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Approximate Healing Times
  • Cartilage: 12-18 months

  • Navel & Nipples: 6-12 months

  • Nostril: 4-6 months

  • Ear Lobes, Eyebrow, Labret, & Lip: 3-6 months

  • Surface Anchors: 3-6 months

  • Surface Piercings: 3-6 months

  • Please note that these are technical healing times. Your new piercing will "seem" healed well before it is!

Note About New Piercings

Due to the body’s natural healing processes, a new piercing can:

  • Be red and swollen

  • Itch

  • Become crusty and scab

  • Produce a whitish-yellow fluid (mostly plasma and dead cells)

  • Occasionally bleed a little the first few days


All of these things are normal and will subside within the first couple weeks to the first month with proper aftercare.

Aftercare For Your New Piercing

With a new piercing you are cleaning something that is healing. You are NOT fighting an infection! You are not trying to kill anything, you are keeping the area clean. 


  • Use a mild liquid unscented soap to gently wash around your new piercing while being careful not to over-scrub or over-soap. Try not to get soap into the actual piercing. What’s inside of you is healthy; it’s the outside where you’re exposed to outside bacteria that needs cleaned.

  • The most important thing you can do to your new piercing and even to sooth an irritated healed one, is to rinse it thoroughly with warm water while in the shower. The longer the better with the water as warm as you can take it. The warm water stimulates blood flow to the area which aids in healing and the water pressure itself is like a massage and also stimulates blood flow.

  • It also helps a new piercing to heal better by making it feel better! For example, if you're sick and someone is bringing you chicken soup to make you feel better? You'll heal better. New piercings tend to feel stingy or warm. Try gently applying cold to a new piercing. Do not press anything against it, just hold a cold compress near the piercing. This will feel great and release positive endorphins! You can use a BRAND NAME Q-TIP (not a cotton swab) with COLD water to soothe and cool your piercing as well. This feels really good as I have shown any of you who I've pierced! 

  • VERY IMPORTANT. Things that are healing itch. Thus the cones on the dog's heads. Most likely your piercing won't ever itch itch, but if the "crusties" are allowed to build up around the openings they will eventually itch enough that you will scratch your piercing in your sleep. This is the #3 cause of piercing problems and the #1 cause of getting the bumps associated with piercings. Note: These are commonly referred to as "keloids" but they are not keloids. However, they can get ugly and an increase in the amount of "crusties" can occur. This will increase your chance of scratching it more and more as now your piercing will be irritated beyond the normal healing amount. These bumps are NOT a sign of infection. They are very common and although there are a variety of things that can cause them, scratching them in your sleep is almost always the main cause. To help prevent this with new piercings, EVERY NIGHT before bedtime, use a BRAND NAME Q-TIP (not a cotton swab) with warm to hot water (as hot as you can take it)  to first gently dab around the opening of your piercing to soften up the "crusties" and then to twirl (the Q-Tip, not the jewelry) to gently and softly remove them. This will help prevent you from scratching your piercing in your sleep. 

Avoid These Products
  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Hibiclens

  • Neosporin/Bacitracin

Important Tips
  • Leave your piercing alone!

  • Do not turn or spin it! The body does not "grow to the jewelry". That is a myth. If you just think about it, turning and spinning a piercing is like rubbing a cut! Movement on a new piercing causes friction on the cells trying to heal.

  • Avoid touching your piercing. Hands are the dirtiest part of your body. They come in contact with other people’s germs and outside bacteria by touching handrails, doorknobs, countertops, and not to mention money. 75% of money has drugs and diseases on it when tested.

  • Never trade jewelry

  • Avoid constrictive jeans, pants, skirts, etc.

  • Keep it secure

  • Be patient

  • The best way to get your piercing to heal is to let it look pretty and leave it alone!

Signs of an Infection
  • Excessive redness or swelling

  • A sensation of heat at the piercing site

  • Pain, especially throbbing or spreading pain

  • Unusual discharge (most likely greenish or grayish)

I think I have an infection, what should I do?

The most likely cause of a piercing getting infected would be from you (or others) touching it. Hands are the dirtiest part of our bodies as they touch counter tops, doorknobs and the dirtiest of all, money. 75% of money is covered with drugs and diseases! Piercings in truth very rarely get an actual infection. Piercings can be red and sore, swollen and be secreting what looks like pus but are in fact only irritated. A good scratch or a tug or any injury to the piercing can cause the "crusties" to now come out in mass. When this happens it can look like pus. Soothe it baby it and treat it like it's new! Long hot water rinses in the shower are key to calming it back down while also removing the excess secretion. 

While it’s never inappropriate to see your piercing-friendly physician, a call or visit to your piercer may save you a trip. If possible, visit your piercer and show him or her the piercing. Also tell him or her about any circumstances which may have led to the possible infection. 

NEVER REMOVE YOUR JEWELRY FROM A PIERCING THAT YOU THINK IS INFECTED WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR PIERCER FIRST. If you actually have an infection, removing the jewelry would trap it inside. 


Additional things to avoid

Most studios recommend using antibacterial soap and some form of a sea salt spray. I recommend against these. Antibacterial soap is for killing. It's not for cleaning it's for straight up killing. It stings when you use it and pain is your body telling you something. It's telling you that you're getting hurt! The use of antibacterial soap is one of the most common reasons for people to think that they have an infection. Your piercing can get red, swell up and seem to be secreting pus. What is actually happening is your body is waving a red flag at you saying "You're hurting me!" As the antibacterial soap kills the cells that are trying to heal, the body takes this as an injury and begins to secrete more of the fluid that we call the "crusties" in amounts that can now be seen and appear to be pus. You are not trying to kill your new piercing you're trying to heal it!

As far as sea salt sprays. Most studios tell you to spray your piercing with them, but do not tell you to rinse it off afterwards. This is like going into the ocean and not rinsing off. It just dries out your skin and makes your "crusties", crustier. Piercing's have to dry out from the inside out during the healing process. That's why the long seeming healing times and why your piercings always seem healed before they actually are. Drying out the outside surface only makes something that's healing, and therefore can tend to itch, itch more. Sea soaks can be beneficial, if they're done correctly. However, this process can be more complicated than you think and if not done properly, you can end up "salting the wound".

Every Person Being Pierced Has The Right: 
  • To be pierced in a scrupulously hygienic, open environment by a clean, conscientious piercer wearing a fresh pair of disposable latex gloves

  • To a sober, friendly, calm, and knowledgeable piercer who will guide him/her through his/her piercing experience with confidence and assurance

  • To be pierced with a brand-new, completely sterilized needle which is immediately disposed of in a medical sharps container after use on the piercee alone

  • To be touched only with freshly sterilized, appropriate implements that are properly used and disposed of or re-sterilized in an autoclave prior to use on anyone else

  • To know that ear-piercing guns are NEVER appropriate and are often dangerous when used on anything other than ear lobes

  • To be fitted only with jewelry which is appropriately-sized, which best promotes healing, and which is safe in material, design, and construction. Gold-plated, gold-filled, and sterling silver jewelry are never appropriate for any new or unhealed piercing

  • To be fully informed about proper aftercare and to have continuing access to their piercer for consultation and assistance with all their piercing-related questions

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