If you’ve just adorned yourself with a new piercing or two, then allow me to give you some helpful pointers on caring for body piercings! Piercings, like tattoos, have been around for centuries and practiced in many cultures throughout the world as a symbol of courage and masculinity. These days, it’s not just about being manly or courageous; body piercing is done by both sexes for a number of reasons! So whether you’re considering getting your first piercing or have a few under your belt, check out these 7 useful tips on caring for body piercings!
1. How It’s Done
If you’re totally new to body piercings, let’s talk about how it’s done before we get to caring for body piercings. A hollow needle is used to create a hole through the area where you want your piercing, then the jewelry is passed through. Does it hurt really bad? Everyone’s pain threshold is different so it varies from one person to the next.
2. Time Heals
Now that you’ve got your body piercing, what do you do next?! Depending on where you got your piercing, the amount of time it takes for it to heal will vary anywhere from weeks to months. The ear lobe and tongue generally heal the fastest at around 4-6 weeks and the navel (belly button) tends to take longer to heal at around 9 months to a year. Again, these are just general timelines and you could heal much faster or slower. Either way, make sure you leave the initial piercing jewelry in the entire time!
3. Hands Clean
While you might be really excited to touch your new piercing, whatever you do, make sure you don’t touch the area with unclean hands! Always wash hands before getting your hands near your piercing, even if you’re just touching it to admire it-the last thing you want is an infection! If you need to have the piercing removed for a medical procedure or to replace broken jewelry, ask a professional to remove and replace the jewelry.
4. Clean and Clear
You probably got some instructions on caring for your body piercing from the piercer. But just in case, APP recommends washing your hands and soaking the area with saline solution for about 5-10 minutes at least once a day. When you’re in the shower, give yourself a quick cleaning (don’t leave the soap on for more than 30 seconds)and use a pearl-sized drop of soap to cleanse the area including the jewelry.
5. Don’t Overdo It
As with any part of skin care, we have to cleanse our skin to keep it healthy and clean. You want to make sure you keep the area you got your body piercing clean but not too clean. Confused? The APP (Association of Professional Piercers) warns against over-cleaning the piercing as it can delay healing and irritate the area. They also recommend against using any beauty products like lotion or fragrances around the area until it’s completely healed.
6. Chemical Warfare
Although keeping your piercing and jewelry clean is heavily emphasized, you also don’t to expose it to chemicals or unsanitary areas like pools and hot tubs as well as antiseptics like Betadine, peroxide or alcohol. They might seem like the logical choice to clean your piercing but they can be very harsh on the skin and damage cells and heavy ointments can prevent air circulation.
7. Listen to Your Body
Body piercings are great for some people but not everyone. Don’t get one if you don’t feel ready, unsure or pressured to do it. And if you get a piercing and something doesn’t seem right, go see the piercer. No need to suffer silently when there are lots of experts who can help! There are lots of helpful aftercare tips but make sure you listen to your body first and foremost. Everyone is different and if your body just happens to react differently than others, it’s okay, just go see a professional about it!
Body piercings are a great way to symbolize something in your life or express yourself and your individuality. No matter why you decided to get a body piercing, make caring for your body piercings a priority! Do you have any body piercings? Do you have any tips on caring for body piercings?