A mild, liquid anti-bacterial is required to aid the healing process. Be wary of inferior products and those not designed for body piercing, in most cases these will have a detrimental effect on the healing of your piercing, damaging the exposed skin cells instead of allowing them to heal, and drying out the surrounding skin instead of keeping it moisturised. At Urban Piercings we sell a solution from Metal Morphosis specifically designed for body piercing. (For more information on Metal Morphosis cleaning solution; please click here.) It is a mild, anti-bacterial with moisturising properties that will keep your piercing both clean and moisturised. Another solution we can recommend is a sea salt and water mix. Simply add a teaspoon of granulated sea salt to a cup of boiling water and allow to cool down to body temperature. A good substitute for sea salt water that will give the same effect without the time consuming mixing is saline solution. Be aware that a sea salt solution or saline solution lacks the moisturising properties of the Metal Morphosis solution. If you are in any doubt as to the various cleaning solutions available, or that you have already used please contact Urban Piercings.
Your piercing will need to be cleaned twice daily throughout the healing process. Firstly ensure you wash your hands prior to contact with your piercing with an anti-bacterial soap and hot water. The plasma or ‘crust’ will need to be removed from the piercing and jewellery, in order to allow access to the skin cells beneath it and your piercing. Often it is advisable to clean your piercing after a bath or shower, this way the excess plasma or ‘crust’ will be loosened, and a lot easier to clean away. A cotton wool bud, soaked with warm water placed on the jewellery and rotated will be the easiest way to remove it. Once the piercing site is free and visibly clean, soak a fresh cotton wool bud with your Metal Morphosis cleaning solution. Place it against your piercing and ensure the solution comes into contact with the skin all around the jewellery. Gentle rotation of the jewellery ensures the solution is worked into the piercing. If you are using the sea salt solution a cotton wool pad is more effective. Soak the entire pad with your sea salt solution and press it against your piercing, allowing two to three minuets for it to fully soak into your piercing. If you have any queries about the cleaning procedure please contact Urban Piercings.
3How long should I clean my piercing?
Ideally your piercing will need to look as if it had never been pierced, (with the obvious addition of the jewellery!). No redness, swelling or inflammation should be visible and the piercing should not feel sore or itch. Unfortunately the temperamental nature of body piercing and indeed your body means that outside influences such as ill health and stress can cause your piercing to revert to an earlier stage of healing. Should this happen simply continue to clean your piercing. If you are unsure whether your piercing is fully healed feel free to visit Urban Piercings and ask your piercer’s advice.
4Other healing aids
An anti-inflammatory, such as Ibuprofen, can be used as advised on the packet. Though generally un-necessary it can help initial swelling and resultant discomfort. Please ask your pharmacist for advice. Many people have found zinc supplement or arnica tablets greatly increase healing times by boosting the body’s natural defence systems, so providing natural assistance. These both can be purchased from your local health food shop.
5What to avoid
Plasters and other patches, even surgical patches, should not be worn for any lengthy periods of time. They will ‘suffocate’ the piercing and make it sweat, causing your piercing to harbour more bacteria un-necessarily. Avoid bodily fluid contact with your piercing, including saliva. This is particularly important within the first three to four days as your piercing will not have been able to effectively seal itself off, leaving it open to bacteria and inviting infection. Alcohol, particularly in large quantities will thin your blood, causing your piercing to continue to bleed. This will also slow down the rate at which the blood will congeal, leaving your piercing open for longer and increasing the chances of an infection. Finally avoid touching or allowing others to touch your piercing outside of the cleaning process. Excessive irritation to your piercing will drastically lengthen the healing process, and greatly prolong the initial period of discomfort and irritation.
6Additional guidelines for specific piercing
Naval: Avoid tight or restrictive clothing including high waist bands and large belt buckles.
Cartilage and nostril; Through experience cartilage piercings should not be rotated during the cleaning process and any un-necessary movement should be avoided. This includes any un-necessary movement at all. Because of the delicate nature of cartilage, movement aggravates the site and can drastically prolong the healing time. As long as the correct solution and method is applied, the cleaning solution will find its way into the piercing perfectly well. Generally your piercing….reach through. If your….of its own accord.
Nipple: Women may find a padded or sports bra will be more comfortable for the initial few days. It is also recommended to wear an old tee-shirt to bed as nipple piercings often bleed the first night after having them pierced