While piercings are nowhere near as complicated or risky as surgical procedures, much of the basic care and sanitation procedures are very similar, so if you are deadset on getting body piercings and you have already managed to convince your parents to allow you to get them, you have to be ready for the meticulous aftercare procedures that come with body piercings.
A competent and professional body piercer will let you know of the basic care procedures and cleaning products that you will need prior to getting your piercing. On this subject, it is very important that you only choose to be pierced by a qualified professional. Most jurisdictions will require various licenses, health permits, and other qualifications for body piercing salons. If you are not sure about the sanitation and qualifications of an establishment, go somewhere else.
Insist that the piercer disinfect all tools and jewelry prior to use. Your initial piercing jewelry or starter piece must also be sterilized. Keep in mind that this is the first time that a foreign object will be entering that area of your body, so it must be as clean and sterilized as possible to avoid infections and other issues.
You can opt to have your piercing done either at a body jewelry retailer or a piercing studio or salon in your area, although piercing establishments will generally charge higher. That said, jewelry retailers usually only offer the most popular piercings such as ear, nose, navel, and eyebrow, so if you want the more sensitive types of body piercings, you may have to go to the piercing salons specifically for that service.
Here are some general aftercare guidelines for piercings:
● Observe the healing period and the recommended care. The healing period will vary depending on the type of piercing and the location. Whatever it may be, you should follow the professional’s recommendations regarding cleaning and restrictions. For instance, you should refrain from touching, moving, taking out, or replacing your starter jewelry until after it is fully healed. If you are not sure if it is healed yet, consult with the piercer. Some piercings may look healed on the outside but not on the inside.
● Always wash your hands before contact with the piercing. Before your cleaning procedure for the body piercing, make sure your hands are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Use antibacterial soap for hand washing, and pay close attention to your fingers, as they are the areas that will come into contact with the piercing the most. You should also use rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizes if water and soap are not immediately available.
● Use the appropriate cleaning solution. A sterilized saline solution is used to clean the body piercing. Make sure it does not have any additives or harsh ingredients. You can also make your own non-iodized sea salt solution if you prefer. Depending on your body piercing, you may have to use a cotton ball or swab, paper towel, or disposable cloths to clean the piercing area.
● Avoid harsh soaps and oils. During the healing period, avoid using soaps and oils with very strong ingredients that can irritate the piercing unnecessarily. Most piercings cannot be immersed during the healing period, so try not to get them too soaked in water. Make sure the piercing area is completely dry and cool after taking a shower.
● Maintain a healthy diet. In order for your piercing to heal faster, your body should also be healthy and nourished properly. Foods rich in Vitamin C should be regularly consumed to help with the healing process. You should get enough sleep, taking care to allow the body to adjust. Exercise is also important, but make sure the piercing does not get knocked or moved.
● Avoid bad habits during the healing period. Excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol should be avoided while your body piercing is still healing. You should also make sure not to come in contact with other people’s bodily fluids especially around the area of the piercing. Illicit drug use and unprotected sex must be restricted.
● Always follow the appropriate cleaning procedures after healing. Even after the piercing has fully healed, you should still take the right steps to clean the area and keep it from getting infected. When you purchase new body jewelry, make sure to disinfect it first before wearing it, even if you bought it fully packaged and sealed.