Body piercing is a newly popular form of self-expression, much like tattoos. It can be painful, and a piercing should be well cared for and looked after, especially when it is very new and healing. It should be kept clean all the time to avoid the introduction of bacteria in and around the piercing and possibly entering the body. Read the tips below on how to clean and maintain body piercings.
- The most effective cleaning solution for body piercings is a mixture of 1.4 teaspoon sea salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm bottled or distilled water. Tap water should be boiled first before you use it. This solution can be kept in a covered sterilized container and placed the refrigerator for a few days. You can also use a mild, liquid germicidal or microbial soap that is fragrance-free.
- Before cleaning or even touching your body piercings, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
- For piercings located in larger areas of your body, you can half-fill a small cup with warm saline solution and invert it over the piercing to create a vacuum and allow the piercing to soak for about five minutes daily. Make it a point to pour small amounts of the warm saline solution into a small container to avoid dipping cotton buds or paper towels into the whole batch. Use cotton buds in small areas such as the ears, eyebrows, nose and lips. Dip the cotton bud into the solution and apply around the piercings and on the jewelries. Dry the areas with paper towels. Use paper towels or clean gauze soaked in the saline solution for other areas.
- Rinse the area with warm boiled water to remove salt residue. Pat the areas dry with absorbent paper tissues or towels. Avoid using terrycloth and towels that may snag on the jewelry and cause injury.
- Use very mild, fragrance-free liquid soap and lather the area briefly and rinse quickly while showering. There is no need to rotate the jewelry. Just keep the area clean and sanitized. Dry the areas with disposable paper products. Be careful when you clean the pierced areas and the jewelries. Apply gentle pressure when you clean them.
- Change and wash your bedding regularly so as not to harbor bacteria and other irritants. Wear clean, loose and comfortable clothing while sleeping to protect your body piercings.
- Showers are more preferred if you have body piercings. Bathing in tubs is fine as long as the tub is cleanly washed before you take your bath to remove bacteria that are in the tub. Rinse your piercings after taking a bath in a tub.
- Betadine®, Hibiclens®, Bactine®, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and harsh soap are not to be used as cleaning agents. Likewise, you have to avoid solutions containing Benzalkonium Chloride and Benzethonium Chloride, which can irritate your skin. Ointments are also not advisable to be used when the piercings are healing as they prevent air from getting to the wounds and promote healing.
- Caffeine, drugs, alcohol and nicotine can prolong the healing process so it is best to avoid these. Avoid contact with other people’s body fluids, rough play and oral contact while your piercings are healing. Refrain from using all types of beauty and personal care products on and around your piercings so as not to contaminate the piercings while healing. Bathing in hot tubs, pools, lakes and other bodies of water is to be avoided while your piercings are healing. If you have only a few body piercings, you can use waterproof wound-sealant bandage to protect them.
Be very careful when you have new body piercings as they are prone to irritation and infection. Protect them with wound patches if you have to wear tight clothing and avoid touching and playing with the jewelry. Keep them clean and stay healthy by avoiding stress and eating the right foods to speed up the healing process of your body piercings.