It is very common among piercings for them to get irritated, resulting in scarring or even piercing infections. When a piercing is irritated there are many ways to prevent this or, after the damage has been done, make them less irritated. In case there is an infection, it is recommended to go to a piercer and get it checked out. Let’s start with the basics.
A piercing is basically an open wound, that’s why we have to be careful with the aftercare. By cleaning your piercing with water or a sterile saline solution you can prevent any makeup, filth, hair, etc. from getting stuck in the wound and infecting the area.
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How to clean the area surrounding your piercing?
You could either use a sterile saline solution or running water. Do not use any products you’re not sure of. If it contains alcohol, do NOT use it! Alcohol is bad for the healing process.
If you don’t have a store-bought saline solution, you could make your own. You only need 2 things: water and salt. Don’t use kitchen salt, as this contains more than just salt including jodium and conserving ingredients. Try using unprocessed sea salt or mineral salt.
How to clean your piercing using a saline solution?
You can approximately 250 milliliters of water and half a teaspoon of salt. Make sure the water is warm but not boiling and stir well. Make sure the salt has completely dissolved and the water has a medium warm temperature. Then proceed to take a cotton pad and gently dab around the piercing, removing any crust and residue that might have been left behind.
It’s important for the salt to be completely dissolved and not leave any residue. Try to not be too harsh as force can create a new additional “wound” to the original, piercing wound. If any salt residue is left behind, this could also create infections.
Don’t use the saline solution after 7 days, the expiry date is approximately a week.
How to definitely not clean your piercing
There are many misconceptions about aftercare and what to do after you get a new piercing or your piercing has been irritated. One of those is using alcohol. As we know, alcohol can be a handy solution to disinfected many things, but not piercing wounds. The body sees it as a more foreign substance and won’t like it. It might even reject the piercing and dries out the skin. The body will see alcohol as dirt in the wound. This is also one of the reasons we don’t recommend any mouthwash with alcohol for oral piercings (tongue piercings, smiley piercing, …).
Do not use any oils or homemade oil-based remedies. This won’t help your wound at all and might extend the healing period as it goes against the healing body. You also can not use any soap, it is definitely NOT recommended. If you do decide to use soap, use an alcohol-free antibacterial soap. Rinse everything well and make sure it is thoroughly cleaned. If any small bits of soap gets stuck in or next to the piercing, it will do more harm than good.
Getting a piercing is very exciting and fun to complete your look, but it also brings some responsibility to take care of your body and its wounds. To make sure your piercing won’t bring any trouble and regrets, it is very important to inform yourself with any questions and aftercare problems you encounter and ask them to a licensed, professional piercer.