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Piercing Aftercare Mistakes You Should Avoid

Posted by Ann V. On 2016 May 29th

Piercing Aftercare Mistakes You Should Avoid

Your fresh piercing is vulnerable to infection, scarring and other complications. Therefore, you should be serious about your piercing aftercare. Here’s how

Make sure to take care of your new body piercing, whether it’s on ear or belly button. This is because your fresh piercing is still a wound that is vulnerable to scarring, infection, puss and other complications. Stick to your aftercare plan unless a piercing is totally healed. Taking care of your piercing will make it look good and heal well.

Unfortunately, most people are not that serious about piercing aftercare. For example, they skip regular cleaning and touch the piercing more often. No wonder that they fall to the complications related with poor aftercare we have listed above.

Here we have rounded up the common aftercare mistakes related with piercing.

Not Cleaning Your Piercing:

It is the most basic piercing aftercare tips. And it is also the most ignored aftercare step. Many people forget to keep their new piercing clean. This way, they are simply asking for a trouble. The new piercing is prone to infection, crusting and attracts dust/debris. Luckily, it is not difficult to clean your new piercing. Applying saline solution is a recommended way to clean the piercing. Saline solution is available at most drug stores. You can also prepare it at home by mixing ¼ tbsp. of iodine free salt into one cup of warm water. Soak a cotton ball into this solution and gently apply to the piercing spot.

Or you can simply wash it with an antibacterial soap. Take few drops of soap onto your fingers and make a lather. Now, gently wash around the piercing with your hands. Avoid using abrasive materials like loofah or a scrub, which can irritate the sensitive skin. Pat the area dry with gauze.

Touching Your Piercing Frequently:

Well, you must have an urge to touch your piercing every now and then. But that is not a good thing. Your hands have germs and bacteria on them which transfer to your piercing spot, thereby causing infection and oozing. Avoid touching your piercing very often. When it comes to removing the jewelry, make sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap. Also, wash your hands after handling the piercing.

Wearing Tight Clothes:

If you have got a belly button or navel piercing, you should avoid wearing tight clothes. This is because of many reasons. Firstly, your piercing jewelry can snuggle with the fabrics of the piercing jewelry while you putting on or taking off the clothes. Then, piercing can hinder the healing by cutting off the air supply to the wound. On the top of that, tight clothes promote environment for sweat and bacteria. Prefer loose clothes with breathable fabrics like cotton.

Sleeping on the Side of Piercing:

Don’t sleep on the side of your piercing. It will put excessive pressure on the piercing site that may lead to various complications. If your both ears are pierced, try to sleep on the back. If you have belly button piercing, avoid sleeping on your stomach.


Avoid swimming till your piercing is completely healed. This is because of water borne bacteria and chemicals present in pool water may enter the piercing site. Or use waterproof bandage if it is essential for you to swim. Wash your piercing immediately with antibacterial soap when you are out of the water. Use a clean paper towel to dry the piercing site naturally.

Watch for Infection:

Given that a fresh piercing is like a wound, it is prone to infection. Despite sticking to aftercare plan, you should watch for the signs of infection. Here are some ways to tell if your piercing site is infected.


It’s totally normal for a fresh piercing to look pink. However, if the redness gets worse or spreads to a larger area, it is a definite sign of infection. Check if your redness is improving or worsening over a couple of days.


The new piercing area will likely to swell for nearly 48 hours due to your body’s respond to injury. The swelling will be reduced after that period. If swelling doesn’t reduce or it is being accompanied by redness, it may be a sign of infection.


Take a note of pain. The pain from piercing generally persists for two days, around the same time that swelling starts to be healed. It is also normal for this pain to be burning, tender or aching. If pain lasts longer than 2-3 days, it may be a sign of infection. Discharging of pus is also a sign of infection.

So you must rush to your physician if you observe these signs.

Applying Heavy Ointment:

Avoid applying heavy ointments like Vaseline to the fresh piercing. It may cut off the air supply. Ask your piercing artist or physician for a specialized balm for piercing.

So these are the mistakes you should avoid for a sound piercing aftercare. Piercing aftercare may vary based on the type of piercing you get. For example, aftercare plan for tongue piercing is slightly different from those for belly button piercing.