Healing of a piercing requires a lot of care and attention. Neglect them or abuse them and they can become infected and/or take a lot longer to heal.
Some piercings may bleed heavily when first made in which case a simple dressing is recommended. Once the bleeding has stopped the piercing should be exposed to air as much as possible or covered only by loose fitting clothes. Use clean gauze dressings held in place by surgical tape for the first few days if bleeding is a problem.
For the first few days a piercing is best left alone to heal a little on it’s own. After this time it should be cleaned and inspected 2-3 times daily for at least the first month even if it seems healed. It is recommended to use a warm saline solution made with boiled water and around 5ml (1 teaspoon) of salt per 50ml of water. Antiseptics are generally not recommended as they can irritate the wound and/or cause it to dry out and obviously neither is desirable. Irritating a wound can prolong the healing time hugely. Mouth piercings can be treated with a mild antiseptic mouthwash or a little warm saline solution which should be done after each meal and preferably after eating and smoking too.
Any irritation to the piercing can prolong the healing process hugely. Try not to tug on the piercing or to wear clothing that catches the piercing as you move about. With oral piercings try to keep away from kissing deeply for the first 6 weeks. Genital piercings can be protected by a condom but it is generally recommended to keep sexual relations to a minimum until healed.
Avoid getting the piercing wet for at least the first 3-4 weeks. This means avoid swimming and where possible take a shower rather than a bath.
After a short while the you will notice a little clear coloured fluid leaking from the piercing and drying around it. As above this should be carefully cleaned with a saline solution on a daily basis. Whilst cleaning try to avoid moving the jewellery more that is necasarry to clean the piercing properly.
If the piercing becomes overly sore, continues to bleed, becomes very swollen or discolours badly consult your piercer or a doctor. DO NOT remove the jewellery. Not only will this mean you may lose the piercing but it will also mean that you in effect leave an open wound which may become even more infected. If your piercing looks mildly infected then it may be worth actually trying a little antiseptic ointment. Again get advice from your piercer or doctor on which is the best to use. Some people will suggest tea tree oil. Having tried it we do not recommend it. If the infection persists your doctor may give you a course of antibiotics which should clear it up. Again we stress DO NOT remove the piercing if you get an infection unless advised by your piercer or doctor to do so.
As stated elsewhere surgical steel body jewellery can also cause a reaction in some people due to the nickel content. This can also be true of gold jewellery due to impurities found in all gold no matter the carat. Because of this we strongly recommend the use of titanium jewellery for the initial piercing. Once the piercing has healed this can be replaced with steel, gold, silver or any other inert material