When you get a new piercing, it is normal to have some tenderness and a bit of discharge. These things are normal and do not indicate an infection, however, it is important to clean the piercing regularly. This will help to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications.
Most piercings should be rinsed with a sterile saline solution twice a day, using a fresh, clean cotton swab. Saline is available in a small bottle in the pharmacy, and may also be bought in packets from a beauty shop. A saline solution can also be made at home by mixing equal parts warm water and salt, which should be heated until it is bubbly. A saline soak will remove dead skin cells, bacteria, and other debris that may have formed on the surface of the piercing. It will also remove the build-up of earwax and oil that can block the opening of the piercing.
It is also important to avoid snagging the piercing on jewelry or clothing, which can cause irritation. This can also lead to a build-up of debris or an infection. In order to prevent this, it is best to wait until the piercing has healed completely before wearing a piece of jewelry that could snag or scratch the piercing.
Some piercings can go through “ups and downs” during the healing process, where they seem to be healing well, then regress slightly. It is important to keep up with the cleaning routine to ensure that the piercing heals fully. It is also normal for piercings to smell unpleasant, especially if they are not cleaned frequently enough.
After cleaning the piercing, it is recommended that you wash the area with a mild soap, such as Naked Soap or Blairex, that is safe for body piercings. The soap should be natural, free of dyes and perfumes, and should not contain triclosan or other antibacterial chemicals that can be harsh on new piercings. You should also rinse the piercing after applying soap to make sure that all residue is removed.
In addition to the daily saline soaks and washing with soap, it is recommended that you avoid activities that increase the risk of an infection. This includes avoiding swimming, because it can expose the piercing to harmful bacteria and other contaminants. It is also a good idea to avoid eating foods or drinking beverages that can irritate the piercing. Sucking thick liquids through a straw is also helpful to reduce irritation.
In addition to these tips, it is important to have a healthy lifestyle to ensure that your body can heal quickly and properly. This includes getting plenty of rest and maintaining a low-stress environment. This will help to reduce the amount of stress hormones in your system, which can delay healing. It is also a good idea to stay hydrated, which will help your body to eliminate waste more effectively. Lastly, it is important to eat healthily and avoid unhealthy substances like tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine.