HEALING A TATTOO:
HEALING A PIERCING:
When you leave our studio your piercing is not infected. It is your responsibility to keep it that way. Following our simple suggestions, based off information presented in studies on wound care, can help to keep the healing process going smoothly.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whiteish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. You may feel the tissue tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
Use one or both of the following solutions for healing piercings.
– Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (read the label).
– Non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine free) sea salt into one cup (8oz) warm distilled or bottled water.
The mixture of saline and water works with your body’s chemistry, helping your body to do its job to heal the wound. A stronger mixture is not better. A saline solution that is too stong can irritate a piercing. You’re gently rinsing the site and allowing the body to heal rather than being aggressive and trying to force it to heal with harsh chemicals. Don’t think antibacterial, think bacterial avoidance.
(Including the exterior or oral piercings such as labret, monroe, etc.)
Wash hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason. Saline soak for five to ten minutes once or twice a day. Either lower the piercing into the solution or use a cup to flip the solution against your skin. For certain piercings it may be easier to apply the solution using clean gauze. A brief rinse afterwards will remove any residue. Or you may gently use a cotton swab to remove any crustiness that has formed around the jewelry (this is dried lymph and is normal). Dry by gently patting the area with clean, disposable paper towels.
Do not wear tight clothing against your piercing, wear clean clothes and bathe daily. Do not rotate or play with your jewelry. Do not let others touch your new piercing. Clean your piercing as soon as possible after working out. Avoid contact between hair or makeup and your piercing.
Rinse mouth with saline mixture or a mild, alcohol free mouthwash such as Biotene or Crest Pro Health for 30 seconds after meals and at bedtime (4-5 times daily) during the entire healing period. For the exterior of an oral piercing, follow general aftercare. Oral piercings tend to swell, to reduce swelling you may take an over the counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen according to package instructions. Do not move jewelry more than necessary. Allow small pieces of ice to dissolve in your mouth and sleep with your head elevated above your heart during the first few nights. Allow yourself to eat slowly and carefully until you are used to having your new addition, avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature food or beverages for a few days. Avoid oral sexual contact, including kissing or oral sex during healing.
To maintain good oral hygiene during healing we recommend using a new soft-bristled toothbush and keep it stored in a clean area away from other toothbrushes. Brush your teeth and use your chosen rinse after every meal. Floss daily, gently brush your teeth and tongue. Once healed brush your jewelry thoroughly to avoid plaque buildup.
Once swelling subsides it is vital to replace the original, longer jewelry with a shorter post to avoid any damage. Since this jewelry change occurs during healing we recommend coming back after two weeks to do so.
Avoid over-cleaning, this will irritate your piercing. Cleaning a piercing once or twice a day is sufficient. Avoid the use of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and harsh soaps, as these can damage cells. Also avoid ointments, they prevent necessary air circulation. Avoid Bactine, pierced ear care solutions and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care. Avoid trauma to the area, such as: bumping the area, playing with the jewelry, and friction from clothing. These activities can cause uncomfortable scar tissue, migration and prolonged healing. Avoid all rough play, oral contact, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing. Do not submerge your piercing in any pools, lakes, oceans, hot tubs, etc. for a minimum of a month. Leave your jewelry in for the entirety of the healing process. Most importantly be patient. Do not try to rush the healing process as everyone heals differently. Being well rested, a good diet, and low stress levels will all have a positive impact on how you heal.
A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient with your body, and stay on top of cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
Should you decide you no longer want your piercing, simply remove the jewelry and continue cleaning the piercing site until the hole closes. In the event an infection occurs, leave the jewelry in place to allow for drainage of the infection. If the jewelry is removed, the surface cells can close up, which can seal the infection inside the piercing channel and result in an abscess. Do not remove jewelry unless instructed by a medical professional.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop by.
*Suggestions are just suggestions. The above is not to be construed as medical advice: we are not doctors. All suggestions are solely based on our experience as professional piercers.