- Non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine free) sea salt into one cup (8oz) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better! Saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
- Liquid anti-microbial or germicidal soap.
- Wash your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning, or touching on or near your piercing for any reason.
- Seasalt soak once daily. Simply invert a cup of warm seasalt over the area to form a vacuum for a few minutes. The longer you soak, the better. For certain placements it may be easier to apply using fresh gauze or cotton ball saturated with seasalt water. A brief rinse will remove any residue.
- Soap no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds, then rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing.
- Dry with disposable paper products such as gauze or tissues, because cloth towels can harbor bacteria and catch on new piercings causing injury. Pat gently to avoid trauma.
- Initially: some bleeding, local 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 a part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
- A piercing may seem healed before healing is complete. This is because piercings heal from the outside in, and although it feels healed the tissue remains fragile on the inside. BE PATIENT, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
- Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after been there for years! This varies from person to person; If you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place.
What To Do
- Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry while healing except possibly during cleaning.
- Stay healthy/ Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Exercise during healing is fine, just "listen" to your body.
- Make sure your bedding is kept clean and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable breathable clothing that protects your piercings while sleeping.
What To Avoid
- Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.
- Avoid the use of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Hibicleans or ointment.
- Avoid over cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
- Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others' bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
- Avoid stress and recreational drug use including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, jacuzzis, etc. Or protect your piercing using special waterproof bandage* such as Tegaderm, which is available at drugstores.
- Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc. - Don't hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.