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Piercing aftercare

Piercing aftercare

You can pretty much get a piercing anywhere nowadays, from your nose to your you-know-what.

But with every piercing comes a risk of infection so you need to take care of it properly.

Before heading to your local piercer you need to weigh up the pros and cons of getting one done, such as how it could affect your career and whether you'll actually keep it in or just get bored after a few weeks.

When at the piercing studio make sure the person conducting it is wearing gloves and is fully qualified and recognised to carry it out. The equipment they use is also important. Earlobes are the only area which can get away with using a gun as there are no injury risks with the fleshy texture, but other spots which have bones are at danger of being cracked by a gun. A sterile needle is always the safest option as the piercing can be done in one swift, clean movement.

The first thing your piercer will tell you is to keep your new jewellery clean and this can be done by a simple salt water solution. The ideal ratio is a quarter of a teaspoon of salt per egg cup of warm water as too weak won't do the job and too strong could sting. If you can, submerge the area in the liquid, or if it's too hard to reach use a damp cotton wool bud or cloth and press it to the piercing for a few minutes. It will help kill off any germs and bring any discharge stuck to the surface for you to wipe away.

However, if it's a tongue, gum or cheek piercing, you can use a special mouth wash if you don't fancy a salt rinse. Check with a professional on what you should purchase but ensure it's an antibacterial option. Rinse after every meal to get rid of any food stuck.

When it comes to soap, it's recommended your piercing doesn't come into contact with it more than twice a day. Over-cleaning should be avoided as it could irritate the piercing and delay healing, so it's best to take showers until everything has settled rather than submerging yourself into soapy water.

Always pat your piercing dry, rubbing may tug at it the wrong way and rip the skin. But it is important to move your jewellery ever so slightly to give it some leeway.

No swimming straight after either - we suggest you don't get a piercing before going on holiday. Give it two to three weeks, as chlorine and bacteria in unchlorinated waters may irritate your piercing.

You can follow these steps but still suffer with a reaction. Some bleeding, swelling, tenderness or bruising is completely normal at the beginning, as well as oozing from the hole. Give it time and if these still occur after the healing period, get it checked out.

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