- Wash your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
- Use a sterile packaged saline (we recommend neilmed) and apply directly to the piercing site. Use clean gauze, kitchen towel or cotton bud to remove any crusts that may form around the piercing. For certain piercings it may be easier to apply using clean gauze or clean kitchen towel saturated with saline solution. Do this no more than twice a day.
- Dry by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbour bacteria and snag on jewellery causing injury. For hands-free drying that won’t move your jewellery or irritate your piercing, you can use a hair dryer on the cool air setting.
- Downsize your piercing at the appropriate time recommended by your piercer.
- Rinse your mouth with an alcohol free, antiseptic mouthwash after eating and before you go to bed.
- For lip piercings also clean the outside of the piercing site using sterile packaged saline. Dry by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products.
- Keep on top of your oral hygiene. Be sure to brush your teeth, tongue and gums twice a day using a soft bristle brush.
- To relieve swelling you can let a piece of ice melt in your mouth.
- Stay away from spicy, salty, extremely acidic and very hot temperature food and drinks for the first few days.
- Avoid oral sex for the duration of the healing period
- If you’re not allergic to ibuprofen, taking this as prescribed on the instructions can help relieve and prevent some of the swelling.
Nipple and navel piercings
- For nipple piercings wearing a tight cotton t-shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel comfortable, especially for sleeping.
- Clean and dry your piercing after engaging in sports. Warm damp environments are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria so this is especially important for piercings that are underneath clothing.
What to expect
- Initially: some bleeding, localised swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
- Once healed: the jewellery may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
- A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
- During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewellery. The tissue may tighten around the jewellery as it heals.
- Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewellery in—do not leave it empty.
What not to do
- Avoid moving jewellery in an unhealed piercing, or picking away dried discharge with your fingers.
- Avoid cleaning with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, dettol etc.
- Avoid ointments and creams as they prevent necessary air circulation.
- Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
- Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewellery, and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.
- Avoid submerging the piercing in open or exposed bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or, protect your piercing using a waterproof wound bandage. These are available at most pharmacies.
- Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
What happens if my piercing gets infected?
More often than not, what many people think of as an infection is actually the result of irritation. If your piercing is red, swollen right around the hole, peeling, excreting white or yellow fluid or bleeding slightly it is more likely just irritated. Infections are uncommon but serious when they do occur.
If you do suspect you have an infection and are experiencing any of these symptoms please contact your doctor immediately, or if it is out of hours call NHS24 on 111.
- Experience Severe redness, swelling, or pain from the piercing
- Piercing site is warm to the touch
- Have a large amount of discharge that is thick, green, yellow, or gray and smells bad
- Have red streaks coming from from the piercing site
- Experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or disorientation
Downsize/check up appointment
Free downsize appointments are only for clients who have been pierced at our studio in the past 8 weeks.
If this isn’t your initial downsize, you were pierced elsewhere or pierced longer than 8 weeks ago please make either a jewellery change or consultation appointment.
IF YOU ARE UNDER 16 YEARS YOU MUST BRING A PARENT WITH VALID PHOTO ID TO SIGN FOR YOU.Studio XIII Piercing Staff