Piercing Aftercare
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Professional aftercare advice for new or established piercings
Proper aftercare is vital for the healing and maintaining of body piercings. Listed below are suggestions for the aftercare of new piercings, including site specific advice to help the healing process along smoothly with little chance of irritation or infection. If you are a client, and have questions concering your piercing, feel free to call me at the studio (see contact info on Welcome and Contact pages).

General Cleaning Procedure for Rings and Circular Barbells

New body piercings should be cleaned once or twice daily with a gentle cleanser such as an all natural lavender soap. Check the ingredients- it must contain actual lavender to work. Lavender fragrance will not work. You can substitute an anti-bacterial cleanser such as Dial or Satin, however, these are not as effective and the harsh chemicals may even irritate your piercing.

Your piercing should not be cleaned more than twice daily- to do so will interrupt the healing process.

The procedure is as follows:
Rinse or soak the area with warm water/saltwater* to soften any secretions that have dried outside the opening of the new piercing- soak for at least 3 minutes. Use a cotton swab to remove the softened secretions from the jewelry and openings (rotating the swab away from the body). Lather cleanser on the outside of piercing, getting the area good and clean. Once all debris is cleaned from the jewelry and openings, rotate the ring through completely several times to clean the inside of the new piercing. DO NOT FORCE THE RING TO TURN!! If it does not rotate, soak it longer. Do the same rotations under clean running water to remove all traces of the cleanser, which can act as an irritant if not thoroughly rinsed off. Pat dry with a clean paper towel.

This should be the ONLY time your ring is moved through the new piercing. Never handle the new piercing or jewelry when you are not cleaning it. Do not add topical ointments such as triple antibiotic (ie: Neosporin) or vitamin A & D- they will not allow the piercing to get the oxygen it needs to heal. Do not use other cleansers/antiseptics such as alcohol, peroxide, iodine based soulutions (ie: Betadine), or EPSOM salt as these are too harsh for a new piercing and may trigger irritation.

*see directions below for mixing a mild salt soulution, suitable for your new piercing

General Cleaning Procedure for Barbells
The only difference with cleaning a barbell is that you cannot rotate the jewelry through the piercing, which makes it somewhat harder to keep clean. Other than that- the instructions are the same as above, unless it is an oral piercing (care for oral piercings detailed below).

Since you cannot rotate jewelry through the piercing, do this:
After soaking with warm water/saltwater, push barbell all the way up and clean the exposed section of the post with a cotton swab. Repeat, pushing barbell all the way down. Move the jewelry in the same manner to rinse it.
Cleaning of Lip PIercings
Cleaning a lip or labret piercing is pretty much the same as above, twice daily with antibacterial soap, however- it is important that you follow good oral hygeine to avoid infection or irritation. Rinsing twice daily with a good antiseptic mouthwash is advised, however...anymore than this will start to hinder the healing process. If you can find a good antiseptic mouthwash without alcohol, then use it. If not, you can sustitute something like Listerine (gold), but you may need to water it down a little so it doesn't irritate since it has a high alcohol content.

Products I recommend for body piercings:

Sea Salt  available at grocery stores or the studio

Dos Aguas Botanica's Lavender & Sandalwood Aftercare Soap  available at the studio

Dos Aguas Botanica's Anti-septic Jojoba Oil (any blend)  available at the studio


Products I recommend for oral piercings:

Sea Salt  available at grocery stores or the studio

Dos Aguas Botanica's Lavender Herbal Tea  available at the studio or health food stores

Why Use a Salt Soak?
Using a sea salt soak reguarly during the healing process can help to heal the piercing in several ways. It facilitates the flow of oxygen and white blood cells to the area- vital elements in the healing process. It also acts as a gentle way to draw out septic fluids which can build up inside the new piercing. When mixed mild as directed below, a sea salt soak can also be soothing to itching and irritation, which are common factors in many new body piercings.
Mixing a Saltwater Solution
The absolute best type of salt to use for mixing a piercing soak solution is SEA SALT. Most grocery stores are carrying it these days, but you have to look for it. Sea salt is isually found with regular iodized salt, or in the health food section. If you do not have access to sea salt you have two options- one, you can substitute iodized salt (common table salt) which is not as mild, or two, you can purchase sea salt from the studio (very inexspensive and certainly worth it). NEVER ever use EPSOM salt for a piercing as it is not the same! Epsom salt is Magnesium Sulfate. Table salt and Sea salt are Sodium Chloride. NOT the same.

Mixing the solution...
Mix 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to 8oz. (1 cup) hot water. Stir until all salt is dissolved- failure to do this can result is serious irritation. Let the water cool some until it is lukewarm so it does not cause serious discomfort.
How and When to Use Salt Soaks
The easiest way to use a sea salt soak is to mix solution in a clean disposable cup (or any other small cup, granted it is thoroughly clean). Many piercings can be soaked by tipping the small cup onto the pierced area, holding it snug so none of the solution leaks out. It should be held in place, making sure the piercing is completely submerged, for about 5 minutes. Remove softened secretions with a cotton swab and pat dry with a paper towel. Any other soaks done throughout the day should be less than one minute to prevent overdrying.

If you cannot tip a cup of salt solution onto the piercing, or otherwise submerge it completely (as is the case with many facial piercings), do this instead- saturate a cotton ball in the still warm solution and hold on piercing for a minute. Repeat with another new cotton ball several times, or until all hardened secretions begin to soften. Remove secrections with a cotton swab and pat dry with a clean paper towel.

The best time to use a sea salt soak is before cleaning with the antibacterial cleanser. The sea salt really helps to soften hardened secrections better than warm water alone, making your task of cleaning much easier.
Another good time to use a sea salt soak is before any sort of physical activity which requires movement in the area of your new piercing. This will remove secretions that can get tugged into the new piercing causing undue irritation (this is also why you should never "turn" your ring when not cleaning).
Aftercare Supplies Available at the Studio
If you are having a hard time finding an anti-bacterial soap that will not irritate your piercing, come by the studio. We carry a couple of different types of aftercare soap that are manufactered locally by Dos Aguas Botanica. They are all-natural and kill 3 types of germs (bacterial, fungal, and viral) as opposed to store-bought soap (ie: Dial) which only kills bacteria.

We also carry other aftercare supplies, such as Sea Salt and an Antiseptic Piercing Oil for use on new or established piercings. The oil also works great on scar tissue, which is common among navel piercings, as well as established piercings that are going to be stretched (conditions the skin to improve elasticity).

All of these products are very mild, very affordable, and are produced locally by Dos Aguas Botanica. If you would like information on carrying these products at your studio, email me and I will give you thier contact information. They also make a really good tattoo soap too, for those of you who can wash your tattoos without consequence (I can't...they always fade if they get wet after the first day).

If you have any questions on aftercare, contact me at the studio 1-409-983-2909