Piercing Aftercare

Looking after your fresh piercing is an important part of getting pierced. If you follow our piercing aftercare instructions you should have few problems.

  • Cleaning the piercing:

    After removing any initial dressing applied by the piercer, clean the piercing twice a day if possible – the use of boiled, cooled water and clean gauze or other non-disintegrating cotton wool swabs is best for this. Sterile (normal) saline purchased in sachets from your pharmacist is also suitable for this. Gently soak off and wipe any crusty formations at the wound site – do not pick them off. Avoid applying hot cleaning solutions or surgical spirit on the treated area as they can damage delicate healing skin.

  • Healing times of the piercing:

    Facial: Nose, Tongue, Navel, Labret, Ear, Eyebrow, and and Nasal Septum six to eight weeks. Cartilage regions of the ear and nostril take two months to one year. Lips and cheeks take six to eight weeks. Genital piercings both female and male including inner labia, clitoral hood take four to twelve weeks, whilst nipples, scrotum and outer labia can take two to six months. Navel and ampalling – a transverse penile piercing – can take anywhere from four months to one year.

  • The Jewellery used for piercing with:

    Titanium BCR (Ball Closure Ring), Bar. PTFE

  • Information on materials:

    Titanium & PTFE

  • Bleeding of the Piercing:

    Most piercings will bleed at first but this should stop within a few minutes. Gentle pressure on or around the pierced site will slow bleeding, but if it is excessive or persists then immediate medical advice should be sought.

  • Loose Clothing:

    Try to wear loose, cotton clothing to minimise rubbing and irritation to a newly pierced site, and in general try and keep a new piercing as dry and exposed as possible.

  • Swelling:

    Remember all pierced regions will tend to swell immediately after treatment, and the item of jewellery you have inserted will be designed to accommodate this. Tongue piercings may swell to the limit of the inserted bar, and this can be reduced by rinsing the mouth with iced water.

  • General Do’s and Don’ts:

    Don’t touch the piercing if you haven’t first washed your hands with antibacterial soap. Also, don’t let others touch the piercing with unwashed hands. Don’t play with oral piercings as this can slow the healing process and damage teeth and gums. Don’t swap the existing jewellery for another piece without asking the piercer first (the jewellery may not be a suitable design, metal or gauge).

  • Allergic Reactions:

    Some people will have an allergic reaction to the jewellery used in the piercing. This is more likely to happen if the jewellery is not made from the right metal. Signs of an allergic reaction are a rash, redness or itching around the area of the piercing.

  • Infections:

    An infection occurs when the equipment or jewellery used was not sterile and if the piercing wasn’t kept clean. Signs of an infection include: green or yellow coloured discharge (pus); the pierced area feeling hot to touch; a fever; pain and discomfort in the area or swollen glands. Infection is serious and, in extreme cases, can lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning).

  • Migration:

    Sometimes a person’s body responds to a piercing as if it is a foreign object. Their body will try and reject the piercing in the same way as it rejects a splinter. The piercing will move away from its original position to the skin’s surface (this is called migration). Migration is more likely to occur if the piercing is not positioned correctly or if the jewellery is not appropriate (not the right metal or gauge).

  • Embedding:

    If a piercing is not positioned correctly or the jewellery used is unsuitable (e.g. barbell too short) the jewellery may become embedded into the site.

  • Scarring:

    Some people develop scar tissue at the site of their piercing. While scarring often results from infection or trauma, some people are just prone to developing scar tissue. What to do if you believe there is a problem

  • What to do if something does go wrong:

    If you think your piercing is infected or has complications you should go straight back to the piercing place or visit your GP promptly. Don’t take out the jewellery as this may cause the hole to close over, preventing drainage, which can lead to an abscess developing.

Bournemouth Body Piercing Clinic