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Having a piercing, whether it is just your ears or something a little more adventurous, is increasingly common with both men and women of all ages nowadays.
Some people like to get a piercing to recognise a specific time in their life, some people want to do it to wear nice jewellery and others do it as a statement or just because they like how the piercing looks on other people. Some people do it for no other reason than ‘just cause’.
Whatever your reason for getting a piercing, you have your new piercing and now you have to make sure that you take proper care of it while it is healing.
Take a look at four ways you can help prevent infection and aid the healing process with your new piercing:
- Avoid Knocking or Bashing the Piercing
If you partake of regular rough or contact sports, it might be a good idea to avoid these while the piercing is healing. Anything that is likely to graze against or bash the piercing can easily inflame or infect the piercings, so try to avoid contact sports, swimming or heavy mosh pits for a while.
It can be pretty obvious that you’ve bashed your piercing as it will be either bruised, swollen or can even bleed.
These symptoms can also occur just as a result of the piercing settling in, so it is not all that worrying, but it is a good idea to keep an eye out regardless. If your piercing seems to be bleeding excessively, this might be something you need to bring up with your doctor.
- Salt Saline Solution
You can buy pressurised cans of saline solutions, or you can make your own from warm water and dissolved non-iodized sea salt. Clean the piercing thoroughly around once a week. It may sting a little, but that is important in the healing process.
Make sure it gets effectively inside the piercing as well as the area around it, otherwise the inside of your piercing may be prone to infections. It is an open wound, when it comes down to it, and should be treated with care.
- Cotton Buds for Dried/Flaky Skin
Cotton buds are perfect for being gentle, yet effective. If your new piercing has a hard layer of skin forming over or around the piercing, like a white crust, dip a cotton bud in a saline solution and gently rub the crust off the piercing. It is important to be gentle, as this can be a sore point for many new piercings and if the crust is too hard, or dark, it is better to leave it alone.
For swollen piercings and piercings with a pus-like substance oozing from them, you may have an infection, which won’t be solved with a simple cotton bud. It is important that you do not remove an infected piercing, as you will be getting rid of the only exit point for any pus build ups. See a doctor who will prescribe antibiotics and a treatment course. Unfortunately there is always the possibility that your skin will just reject the piercing, in which case it is better not to re-pierce the area if it has healed.
- Tips for Sleeping with New Piercings
While you can be as careful as ever throughout the day, when it comes to sleeping with a new piercing, it can be an entirely different story. It is important that you sleep in clean sheets with new piercings, to give it a better chance of healing faster. If you have ear or facial piercings and are unsure about the cleanliness of your pillow, you can always cover the pillow with a clean t-shirt and then change the t-shirt itself accordingly.
For navel piercings and other bodily piercings it may be a good idea to use large plasters or bandages to avoid the piercing becoming agitated in the night. Baggy clothes that are not likely to get caught on the piercing are also recommended, as they protect the piercing from the outside world, but also do not rub against or irritate the piercing itself.
It is always to be safer rather than sorry with a new piercing, particularly if it is your first ever piercing or if it is in a sensitive or otherwise difficult place. At the end of the day it is damaged skin and is prone to irritation and infection if not looked after properly, so maintaining vigilance for a few weeks will be well worth the painless years you will have afterwards. It is only a short amount of time while the piercing heals, so why risk it?
Article provided by Mike James, an independent writer in the beauty industry – working together with a selection of companies including Body Matters Gold, who were consulted over the information in this piece.