Irritated Piercing Aftercare
For body piercings that are more sore, red, swollen, gooey, crusty, or bumps.
1. Wash Your Piercing
With clean hands water down a dime size amount of medical grade Provon brand antimicrobial lotion soap. Gently wash surrounding skin and exposed jewelry (no need to move through piercing) then gently rinse off the soap off.
Benefits - Antimicrobial soap kills microorganisms growing on your skin and jewelry. It also slows their regrowth to minimize the chance of developing an infection. Antimicrobial and Antibacterial soap are not the same. Dial soap is not suggested as the active ingredient Benzalkonium Chloride is irritating and dries your skin out.
2. Soak Your Piercing
Soak your piercing in the saline solution 3 times a daily, 5 minutes each time for a maximum of 15 minutes per day for 7-10 days. Make a saline solution by measuring 1/4 tsp non-iodized sea salt to 1 cup (8 oz) of warmer/hot distilled water.
Benefits - Saline soaks can reduce swelling, draw out impurity's, and soothe your piercing. You should see a little improvement each day. It is important to measure correctly using a measuring cup and spoon. An incorrect salt to water ratio can cause problems instead of helping. If there isn't enough sea salt you may not experience the maximum benefits. If there is too much salt your can dry your piercing out too much and burn your skin.
3. Remove Crust
Gently remove all crust from skin and jewelry with a wet q-tip after each soak.
Benefits - Removing debris creates a smoother surface making it easier for your body to form new skin cells. This keeps excess crust from irritating the new cells that are forming around the edges of your piercing.
4. Apply Emu Oil
With clean hands gently massage a pea size amount of 100% emu oil on either side of your piercing once daily.
Benefits - Emu oil soothes your piercing and will keep the edges of your piercing moisturized, it encourages skin cell growth, and restricts the regrowth of microorganisms. It makes for a more comfortable healing process.
5. Assess Your Jewelry
Have your jewelry assessed by a professional piercer. You may need a different material, style, gauge, length, diameter, or ball size to help with healing. Jewelry isn't a one style, one size fits all.
Benefits - Jewelry that is of high quality, fits well, is comfortable, and works with your lifestyle can greatly enhance your healing process. When it comes to jewelry it's definitely not a one style or size fits all.
Troubleshooting Problematic Piercings
Getting a piercing is not to be taken lightly. Healing a piercing is not always easy and takes close to a year of consistent commitment to care. In my experience most healing issues are related to one or more of the 5 basic healing factors. The 5 basic healing factors are 1. How hard of a piercing is it to heal? 2. How easy do you heal? 3. What is the quality of your body jewelry? Is the material, size, and style best for you? It's not a one size, style fits all. 4. Be honest, how consistently are you following the do's and don'ts on your aftercare sheet? 5. What in your lifestyle is getting in the way? (sleeping on it, changing it for sports, etc.)? Piercings don't get irritated for no reason. Something is causing it and the answer is different for everyone.
Not all piercings will heal the same, each person has their own process. Some piercings heal easily and some don't. Below are pictures of some healing concerns that may occur initially or during the first year of healing. Recognizing these issues and understanding what is causing them will help you to make informed choices when considering your approach to aftercare and healing. It's best to be consistent with your aftercare throughout the first year to avoid problems in the first place. Many stop taking care of it because they are healing well. Not attributing healing well to taking care of it. It's also best to be proactive if issues arise.
To read about healing concerns click on the pictures below. These pictures aren't meant to scare you. They are to show the importance of consistently following the aftercare do's and don'ts every day during the first year. Piercings should never stay irritated for weeks at a time during the first year. If you have questions feel free to email me.
All aftercare suggestions are based on training, research, and years of professional experience. These suggestions should not be a substitute for medical advice from a physician. If you suspect an infection, make an appointment with your doctor. Please note that it is important that you see a physician who is piercing educated, accepting, and experienced.