PIERCING CARE GUIDE
We hope you have had an elevating experience at our piercing studio and that you are happy with your new piercing(s). It is now up to you to take good care of it to ensure fast healing and positive piercing experience. This guide provides you with our recommendations on how to care for your new piercing(s), aligned with current professional piercing and healthcare standards.
A piercing is an extension of your personal style, becoming an intrinsic part of who you are, and our piercing jewellery is expertly crafted in solid 14k yellow or white gold, nickel-free and set with brilliant diamonds or gemstones. Our piercing jewellery has been carefully created in collaboration with professional piercers and conforms to recommended international guidelines concerning the design, safety and quality.
How to clean your piercing(s):
- Wash your hands.
- Spray the front and back of the pierced area for one second per side with the provided saline spray.
- Wait one minute.
- Spray the area again, for three seconds on each side, to dislodge any discharge.
- Inspect the area to see if there is any remaining discharge.
- Repeat steps 2 to 5 to remove remaining discharge.
- Gently pat the area dry with gauze or kitchen towel. Avoid using toilet paper, cotton buds and cotton wool on and around the newly pierced area(s) as the material fibres can irritate the skin and cause infection.
What to do
Clean your piercing twice a day, morning and evening.
By regularly cleaning your new piercing, you can help avoid build-up of secretion and scabs, make-up etc. If you are not able to clearly see your piercing from all angles, ask someone to help you to ensure there is no irritation present. Alternatively, visit our piercing studio so that we can take a look at how it is healing. Avoid excessive cleaning as this can cause irritation and additional scarring.
Clean your piercing with saline spray—and nothing else.
Products containing harsh chemicals and so-called “natural” cleaning solutions can cause unforeseen problems or delay healing. You can assist the natural healing process by using the medical grade NeilMed Piercing Aftercare Saline Spray we have provided you with.
Keep your piercing and the surrounding area dry while it heals.
Bacteria thrive and multiply in moist areas. Keep your new piercing clean and dry in order to minimise the risk of infection. Dry the area with gauze or kitchen towel. When you shower or wash your hair, carefully rinse all product(s) from your hair and rinse your pierced area for approximately one minute. Upon exiting the shower or bath, either dry the hair straight away or wrap in a towel to avoid making your piercing wet.
Wash your hands.
Keeping hands clean minimises the risk of introducing bacteria into your piercing wound. Remember to wash your hands before and after cleaning and/or touching your piercing to avoid infection.
Be as healthy as possible.
A healthy body heals better. Do your best to eat and sleep well and exercise regularly. Try to avoid stress and cut down on alcohol and smoking.
Clean your piercing after sport.
If you enjoy sports, you may need to protect your piercing(s) with e.g. medical tape. The build-up of sweat or secretions around the wound will prevent your wound from healing properly so make sure to cover the smallest area possible for the shortest amount of time, making sure to use hypoallergenic tape or plasters. Keep an eye on the area covered to ensure the adhesive has not caused an allergic reaction or other skin-related problems.
Clean all items that come into contact with your piercing.
Eg. ear- and headphones, mobile phones, headwear, pillowcases etc.
Avoid covering your new piercing(s) with headphones, hats or other objects that could potentially spread bacteria. Likewise, avoid banging your phone or earphones against your new piercing. If you cannot avoid using ear-/headphones or a phone, disinfect them prior to and after use with an antibacterial wipe or specialized cleaner to avoid spreading bacteria. Wash headwear, pillowcases etc. weekly and avoid sharing all such items.
Avoid sleeping on the pierced area.
If you cannot avoid sleeping on your new piercing, use a travel or doughnut-shaped pillow to minimise pressure on the area.
Have jewellery downsized after one month or when swelling subsides.
A newly pierced ear will swell slightly in the first few days or weeks after piercing. Our piercing jewellery is fitted with a longer post to accommodate this and should be worn until the swelling has gone down and healing process is well underway. This usually takes around a month, after which time you can replace the long post with a shorter one. Contact our piercing studios for an appointment to have the post changed to the size best suited to your piercing and anatomy.
Check your jewellery regularly.
Ensure your jewellery is fully and correctly closed. For the styles with back pieces, referred to as threaded posts, there should not be a gap between the post and the threaded end. In order to tighten the jewellery, screw the front piece clockwise into the threaded post. For rings, makes sure they are properly closed.
What to avoid
Avoid touching your piercing and the surrounding area with unwashed hands.
To prevent infection and irritation always wash your hands before touching the area you have been pierced.
Avoid turning and twisting the jewellery.
Your new piercing needs to be left alone to heal. Any unnecessary pulling and turning could result in opening the wound, an increased risk of infection or a longer healing time. You would not pull on stitches after surgery, so do not fiddle with your piercing.
Avoid rubbing and/or applying pressure to the pierced area.
Wait to wear tight headwear, headbands and headphones until your piercing has healed.
Avoid removing jewellery from the piercing during the healing process.
A new piercing can close and disappear in a matter of minutes. Even fully healed piercings can shrink or close in a short space of time, leading to difficulties inserting the jewellery or potentially closing the piercing hole entirely. Do not remove jewellery unless absolutely necessary. If it is unavoidable, in the case of e.g. an MRI scans, consider temporarily replacing your jewellery with a biocompatible, plastic version.
Avoid changing your piercing jewellery too soon.
Changing jewellery too soon after piercing may cause irritation and damage to the area that is been pierced. If you are not sure whether you have healed enough to change it, consult a professional piercer before doing so. Often a piercing may seem healed but is not completely settled. Initially, you will form a fistula of scar tissue closing off the wound, but this can take time to fully mature to its maximum strength and flexibility. During the first two years after piercing, we recommend that you avoid changing jewellery frequently. How often depends on where your piercing is, your aftercare routine, lifestyle and how well you heal. Check with your piercer to determine whether or not your piercing is ready.
Avoid the use of make-up, perfumes, creams and lotions directly on or around your new piercing(s).
As fresh wounds are more susceptible to potential allergies and infections, including those never before experienced, it is advisable to avoid direct contact with the aforementioned. Cover your piercing when applying e.g. hairspray or perfume to minimise contamination.
Avoid other products than those recommended.
Although well-meant, advice from friends or found via a Google search is not necessarily in line with modern wound care. The methods and products described in this guide are the culmination of years of collective experience within the piercing industry and medical community. Inappropriate aftercare is one of the most common causes of problematic piercings.
Avoid sea, lake and pool water for the first four weeks.
However clean they may appear, sea, lake and pool water contains bacteria that could lead to an infection. If you cannot avoid it, keep the pierced area out of the water and thoroughly clean upon exit. Alternatively, cover the area with a waterproof plaster or medical tape. Showering or bathing at home is fine.
Estimated healing times
The time a piercing takes to heal is dependent on a number of factors, including your age, genetics, general health and lifestyle. The following are guidelines only:
Earlobe: 2-3 months.
Upper lobe: 3-8 months.
Cartilage: 6-12 months.
What is normal and what is not?
It is normal to expect a degree of soreness, redness and swelling, as well as the sensation of heat in the area you have had pierced. You may also experience scabs around the hole. This is perfectly normal and should subside within the first few days. The same applies for gentle bruising, which can appear as blue discolouration.
It is not normal to experience additional pain, redness or swelling that spreads beyond the area you have had pierced. This could be a sign of infection and we advise you to contact us or a local piercer for advice on how to care for your piercing. If you become feverish, experience intense pain, substantial swelling or redness that spreads, seek medical attention immediately.
Should you, contrary to expectations, experience any problems, complications, excessive swelling or the like, we are on hand to help you free of charge for the first two weeks after piercing.
Do you have an infection?
If you suspect that you might have an infection or experience any or all of the below, please seek medical attention.
If you are in doubt about anything, contact your nearest Maria Black Piercing Studio or a local piercing professional for further inspection.
Typical signs of infection include but are not limited to:
- Feeling unwell
- High temperature
- Cloudy, green or foul-smelling discharge
- Continual or increased pain
- Increased redness
- Additional swelling
- Increased heat sensation in pierced area
Do not remove your piercing jewellery before consulting a piercing or medical professional.