Suggested Aftercare Products
Always wash hands prior to touching healing piercings
Health Basics Antibacterial Hand Wash
“Opito Bay Summer – NZ Manuka Honey & Jojoba” – Triclosan Free
Use to wash hands prior to touching or cleaning your piercing.
Use 2 x daily to clean your piercing.
For sensitive skin, the “Aoraki Snow – Soothing Calendula & Chamomile” tends to be better suited.
Sea Salt – Non iodised / Additive Free / Fine Grain
Ideally pre packaged sterile saline solution or you can make a fresh solution each time you clean your piercing: 1/8 – 1/4 Teaspoon added to 250mls warm water (do not use a stronger solution).
Soak piercing for 5-10 minutes 1-2 x daily. Rinse with clean water.
Compresses are more effective for awkward areas as well as nostril, helix, and other cartilage piercings – soak clean gauze/cotton pads or paper towels (do not use face clothes, towels, or anything multiple times) in warm saline solution and apply gentle pressure to the piercing for 10 minutes, 1-2 x daily. Rinse with clean water.
This will help reduce tenderness and reduce bumps – if they occur.
100% Emu Oil
Apply a small dab to healing piercing 2x daily.
Apply to troublesome piercings as required.
Ideal for massaging into earlobes or other piercings prior to stretching or reinserting jewellery.
CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR BODY PIERCINGS
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. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.
Soap no more than twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewellery and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds. Or, apply using a cotton bud with the soap diluted with water, applied in front of a mirror; for facial and ear piercings.
Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewellery through the piercing.
Dry by gently patting with clean paper towels or let air dry. Cloth towels can harbour bacteria and snag on jewellery causing injury. Hair dryers can also house bacteria, particularly if the filter isn’t regularly cleaned.
WHAT IS NORMAL?
Initially: some bleeding, localised swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
During healing: some discolouration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewellery. The tissue may tighten around the jewellery as it heals.
Once healed: the jewellery 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 jewellery in – do not leave it empty.
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 jewellery.
- 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 harbour bacteria. If you bathe in a tub, clean it well before each use and rinse off your piercing when you get out.
WHAT TO AVOID
- Avoid cleaning with Iodine, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Tea tree oil, Studex, methylated spirits, or harsh soaps, as these will damage cells. Also avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
- Avoid pierced ear care solutions and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care.
- Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
- Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewellery, and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.
- 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 unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or, protect your piercing using a waterproof wound-sealant bandage (such as Tegaderm). These are available at most pharmacies.
- Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays.
- Don’t hang charms or any object from your jewellery until the piercing is fully healed.
For Particular Areas
A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (e.g. Pantyhose or Tights) or secured using a length of Ace® bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.
Ear/Ear Cartilage, and Facial
Use the ‘t-shirt trick’; dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt, and turn it nightly. One clean t-shirt provides four clean surfaces for sleeping.
Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats, and anything that contacts the pierced area.
Use caution when styling your hair, and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.
The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel comfortable. Especially for sleeping.
Genital piercings (especially Prince Albert, Ampallang, and Apadravya) can bleed freely for the first few days. Be prepared.
Urinate after using soap to clean any piercing that is near the urethra.
Wash your hands before touching on (or near) a healing piercing.
In most cases you can engage in sexual activity as soon as you feel ready, but maintaining hygiene and avoiding trauma are vital; all sexual activities should be gentle during the healing period.
Use barriers such as condoms, dental dams, and waterproof bandages, etc. to avoid contact with your partner’s body fluids, even in monogamous relationships.
Use clean, disposable barriers on sex toys.
Use a new container of water-based lubricant; do not use saliva.
After sex, an additional saline soak or clean water rinse is suggested.
Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. If you have any questions, please contact Flesh Wound.