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How to Care for a New Piercing

A woman's ear with four piercings
Galina Barskaya/Shutterstock

Getting a new piercing is exciting! But you’ll need to take good care of your piercing to make sure it doesn’t get infected or inflamed. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to care for your new piercing.

Make Sure Your Piercer Uses a Needle, Not a Gun

Taking care of your piercing starts with the tools your piercer uses. Make sure that you go to a legitimate tattoo and piercing parlor. Avoid mall kiosks, which tend to use dangerous equipment like piercing guns.

Piercing guns are imprecise and can damage your body due to the force behind them. If your piercer suggests using a gun, request a needle instead or go to a different establishment.

If you’re reading this because you already have the piercing and you need care tips, don’t sweat the method—all the tips below apply to piercings in general.

Wash Your Piercing Several Times Per Day

Once you return from the piercing studio, you’ll need to wash your piercing several times a day. Your piercer might recommend a spray like H2Ocean, or you can use a gentle, unscented antibacterial soap.

When you wash your piercing, use warm water and pat it gently to dry. You don’t want to inflame your piercing by tugging or rubbing it.

You should wash your piercing for anywhere from ten days to two weeks, depending on what you got pierced.

Avoid More Trauma to the Piercing Site

Treat your piercing carefully and avoid traumatizing it more. Don’t scratch or tug at your piercing, which can cause the area to become inflamed.

We know it can be hard to fiddle with it and as the skin heals it might itch a little, but trust us: aside from gently washing it throughout the day, you need to leave it alone.

Wear Loose Fitting Clothing

If your piercing is somewhere that might be covered by clothing, you’ll want to avoid tight clothes that can restrict or irritate the area. Opt for looser, softer clothes while your piercing heals.

Leave It Alone

It can be tempting to play with or touch your piercing while it heals. Don’t! You don’t want to transfer bacteria from your hands to the piercing site. Playing with your piercing can also cause it to become irritated, and irritating healing skin slows the process down. Remember, a piercing is an open wound. You need to keep it clean and unencumbered.

Be Patient

Finally, a piercing is like any other wound: you have to wait out the healing process. Follow our tips to keep it clean and as un-irritated as possible and in no time you’ll have a properly healed piercing you can enjoy.

Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from education to personal finance to history. She's co-author of the book Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females. Read Full Bio »

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