Aftercare for Body Piercing

Updated on October 22, 2014

My Experience with Piercings

I’m sure there are probably a lot of articles out there about piercing, but who’s to say I can’t write another one!

I am a professional piercer by trade and I’ve seen and experienced a lot in the many years since I first started. I have noticed one thing about most piercing shops: they care more about making money than they do about what they are doing, who they are doing it to, what they are using to do the job, and what information they are giving people.

I could go on and on about different aspects of the piercing business, but for this article I’m going to talk (ahem… type) about aftercare. First, I'll discuss aftercare for piercings in general, but at the end of this article I'll discuss oral piercings in particular.

Taking Care of Body Piercings
Taking Care of Body Piercings

Why Is Aftercare Important?

Aftercare is the most important aspect of any body modification, yet the instructions for how to take care of a piercing vary so much from shop to shop that most people become confused and end up experiencing complications. So if you’re having trouble healing a piercing, have had trouble in the past, or are considering getting a piercing, this article will be an interesting and informative read for you.

Once a fresh piercing is inserted with a piece of quality jewelry, it generally requires air, space, cleanliness, and patience to heal. Piercings never have been and never will be an instant gratification: they take time to look and feel their greatest, and patience is a virtue. In this article I will discuss general guidelines of care to be applied to most piercings.

When I sell a client a piercing, I am selling them a fully-healed piercing. I guide them through the aftercare process and, if they have any complications, I help them through the healing time. I also offer them jewelry changes with sterile equipment free of charge and guarantee the quality of the jewelry that I am selling them. Whoever you go to for a piercing should do the same.

But, in case they don't, and because I want this good information to reach more than just my clientele and customers, here goes!

Initial Healing Time for Piercings

The initial healing time is the time it takes for your piercing to look and feel healed. This process depends on the condition of your body and how fast you generally take to heal, so it varies from person to person and piercing to piercing.

Generally, healing takes between two to three months—earlobes and noses a little less, but nipples, navels and deep piercings a little longer. Dues to hormone fluctuations, female nipples and navels can take up to a year or longer to look and feel healed!

Body Piercing Locations
Body Piercing Locations

Seasoning Time

Seasoning time is the time it takes for your piercing to be fully healed all the way through the fistula of scar tissue that forms around the jewelry. When a piercing is seasoned, it can be removed without the piercing fully closing up. Over time, without jewelry in the piercing, it will generally shrink down but won’t actually close up so it can be stretched back open to fit jewelry once again. After your piercing is seasoned, you can basically take it out as you please without worry about losing the hole. Generally, this takes about a year to a year and a half, depending on your body as well as the type of piercing.

This length of seasoning time applies to most piercings, but not all; piercings such as the nostril, sometimes the tongue, and long surface piercings can be lost even after having them for a year or more. It really all depends on your body! Female nipples and navels sometimes take more than two years to be fully seasoned (again, it has to do with monthly hormone fluctuations which can make the piercing act up from time to time and feel like they’re fresh again).

Basic Cleaning Routine

To avoid contaminating your piercing with foreign bacteria, always start by washing your hands.

The first night: That evening after you've been pierced, it is not necessary to use any cleansing product, but it is advisable that you use gauze, Q-tips, or some clean paper towel to soak the piercing with hot water just to soothe it and reduce any soreness and swelling.

The day after: The next morning, start a basic cleaning routine, one that you follow religiously. Clean your piercing two to four times per day depending on what you are doing (if you're working in an office, maybe two times, but if you're digging ditches, maybe four). Always clean it after working out (sweat=toxins) or after working at a laborious or grubby job.

The daily routine:

  1. Wash your hands in hot soapy water to remove any bacteria that could be transferred to your piercing or jewelry and dry with clean paper towel.
  2. Soak with Q-tips and hot water to soften the “crusties” that form on either side of the piercing against the jewelry. Roll the Q-tip gently against the jewelry in the direction away from the piercing to remove the crusties, you may feel the urge to just pick the crusties off, but trust me if you soak and roll enough they will come off in a much gentler fashion.
  3. Slather the Q-tip in aftercare product* and apply it to both sides of the piercing as well as the jewelry, and then move the jewelry back and forth slightly to clean inside.**
  4. Rinse off all the aftercare product either in the shower or by using lots of Q-tips and hot water, moving the jewelry back and forth to make sure that there is no aftercare product left behind.
  5. Dry with Q-tips and do not touch it at all until your next cleaning!

* I recommend to use only one of the following aftercare products: pure gycerin soap (no creams, dyes, or fragrance), distilled witch hazel (make sure there is no alcohol listed in the ingredients), colloidal silver (if you're not allergic to silver!), or a sterile saline solution (contact solution works great or you can make your own). Again, if your piercing is oral, scroll down to see my pointers on oral piercings in particular.

**If a cartilage piercing does not want to move the first couple days, don’t force it: just clean around the entrance, the exit, and the jewelry. It is a myth that your skin will stick permanently to the jewelry unless you are wearing titanium for years without moving it at all, which doesn’t happen very often. Most people with piercings clean their piercing and jewelry regularly, even after it’s seasoned.

Don't fiddle with your piercing!
Don't fiddle with your piercing!

Basic Dos and Don'ts

  • Do clean your piercing daily.
  • Do dry your piercing well with Q-tips after cleaning.
  • Do wash your hands before touching your piercing.
  • Do change your bedding more often.
  • Do eat healthily and take vitamins or supplements.
  • Do NOT touch or play with your piercing.
  • Do NOT overkill on cleaning your piercing: two times a day, up to four, is generally enough.
  • Do NOT sleep on it or put pressure on it as this will cause unnecessary scar tissue to form.
  • Do NOT swim in a lake, river, ocean, or public pool until the piercing looks and feels good.
  • Do NOT use alcohol, peroxide, or anything that stings or burns as these ingredients dry skin out too much and don't promote proper healing.
  • Do NOT use polysporin or any other ointments or creams as they plug up the piercing so it cannot breathe and also attract airborne bacteria.
  • Do NOT get creams, oils, cleansers, powders, or make-up products in or on the piercing; always be sure to keep a dime-sized, product-free zone around the piercing.
  • Do NOT take bubble baths.
  • Do NOT do drugs or drink alcohol since they can significantly slow the healing time or cause your body to reject the piercing.

If you're going to touch your piercing, WASH YOUR HANDS!
If you're going to touch your piercing, WASH YOUR HANDS!

What if Your Piercing Has a Reaction?

If your piercing seems dry, red, and itchy at all, make sure you are rinsing out your aftercare product very well. If it still seems irritated, try switching to a different aftercare product (see list below).

If your piercing seems watery or septic and looks almost as if the skin is pulling away from the jewelry, make sure you are rinsing out your aftercare product well. If you determine the aftercare is not the problem, you may be having a jewelry reaction.

If you started with surgical steel, make sure that it is a high grade surgical steel. 316LVM is the best, don’t settle for 316L as it is tool grade, not implant grade, meaning that doctors don’t leave it inside your body. 316LVM is the good stuff that is used by doctors and dentists.

If like the look of steel but it causes a reaction, you could try 18k white gold or high-polished Titanium.

Whatever you decide to switch to, make sure you’re getting it from a reputable source! Make sure that the polish is not dull, but super shiny, and that there are no nicks, scratches, or sharp edges on the jewelry and if it’s a barbell or labret stud, be sure that it is internally threaded (meaning there's a hole in the bar and a screw sticking out the end of the bead). (Externally threaded jewelry can rip open your fistula and is usually made of cheaper, lower-grade metal.)

Ingredients for Healing Body Piercings
Ingredients for Healing Body Piercings

What to Use to Clean Your Piercing

  • Pure gycerin soap (no creams, dyes, or fragrance),
  • distilled witch hazel (make sure there is no alcohol listed in the ingredients),
  • colloidal silver (if you're not allergic to silver!), or
  • a sterile saline solution (contact solution works great or you can make your own: see my recipe by scrolling down towards the end of this article).

Natural Comfort Measures to Aid Healing

There are some natural comfort measures to make your piercing feel and look better, faster.

Chamomile: If you don’t have hay fever (and if you don’t know what hay fever is, you most likely do not have it!) drink chamomile tea. When you're done, take the warm tea bag and soak it on your piercing. This feels amazing and reduces redness, soreness, and swelling! Don’t try this with any old tea though, pure chamomile is the only one!

Epsom and lavender bath: After the initial healing process, a warm bath with epsom salts and a few drops of lavender essential oil can relax you and soothe your piercing. Just try not to overdo it (no more than once a week) as the epsom salts will dry out your skin and your piercing. If you really enjoy more baths, skip the epsom salts the rest of the week but stick with the lavender oil.

Piercing Care: An Epsom-Lavender Bath
Piercing Care: An Epsom-Lavender Bath

If Your Piercing Gets Infected

Many people believe they have an infection when, in fact, they do not. Reactions to aftercare products and jewelry or even hormonal flare-ups are commonly mistaken for infection.

An infection is hot, sore, swollen, and red. You often get an infection is by touching and playing with your piercing or exposing it to foreign bacteria.

If you do in fact have an infection, there is a sure fire way to get rid of it, and taking out the piercing is not the best option. Taking out the piercing will make things worse. It can seal the infection inside the body where it can spread and cause major problems. So, instead of giving up on the piercing, nurture and care for it.

Healing an infection takes some time and commitment on your behalf. Here's what to do:

  • Fill a glass or small container full of hot water that’s been boiled for at least two minutes and cooled slightly until touchable.
  • Mix in approximately ¼ to ½ teaspoon of epsom salts.
  • You’ll need to use gauze or clean paper towel to dip and soak, dip and soak, for a full hour to interrupt the bacteria cycle and let the piercing excrete what it needs to get rid of.
  • For a navel or nipple piercing, the glass of water can be held over the piercing while sitting or lying down to make things a little easier.

For a piercing that’s flared up but not infected (perhaps due to hormone fluctuations), epsom salts can also be effective but you don't need to apply it for the whole hour. For flare-ups, 15 to 30 minutes will suffice.

Be leery of using epsom salts too much, as they can cause your piercing to get dry, itchy, and flaky. Only use them when needed.

How a Woman's Hormone Fluctuations Effect Piercings

Females experience hormone fluctuations on a monthly basis which can effect how a piercing looks and feels. It can become red, sore, and irritated from time to time which is normal, especially during or just prior to that time of the month. Your piercing can also flare up due to your immune system being low or even due to stress in your life.

Scar Tissue in Piercings: Good or Bad?

It's natural for scar tissue to build up in a piercing; this tissue builds the fistula that keeps the hole from disappearing even when you're not wearing jewelry in the piercing. So if you want your piercing to last, some internal scarring is necessary and beneficial.

However, the visible, noticeable hypertrophic and keloid scars can also occur during the healing time or even after a piercing is fully healed if it gets injured in any way. These types of scars have a similar appearance—small, smooth bumps that elevate the entrance or exit of the piercing. Depending on your skin, they can be pink, purple, or brown. Hypertrophic scars are more common and tend to be smaller than keloid scars. The following is a list of questions I ask my clients when they are experiencing either of these types of scarring that is not due to family history.

  • Are you touching and playing with your piercing?
  • Do you sleep on it or put pressure on it?
  • Has it been bumped or hit recently?
  • Are you rinsing your aftercare product well enough?
  • Does your jewelry have scratches or nicks?
  • Is your jewelry a lower grade than 316LVM grade surgical steel?
  • Have you been changing your jewelry during the initial healing process?
  • Have you been wearing externally threaded or costume jewelry?
  • Are you on or near that time of the month? (Females only, of course.)
  • Have you had abnormal amounts of stress in your life recently?

Any or all of these things can affect your piercing enough to make it produce excess, visible scar tissue. Fix what you are doing wrong and the scar tissue should settle down. If you get an abnormal keloid scar and it does not go away, you may have to consult your physician about removal.

Rejection: When Your Body Rejects a Piercing

Rejection is pretty much the worst case scenario when it comes to healing out a piercing. If your body isn’t ready to accept a piercing or you’re just not treating it well enough, your body will push the piercing out, just like a sliver. Rejection can cause nasty scars so you definitely want to figure out if your piercing is actually starting to reject or if it's just flaring up.

How can you tell the difference? If your body is trying to reject your piercing, you’ll notice that it is sore and flared up, and then you’ll notice it slowly becoming shallower than it was originally (but don’t get paranoid because natural shallowing will occur with surface piercings such as eyebrows when they aren’t rejecting). Usually, rejection is a very slow-going process, so if you regularly take note of how your piercing looks and feels, you’ll have a better chance of telling whether or not it's rejecting.

After being sore and becoming more shallow, you’ll begin to notice a red line going from the entrance to the exit hole: this is a sure sign of rejection, and the piercing should be removed before further scarring takes place.

Before coming to the assumption that your body is rejecting your piercing, though, figure out if you are doing anything that’s causing it to look and feel abnormal: touching and playing with it, not rinsing out aftercare product, and hormone fluctuations all affect how your piercing looks and feels. Make sure you’re doing everything right and think positively, because chances are if it’s not a surface piercing it's probably not rejecting, you’re just being paranoid! Heh… but when in doubt, have a professional take a gander at it. I’d say only about two people out of ten that come in asking if their piercing is rejecting are actually experiencing rejection. The remainder are either having other problems or being paranoid! Remember to think positively, negative thoughts never end in a positive outcome!

Rejected piercings can be re-pierced, despite rumors that say otherwise. Some piercers will tell you they cannot be, but I have had success doing re-piercings a good six months to a year after the initial removal of the jewelry. The old scar tissue may make the piercing slightly more painful, but it can help keep the body from rejecting it the second time around.

However, there have been a few cases I’ve come across during my time piercing when people just didn't tolerate piercings. In rare cases, certain bodies just naturally reject anything foreign. Sometimes it has to do with underlying and unknown health problems; other times it’s just a body that does not accept piercings. Remember though, this is very rare.

Downsizing: New Jewelry for Your Piercing

After the initial healing time, it may be advisable (depending on your jewelry and piercing) that you get it downsized, meaning you get a shorter bar or smaller diameter ring to make the piercing more comfortable and/or attractive. Most piercers do this for a minimal charge, if you got the piercing at their shop. But I should warn you that if you do this too soon, your piercing may flare up and you may have to upsize to your original jewelry until the flare up subsides, so try to be patient.

Oral Piercing Care

Now that I’ve covered all the general piercing care and concerns, we move into oral piercing care, which includes piercings fully in the mouth (tongue, smiley, etc.) as well as piercings that are half-out and half-in (lip, monroe, labret, cheeks, etc.). For piercings that are in the mouth as well as out of the mouth, general aftercare also applies.

Read on for information specific to oral piercing care.

Oral Piercings
Oral Piercings

Basic Cleaning Routine for Oral Piercings

First things first: if you have a piercing in your mouth, you need to make sure you have a saline solution with you 24/7 for rinsing your mouth. Do not use mouthwash, not even mouthwash cut with water, because overuse can cause thrush, which is a yeast infection in your mouth! It’s not pleasant or attractive, I learned hard way…. There is a better way!

Homemade Saline Solution to Use to Treat an Oral Piercing

Take ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt, no other salts will do! It's cheap and it tastes good on food, too. So you take that ¼ teaspoon and put it in a 500mL bottle of water (that’s all it requires, it won’t taste overly salty, and if you want it to taste better, add a couple drops of peppermint essential oil). (But you won't be swallowing this stuff, you're just using it to rinse.)

  1. Rinse your mouth with saline solution (the sea salt and water concoction described above) after everything you eat, drink, or smoke… except for water, of course!
  2. If it’s a half-out, half-in piercing, wash the outside of the piercing with the saline as indicated in the basic cleaning for general piercing care, and make sure you rinse it clean with water.
  3. Tighten your beads if you have a barbell or labret stud at least once a day. First, wash your hands very well in hot soapy water and turn both beads clockwise to the right. (Righty tighty, lefty loosey!)

It’s that simple. You may want to label your saliine solution with a marker so that you or your friends don’t go swigging it down!

Basic Dos and Don'ts of Oral Piercings

Do NOT have oral contact of any kind for the first 3-6 weeks, or you will risk infection.

Do NOT touch or play with it or tighten the beads with unwashed hands

Do NOT eat spicy foods or citrus drinks that will sting or burn your piercing

Do soothe it with cold drinks. Fruit smoothies are great, and healthy too!

Do make ice cubes or popsicles out of chamomile tea to reduce soreness and swelling (as long as you don’t have hay fever, of course!)

Do munch on fresh, clean crushed ice to help reduce soreness and swelling (especially in tongues).

Do be very careful when eating with a new tongue piercing; your brain needs to be retrained because it thinks that when something is on your tongue it needs to be chewed and swallowed, so be very cautious when eating with a new tongue piercing. You don’t want a dentist bill to go along with it. Try chewing food slowly on one side and swallowing it rather than tossing it back and forth, since this can significantly reduce the chances of munching on a bead while chowing down.

Do get your tongue barbell downsized, when its time. Tongues are first pierced with a lengthy barbell to accommodate all the swelling that takes place, and getting it downsized within three to six weeks will minimize your chances of causing dental problems.

Dos and Don'ts of Oral Piercing Care
Dos and Don'ts of Oral Piercing Care

Infections of Oral Piercings

Infections are rare in oral piercings, unless you are completely careless or have oral contact. Rule of thumb is if you’ve had oral contact and you think you have an infection, proceed with the treatment for infection, don't wait for it to actually happen. Infections in the mouth should be treated with Amosan (or an oral antiseptic rinse) from the pharmacy. Look for it in the oral care aisle and follow the instructions, rinsing two to three times per day for two or three days should clear up an oral infection.

So there it is, pretty much everything you need to know to heal out a piercing, and probably more! If this information helps at least one person out there, I feel as though I've done my job!

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    • profile image

      Destiné 7 weeks ago

      Hi I want to get my nipples done, if I don’t have any aftercare products can I just use contact solution on my nipples?

    • profile image

      Caroline 6 months ago

      I got my cheeks done but the right side not sure if it's the skin or cause if it swollen I can't feel the flat piece all I feel is a bump? Help please.. I've tried everything..

    • profile image

      Tina 7 months ago

      Hi...I got an industrial piercing four days has the usual lymphy stuff" tried to soak it but it won't come off!!! It's still painful and a bit red ans swollen which is to be expected but my question is if the gunk won't wash off will the peircing get infected?!

    • profile image

      Sabrina 9 months ago

      Hi, I just got my nipples pierced yesterday and took a bubble bath last night and my piercings are fine today. I read about the bubble bath thing and I will not take any more baths until my piercing is fully healed. Do you think it will be okay?

    • profile image

      Brittany 10 months ago

      Hey, I got my belly peirced on a Friday and it's Tuesday, I have noticed around my piercing it's red and it's sore.. I got told this is normal.. but I'm scared to get an infection.

    • profile image

      Kai 10 months ago

      My nose piercing is dry and flaking around my stud can I put a&d ointment on it?

    • profile image

      Melle 22 months ago

      I got my nose pierced (nostril) three months ago, and I've noticed the common bump form just above the hole. I did the sea salt soak several times a day and it didn't help, so I saw a pharmacist who recommended Fucidin H, which she said her daughter used for the same problem, and it did work for me as well... the bump was entirely flat again and the redness was almost faded, but now it's back again! So frustrating. Wondering if I should go back to the same routine (sea salt twice or three times per day, and Fucidin H on the bump once or twice a day)... or if you'd recommend anything else? Can I at this point use Polysporin?

    • profile image

      Hanna 2 years ago

      I just got my nape piercing. I use silver jewellry. I dont know can it make any rejection?

    • profile image

      Sam 2 years ago

      I have my neck pieced for nearly a year now , I have a red bump underneath . Should I take it out ? X

    • profile image

      Dannii 3 years ago

      Hi i have a dermol in my neck just below my ear and its got a lump around it with crusty bits n i think the 1 side of it is raised as if its coming out! I also think the lump is filled with puss i have been cleaning it with hot salt water but doesn't seem to be healing. I am a type 1 diabetic could this be the reason why its infected? What should i do?

    • profile image

      ru 3 years ago

      Anyway,now i have an 'L' shaped one in and it dosnt fall out as much.But my skin seems to have grown a bit over the bit where it gos in,so that the hole is now slanted.There also seems to be a small bump in my nose creating the slant.This means i cant put straight piercings in.What should i do about this?

    • profile image

      ru 3 years ago

      Hi i had my nose pierced with a gun,so the piercing basically was in my nose like an earing without the butterfly.It fell out one day soon after id had it done and i couldn't find it,so i put my earing in.It didn't react at all,i think because my earing was titanium-same as the original piercing.

      Anyway, i bought an 'L' shaped piercing to put in my nose because the earing kept falling out as well.

    • profile image

      angela 3 years ago

      i have my lower lip pierced and was told to clean it with ivory soap abd the outside of my piercing is all red and itchy what do i do

    • profile image

      mya 3 years ago

      Ive had my hood peirced for over 4 years.. I had a bit too ruff of sex and have noticed a small tear on the bottom hole which is quite sensitive if rubber improrperly. There is no infection and ive been doing saline soaks everday. But for some reason this tear wont seem to heel. it lools absolute fine accept for the tiny little tear. What can I do about this

    • profile image

      Sumayyah 4 years ago

      Hi roxanne I was just wondering .. I just bought a nose ring recently to insert into my piercing which ive had peirced for around two years now (yet the hole is quite small) and i wear an L shape nose stud. I removed it today to insert the nose ring and it wasn't working out .. And i was getting quite fustrated to decided to put my nose stud back in.. Now all of a sudden it wont go back in. Ive experienced this before .. And i don't understand why. What should i do?

    • profile image

      Chloe McDowell 4 years ago

      hello, i have a nape piercing it was done in August and its gone red and sore, i do use salt water solution but its not seeming to get any better, do you have any suggestions? thank you! xo

    • profile image

      ciara 4 years ago

      I got my belly pierced a month ago and my cycle came on recently. I looked at it and it had like fleshy pink red meat or something coming out. I took the ring out and it wouldn't go back in because the meat was covering the bottom hole. What should I do

    • profile image

      Megan 4 years ago

      Hello, I just got my nosed pierced I was wondering if it is still okay to drink alcohol?

    • profile image

      Chanelle 4 years ago

      Hey can you help me? I got a monroe piercing 8 weeks and 4 days ago and I got scare tissue keloid thing inside my mouth and trying to get rid of it. I now what I need to do to make it settle down I read your hub but my question is I got a shorter bar in right now like I said 8 weeks and 4 days she put it in 26 days ago what should I do? Should I get the long bar put back in or will it heal up fine with the short bar in?

    • profile image

      Khelsi 4 years ago

      I've had my navel pierced for two weeks now, exactly. At first, it was completely normal and beautiful, then four days in I bumped it getting up from a table, and ever since it has been very irritated. The top hole (exit hole) has a raised, red sort of sore on it. But only underneath. (For example when I look down I do not see it, but once I lift the ring, I can see it) it does not hurt normally, but is tender and hurts when pressure is applied. The bottom hole has a red ring surrounding it, but no lump. The top and bottom both "peel" in a way, after being soaked it is not so much the lymph but this skin. I do sea salt soaks 3x a day. Any advice as to reducing the inflammation? Or should I just wait it out and continue with what I'm doing? As it's only been 2 weeks. (Also, does not help I have been touching it lately) help would be much appreciated!!!

    • profile image

      princess 4 years ago

      Hey I got my helix proceed. It is healing fine but there is darkness around it. What should I do?

      People are noticing it and I just want it to quickly go away!

      Helpppp please!

    • profile image

      Justus 4 years ago

      I don't know if my surface piercing on my wrist is infected I think it is because it is red around it and swollen and puss is in it what should I do to make it go away?

    • profile image

      Demi 4 years ago

      I had my tongue pierced 3 days ago I have been rinsing it regularly with mouth wash and I'm not aloud to take on salt in anyway (doctors orders)... I have a white lump and a red lump underneath my tongue around the hole and a purple/red lump on the top near the hole.. Is this anything to worry about or Isit just part of the healing ?

    • profile image

      Clara 4 years ago

      Hi ..I got a wrist piercing like 5 days ago and it is still red around the holes, today it started itching and it is still sensitive to touch.

      I am rinsing it with salt solution and I don't rinse the piercing with water afterwards I just leave the solution to dry on the piercing by its own ..does that do harm?

    • profile image

      Essence Smith 4 years ago


      I got my nipple pierced exactly six months ago and I still have a bump on the side of my jewelry. I have sensitive skin so two weeks ago I changed the jewelry to titanium and the piercer put a cream on it which made the bump go away completely for a week. But now the bump grew back. Should I just take the jewelry out or will the bump every go away. I sea salt soak everynight and clean it with h2 sea ocean every morning. I'm in desperately need before I get irritated and just take it out.

    • profile image

      Austin 4 years ago

      Heeeeey question, I just got my lobes pierced literally a week ago today and got a couple fake tapers and plugs is it safe for me to switch ? I have 16 gauge metal barbells in now

    • profile image

      Michelle 4 years ago

      Hi, I got my second piercing in my ear lobe and its been three days now but the area around my piercing is red and itchy. I asked my piercer to use gold earrings because I normally react to anything except gold, but she accidentally used silver. I can't tell if I'm reacting to the silver and if I have an infection but the itching is almost unbearable. What should I do to fix the problem?

    • profile image

      Mara 4 years ago

      Hey Roxxane! I know this is late but i hope you reply.! So i had my navel pierced for about 2 weeks now and the top entrance hole is a little red and the skin dry for sure because it looks kinda scaly but the entrance hole its a little bigger than the actual ball so it kinda sinks in and when i push it up i can actually see part of the bar not a lot though. The exit hole seems fine no redness or anything. The entrance hole does not have a green discharge or yellowish until now i started noticing some white stuff but i hear that is normal. At first i thought it might be infected but now im not so sure. please help!

    • profile image

      Mikki 5 years ago

      Your post was very helpful! Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      malirose 5 years ago

      hey roxanne! i would really like to get my smiley peirced, i would love your opinion on the healing process, how long i should wait to drink alcohole and smoke, also how likely it is for it travel or regect if i don't have a huge piece of skin there? regards malirose , thanks!

    • profile image

      Zoe Hanson 5 years ago

      Hi, I just came across this post of yours, about 6 weeks ago I got my nose pierced and I tried changing the stud, I never succeeded as I couldn't put my 18k gold nose screw in, so I put the original stud back in, it's a little puffy and a bit sore, but I noticed inside the nostril where the piercing is, it almost looks like the skin is being pushed down? Is this just due to the puffiness? Also I was using an Antiseptic gel and only just read tonight that those sorts of gels are to harsh and can kill off the cells that need to be there to heal the piercing, due to reading that, I didn't end up putting the gel on, just washed it with antibacterial soap and water, is this okay to do from now on?

      Kind Regards,


    • RoxanneRock profile image

      RoxanneRock 5 years ago from Canada

      I want to assume its scar tissue building up, I would suggest going back to your piercer and seeing if they will loan you a captive bead ring or a captive bead "D" ring for awhile until it goes down and you can comfortably wear your jewelry again. This would have most likely been the result of bumping and annoying the piercing. Keep up with your saline rinses and I would suggest taking a vitamin E supplement as well as breaking open a capsule and putting it straight on the tissue that is forming. Also, some people are predisposed to keloid scarring, if it doesn't begin to get better within a week or two or is getting worse after trying different jewelry, I would recommend removal. Also make sure the jewelry is good quality, if you are going with steel I recommend 316LVM grade as opposed to 316L grade.

      Hope this helps! Good luck!

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      Jessica 5 years ago

      I know this is an old post, hopefully you'll reply though.. Um so I have a labret piercing. The bar is long enough, the piercing was well done had almost no swelling afterwards and really no pain to be honest. That was 1.5 months ago. Slowly some sort of white scar tissue began to grow under the the piercing. Every morning I wake up it has gotten bigger. Now the piercing is cutti g into this scar tissue and I'm in agony. I don't know If it is scar tissue, keloid? Infection? Rejection? I'm really hoping you reply with some pointers. I've also been doing saline solution rinses, and no mouthwash because of the alcohol. I'm sure the piercing has suffered some sort of damage, I've been hit in the face, accidental bit it, banged it etc but, isthere a way to make this thing go away?

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      Tori 5 years ago

      I got my nose pierced at the end of June, since then I have changed it. Before I changed it I noticed that a little bump had form around it( I'm pretty sure it's a keloid). Since then I have been clew if it with distiller witch hazel but the bump just isn't going away. Ive tried changing the stud and that doesn't work either, I don't know what to do

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      Victoria 5 years ago

      I got my nose

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      Laura 5 years ago

      i'm debating if i should have my nose pierced or not as i get quite bad hayfever? i'd really like to have it done but i really don't know if my hayfever would affect it and i'm having second thoughts about getting it done. :/

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      Erica 5 years ago

      I just got the surface of my tongue pierced(top almost middle). He used a smaller bar that has 90 degree angles to reduce rejection and used discs instead of balls. There was no clamp used and I think it was pierced too deep on entry and came out shallow. My tongue has swelled significantly and the bar doesn't seem to allow for swelling. I'm concerned not only with the jewelry almost disappearing into the entry hole but that my tongue has a hard lump underneath that is partially blood red and there is a visible circle of swelling on top on the one side. Also the one side of my neck feels bruised. I have to say that I did not bleed a drop. I have been eating nothing but ice and washing my mouth out. I'm not sure that the piercing is actually being cleaned considering that is absolutly no room for movement. Any advice on what to do or how to get the swelling down would be much appreciated.

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      Cheridene 5 years ago

      Hey, I have hayfever and its quite bad, I'm thinking of getting my nose pierced during the process of hayfever, will me sniffing and blowing my nose affect the healing process?

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      Lalagirl 5 years ago

      Thanks! Your information was very helpful. My ears are fine now. They don't hurt when I change them, and I don't change them very often. :)

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      mrs.wastzerson 5 years ago

      i got a piercing *************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :D

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      genesis 5 years ago

      hi umm i got a piercing for 6 days and in gym i was playing vollyball and some girl smacked the piercing and theres a little red line and is that a really bad thing i dnt know what to do

    • RoxanneRock profile image

      RoxanneRock 5 years ago from Canada

      Jessica, I have no idea what is in aquarium salt so I say just go out and grab some sea salt. (maybe just google that shit?! Lol) Also in my experience, healing more than a couple piercings or dermals at the same time can be too difficult for our bodies to handle, especially women with our hormone fluctuations. You may notice some of them will take a lot longer to heal than others, some might even reject. If they do hang on to your jewelry and try it again when the rest are feeling good :)

      Try not to stress about them, you could even do an Epsom salt soak in a clean tub (not an everyday thing, once or twice and then just sea salt, don't over do with epsom salts) in case dust and dirt got in them while workin in a dirty environment! Maybe they are red and irritated because something got in there? It's hard to say without seeing them personally, but try not to stress (it will make things worse), Epsom salt soak to draw anything from them that might have creeped in there, and just keep em clean, even if it means having a friend help you with them :)

      Best of luck to ya!

    • RoxanneRock profile image

      RoxanneRock 5 years ago from Canada


      Your piercings are less than six months to a year old, stop changing them!! Put something in that is real body jewelry, some 316LVM grade steel or implant grade titanium, something from a professional shop where they can help you put them in. Leave them there for a good solid year and you won't have trouble with them bleeding and getting upset when you change them.

      I discussed the lump/bumps that form previously, stop touching and playing and changing jewelry, keep them clean, take vitamin E supplement and massage them with vitamin E oil to reduce scar tissue. And did I mention stop changing your jewelry?!?! Lol

      Good luck!

    • RoxanneRock profile image

      RoxanneRock 5 years ago from Canada

      Looks like I've been neglecting stuff here, I'll start with Kerry, in case you haven't talked to your piercer or figured things out on your own...

      A PA piercing will generally heal quite quickly seeing as it is a fairly thin membrane that we go through, however touching and playing with the piercing too soon or excessively can cause scar tissue to form. Some people are just prone to scar tissue, but if you are touching the piercing a lot or having sex a lot during the healing it can start to build up with some extra scar tissue, I recommend taking a vitamin E supplement as well as massaging the scar tissue with some vitamin E oil. There is a product we carry at my work called "scar ban" put out by a lady who's company is called "mari's gold". I usually recommend that or the vitamin E and both seem to work equally well for most individuals.

      Regarding your stretch I woulf wait until you have the scar tissue under control, as the bump may get bigger with pressure from a stretch, please see your piercer for assistance as they will be able to help you with the use of their tools as well as letting you know if the piercing looks ready to stretch. :)

      Sorry for my untimely response!

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      Jessica 5 years ago

      I have 14 dermals down my left side (corset style) done March 7th 2012. Its been 2 months now and They are still really sore and red around them. Not everyone of them are like that but a good many are. I've been cleaning like I'm suppose to. They seemed like they were finally healing, kinda, but then I started working at an auto shop. Doin tire work and oil changes. Since they have gotten worse. I no longer have the job. I know sea salt is best to soak them in. But they are so many on a big portion of my body. Was gonna try to make my bath into a salt bath. I cant find a place that sells large portions of sea salt. Was wondering if aquarium salt was the same as sea salt? I have a box of Instant Ocean left from a salt water tank I just got rid of. Can I use that in my bath?

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      Lalagirl 6 years ago

      I meant taking out and putting in earrings is painful. Lol I'm going to try keeping studs in for a while.

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      Lalagirl 6 years ago

      Hi, my ear lobe Peircings do not seem infected, but they sometimes bleed. I've also noticed that in my right ear, there is a lump in it (maybe it's scar tissue) that's making taking out and putting in Peircings painful. My ears have been pierced a little longer than 6 weeks :)

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      kerry 6 years ago

      I also purchased an 8 gauge titanium ring to replace my 10 gauge surgical steel one. do you think 3 months is long enough to wait to strech.

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      kerry 6 years ago

      I have had a PA piercing for about three months now which I love and there seems to be a bump on one side of the pierced there anyway to get rid of the scar tissue. Also, would the same cleaning methods apply to my piercing or would you suggest a diffent way to clean a PA piercing?

    • RoxanneRock profile image

      RoxanneRock 6 years ago from Canada

      You need to take care of yourself and your piercing, sounds like you have an infection, you need to Epsom salt soak and start washing the inside with alcohol free mouth wash several times a day. Also go back to your pierced and request a longer bar to accommodate the room you need for the swelling until the infection is gone and the swelling has gone down. Do not take the piercing out as this could seal the infection up inside and could then spread though your body.

      Worst case scenerio you may need anti-biotics. But take care of it promptly and Epsom salt soak several times over the next few days and hopefully you won't need anti-biotics.

      Best of luck with it, remember no touching and playing with it and follow my aftercare guidelines and you shouldn't have any issues. If you continue to have any issues after getting rid of the infection I suggest changing jewelry to something of greater quality. Companies such as industrial strength, body circle design, anatometal and neometal are trust worthy with their quality implant grade metals and beautiful craftsmanship.

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      kay 6 years ago

      I also went to the beach a few days after and swam on the ocean? I really think everything that could have went wrong has, I also haven't been eating properly and on the inside of my lip its becoming so swollen that the lip tissue is almost completely covering the back of the bar stud! I'm worried should I just take it out ! Or will the lump just get bigger and not go away if I do ?

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      kay 6 years ago

      I have had my lip pierced for maybe 5 days I did take it out twice I knicked it a few times bit it a few times eating and now I am developing a hard lump around my piercing it hurts awfully and recently I have been busy and was unable to soak it regularly it seaps and has crusties I'm basically just worried about this hard lump, what to do !? What is it ? And how did I get it !! :(

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      vanessa 6 years ago

      so,when i said that there might be a crusti on on my piercing that would not come out or off.well, there was and it finally came off and it feels way much better, as far as the lump it is definitely going away

    • RoxanneRock profile image

      RoxanneRock 6 years ago from Canada

      If it is a fluid build up you can soak with Epsom salt to get it to drain, also if it is a fluid build up it could be from not rinsing your aftercare solution out of the piercing thoroughly enough. If the lump is soft it could definitely be full of fluid and I often drain them for clients and then have them go home and do an Epsom salt soak right afterward to draw anything else out. However if the lump is hard and not soft, it could be scar tissue. Scar tissue will build up from sleeping on a piercing, touching and playing with the piercing or bumping and annoying it. Without seeing your piercing I cannot guarantee what your issue is, I do recommend maybe getting opinions from another reputable piercer in your area and ask about them draining it if it is a fluid build up.

      Hope everything works out!

      As for the nipple piercing and a bubble bath, not a good idea, showers do tend to be a cleaner option, if you have a bath, first make sure the tub is sanitized and no soaps with creams dyes or fragrance which means no bath bombs or anything of the sort. If you want the piercings to work out, treat em right and you'll have them heal properly without any problems. You need to realize piercings are a lengthly commitment. If its too much work or too much of a change for your daily life to take care of a body piercing properly don't get them or take em out and go back to your regular routine.

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      vanessa 6 years ago

      my piercing is on my eyebrow, i really don't know if there is a crustie irritating it. and it says here that an infection is hot,sore red and swollen,it is red and above my eyelid there is a lump,but i have been rinsing the piercing day and night,my piercer says the red lump is just fluid buildup. so,t says to soak ur piercing for an hour in the Epson salts?

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      kelly 6 years ago

      I was jus wondering if its safe to have a bubble bath yet i had ny nipple done on friday an im fed up ov showers so was jus wonderin if i could x

    • RoxanneRock profile image

      RoxanneRock 6 years ago from Canada

      Yeah I would recommend to do the Epsom salt soak, or even a sea salt soak (just replacing the Epsom salts with sea salts) if you soak for a good 30-60 mins you should be able to soften up a crustie if that is what is irritating your piercing. Also, where is the piercing? If you can suction a cup or shot glass over top of it with the salt water I would recommend that, otherwise dipping and soaking with clean gauze or paper towel. Good luck!

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      vanessa 6 years ago

      the other thing is,my top hole it feels like there's a crustie or something in there but nothing is coming out or off the piercing,should i just leave it and just clean it like im supposed to or do i do what i asked and use the EPSOM salt method? even though it might not be infected

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      vanessa 6 years ago

      just wondering,if it's not infected but i'm worried that it is can i still use the EPSOM salts method?

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      roxanne 7 years ago

      Hi, I don't recommend drinking after any piercing, but if you aren't going to avoid alcoholic beverages be sure to stick with hard liquors not beer or wine. Yeasty beverages can cause bacteria growth :)

      And be sure to rinse with saline after each beverage. Be aware that regular drinking of alcohol can slow healing times of any piercing! :)

      Hope this helps!

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      ... 7 years ago

      Hai, I was just wondering whether you can drink alcohol the same day after having a smiley piercing?

      Was thinking about getting it done but just wanna check to see if you can drink because I don't wanna fuck it up or anythingg :)