Piercing Aftercare: A Detailed Guide to the Healing Process
Updated: Nov 2
Caring for a fresh piercing is crucial to prevent unwanted complications, which could mean you have to take out your fresh stud.
Luckily, piercing aftercare is anything but complicated. Once you get your desired piercing at Wingnut Tattoo and Piercing, our team will offer you personalized tips to support healing and properly clean it, so we encourage you to book a session today.
But if you still have questions, check out this article to learn everything you need to know about caring for a new piercing.
How Long Is the Piercing Healing Process?
Everyone will experience piercing healing differently, and the timeline itself is determined by several factors, such as your body and even how well you clean the jewelry.
Here are the average piercing healing times based on their type:
Ear piercing: 6–8 weeks for earlobes and up to 4 months for cartilage piercings.
Nose piercing: Up to 8 months
Nipple piercings: 6-12 months
Genital piercing: 6–12 months
Tongue piercing: Up to 6 weeks
Navel piercing: Around 8–9 months
Face piercings: Up to 8 weeks
Nipple and genital piercings take the longest to heal and are usually the ones that require more care. Other body piercings are less fussy, but your piercing should offer you extra cleaning and maintenance tips to handle the process.
How to Care for Your Body Piercing: Dos and Don’ts
Consider this your checklist to care for a healing piercing:
Piercing Care Do’s
Clean your piercings every day, and wash your hands beforehand
Use gentle soap or saline solution to clean the piercing
Make sure your bedding is clean
Wear a sports bra if you have your nipple pierced so that it won’t get caught on your clothes.
Dry your new piercings after washing them with clean gauze or disposable paper products.
Wear the initial jewelry until the area fully heals
Shower instead of taking baths because the latter can harbor bacteria
Piercing Care Don’ts
Avoid putting makeup over the piercing
Don’t wear tight clothing if you have a navel piercing
Don’t use rough products like rubbing alcohol, antibacterial soaps, or hydrogen peroxide around the healing tissue
Avoid spicy foods with a new lip or tongue-piercing
Avoid swimming or getting into lakes or hot tubs until the piercing’s fully healed
Other Piercing Aftercare Tips and Precautions
Here are some other things to keep in mind after getting a piercing:
Talk to Your Piercer
Professional piercers can help you figure out what you should do to protect your new piercing, from providing cleaning instructions to deciding which aftercare products to use.
But you should also communicate any special considerations with your piercer to ensure you get the right advice, such as any allergies, lifestyle habits, or even concerns you might have about healing.
Avoid Moving Your Piercing
Healed piercings let you express yourself, but until they get to that point, you must not play with the original jewelry.
Even during cleaning, you won’t need to move your piercing jewelry; only gently tap the pierced area with a cloth and chosen soap, then pad it dry with a clean paper towel.
Note that after the initial healing period passes, which could be a few weeks, the piercing will look suspiciously healed, but that’s not the case. Underneath, the tissue is still healing around the jewelry, so you must leave it in place for the full healing time your piercer recommended.
Clean Your Piercing Gently
Pulling or tugging on the piercing while cleaning won’t do much good—quite the opposite. Be as gentle as possible to avoid damaging the area or moving the jewelry.
Even if you notice that whitish-yellow fluid, which eventually forms a crust around the piercing, that doesn’t mean you’re not cleaning it properly or that you need to apply more force.
It’s a natural part of the healing stage, so don’t be too concerned about it. Allow it to dampen by applying a wet cloth over it, and remove it as best you can.
Monitor Your Healing Progress
Most people who get a piercing, regardless of where they got it, won’t experience many difficulties during healing as long as they take certain precautions.
Still, it’s crucial to monitor your healing, especially if you get a piercing in a more difficult area to heal, such as the navel or genitals. Watch out for:
Seeing more of the piercing, as if the body’s pushing it out.
Discoloration in the area
Blood or pus is coming out of the piercing
These are all signs your body’s not accepting the piercing, in which case you might need to speak to your professional piercer for more help.
If you also notice pain, bleeding, or other severe symptoms like a fever, your piercing could even be infected and may need the help of medical professionals.
The most important things to remember here are to always wash your hands before touching the piercing and try to make cleaning a daily part of your new hygiene routine to help your body heal properly.
But we can provide you with even more piercing care tips that suit your specific circumstances. Schedule a session at Wingnut Tattoo and Piercing today and stop by to get your new piercing, or reach out for more information.