helix piercing by soesha

Good daily hygiene

Good daily hygiene and proper healing of your piercing

When you’ve just had your piercing done, or it is irritated or suffering a minor localized infection or a so called ‘piercing pimple’, it is recommended to maintain proper daily hygiene.

But what does this mean exactly?

It is expected of an average, healthy person to care for themselves by:

Washing their hands regularly, showering daily and washing their hair, brushing their teeth twice daily, changing their bath towels regularly as of their bedlinens.

A not yet fully healed piercing is actually an open wound. These should be treated as such to prevent inflammation. Bacteria can actually ‘walk around’. And they always go to the nearest opening to moisture and heat, let alone where they can penetrate the body. A ‘regular’ visible open wound (like a cutting accident or any other flesh wound or bigger) are treated the same by bacteria as a small piercing wound. Therefor it with the same care.

  • Stay away from the piercing, do not touch it, or as little as possible.
  • Take care of it daily with saline solution.
  • Keep the stuff that you administer it with, clean.
  • Avoid dusty and dirty environments, keep a sea salt nasal spray for babies (with no additives or preservatives) or spray with saline 0.9 % at hand to rinse any dirt, soap, dust, sweat and such, off.
  • Keep everything around the piercing clean. Clothing and bras for example, should be changed daily with new/irritated nipple and navel piercings. Phones and earbuds and such should be kept clean or away from ear piercings. Also, one should be careful when blowing their nose with nose piercings and use only disposable tissues…
  • Wash your hands clean after using the toilet, sneezing or blowing your nose. Rinse the soap off after washing your hands thoroughly. The soap only ‘catches’ the bacteria, these only get washed off after being rinsed away with the soap. Regularly take rings and bracelets off when you wash your hands, because they can remain dirty and sometimes the skin can be too underneath and your hands are often easier to clean well without these.
  • When showering, wash your body first and the area of the wound where the piercing is last. Rinse your piercing especially well with plenty of clean water to remove all soap residue.

Take extra care:

Such as with work or hobbies that bring you or your piercing in contact with less than clean particles. Activities like outdoor sports, horseback-riding, soccer, gardening, working construction, painting, working in the kitchen of a snack-bar… These activities bring you and your piercing in contact with dirt and this can result in healing complications, especially when it’s not full healed yet or already irritated or inflamed. It can set back your healing time.

It’s in any case very important for you to regularly wash your hands, and you must surely pay extra attention to this during these activities. You should also keep your piercing extra clean by rinsing it more often with clean running water and patting it dry with paper towels for instance.

It’s even better to rinse or spray it often with saline solution. These are available in the form of baby nose-drops. Daro is a brand I trust. Ask for it at your local drugstore.

Use it on both sides of your piercing and do this twice to rinse the first pass off. If you are within reach of a sink/faucet or other supply of fresh and clean running water, it’s even better to rinse it off as well, and pat the spot dry with paper towels. But this is not always available. Also, make sure that when you’re done with these activities that you clean you piercing the way you should do twice a day during healing.

It could be that your piercing is already very irritated by these activities. This can cause pain and swelling. Sometimes the swelling is so severe that the piercing becomes too tight. You can cool the swelling and help it come down by holding a sandwich bag with ice cubes against it and taking paracetamol or another anti-inflammatory. This will help against the pain, swelling and will reduce the chances of an infection.

This is not a substitute for a good daily piercing cleaning routine. Soak your piercing twice daily in warm saline solution and keep it away from dirt as much as possible.