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How to care for your new piercing

Aftercare Instructions for Piercing

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water prior to tending to your new piercing. Dry hands using clean paper towels. 

  • During healing, you may experience some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, bruising, discoloration, itching, and secretion of whitish-yellow fluid (not pus). 
    Some crust may form around the jewelry as it heals. DO NOT pick at the crusted matter. It should come off easily during routine cleansing. 

  • Piercings heal from the outside inward, and may appear healed before healing is complete. Be patient. 

  • Maintain clean, comfortable bedding and clothing. 

  • Tighten the jewelry often! Cleaning, talking, or daily wear may cause the tops of your jewelry to come loose. This is especially true for horse shoe  jewelry. 

Cleaning Instructions:

  • Soak the pierced area with saline solution or a liquid antimicrobial cleanser 2-3 times daily (Or more often for comfort or to remove crusting). 

  • If you do not have access to sterile saline, you can mix ¼ non-iodized sea salt to 8 oz warm distilled or bottled water (DO NOT use tap water)

  • DO NOT use ANY product marked “for external use only” including, but not limited to: Rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Hibiclens, lidocaine, or triple antibiotic ointment. 

  • It may be easier to apply the cleaning solution using a saturated sterile gauze. 

  • Dry the piercing area with sterile gauze or q-tips. Do NOT use cloth towels!

  • A daily shower is OK. You may use clear liquid soap and rinse thoroughly. 

  • Use the cleaning solution for the ENTIRE healing time, even if the piercing appears fully healed. 


Avoid the following during healing:

  • Undue trauma or playing with the piercing. 

  • Oral contact, rough play, or contact with other people’s body fluids. 

  • Submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, jacuzzi’s, etc. 

  • Beauty and personal care products such as cosmetics, lotions, body sprays, etc. on or near the piercing. 

  • Contact your piercer if you suspect that your piercing might be infected. 


Estimated Heal Times:

  • Earlobe: 4-8 weeks

  • Ear Cartilage: 6-12 months

  • Eyebrow: 10-12 weeks

  • Lip: 10-12 weeks

  • Navel: 6-9 months

  • Nipple: 6-9 months

  • Nostril: 10-12 weeks

  • Septum: 6-8 weeks

  • Tongue: 4+ weeks

  • Dermal: 6-9 months

Heal times are approximate, based on the average time of healing. Human bodies are highly individual and healing times can vary greatly. Heal times are not guaranteed and may be complicated by certain medical conditions. 

Special Considerations:

  • Ear cartilage: This area is prone to developing “piercing bumps” on them. Make sure to rinse jewelry and ear after shampooing or using styling products to remove any residue. 

  • Nostril/Nose: Use cleaning solution INSIDE and OUT, applying with a q-tip. Try to avoid moving the jewelry as much as possible while cleaning. 

  • Tongue: Use an alcohol-free antiseptic mouth wash 2-4 times a day. Most people experience swelling for 3-5 days. DO NOT stick your tongue out past your teeth for the first week. Drinking alcohol in any quantities may increase swelling and is not advised during the first week or two. No kissing or oral contact until fully healed. The jewelry you are started with will be LONGER than normal to accommodate swelling. Downsize jewelry after piercing is fully healed. 

  • Labret/Lip: Use cleansing solution on the outside, and alcohol-free mouthwash on the inside 2-4 times a day. The disc on the inside may imbed slightly. This is normal. Do not allow skin to grow over the disc. If this appears to be happening, see your piercer as soon as possible. Downsize the jewelry after 3-4 weeks. 

  • Naval/Dermal: Expect some redness around the edges for a couple of months. This is normal. Avoid wearing tight clothing or clothing that will rub or press on the jewelry. 

  • Nipples: No oral contact until fully healed. This piercing can produce “crusties” for a year or more. This is normal. During the first few days many women find that wearing a sports bra at night helps with soreness. Many men find that wearing a tight fitting cotton tank top at night helps with soreness. 

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