Caring for a new piercing

To reduce the risk of your piercing becoming infected, good hygiene is important.

Always wash your hands and dry them thoroughly with a clean towel or kitchen roll before touching the area around the piercing.

Avoid fiddling with the area and don't turn the piercing. If a crust develops over the piercing, don't remove it – it's the body's way of protecting the piercing.

The piercing may bleed when you first have it done, and it may bleed for short periods over the next few days. It may also be tender, itchy and bruised for a few weeks.

 

Cleaning the piercing

Keep the piercing clean by gently cleaning the area around it with a saline (salt water) solution twice a day, preferably after washing or bathing.

To do this, submerge the area in a bowl of saline solution

(1/4 teaspoon of sea salt per egg cup of warm water) for a few minutes at a time.

Alternatively, you can wet a clean cloth or gauze in the solution and apply it as a warm compress.

Washing the piercing can help soften any discharge and allow you to clean the entry and exit points with a cotton bud or clean gauze.

Once the discharge is removed or softened, the jewellery can be gently moved to work a little warm water through the piercing.

When you've finished, carefully dry the area with a fresh piece of kitchen roll. Never use a shared towel.

 

How to tell if your piercing is infected

Signs of an infected piercing include:

  • - red and swollen skin around the piercing

  • - pain or tenderness when touching the area

  • - yellow or green discharge coming from the piercing

  • a high temperature (fever)