Care for New Piercings

Healing time varies from person to person as it depends on their body’s normal healing rate and also depends on the placement of the piercing.. They may take anywhere between 6 weeks to a year to completely heal. The piercing must be taken care of during the entire duration of the healing process to avoid infection and facilitate a smooth healing process.

Clean the piercing with anti-bacterial soap three times a day. For a tongue piercing, rinse your mouth with Listerine each time you eat. Sucking on ice also helps with the pains and swelling.

Don’t touch your piercing too often to avoid infecting it. Every time you touch it make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial handwash. Constant fiddling will also prolong the healing time.

Use a specialized after piercing lotion twice a day to your piercings. Twist or rotate your jewellery after applying the lotion. This action allows the antibacterial agents to penetrate the piercing. Rotating your piercing at least twice a day also ensures that the skin does not heal stuck to the jewellery. Don’t use alcohol or peroxide to clean the area as those will dry out the skin. They help kill germs but also end up killing the white blood cells required for healing and may cause scar tissue.

Cover your ear piercing with a tissue or cloth when using hair products or perfume. Make sure to rinse with water immediately if any product gets into the piercing. Also clean your telephone or any other object that comes in contact with the piercing, with a disinfectant after each use.

Wear loose-fitting clothes or belts for naval piercings and try not to sleep on your stomach, as air circulation is good for healing. Frequently replace your bedding. Try and wear cotton or other soft fabrics, because these will irritate your skin less. If you know you are going to have to wear some kind of itchy clothing, then cover the piercing till you change your clothes. Make sure to wear clothes, scarves or hats that do not snag on your piercing.

Consume a nutritionally rich diet and additionally take a multivitamin that includes zinc and vitamin C. This will help the body fight off infection and promote healing.

Wait at least 3 months before changing your jewelry in order to give it proper time to heal. Jewelry should be continuously worn for 4 to 6 months after that or the piercing can close up.

If the piercing is hurting you badly, or looks infected, then it probably is, and you should go have it checked out before it gets worse. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience throbbing pain, prolonged swelling, prolonged redness or a burning sensation.

Piercings often feel healed when they aren’t because they heal from the outside in. So the aftercare regime must be followed for the full length of the time recommended.

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Common Types of Ear Piercings

Ear piercings are the one of the easiest methods of body modifications and also the most common kind. It is not frowned upon like a few other piercings, and is widely accepted be it in schools and colleges or at workplace. It has been in practise for many years and is considered a part of many cultures and their rituals. It was probably man’s first attempt at body piercing as it is the easiest and most obvious part to pierce.

There are many ways to get your ears pierced. There are simple ones like ear lobe piercings which are more common and ones like stretching and gauging which are rarer because of the risks associated with it.

The most common kinds of ear piercings are

  •  Ear lobe piercing. This is the simplest type of ear piercing. The primary piercing is done on the centre of the earlobe. Some people even opt to get a second or third hole above this piercing. These take about 4 to 6 weeks to completely heal.
  • Cartilage or Helix piercing. This is the second most common form of ear piercing. Standard cartilage piercing is the piercing of the tissue on the upper part of the ear. They take longer to heal than the earlobe because of limited blood supply to that area. Healing time is usually a minimum of 8 to 10 weeks.
  • Tragus Piercing. Tragus is the thick cartilage that juts out directly in front of the ear canal and is on the inner ear. This is also a fairly common piercing.  The size of the jewellery worn here is pretty small and depends on the thickness of an individual’s tragus. It is more painful than the upper cartilage as it is thicker here. This piercing takes about 6 to 18 weeks to heal and may take about a whole year to heal completely.
  • Anti-Tragus Piercing. This piercing lies opposite the tragus and the ear canal. It is on the spot on the outer ear just above the ear lobe. This is not as common as the tragus as not everyone has an anti-tragus that is large enough to pierce or fit jewellery through.  This like the tragus will take 6 to 18 weeks to initially heal and up to a year to completely do so.

These are the most non-intrusive methods of ear piercings, and therefore they heal the fastest. They have fewer chances of infections, scarring and keloids and can also look comparatively subtler.  These piercings can prove to be very low maintenance and hassle-free if the right brand of piercing tools, hypoallergenic jewellery and aftercare products like Studex is used.

Choose the Right Studio for your Piercings

Allergic reactions and infections are the two main concerns of piercings. In our last post we discussed the importance of hypoallergenic jewellery, and how it helps reduce the occurrence of allergic reactions. But just use of hypoallergenic jewellery is not enough to prevent infections. The first step to an infection free piercing is choosing the right piercing studio.

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How to choose the right piercing studio

  • Search the internet or look in the yellow pages for piercing studios. Do your research on them and look for online reviews on the same.
  • Ask family and friends for recommendations of studios they have had experience with. Enquire with them about the studios you found details of online. Word of mouth is a reliable source when it comes to body art, so if you see someone with piercings that you like ask them where they had it done.
  • Pick a properly licensed piercing studio. Check the credentials and licensing information of the studio by visiting the studio’s website, or by calling the studio directly and asking for the necessary information. If your country or state has no recognised certifications or regulations about piercing standards, then pick the most trusted brand name of salon or piercing studio.
  • Pay the studio a visit and ask to be given a tour. The studio most importantly must be clean and hygienic. If possible try and watch them at work performing a piercing or two to observe their procedure. Check out their sterilization procedure and notice if they strictly adhere to it. All good piercing studios must have an autoclave where they sterilize all their reusable piercing equipment between each piercing. 
  • Ask to look at their piercing equipment and jewellery and make sure it is from a trusted brand.  Take a look at the storage facility of the instruments and piercing tools and make sure it is dry and hygienic.
  • Enquire about the artist who will be performing your piercing. Try to find an experienced one and certifications are always an added bonus. Ask to see his portfolio to see how his piercings have healed. All artists must wear medical gloves during the entire procedure.  Never let an inexperienced hand pierce you.
  • Ask to see the aftercare information. Make sure the information is current and is keeping up with the latest research in body piercing care.
  • Also avoid any studio which uses non disposable guns for body piercing, as piercing guns cannot be sterilized. Piercing guns such as STUDEX offer single use pre-sterilized cartridges for piercing in which the only item that comes in contact with the client is the barbell which has sterilization lot info branded on packaging. Select studios that only such trusted brands as piercing instruments and jewellery.

A good studio will always be willing to show you their facilities and answer any questions you have in mind. They will most importantly make you feel comfortable enough with the studio and the artist to put your confidence in them. This coupled with Interacting with the artist and staff must give you sufficient information to make a decision. Don’t pick a studio only because it is cheap and affordable. In the case of piercings, it is always wise to shell out a little more and choose a legit and reputed studio for an infection free piercing experience.