Body Piercing Aftercare: Healing Right

There are three main groups we’ll refer to when it when it comes to body piercings, oral, genital, and what we’ll call standard. When I say standard I mean piercings such as facial, navel and others excluding genital and oral piercings.  While many of the body piercing aftercare procedures are the same genital and oral piercings do need a little extra care.

This page will cover the basic aftercare of your new body piercing. I’ll have the specifics of oral piercings and genital piercings on a different page.

Basic Body Piercing Aftercare

There are two types of products that can be used in your body piercing aftercare, a liquid antimicrobial soap, and a sterile saline solution.

Antimicrobial Soap and Saline Solution Cleaning Instructions

  • Body Piercing AftercareIt is best to clean your new piercing with antimicrobial soap once or twice a day.  If you fall into a mud pit or otherwise foul up the area go ahead and clean it.  Otherwise once or twice a day should be fine.  Cleaning the area too often will actually irritate the piercing area and slow the healing process.
  • Be sure to wash your hands before cleaning or touching your piercing.  A good rule to follow is to just not touch the piercing unless you are cleaning it, many infections start with dirty hands.  I know it can be difficult but keep your hands off.
  • To clean the piercing you will need a good liquid antimicrobial soap.  Satin and Provon are two very effective medicated soaps.  You can also use a liquid antimicrobial soap or germicidal soap purchased from a drug store.  Make sure they are additive and fragrance-free because these ingredients will cause irritation.
  • Lather up the soap in your hands before applying it to the jewelry and piercing.  Gently clean the area and remove any discharge from the jewelry.  Rinse the area and make sure the soap is removed.
  • When you are finished cleaning, pat the area dry with a disposable tissue or gauze.  Cloth items can hold in germs and moisture.
  • Another option that can really help in the cleaning process is a sterile saline solution such as H2Ocean.  This saline spray is very convenient and I’ve seen some really good results with it.  Spray the solution around the pierced area and thoroughly irrigate and rinse the piercing.  You won’t need to rinse the solution off itself, and it generally causes less irritation than soap.

Warm Saline Soaking Instructions

  • It is very beneficial to the healing process if you soak your new piercing in a warm saline solution two or three times a day.  This in addition to the rest of your aftercare will help your body piercing heal with the best results.
  • To make the solution you will need to purchase sea salt and distilled water if possible.  If you were soaking in your tub I doubt it will really be reasonable to heat and fill it with distilled water.  It is important that you buy sea salt.  The ingredients should be sodium chloride and possibly calcium silicate or calcium phosphate.  Any other ingredients or added minerals will not do so please double check before your purchase.
  • Once you have the ingredients you will need to heat the water with the proper amount of salt (I have a table below) heat the water as hot as you can without causing injury or discomfort.
Sea Salt Water
1/4 teaspoon cup 8oz
1    teaspoon quart 32oz
4    teaspoons gallon
  • Place the cup with the solution over the piercing and make a vacuum if possible.  If the placement doesn’t allow this, try to submerge the area.  Still no luck?  As a last resort soak a sterile piece of gauze or paper towel and use it as a compact, apply pressure carefully you don’t want to irritate the new piercing.
  • Let it soak until the water starts to cool.  About 5 to 10 minutes.
  • This is very helpful to the healing process so please don’t skip this.

This should provide you with a good amount of knowledge on the aftercare of your new body piercing.  Do the things your piercer recommends; different environments can lead to variations in the aftercare.  Remember there is no substitute for a medical opinion. If you feel your piercing is infected or causing a serious problem pay your doctor a visit.  I am not a medical doctor and your piercer probably isn’t either.