How to Care for New Body Piercings

All body piercings are different, so each requires different specific kinds of care. For things like oral piercings, or piercings in places that move a lot like the navel, referring to a specific article is probably best. However, there are a few things it's wise to do in the case of all piercings.

Steps

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    Expect discomfort and try to avoid activities that will irritate it. For example, if you play a sport that requires a helmet, don't get a piercing on your outer ear cartilage when you will be doing that in the next couple of weeks.
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    Time it right! If your piercing requires shoving wet, salty cotton wool up your nose three times a day or putting a cup of saline over your nipples, don't get it when you will have to be at school or work. Make sure you have the free time to keep it clean at least initially - if not a holiday, at least a long weekend.
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    Clean with saline.
    • Lots of places sell their own particular variant on salty water as a piercing cleaning agent. This is never going to be much more effective than cheap, plentiful salt water. Soak piercings in warm salt water before cleaning.
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    Watch your piercing progress. Your piercing will, in most cases, develop a 'crust'. It will in all likelihood also ooze white liquid and occasionally bleed. This is normal.
    • It is not normal for your piercing to ooze green liquid, smell bad or hurt a lot unless it's very fresh or you've been too rough with it. If this happens, rethink your cleaning and possibly contact your piercer.
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    • Piercings go through two healing stages: the primary healing period, after which the piercing appears healed from the outside and can survive a jewelry change but is still fragile, and the secondary, after which the piercing will have formed a solid tunnel and will not close up (mostly!) after short periods without jewelry.
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    When removing crust, soak, don't pick. It will come off easily once saturated.
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    Don't over-clean. There is such a thing as too much cleaning. Twice a day should suffice for most even at the very beginning; once a day once the primary healing period has passed.
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    Don't play with it. If your piercer is even halfway decent, they will tell you this when you get it done - don't play with it all the time! Specifically, don't play with it while it's 'crusty'. This could damage the edges of the healing wound, dragging tiny bits of scab through it that will hurt like hell.
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    Wait until the correct healing time has elapsed before even thinking about changing jewelry, especially lower-grade jewelry.

Tips

  • Some piercings are easier to care for than others, so factor how lazy you are in when deciding on which piercing to get. Low-commitment piercings include earlobes and nostrils. High-commitment piercings include tongues, nipples and bellybuttons.

Warnings

  • Don't get a piercing if you won't look after it!

Article Info

Categories: Tattoos and Piercing