CARING FOR YOUR PIERCING
A body piercing heals from the outside first, and then has a much slower process of healing inside the piercing (hole). The reason for this is because not only are we healing a puncture wound, but we are also trying to get our bodies to accept our new foreign object-friend ! The reality is, if we were to pierce your tissue and then immediately remove the needle, all that is left behind is a little crescent-shape cut mark, tiny like a scratch. It would bleed a little because there is nothing to “plug” the wound, but the tissue would immediately tighten back up or “spring back together” leaving it unable to then insert jewelry.
Believe it or not, when piercing, we’re not actually removing any tissue. We’re gently and accurately separating the tissue using a (in most cases) tiny needle. Once your jewelry is inserted that tissue around it then tightly hugs it, giving the wound structure and stability to heal a fistula. This tube-shape wound then hardens and becomes a tube-shape scab, sticking tightly around the jewelry as it's trying to heal. Anytime your piercing is bumped, rotated, or moved in any way, this scab inside gets ripped off but it doesn’t have anywhere to go, so it stays inside the wound. The more you move and touch your piercing the more it will “ooze” fluids as your body is trying to get rid of the excess build up of scabs inside, in addition to the germs you introduced to the area when touching it. You never need to “unstick” your jewelry, it won't get stuck and moving it will only increase your swelling.
Within a few hours or days your body will realize that there is now a foreign object in you. Naturally -assuming everything else is done correctly- your body's only concern is to get this foreign object out of there ! We don’t want to keep reminding your body of this foreign object by touching it constantly, because your body will want to get rid of it in an effort to protect us. If we just leave our piercings alone, keep them as dry as possible, your piercing will retain its structure and stability thus allowing it to heal safely and smoothly.
The healing process is long. When healing navels, nipples, surface piercings or anything cartilage, your piercing can take up to a year to heal completely inside, and can take six months to change, or eight months to change to a ring. When healing an oral piercing, ear lobe, septum, or eyebrow piercing, complete healing can take up to three months. We know this is a lot of info and can be a little overwhelming, but it’s important to understand that body piercings are a lot of responsibility and will require your love and care, and we are here for you along the way !
WHAT TO EXPECT
Irritation bumps can happen if irritation/stress is introduced to the area or your general immune system either directly or indirectly. These are common and DO GO AWAY. The bump goes away once the irritation goes away and together we want to figure out what has caused it, so DO NOT TOUCH IT.
Medications we take including contraceptives, acne medications, changes in your immune system, allergies, emotional stress and even your outside environment (heat, summer, humidity, face masks) can put stress on a piercing, so make sure you're healthy and be careful to follow our tips carefully.
THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR PIERCING IS TO LEAVE IT ALONE
What Is Not Normal
Our aftercare instructions are designed to eliminate cross contamination when caring for your piercing, this means that as long as all of our instructions are followed properly there is almost 0% chance your piercing can become infected. Remember, infections don't just happen, neglect and bacteria must be introduced.
Extreme pain weeks or months after the piercing is done, a lot of itchiness, fever, green, brown, or dark yellow, stinky/sticky secretions are not normal. Swelling after a substantial amount of time has passed since being pierced, and swelling that causes the jewelry to be engulfed into the skin is not normal and we want to figure out what has caused this.
If you assume you have an infection please do not google, youtube, or facebook any treatments or advice. Do not try to self medicate or self diagnose. Please make us aware of the concern and consult your doctor.
It is important to not confuse an irritation with an infection. If anything seems abnormal in the slightest way contact us for consulting. If an emergency arises, you can not come to our studio, or if you suspect you might have an infection please visit a doctor for medical attention and notify us of the situation.
WHAT TO DO :
USING SALINE SPRAY, CLEAN ALL AROUND YOUR PIERCING 1-3x DAILY ON ALL SIDES FOR ABOUT 5 SECONDS. Using the special designed nozzle to “flush” off the scabs or other build up, place the nozzle next to your piercing and spray directly onto the piercing hole, not being afraid of the nozzle's pressure. If your piercing doesn’t have a lot of build up or scabbing, a light cleaning about an inch away is just perfect! If your piercing doesn't have any scabs.
DON'T TOUCH OR MOVE THE JEWELRY. WHY BREAK THE SCABS INSIDE THE HOLE that are starting to form? These scabs will soon turn into a fistula that will become your piercing’s home.
MAKE SURE THE GENERAL AREA IS CLEAN, THIS MEANS PRACTICING REALLY GOOD HYGIENE, CLEANING EAR WAX, EXCESSIVE BUILDUPS, AND DRYING YOUR BODY THOROUGHLY AFTER SHOWERING.
Some clients will even blow dry their piercings and the surrounding area on low or no heat setting to ensure all moisture is gone. No matter what, remember your key rule is to never touch or move the piercing and its jewelry.
DON'T USE A Q TIP, WHY TAKE THE CLEANING SOLUTION OFF?
LET THE SOLUTION SOAK INTO THE PIERCING AND AIR DRY.
Remember, your body will recognize this is a foreign object within a few days or hours and once it does, your body's natural response is to get rid of this foreign object. The trick is for me to do my job so well, and for you to take care of it so well that we give the body no other choice but to accept this new addition and start the slow process of forming a fistula, or a tube of skin around the piercing inside of the hole.
Every time we move, touch, yank or pick at our piercing we are reminding our body of this foreign object it's naturally supposed to get rid of. By doing so we also cause more scar tissue and introduce bacteria. So, let's give your body a chance to heal and not complicate this already very long and sensitive process.
We want to keep your piercing dry from water because bacteria thrives in warm, moist, dark environments, so let's keep our piercing area dry and clean !
For cleaning, we recommend using a mild, alcohol free mouthwash such as Biotene, but always check if you are allergic to any products. Make sure to use a brand new toothbrush after getting your piercing, it's wise to change this out once a month at least. For the first month, you should rinse any time you eat and avoid drinking alcohol or smoking. Try to consume mostly water, and lots of it! You should also rinse the outside of the piercing with sterile saline two to three times a day for the first three months.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Your piercing may swell for 1 to 3 weeks. During this time try to eat soft foods and sleep with your head elevated. To reduce swelling, drink plenty of water and take an anti-inflammatory (that is safe for you) according to the package's instructions, and don't play with the piercing.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
Buy a new toothbrush and don't forget to brush your tongue.
Once healed, brush the jewelry to avoid a buildup of plaque.
Eat a healthy diet and/or take multivitamins.
Once the swelling has gone down it is very important to RETURN to downsize the jewelry. This will speed healing.
Playing with the jewelry
Talking too much which requires using your muscles.
Using alcoholic mouthwash
Engaging in oral sexual contact during healing, this includes wet kissing
Aspirin, alcohol or large amounts of caffeine.