Step one - Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water.
Step two - Spray the entry and exit points of your piercing with sterile saline solution.
Step three - Wipe away any dry matter using non-woven gauze or clean kitchen towel (cotton buds, cotton balls and tissues all leave tiny fibres behind which could irritate your piercing, so please avoid using these)
Step Four - Gently dab/pat dry using a separate, new clean piece of gauze or kitchen towel.
Don't touch or mess with your piercing. No twisting, turning the jewellery and do not pick "crusties" from the area, please remove as per aftercare instructions advised above.
Don't sleep on it! If you sleep on your side, place a travel pillow ontop of your usual pillow to prevent putting weight pressure onto your piercing.
Avoid chemicals. Savlon, TCP, Tea tree, Surgical spirits, Dettol, Chlorine and the like are very harsh on piercings, please do not use them. Sterile saline all the way! Don't forget to give the area a good rinse after using hair products such as shampoo etc too.
Stay healthy! Avoid overly stressful situations, eat a nutritious diet and get enough sleep! all of these contribute to keeping and maintaining a healthy and strong immune system, which will be hard at work healing your piercing.
Don't change or remove your jewellery too early! Piercings heal from the outside in, so it may look and feel healed early on, but it is very likely to still be raw inside, particularly if less than three months old. Remember to pop in for your check up appointments and downsize appointments so your piercer can monitor the healing process.
ORAL PIERCING AFTERCARE
Rinse thoroughly with Alcohol free mouth wash, (such as corsodyl and cb12) including after meals. Downsize when requested and do not play with jewellery as this will cause irritation.
INAPPROPRIATE AFTERCARE IS THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF A DISTRESSED PIERCING.
What is normal?
Tenderness, bleeding and/or bruising.
A clear, yellow or whitish discharge, which may crust.
What is not normal?
Puss or thick discharge, that may look greenish.
Excessively swollen and is hot to touch.
Most people assume the bump around their piercing is a keloid, however this is unlikely to be the case. Most bumps forming around piercings are caused by improper aftercare and irritation.
WHAT CAUSES BUMPS?
Piercing bumps are caused by a number of reasons, such as excessive or overly rough cleaning, knocking and accidentally snagging piercings, sleeping onto the piercing and either poor quality jewellery, or jewellery that is not correctly fitting. Applying ointments and creams can also irritate piercings, such as tea tree oil and savlon etc.
WHAT IF MY PIERCING IS INFECTED?
If you suspect you piercing is infected, you should visit your GP as soon as possible. Please refrain from removing the jewellery, as infections can be dealt with -without the loss of the piercing and removal could then cause an abscess.
Fresh piercings are done with jewellery that has allowed room for some initial swelling, however in some cases, if the piercing has experienced trauma such as being knocked or bumped, the piercing has become infected or irritated, swelling may begin to surpass the jewellery. In these cases, you will need to visit your piercer and have them fit a temporary, more accommodating length or diameter piece of jewellery.
WHAT IF I CANT SEE A PIERCER - ADVICE
For suspected infections, follow the above advise and go see a medical professional.
For excessive swelling, if you do not have a safe alternative piece of jewellery to wear temporarily you may need to remove your jewellery altogether to reduce the risk of imbedding and your skin healing completely over the jewellery, which unfortunately may mean you lose your piercing. Your piercer may be able to taper it back open, when you can get into see them, it may need to be re-pierced.
If you have lost your jewellery and need a replacement, book an appointment to have your piercer refit you the correct jewellery. To prevent the piercing from closing up in the meantime, you can wear something temporarily.