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Aftercare

Estimated Initial Heal Times

The following is usually the minimum amount of time needed to heal before it is safe to change your jewelry. Because many factors influence how quickly a piercing will heal some people will heal faster, while others will take longer. Please be aware that these are only initial healing times. Most piercings will take years before they can be left out for any extended length of time without shrinking or closing.

Earlobe (up to 10 gauge): 6-8 wks.
Earlobe (over 10 gauge): 2-3 mos.
Ear cartilage: 2-3 mo.
Ear construction, Industrial: 3-6 mos.
Nostril: 2-3 mo.
Lip, Monroe, Philtrum: 6-8 wks.
Tongue: 4-6 wks.
Septum: 6-8 wks.
Eyebrow: 6-8 wks.
Erl (nose bridge): 6-8 wks.
Navel: 3-6 mos.
Nape piercing (surface bar): 6-9 mos.
Surface piercing (Tygon): 8-12 mos.
Single point piercing: 3-4 mos.
 
Female nipple: 3-6 mos.
Clitoral hood: 4-6 wks.
Inner labia: 4-6 wks.
Outer labia: 2-3 mos.
Triangle: 2-3 mos.
Fourchette: 6-8 wks.
Princess Albertina: 4-6 wks.
Male nipple: 2-3 mos.
Prince Albert: 4-6 wks.
Reverse PA: 6-9 mos.
Scrotum, Hafada, Lorum: 6-8 wks.
Frenum: 6-8 wks.
Guiche: 2-3 mos.
Ampallang, Apdravya, Dydoe: 6-9 mos.
 

Body Piercing Aftercare

 
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • A mild liquid soap
  • Q-tips or gauze
  • Sea salt or sterile wound wash saline (DO NOT USE CONTACT SALINE)
  • Distilled or bottled water (Not if using wound wash saline)

WHAT TO DO:

DURING THE INITIAL HEALING TIME, CLEAN YOUR PIERCING MORNING AND EVENING AS FOLLOWS:

  1. ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS before any kind of contact with your piercing or the area around it.
  2. USE A SEA SALT WATER SOLUTION TO SOAK YOUR PIERCING. Soaking your piercing with a mild sea salt water solution will not only feel good, it will help prevent infection, reduce the risk of scarring, and speed the healing of your piercing.
    • Mix 1/4 teaspoon sea salt with 1 cup (8 oz.) of water (preferably distilled or bottled water) in a clean cup.
    • Place a napkin over the cup and warm it in the microwave.
    • Attempt to completely submerge the piercing in the solution for 10 minutes.
    • Rinse with clean water after soaking.
    • If you prefer to make a larger amount of the sea salt water solution, mix 4 teaspoons of sea salt in 1 gallon of distilled water. Shake well prior to each use. Pour small amount of the solution into a small clean cup and warm in a microwave. It is important that the gallon (bottle) remains sealed at all times and that hands, paper towels, etc. never touch the bottle’s opening. Note: Please do not use regular table salt! It often contains iodine and several anti-caking agents that can irritate your piercing, or potentially cause severe allergic reactions.
  3. APPLY CLEANING SOLUTION. Once the jewelry and area around the piercing are free of debris, lather your hands with mild liquid soap. Next lather the jewelry and the area around the piercing. Allow that to stay for a minute or so.
  4. RINSE and DRY. If the jewelry moves easily, rotate it as you rinse with clean water. If it does not move easily don’t force it, just rinse the area. Pat dry with a tissue or paper towel (bath towels can trap and harbor bacteria.)
  5. CHECK YOUR JEWELRY. If you’re wearing threaded jewelry (barbells, etc.) check your balls to make sure they’re still tight. Remember “lefty-loosey, righty-tighty.”

WHAT TO AVOID:

  • Avoid touching your piercing. (except when you are cleaning it)
  • Avoid oral contact or contact with other people’s body fluids.
  • Avoid using any aftercare products or ointments that were not suggested by your piercer.
  • Avoid getting lotions and/or makeup in your piercing.
  • Avoid stress and recreational drug abuse.
  • Keep new piercings out of pools, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, etc. Using Tegaderm (a waterproof, breathable bandage) is a viable option.

Oral Piercing Aftercare

 
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • An alcohol-free, antimicrobial mouthwash or dental rinse such as Biotene, Crest Pro-Health or Colgate Advanced Care.
  • Distilled or bottled water.
  • Sea salt (non-iodized, no additives)
  • A new toothbrush.

WHAT TO DO:

DURING THE INITIAL HEALING TIME, USE SEA SALT WATER RINSES MORNING AND EVENING.

  1. PREPARE YOUR SEA SALT MIXTURE. Mix 1/4 teaspoon sea salt with 1 cup (8 oz.) of distilled or bottled water in a clean cup and warm it in your microwave. If you prefer to make a larger amount of the sea salt water solution, mix 4 teaspoons of sea salt in 1 gallon of distilled water. Shake well prior to each use. Pour small amount of the solution into a small clean cup and warm in a microwave. It is important that the gallon (bottle) remains sealed at all times and that hands, paper towels, etc. never touch the bottle’s opening. Note: Please do not use regular table salt! It often contains iodine and several anti-caking agents that can irritate your piercing, or potentially cause severe allergic reactions.
  2. SWISH GENTLY for 30-60 seconds, spit, and repeat until the entire cup is gone.
  3. CHECK YOUR JEWELRY. If you’re wearing threaded jewelry (barbells, etc.) check your balls to make sure they’re still tight. Remember “lefty-loosey, righty-tighty”.

DURING THE INITIAL HEALING TIME, RINSE WITH MOUTHWASH 3-4 TIMES DAILY (AFTER MEALS).

  1. PREPARE YOUR MOUTHWASH. Dilute an alchol-free antimicrobial mouthwash (such as Biotene, Crest Pro-Health or Colgate Advanced Care) 50/50 with distilled or bottled water.
  2. SWISH GENTLY FOR 30-60 SECONDS. Do this after meals during the entire initial healing time. Do not use mouthwash more than 4-5 times daily and use it over intervals spaced throughout the entire day.

WHAT TO AVOID:

  • Avoid touching your piercing. (except when you are cleaning it)
  • Avoid oral contact or contact with other people’s body fluids.
  • Avoid sucking thick beverages (such as milkshakes) though straws.
  • Avoid hot spicy foods, excessive consumption of alcohol, aspirin, and caffeine.
  • Avoid smoking. If you are unable to temporarily quit smoking please try to cut back.
  • Avoid chewing on gum, tobacco, fingernails, and other things that are not food.
  • Avoid stress and recreational drug abuse.
  • Avoid playing with your jewelry; it can cause irreversible damage to teeth and gums.

Additional Suggestions

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before any contact with your piercing!
  • If you are wearing threaded jewelry, check your balls daily. (righty tighty, lefty loosy.)
  • Make sure your bedding is clean.
  • If you like your piercing, LEAVE THE JEWELRY IN AT ALL TIMES!
  • Taking a multivitamin containing zinc and vitamin c can boost your body’s healing abilities.
  • Keep in mind that stress, poor diet, or illness can cause extended healing times or other difficulties.
  • If you feel your piercing is infected, contact us or a physician right away! Although we are not doctors, we are happy to give suggestions based on our experience and tell you when to seek medical attention.

Tips For Specific Areas

  • NAVEL You will want to avoid having tight clothing (waistbands, nylons etc.) rubbing on your piercing.
  • EAR AND FACIAL PIERCINGS Shield piercings from hair spray and styling products. Clean your telephone frequently and avoid contact with public phones.
  • NIPPLE You may want to sleep in a clean, tight fitting shirt or sports bra, especially if you have pets that get on or in your bed. Some women wearing rings may find the jewelry to be more comfortable if it is flipped upside down when wearing a bra.
  • GENITAL While sexual contact is not prohibited, it should be gentle and piercings must be protected from other people’s body fluids (saliva or other) while they are still healing (even if you are in a monogamous relationship). A good quality condom or other barrier is vital to prevent infections. Avoid any lubricants that are not water based.
  • ORAL PIERCINGS
    • Gently suck on ice for the first few days to reduce swelling.
    • The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products such as Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil etc.) reduce swelling.
    • Be sure to brush your tongue and jewelry (gently at first) to ward away plaque build-up.
    • Come back in for JEWELRY DOWNSIZING at the end of your initial healing time. Oral piercings have a tendency to swell and need extra room for cleaning during the initial healing time. For your safety and comfort, we provide you with jewelry that has some extra length on the post. Once swelling subsides, it is advisable to replace the initial jewelry with a shorter post. Failure to do this will result in greatly increased chances of tooth damage (chipping, cracking, etc.), gum recession, and bone loss.

What Is Normal

  • Bleeding, bruising, and/or swelling are fairly common with a new piercing.
  • Some tenderness or discomfort in the area of a new piercing can be expect-ed for several days or longer. Discoloration (redness) and itching during the healing process are also fairly common.
  • Secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) is part of the healing process and is to be expected. It is liquid when it leaves the body but dries into “crusties.”
  • Piercings may go through “ups and downs” while healing. They may seem healed for a while, and then regress. The key is to continue cleaning your piercing daily.
  • Piercings that are not cleaned daily may smell foul. This does not necessarily indicate a problem.
  • Jewelry should not be expected to move freely in most piercings, even after they are healed.

Stretching

If you want to stretch your piercing it is important to wait until the piercing is well healed (which may mean waiting longer than the “initial healing times” listed in this brochure). If you want to enlarge your hole significantly it will take some time and patience. Keep the following things in mind:

  • Every time you stretch a piercing you create microscopic tears in the collagen layer, and it takes a minimum of 6 weeks for that tissue to heal properly.
  • Each stretch is bigger than the last, so the larger you go, the longer you may need to wait between sizes.
  • Some areas are easier to stretch than others.
  • Stretching too quickly can result in uneven tearing, scarring, or thinning of the tissue (all of which can limit future stretching)
  • Everyone’s body is different, so there is no magic answer to the question “How big can I stretch until it won’t go back?” Following the guidelines below to keep the tissue healthy is the best thing you can do to maintain elasticity, but you should never stretch a piercing if you are unwilling to accept the possibility that it will be a permanent modification.

Caring For A Stretched Piercing

  • Treat a newly stretched piercing like a fresh piercing (refer to the piercing aftercare section of this brochure).
  • Sea salt water soaks are extremely beneficial.
  • Once the jewelry can be comfortably removed, tissue massage (with or without oil) will improve circulation, speed healing, and reduce scar tissue.
  • If you experience a “blow out” or tissue damage when stretching, consider dropping to a smaller size to reduce pressure and increase circulation until the tissue is healed.

Evolution Aftercare Brochure
Download Our Aftercare Instructions.