If we had to condense this aftercare page to the size of a fortune cookie paper, it would simply say:
“DON’T TOUCH YOUR PIERCING”
It’s that important!
H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Solution (available at Koi)
.9% sterile isotonic solution of “normal saline.” This may include saline wound wash made for first aid, or saline for contact lenses: provided there are NO ADDITIVES (read the label).
Sea salt water. Use 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon non-iodized natural sea salt to 1 cup (8 oz.) of distilled water. You may choose to mix an entire gallon of sea salt water at a time for a ready-made mix: use four teaspoons of sea salt to one gallon distilled water. You may microwave each portion for a warm soak.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
Initially: Some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness or bruising, Some piercings, especially oral piercing, require initial jewelry that is larger than the body part to allow for swelling. This initial jewelry may appear to be excessively long or large right after you receive the piercing (especially the Monroe), as there is usually no swelling yet. Be patient and wait the full amount of time your piercing recommends before “downsizing” your jewelry.
It is likely that your piercing may look and feel healed long before it actually is. This is because piercings heal from the outside in. Your “initial healing period” usually only estimates the time it will take to heal the outside; in most cases it will take at least a year to heal all the way through! It is advisable to continue cleaning your piercing and let us do any jewelry changes during that time (yes, this includes earlobe piercings).
It is normal even for a healed piercing to shrink or tighten within a few minutes if removed, making reinsertion difficult or impossible; if you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place. If your piercing does come out for any reason, in most cases we can reinsert it for you free of charge. It is important to make it into the studio as soon as you can after a removal. Your piercing is likely to get tighter the longer it remains out.
If your piercing is visible in public you may also start to receive a barrage of unwanted questioning from strangers. Questions may include, “Did that hurt?”, “Does that go all the way through?”, and my favorite, “What happens when you’re older and you don’t want that anymore?” Please be patient and polite with your answers, as these people are simply curious.
Wash your hands thoroughly, prior to cleaning or touching on or near your piercing for any reason.
Soak at least once, up to three times a day using saline, sea salt water, or a small amount of H2Ocean. Use a small disposable paper cup or plastic cup.
Depending on the body part and your anatomy (or body type), you may either dunk the piercing or invert the cup, holding it to the body to avoid spilling. Soak for a few minutes or more. The longer you soak, the easier it will be to rinse built up crusted material from your skin and jewelry. Soak just before your shower, or gently rinse after soaking. For areas that prove to be impractical to soak, we recommend spraying with H2Ocean. A Q-Tip saturated with H2Ocean, saline, or sea salt water may be used to remove crusted material from any piercing; however Q-Tips can leave behind tiny cotton fibers that wrap around jewelry and cling stubbornly. To avoid wrapping fibers around jewelry, do not use Q-Tips in a circular motion around the base of jewelry, always rinse after cleaning with a Q-Tip, and avoid using Q-Tips all together where soaking and rinsing proves to be sufficient. Additional instructions for H2Ocean are available.
HINTS AND TIPS
Do not touch your piercing at all unless you need to while cleaning. If your jewelry needs tightening or repositioning, wash your hands thoroughly and clean any crusted material off of your skin and jewelry first. It is not necessary or advisable to spin, twist, or rotate your jewelry during healing. Though, you may (with clean hands) move the jewelry slightly while cleaning to ensure that all crusted material has been removed.
Stay healthy; eat good food and get good sleep. Reduce alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine intake… Calm down, we said “reduce”, not quit. Drink plenty of water.
Start with freshly cleaned bedding and change regularly.
Showers are safer than baths because bathtubs can harbor bacteria. If you must take a bath, first clean your tub with a bleach product and rinse well. You may choose to add a cup of natural sea salt to your bath… Maybe some light candles, it’s heaven.
Aggressive cleaning will only slow down or complicate your healing process and may cause unsightly scar tissue bumps (especially on nostril piercings), discolored or irritated skin, and migration or rejection.
Avoid getting makeup, sprays, and lotions on or around your fresh piercing.
During the first six weeks or so, do not submerge your piercing in bodies of water such as pools, hot tubs, lakes or ponds. Ponds? Seriously, why are you getting in a pond? Is that your duck? Waterproof bandages are available in the pharmacy if you must go swimming, or think you may fall out of your paddle boat.