it does not support its healing.
Using a salt solution would be perfect for your piercing (or any wound). The salt water is able to clean the wound and also to force bacterial liquid out of the cells. If you didn’t manage to purchase the salt spray at the piercing store, here are some solutions.
To make the salt solution, mix ¼ teaspoon of sea salt into 1 cup of warm purified water. Ensure that all the salt particles have dissolved before using the solution. You can choose to pour it into a spray bottle or just keep it in a container and use cotton pads to clean the piercing.
Note: While ¼ of a teaspoon may not seem like a lot, a little goes a long way. Adding too much salt may cause your piercing to be irritated!
Alternatively, if you don’t want to make the solution at home, you can also use a saline solution. Yes, the solution you use to clean your contact lenses. Just like how it disinfects your lenses, it can also disinfect your piercing. Just squeeze some out onto a cotton pad and clean the piercing area.
For surface and facial piercings, you can pour the solution into a shot glass and submerge the piercing in the salt water for 5 minutes.
Avoid putting pressure on the piercing
If you’re a side sleeper, I hope you pierced the right side of your ear. When you get a fresh piercing, it is best to sleep facing the ceiling and avoid putting any sort of pressure on the area.
But if you are a side sleeper, you can use an additional neck pillow for a comfier sleep. Lay on the pillow such that your ear is in the hollow center.
Putting unnecessary pressure on your piercing can cause several complications. “Pressure bumps” can form as a result and would just delay the healing process. Furthermore, the front end of your stud may be pushed into the surface of your ear and you will have to make a trip to the clinic to get it out.
As mentioned in our all you need to know about piercings article, cartilage piercings take the longest to heal. For most, it usually takes around 6 months to a year to heal. From experience, lobe piercings take about a month to heal. You have to be really patient with your piercings.
While your piercing is healing, do NOT play with the jewellery. It may be fun to twist your stud but it can actually irritate your piercing! Additionally, be sure to wait for your piercing to heal fully before changing studs. Make sure you clean the piercing area daily to encourage it to heal better.
It is normal for the piercing to form scabs and bleed so there is no need to panic! It is all part of the healing process.
While you care for your piercings, be sure not to play around with it too much. While these tips may help, be sure to see a doctor if your piercing starts making you nauseous.