Please follow this advice to minimize the risk of infection.
1. Always wash & dry your hands before handling a new piercing site.
2. After removal of any dressing applied by your piercer, clean the piercing at least once or preferably twice a day using a fresh cotton bud and either warm pre-boiled tap water, or the solution supplied. NEVER apply hot solutions or surgical spirit to the piercing site. Always pat your dry after cleaning with a clean tissue.
3. Try to wear loose cotton clothing to minimising rubbing & irritation to the piercing site.
EAR LOBE/CARTILAGE Clean as in general advice section. Leave exposed. Minimum healing time: three months to a year.
NOSE: nostril Clean as in the general advice section once a day with a cotton bud on the outside only. DO NOT touch the inside. Leave exposed. Studex nose piercing gun clean as directed in the general advice section. Do not change for at least 12 weeks. To avoid loss of jewellery cover at night with surgical tape or plaster for at least the first 7 days. Minimum healing time: Three months to a year. septum Use warm pre-boiled tap water to soften and remove crusts up to two times a day. Leave exposed. Minimum healing time: Three months to a year.
NIPPLES - Male Clean as in the general advice section using a fresh cotton bud and solution for each piercing hole, and leave exposed. Female As for males but cotton bra/nipple pad will also need to be used to protect the site from friction. If the site is oozing, nipple pads should be used and soaked off before cleaning the site. Minimum healing time: four to six months.
NAVEL After a navel piercing, a small amount of redness and crusting is normal, as is a discharge of a small amount of clear fluid. These symptoms should lessen within six to eight weeks. Clean both piercing holes twice a day with a cotton bud as in the general advice section. Use a separate cotton bud and solution for each hole. Avoid tight clothing around the waist and avoid the use of belts until the site is healed. Cover the site with a clean dry dressing if doing stretching exercises/ contact sports. Avoid swimming if possible until the site is healed. Do not change jewellery for a least 4-6 months, if you experience any problems and need to change the jewellery before this time please return to your piercer. Minimum healing time: four to six months.
EYEBROW clean both piercing holes twice a day using a separate cotton bud and solution, soak off any crust formation and dry carefully with a clean tissue. Cover the site with a clean dry dressing for sporting activities. Eyebrow piercing can be problematic as the skin is thin. Migration can occur in the navel & eyebrow forcing the piercing out. Although little can be done to prevent this seek advice from your piercer.
TONGUE Half strength mouthwash should be used twice daily. The mouth should also be rinsed with tap water after eating, smoking, drinking, Avoid oral sex. The site can also be cleaned gently with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush if there is a build up of coating around the site. Chewing gum should not be used until the site is healed or you feel confident with the piercing. Care is needed when using cutlery, so as not to damage the piercing. Spicy foods/alcohol may need to be avoided for the first week as they may cause stinging. Oral sex should be avoided until after the first bar change (approx. 2 weeks). The bar size should be changed after 10-14 days by your piercer. The bar balls must be checked twice daily to ensure they are screwed on tightly and reduce the risk of swallowing/aspiration. Piercing may cause permanent damage to teeth due to the friction against enamel. Returning to downsize your bar can reduce this. N.B the tongue may swell to the length of the inserted bar, particularly in the first two weeks. Iced water may help to reduce the swelling. If the bar becomes too tight please see your piercer. If out of hours contact NHS Direct 0845 46 47 or a walk-in centre (St Georges, Blackshaw Rd, Car park 020 8700 0505). If you have problems with swallowing or any neck pain however, you must contact a medical practitioner straight away or go to your nearest Accident & Emergency Dept. Minimum healing time: two months.
LIP, CHEEK, LABRET, MADONNA & PHILTRUM clean the outside of the site twice daily with a cotton bud as in the general section. Use half strength mouthwash twice daily to clean inside the site. If you have a ring then clean the jewellery also as you move it around. If you have a stud you need to check the ball is screwed on tightly at least twice a day. Minimum healing time: three months
COMMON COMPLICATIONS If aftercare advice is not followed correctly, infection may occur at the site. Possible indications of infection are increased redness or swelling, the piercing is painful to touch. There may be a painful throbbing sensation or feeling of heat. The discharge becomes yellow or green in colour and smells offensive. If the above symptoms occur seek urgent medical attention. In emergencies attend the local A&E Department. Do not remove jewellery before being assessed. Useful Numbers: NHS Direct 0845 46 47. NHS Walk-in St Georges Hospital, Tooting: 020 8700 0505