Always wash your hands before cleaning or touching the piercing for any reason. There is always the risk that bacteria will enter the piercing causing infection, so ensure that you use a clean washcloth or a fresh piece of gauze when cleaning.
Use a sterile saline solution without any additives, a quality antiseptic or a fragrance free liquid soap for piercing aftercare. Use this to clean the area two to three times a day. Soak the area around the piercing and the jewel in saline solution for five or ten minutes and then rinse thoroughly. If you are using soap, twice a day is enough to clean the area. Ensure that no residue is left over as this can build up in the wound.
Some bleeding, swelling or bruising may occur during the first few weeks and, as the area heals, there will be some scabbing. It is imperative that you try not to pick or scratch at this as it is protecting the area from infection.
Long Term Care
The best thing you can do is build up your immune system so that the risk of infection is minimal. Eat healthily, take multivitamins and avoid drinking too much alcohol and your body will be fit enough to prevent infection as well as heal quickly. Take regular showers as baths can harbour bacteria. If you have to take a bath, rinse the piercing when you get out and clean the bath thoroughly before and after you use it.
Take care of your piercing and if you see any signs of infection, contact your doctor immediately. Don’t remove the jewelry too early as the piercing may close up.
Picture: Vasiliy Koval – Fotolia