4 Important Piercing Aftercare Tips

Alright. Let’s be real. You recently went through a life-crisis or you just wanted to change something about yourself so you decided to get a piercing. It is almost like you went through getting bangs but less transformative. Now, you are here for the next step after you have gotten your piercings done. 

Personally, I have been through both phases myself─the bang phase and the piercing phase. However, one of these phases went wrong. After 6 weeks of getting my doubles pierced (still a piercing novice), I woke up, touched my right ear and noticed the front stud of the earring disappeared but the backing was still there. My ear literally sucked in my earring. Luckily, I was able to painfully push the earring out from the hole without having to go to the emergency room but I advise you to go to the doctors when these kinds of situations happen. 

Infections easily occur when you get pierced because it essentially opens a wound where bacteria can enter. I am here to really stress that piercing aftercare is important to preserve that newly achieved look. I overlooked the importance of piercings and the situation I experienced could have easily been avoided. Most importantly, you definitely do not want to waste your money by getting your ears re-pierced after getting it infected. 

Here are some piercing aftercare tips that I found useful for preventive measures!

  1. 1. Do NOT play with your piercing.

    This means keeping the jewelry in place. Contrary to popular beliefs, twisting your jewelry does not help the healing process. Your hands contain a lot of bacteria so you are only introducing bacteria to the piercing site every time you touch it. This increases your risk of infection, irritates your skin and delays healing. Also, be careful when putting on clothes and sleeping on it because it can inflame the piercing more. 

  2. 2. Clean the piercing regularly.

    It is recommended to clean your piercing 2-3 times per day with saline solution (no, your contact solution does not count) or a non-iodized sea salt solution (¼ teaspoon of salt per 1 cup of warm distilled water). If you are experiencing any discomfort from your piercing, it is recommended to soak your piercing area with the non-iodized sea salt solution for 5-10 minutes. I like to use small Dixie cups for soaking. This helps flush and rinse the area from bacteria.

    Side note: Do NOT use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or strong, fragrance soaps when cleaning your piercing because it only damages more. Using ointments for piercing healings is not recommended because it prevents air circulation for the wound.

  3. 3. Always wash your hands before cleaning/handling the piercing.

    water in hands

    We have between 2 to 10 million bacteria on our fingertips (gross!). Whether you are taking out, cleaning, touching your jewelry, always wash your hands to prevent the risk of infection and potentially harmful bacteria. 

  4. 4. Make sure the backing of the earring is not tightly screwed on.

    There is no room for the earring to breathe if it is screwed on too tight that it causes more irritation and pain, which harbors more bacteria and increases the risk of infection. Moreover, the tightness can cause your ear to be swollen and swallow your earring(s) (which is what happened to me).

Healing processes for piercings depends on the individual and the piercing. The general healing process can take 3-12 months. Be patient! It is tempting to change the jewelry for that new look but not as important as going through excruciating pain and risking your health. The tips I mentioned mostly pertain to earring piercings but the first three tips can be applied for most body piercings (minus oral piercings). Remember these tips for your current or next piercing to avoid infections and to keep money in your pocket. 

Reference:

Aftercare. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.safepiercing.org/aftercare.php