-These guidelines are based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, research and extensive clinical practice. This is not to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. -If you suspect an infection, seek medical attention. Be aware that many doctors have not received specific training regarding piercing. -Your piercer may be able to refer you to a piercing-friendly medical professional.
What to do?
Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. During healing, it is not necessary to rotate your jewelry.
Stay healthy; the healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body.
Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping.
Showers tend to be safer than taking baths, as bathtubs can harbor bacteria. If you bathe in a tub, clean it well before each use and rinse off your piercing when you get out.
Packaged sterile saline (with no additives, read the label) is a gentle choice for piercing aftercare.
If sterile saline is not available in your region a sea salt solution mixture can be a viable alternative. Dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (.75 to 1.42 grams) of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz / 250 ml) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better; a saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
SALINE soak for five to ten minutes once or more per day. Invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum. For certain piercings it may be easier to apply using clean gauze or paper towels saturated with saline solution. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.
DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products.
What is Normal?
Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
Once healed: the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it.
If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years!
This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in—do not leave it empty.