Piercing Aftercare


What is normal?

Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness or bruising. During healing: Some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish to clear yellowish fluid (not pus) that will form a crust on the jewelry or surrounding skin. Once healed:  The jewelry may not move easily or freely in the piercing; DO NOT force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your DAILY hygiene routine, normal but smelly body secretions may accumulate.

Remember: A piercing may seem healed before the advised healing time is complete. This is because piercings tend to heal from the outside in, and although it feels healed the tissue remains fragile inside. BE PATIENT, and keep your cleaning regimen throughout the entire recommended healing period. Piercings generally tend to heal within 4 to 6 weeks, with some piercings taking much longer. Follow what your piercer recommends to avoid complications.

General Care instructions for body piercings

WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY prior to cleaning or handling your piercing site. LEAVE IT ALONE except when cleaning. It is NOT necessary to rotate the jewelry ever!  The jewelry will move naturally in the skin while moving, and while washing it. It will NOT heal faster by fiddling with it!

SOAP no more than once or twice a day. (We recommend Cetaphil) If you shower daily, then use this time to wash the piercing as well. Wash your hair and body first, saving the piercing for last. This way the water and steam softens up any crusty discharge on your piercing making cleaning much easier. Lather the piercing site well, and then rinse with clean water thoroughly to remove all traces of soap from the jewelry and surrounding skin. Dry piercings with clean disposable paper products (towels harbor bacteria, and can also snag tender piercing areas), Pat gently to avoid trauma. After cleaning, while your hands are freshly washed and clean, check the threaded ends of jewelry for tightness (“righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”)

Make sure your bedding is kept clean and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that will protect your piercing while sleeping.

What to avoid

Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the pierced area, playing with the jewelry, and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause unsightly scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing and other complications.

Avoid putting rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, betadine, healing ointments, lotions, makeup, or any other cream or product on or around your fresh piercing. Soap, water and time are the best healers!

Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, Jacuzzis, etc. Your healing piercing is an open wound, therefore protecting it while gardening, working with dirty or oily equipment, or handling pets or other animals such as livestock, is highly recommended to prevent infection. If you experience redness, swelling, tenderness at the piercing site, red streaks going from the procedure area toward the heart, elevated body temperature, or purulent (foul-smelling) discharge from the procedure site you should seek medical help. THESE ARE ALL SIGNS OF INFECTION AND ARE SERIOUS.

Aftercare for Oral Piercings (Tongue, Labret, Lip, etc)

Swelling will normally occur within the first 72 hours. Drinking cold liquids and gently sucking on ice can help minimize the swelling.

Gently wash the outside of piercing with soap, water and your clean hands (We recommend Cetaphil). Rinse inside of mouth around piercing with mouthwash. (We recommend Biotene, an enzymatic mouthwash formulated expressly for mouth wounds) Use mouthwash after anything, liquid or food, that enters your mouth. Smoking is not recommended while healing.

Avoid playing with the jewelry and all oral sexual contact during the healing time. Those with tongue piercings should be cautioned that playing with the jewelry excessively is frequently the cause of reported tooth and gum damage and should be avoided. Also, if you brush your tongue, do so gently and sparingly.

Aftercare for Genital Piercings

Genital piercings do tend to bleed frequently. We highly recommend snug fitting undergarments with a ladies’ protective pad placed where it will cushion and absorb any blood form the fresh piercing (yes, men, you too). Bleeding may occur for several days after the piercing procedure.

In most cases you may engage in sexual activity as soon as you feel ready. Comfort and hygiene are vital, be clean and gentle!  Use barriers such as condoms to avoid contact with a partners’ bodily fluids while healing, even in long term relationships. Use a new container of water based lubricant if needed. Do not use your saliva. After sex, wash the piercing and rinse extremely well.


Unless there is a problem with the size, style or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place for the entire healing period. A qualified piercer should perform any necessary jewelry change during healing. Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us! (916) 783-0303