Healing your piercing

Our healing advice has evolved since 1986 and we have seen the industry change as you will notice from our information about the history and evolution of the piercing industry over the past 30 to 40years.

We have not just followed trends and picked up on terms that make us sound like we know what we are doing. We have done the research , the study, and the trial and error over the years to come up with the best outcomes for our clients.

All of our procedures and advice complies with an integral part of our basic philosophy –

“To provide a gentle piercing technique designed and tested to increase the healing time and minimise the risk of infection during the healing process by way of minimal tissue damage and detailed healing information.”

A good piercing is not only good when it is new but also once healed.

At Body Pleasure Piercing we provide you with a healing kit and explain how to make it up and use it.

There are several Do’s and Don’t Do’s when it comes to healing your piercing.

Our Healing Advice is based on our 30+ years of experience and research. Everyone is different and so somethings that work for some people do not work for others. We have found that our methods are in general safe across the board however if you have a piercing that has problems it is important that you seek individual professional advice.

Healing General Body Piercings, Ear, Face and Body

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Do’s

  • Do Clean your piercing Twice a day (morning and night)
  • Do use a mild saline solution to rinse your piercing
  • Do only use clean fingers to clean and apply the saline solution
  • Do Clean the jewellery before moving it through your piercing especially when it is a ring
  • Do wash your hands before you touch your piercing
  • Do rinse your piercing after you shower to make sure that no soap or products are left around the piercing site.
  • Do rinse with salt water after your shower.

Don’ts

  • Don’t clean your piercing more than twice a day
  • Don’t use cotton wool, paper towel, tissues or cloths to clean your piercing as little fibres come off these and can go into your piercing and cause a small splinter. This will trigger a reaction by the body that is often misdiagnosed as a keloid.
  • Don’t fiddle with or move your jewellery unless being cleaned.
  • Don’t swim in public pools or dirty water
  • Don’t get soap, skin products, hair products or make up into your new piercing.
  • Don’t use saline solutions with preservatives or added chemicals
  • Don’t use other products such as Betadine, hibiclense, peroxide, peroxide based creams, chlorhexidine, Bepanthen, Dettol, Savlon or Tea Tree oil onyour new piercing.
  • Don’t change the jewellery until healed

Healing Piercings of the Mouth – healing Lip piercings, Tongue piercings, Cheek piercings etc.

For the outside of the piercing follow the advice for general piercings.

  • Do Rinse with Mouthwash (Listerine) twice a day. (We have recommended the use of Original Listerine for many years and have never had a problem with people using it, some places will recommend to use the alcohol free mouthwash. Listerine containing Alcohol kills more germs but can cause your mouth to be dry if used for an extended period of time and kills off both good and bad bacteria which can cause bad breath. The fact that it kills more germs has benefits in the first few days of getting your piercing, but after the first 4 days you can dilute it to half strength to prevent this or change to Alcohol free mouthwash. ) When my daughter had her wisdom teeth out the hospital supplied a mouth wash and said – Don’t use Listerine as it contains Alcohol(in the form of Ethanol) and so use our more expensive mouthwash. I looked at the ingredients of the hospital provided mouthwash and it contained the exact same amount of Alcohol (in the form of Ethanol) as Listerine. It was basically the same thing. You can also use salt water to rinse your mouth.
  • Do eat soft foods and rinse with water after you eat or drink anything to keep your mouth clean.
  • Do drink plenty of water to keep your mouth fresh and make sure your saliva is fresh which aids healing.
  • Do clean your teeth – oral hygiene is important but rinse any residual toothpaste out of your mouth.
  • Do shorten jewellery once the swelling has gone down.
  • Do seek help if you think the jewellery is sinking into your skin.
  • Don’t use Coloured Mouthwash or Mouthwash with a numbing agent. We say this because some of the colours and flavours used are not designed to get deep into the tissue as a mouthwash they are fine but when we are talking piercing it is a deep wound and the flavourings and colourings can get into this and react with some people causing swelling.
    We say not to use anaethetic mouthwash because it is prone to causing swelling and so can make a swollen piercing even more swollen and it also gives a false sense of feeling and people can do too much with their new piercing and harm it
  • Don’t eat or drink a lot of sugar as sugar breeds bacteria and less sugar residue in your mouth will help promote healing.
  • Don’t take drugs or drink alcohol for the first 24 – 48 hours as they can get into the piercing and cause excess swelling.
  • Don’t Smoke tobacco for at least 5 hours after the piercing. He reason we say 5 hours is because it take approximately 2 ½ hours for the skin to form a protective seal after being cut
    however being in the mouth where the bar moves and it is a moist environment we give it double that amount of time to form a protective barrier to stop the chemicals from getting into the piercing and causing excess swelling.
  • Don’t fiddle with or play with your new mouth piercing which means with your fingers or your tongue. We often see ulcers on the inside of the mouth due to people repeatedly running their tongue over the piercing. Or they can even tear or cause a mouth piercing to migrate by repeatedly licking at it, especially the back of labret or lip piercings.

Healing Genital Piercings
These piercings tend to heal quickly due to the tissue in the area and our General body piercing healing advice should be followed. There are however a few extra precautions with genital piercings.

Do’s

  • Do rinse with salt water at least twice a day.
  • Do rinse with salt water after urinating and pat dry with toilet paper that is as good quality you can get as you don’t want to get lint or fluff into the piercing
  • Do avoid other peoples body fluids, if you must test it out then use protection.
  • Do drink plenty of water as this helps to keep the urine less acidic and stops it stinging piercings that it comes in contact with.
  • We recommend Abstaining from sexual activities for the first two weeks but if you must play then please use protection and be gentle.

Don’ts

  • Don’t sit in salt baths or soak the area. A lot of places recommend doing this but a soak or salt bath picks up all of the bacteria from the rest of the area such as the anus and groin and these along with fluff or debris can get into the piercing and cause infection. Rinsing the area with running water and a saline spray is far safer and cleaner.
  • Don’t use oil based lubricants or Vaseline, avoid getting anything like soaps or lubricants into a new piercing.
  • Don’t be rough with or pull on a new piercing. The general rule with new piercings is-“If it hurts – Stop.” If a new piercing is hurting it is generally a sign that it is being damaged or torn and you should stop what you are doing. (even if it is in that fine line between pleasure and pain).

The History of Healing piercings

When we first started piercing in 1986 there was not a lot of information about healing your piercing

There were many things tried and tested.

1986 – Hibiclense / Microshield (hand washes) the recommendation was to wash your piercing with hibiclense or Microshield hand wash by making a foam and then rinsing it. This was found to be problematic because the hand wash is not intended to get into the skin as deep as a piercing. Getting into the piercing during the epithelisation stage the antiseptic hand wash reacted to people causing irritation to the new piercing and often caused a rash and itching around the site.

1987 – the late 1990’s Lots of things were experimented with, I cannot remember the order in which they were tried and so not in any particular order here are the things that for some period of time were recommended to use to heal your piercing (Most were just not really very good)

Betadine was recommended to be used however, it was found that while Betadine kills germs it kills off the regenerating skin cells, this in turn slows down the healing process and makes it take longer for piercings to heal which gives more time for an infection to set in.

Tea Tree Oil was tried because of it’s antiseptic qualities, however, it was found that it was too strong to use straight and could burn the skin and cause rejection and most times when mixed with a carrier oil the carrier oil would get into the piercing and cause problems.

Bepanthen often used to heal a tattoo it’s moisturising properties would make the skin around the piercing soft and more likely to tear or get pussy and if a piercing did get a bit weepy it would trap that in and cause a weepy mess which could cause rejection.

Detol, this was found to be way too strong and I even saw where a girl used it on a dermal and it travelled under her skin and cause similar to a second degree burn which then scared her with a brownish scar about the size of a 50cent coin around the piercing. Other times it just killed the skin and caused rejection.

Savlon, this is an antiseptic cream and was not as bad as some of the other things however as it moisturise it is more inclined to cause excess weeping and the tissue to become soft and tear. It can be used on a healed piercing to lubricate it if it is dry.

Alcohol 70% isoprol alcohol as we use to skin prep and people found that they would just use the alcohol wipes to clean their piercing. This had the advantage of keeping the jewellery clean however, the alcohol dries the skin too much and causes it to crack making it more likely for the piercing to reject or get infected.

Cotton buds or “Q tips” – these shed small fibres and the little bits of cotton can come off and get into the piercing causing a splinter like reaction and pussy lumps that can be mistaken for keloids in fact most keloids are caused by either infection or foreign bodies like fluff not beingtreated.

Peroxide, this was often recommended to heal the lumps caused by the use of cotton buds and what it did was react with the dead or pussy tissue and eat off the dead skin cells which appeared to help but could also cause scaring and rejection.

Chlorhexadine the old spirit used to put on new ear piercings since the 1970’s. This stung and being alcohol based dried out the skin and caused it to crack and reject or slowed down the healing process.

Metholated Spirits similar to the alcohol based products this dried the skin and is not the best thing to use on your skin as it is labelled as “Poison” and should not be getting into unhealed tissue. It stung a lot and did nothing more than dry the skin out killing off the skin cells.

Asprin, this is one of those “old wives tales” that was used to get rid of what was generally mistaken as a keloid. There is no evidence that crushed up asprin applied to the skin does anything to heal it. It may thin the blood in the area a little sand therefore reduce some of the inflammation caused by irritation but on the whole does not often do anything.

Camomile Tea, also one of those “old wives tales” that was tried in the 1990’s. Camomile tea has a relaxing and calming effect on the stomach when drunk but there is no evidence that it has that effect on irritated skin. And while it was recommended to place a warm camomile teabag on irritated or sore piercings to sooth them it was not effective in treating infections or lumps and a warm saltwater wash has the same soothing effect.

In 1991 at Body Pleasure Piercing we had found that sea water was excellent for healing piercings and had noticed that a lot of our clients who lived near the beach had no healing problems and so we would go to a clean beach down the coast and collect sea water in containers, we then filtered it and bottled it for people to use on their piercings. This was and I will dare to say probably still is the best solution we have ever used.

As we became increasingly busy it was extremely time consuming to be collecting water in clean containers and putting it through filtration and the bottling it up. And so we started out telling people to make their own salt water solution but this became problematic because people used way too much salt (more isn’t always better). One lady came to me complaining that her C.H. piercing burnt and stung every time she cleaned it. After going through everything carefully she had said she was making the salt water to our directions (1/2 TEASPOON SALT TO 1 CUP OF COOLED DOWN BOILED WATER) Eventually I asked her to go through the process from start to finish with me. She started off by saying first I get ½ a CUP of salt……. Yep that’s right a salt paste will sting and burn.

So then we found that one sachet of sea salt was ¼ of a teaspoon and so if we could get 1/2cup sized bottles we would have a way to prevent people from using too much salt.

So by 2003 we had developed what we have now.

During the time a few companies mainly tattoo suppliers and cosmetic companies tried to capitalise on the piercing fad a developed “piercing sprays”. Unfortunately, they had little piercing experience and had not studied the healing process as much as we had and so included things like chlorhexidine and tea tree oil and other chemicals that tended to slow down the healing and kill the regenerating skin cells.

In roughly 2015 we started to see products come onto the market that were sea salt and saline based and these are safe to use. Unfortunately, a lot of the advise given has been to use cotton buds, paper towel or other cloths to clean the piercing and to apply the saltwater. We have found that these cause small bits of fluff or lint to get into the piercing. Even the tiniest bit of lint or fluff can cause the body to go into protection mode IT’S NOT A KELOID! What happens is the body recognised this tiny bit of lets say “lint” as a foreign particle in the body and to protect you from it a layer of cells are formed around the “lint” a little bit like a grain of sand in an Oyster that creates a pearl. Just not so pretty in your helix piercing or on your nose. These are not infections and are not keloids or hypertrophic scars, they are basically small splinters that get in too deep and cause your body to build up muck around it. To fix these a mild antibiotic ointment such as Chlorsig or Bactroban works remarkably well if applied at least twice a day every day for at least 2weeks. ( In Australia you will probably need to see a Doctor and ask for these) Use for longer depending on what has got in and how big the lump is. This eats out the lump and breaks down the ‘lint’ cleaning out the piercing the lump goes away. If these are left untreated they can develop into Keloids.

Our healing advice has evolved since 1986 and we have seen the industry change as you will notice from our information as the industry has evolved over the past 30 to 40years.

We have not just followed trends and picked up on terms or words that make us sound like we know what we are doing. We have done the research, we have done the study, we have had the hands on experience and we have seen what gives the best outcomes for our clients over the years.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us through our contact page or come in and see us.

Geelong: 03 5229 0021
St Kilda: 03 9534 9938