When you get a new piercing, it heals just like any other small wound on your body. It needs to be washed regularly to remove any discharge, irritants or bacteria and promote a healthy healing process. But cleaning too much or using something that is too harsh can set your piercing back. That’s why you may hear friends or family members saying things like “just use rubbing alcohol” or “spray your piercing with peroxide.” The truth is, these products aren’t recommended and can actually harm your piercing!
Rubbing alcohol is the main ingredient in most commercial cleansers. It’s known by many other names, including ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol, and can be found in alcoholic beverages or as an ingredient in antiseptic solutions and disinfectants. When used on the skin, rubbing alcohol can dry it and irritate your new piercing, leaving it raw and vulnerable. This can also lead to scabbing and infection.
To avoid these risks, it’s best to skip the rubbing alcohol and instead soak your piercing in warm saline solution twice a day. You can buy sterilized saline solution at your local drugstore, or you can make it yourself. To make saline solution, simply mix water and salt until it reaches the same concentration as your body’s natural salt water. After soaking, use a cotton swab to wipe the piercing front and back to thoroughly cleanse it.
You should continue to clean your piercing with saline solution for the suggested amount of time listed in our piercing aftercare guide. This will ensure that the piercing is free of debris and bacteria, and will encourage the body to start healing it on its own. It’s important to note that healing times vary from person to person, so if your piercing doesn’t seem to be progressing as expected don’t give up! Just be sure to keep up with the cleaning schedule and keep the jewelry in place until your piercing is healed.
You should also be sure to avoid letting your piercing come in contact with any personal hygiene or beauty products. This includes everything from shampoo to body lotion, as they can contain ingredients that irritate your piercing or interfere with the healing process.