It is extremely important to follow these aftercare instructions. Please consult me prior to changing instructions or trying something different that you’ve read on the internet or heard from a family/friend/another piercer/etc. I know what you are going through, and how to help you if needed. If you have questions or concerns, contact me immediately. Waiting even just a day or two can make a big difference!

What is normal for a piercing?

  • In the first few days: It is not uncommon to experience some bleeding, bruising, discolouration, localised swelling, or tenderness.
  • While you’re healing: You may experience itching, soreness, and secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that often forms a crust on or around the jewellery. This fluid is indicative of the healing process functioning properly and is perfectly normal. The tissue around the jewellery may tighten as it heals. Do not twist, turn, move back and forth or force your jewellery to move. Most piercings appear healed before the healing process is complete. The reason is because the tissue heals from the outside in. Even though the piercing feels okay, the interior remains delicate as it continues to heal. Being persistent and continuing with the suggested cleaning routine during the entire heal time will provide a happy and healthy piercing.
  • After you’re healed: The jewellery may feel tight and might not move freely in the piercing; DO NOT force it. If you do not incorporate a daily cleaning routine for your piercing, normal but unpleasant smelly bodily secretions can accumulate. These secretions are a semi-solid white substance from the oil glands called sebum. Sebum is a natural oil our body produces but when mixed with dead skin cells and bacteria can create a “funky” smell. Daily cleaning can reduce or even eliminate the sebum build up and unpleasant smell. In addition, healed piercings can shrink or close quickly (sometimes in minutes) after having been there for years! However, this does vary, as everyone is different, so if you like your piercing, keep the jewellery in. Leaving jewellery out of a healed piercing can result in losing the piercing entirely no matter how long ago you were pierced!

What cleaning solutions to use:

  • A packaged isotonic saline solution without additives, such as Stericlense, NeilMed Piercing Aftercare Spray, or sterile saline wound wash purchased from a pharmacy.
  • For oral piercings, use packaged alcohol-free antiseptic mouth rinse without additives, such as Listerine Zero.


I highly recommend using a sterile saline spray meant for piercing aftercare, such as NeilMed or Stericlense. I stock NeilMed and Stericlense in the studio for your convenience! Make sure you look for a solution that has no preservatives and is labelled as an “isotonic saline” or “0.9% sterile solution.” Don’t use contact lens saline, saline meant for nasal irrigation, etc. as they contain preservatives that could irritate your piercing.

There are many complications that can arise when mixing your own solution. It’s easy to get the ratio wrong which can lead to skin irritation (the salt vs. distilled water ratio needs to be exactly measured out as a solution that’s too salty or not salty enough will either do nothing for your piercing or actively harm it), and tap water can harbour bacteria that is harmful to your piercing as while boiling water may make it safe to drink, it doesn’t make it safe to pour into an open wound. Using a mixture that’s not fully sterile can actually lead to infection as it can grow bacteria rather than destroy it. Rock salt or any other kind of commercially available salt is full of contaminants that don’t get filtered out when salt is dissolved in water.

Just as it is not recommended to ever pour a home made saltwater solution onto a cut, scrape, or open wound it is not recommended to pour it over a fresh piercing. Remember, a new piercing is simply an open wound with jewellery in it!

In short, it’s far safer and easier to use sterile saline that is MEANT for cleaning your piercings rather than making your own or purchasing something that isn’t meant for that purpose.

How to clean most piercings:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning or touching your piercing. Touch the piercing only while cleaning it, avoid touching it the rest of the time. Do not twist, turn, move the jewellery back and forth or force it around in the piercing.
  • Do not wash your piercing with soap. While soap kills germs and bacteria, it will also kill some of the good stuff that aids in the healing process meaning that washing too much can actually make the piercing take longer to heal. When you are washing your face or in the shower, make sure that you flush all soap or other materials (such as conditioner) out of the piercing if it runs into the area. Afterwards, use the isotonic sterile saline or wound wash to irrigate the piercing (please see the next point).
  • Irrigate the piercing using the sterile saline spray or wound wash to flush out any soap residue, germs, and bacteria. Flush it as if you are flushing out any open wound.
  • Dry by carefully and gently patting the piercing with a clean disposable paper product. Towels and cloths contain bacteria and can catch on the jewellery causing trauma to the piercing.

How to clean oral piercings:

  • Gently rinse out your mouth 4-5 times daily for 30-60 seconds in the morning, after meals, after smoking, and before going to bed throughout the entire healing process of the piercing. More is not better. A stronger mixture/solution will irritate the piercing, delaying healing. In addition, over cleaning can cause discolouration or irritation of your mouth and piercing, which may also prolong healing. Use or overuse of Listerine products or any mouthwash containing alcohol will often delay healing and discolour your tongue blue/green.

Microdermal Implants:

Microdermal implants are different from basic body piercings and as a result, require different aftercare. Healing times can vary from 6 months to a year to heal. Do not attempt to change the jewellery top before your piercing is completely healed.

  • Protecting your dermal implant: For the first 24 hours please do not remove the dressing to stop any deviation of the jewellery. For the subsequent 48 hours change the dressing once daily. Flush the implant with isotonic sterile saline and pat dry with a disposable paper product – towels and cloths contain bacteria and can catch on the jewellery causing trauma to the implant. Make sure to select a bandage that forms a tight seal all the way around. This will help prevent migration of the jewellery and helps it “settle” into position.
  • After the first 72 hours, cover your jewellery with a fresh waterproof bandage before going to bed. Choose a bandage that forms a tight seal all the way around the piercing. Small waterproof plasters work well. Upon waking up, carefully remove the covering and gently clean your piercing by flushing it with sterile saline spray or wound wash. Do not wear the bandage throughout the day unless you are participating in an activity where the dermal may be in danger or if you are in a dirty environment. Air circulation is extremely important in the healing process!
  • Do not wash your implant with soap. While soap kills germs and bacteria, it will also kill some of the good stuff that aids in the healing process meaning that washing too much can actually make the implant take longer to heal. When you are washing your face or in the shower, make sure that you flush all soap or other materials (such as conditioner) out of the piercing if it runs into the area. Afterwards, use the isotonic sterile saline or wound wash to irrigate the piercing (please see the next point).
  • Irrigate the piercing using the sterile saline spray or wound wash to flush out any soap residue, germs, and bacteria. Flush it as if you are flushing out any open wound.
  • Saline spray should be used at least twice daily. It is common for a crust to collect under the attachment of the implant. This can be difficult to remove if you cannot see the surface anchor but flushing with sterile saline will help loosen the crust so that it can be removed by gently manipulating it with a cotton bud. If you are having issues cleaning your implant please make an appointment for a “piercing check-up” and I will help you.

Important Advice for All Piercings:

  • If you are rotating, moving, or touching your jewellery throughout the day…STOP. Do not squeeze, try to pop a bump, or pick at your piercing. Do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, or ointment on your piercing. If you have long hair, keep it pulled back away from the area. Don’t go to bed with wet hair. Don’t put makeup, perfume, or lotions on or around a healing piercing.  Avoid trauma such as friction from tight clothing or objects rubbing against the area.
  • Over the counter anti-inflammatories can be taken as long as you have no allergies or adverse reactions to them. They help decrease swelling and provide some relief from discomfort you may feel. If you aren’t keen on taking medications, fresh ground ginger root will provide some of the same anti-inflammatory effects. You can eat this raw or make it into tea.

Do’s and Don’ts To assist with healing:

What to do:

  • Follow the aftercare instructions you were given every day even when you don’t want to. It is by far the best way to maintain a healthy piercing!
  • Wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except during cleaning. While your piercing is healing, it is not necessary to rotate your jewellery.
  • Check the threaded ends of your jewellery daily! Remember; Do not touch without washing your hands first!
  • Keep your sheets and towels washed and changed weekly.
  • Stay healthy; the healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Exercise during healing is fine; just listen to your body. If you notice irritation or discomfort then stop.
  • Contact me with any questions or concerns you have prior to making any changes to your aftercare or doing anything with your piercing.

What NOT TO do:

  • DO NOT over-clean. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
  • DO NOT welcome undue trauma such as the excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewellery, friction from tight/restrictive clothing, and forceful cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, as well as a list of other complications.
  • DO NOT engage in contact with others’ bodily fluids, including oral contact, on or near your piercing while it’s healing. This means during the entire duration of your healing process.
  • DO NOT put a healing piercing in an ocean, lake, pool, hot tub, jello pit etc. You can protect your piercing by using a waterproof bandage which can be purchased from any chemist.
  • DO NOT place beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing, including cosmetics, concealers, powders, lotions, sprays, etc.
  • DO NOT hang charms or objects from your jewellery until the piercing is fully healed (any jewellery with dangling chains or charms needs to be worn after the healing process is complete). Nipple and genital piercings are decorative and not meant to take excessive weight in the case of BDSM play. If you are using any sort of clamps, please clamp the tissue around the area and not the jewellery!
  • DO NOT clean with betadine, rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil, or hydrogen peroxide. These products are harsh, cause drying of healthy tissue, and can cause an interruption to the healing piercing and irritation of surrounding skin.
  • DO NOT use ointments, such as Neosporin or Betadine. They don’t let your piercing get the air circulation it needs to assist the healing process. They also can contain ingredients that are not safe for long-term use.
  • DO NOT use pierced ear care solutions and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). It tends to be irritating to a healing piercing and should definitely not be used for long-term care.
  • DO NOT remove the jewellery if you feel the piercing may be infected! Often it’s irritated and not infected (they can look very similar). If it is infected, leaving the jewellery in will aid in the draining of the infection out!

Tips to aid specific areas:

  • NAVEL: A bandage that forms a tight seal all the way around can be worn under clothing to protect the piercing from restrictive clothing and trauma from physical activities such as sports.
  • EAR AND FACE: Please clean cell phones, headphones, eyeglasses, hats and really anything that comes in contact with the area close to the piercing. Change your pillowcase regularly to prevent oils and bacteria from being transferred into the piercing while you sleep.
  • NIPPLES: A sports bra or tight fitting tank/tee might be more comfortable to wear and may provide protection from rubbing irritations.
  • GENITAL: For the first week after the piercing, do not engage in any sexual activity, including self-stimulation. ALWAYS use protection such as condoms or oral dams to avoid contact with a partner’s bodily fluid for the first three weeks after the piercing. Wash hands prior to touching anywhere near the piercing. Do not use saliva as a lubricant. Use water-based, unflavoured, unscented lubricant. Warming and cooling lubricants are also not advised as these contain chemicals that can cause irritation and inflammation. After sexual activity, clean the piercing. Engage in sexual activity when it feels right. Be gentle around the piercing and avoid rough play until the piercing is healed. You know your body best. If there is discomfort or pain with the piercing, STOP.

Problems? Tips for swelling and bumps:

Having a difficult with the healing of your piercing? Often people complain about bumps that form on or around their piercing. While proper care usually keeps these from forming, sometimes a piercing gets a bump even with the best of care. The good news is identifying the problem and treating it correctly will reduce pain, help the piercing heal faster, and assist in getting bumps to go away. The majority of troublesome piercings can be resolved without losing the piercing.

Keep your cleaning regimen simple and consistent. Constantly changing your aftercare and/or doing many types of regiments at once will generally not help make things better and usually makes things worse.

  • Something that can also help is a hot compress morning and evening. For the hot compress take a clean piece of kitchen towel and fold it into a square. Boil some water and then pour it on the kitchen towel, then put the kitchen towel into a clean zipper bag (like you use to store things in the kitchen). Keep it pressed against the piercing until the compress has fully cooled, you may need to press it on, take it off, press it back on until it is tolerable to leave on the area until cooled. This will help alleviate swelling and encourage healing by encouraging healthy blood flow.
  • If you think your piercing is becoming infected, do not remove your jewellery. Leaving the piercing in during a potential infection will allow the infection to drain out. Removing the piercing can cause the skin to close and the infection to get trapped under the skin. If you are concerned about an infection please contact me.
  • With oral piercings, allowing small pieces of ice to dissolve in the mouth around the piercing can help alleviate discomfort and swelling. Use only ice cubes made with clean filtered water, and be sure to rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash afterwards.