Taking Care Of Your Piercing

What To Do

  • Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry while healing except possibly during cleaning.

  • Make sure that your jewelry and skin is free from any discharge before you attempt to move the jewelry. Irritation can occur when crusty matter is accidentally forced into the piercing.

  • Stay healthy! Eat a nutritious diet. The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Exercise during healing is fine, just “listen” to your body.

  • Make sure your bedding is kept clean and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while sleeping.

  • Showering is safer than taking a bath, because bathtubs tend to harbor bacteria. If you would like to take a bath, clean the tub well before each use.


Cleaning Solutions

 Use either one or both of the following solutions for cleaning body piercings: 
  • Use sterile saline solution with no additives (read the label!) 

  • Non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz) of warm distilled or bottled water. Saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.


Cleaning Instructions for Body Piercings 

  1. WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning, or touching on or near your piercing. 

  2. SALINE soak at least two to three times daily. Simply invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum for a few minutes. Soak for 2 to 5 minutes. Anything less than 2 minutes isn't allowing the tissue to loosen from the jewelry & softening any secreation that may have harden on the surface or on the jewelry.  For certain placements, it may be easier to apply using a paper towel or fresh gauze saturated in saline solution. A brief rinse will remove any residue.

  3. DRY with disposable paper products such as gauze or paper towels because cloth towels can harbor bacteria and catch on new piercings causing injury. Pat gently to avoid trauma.


What To Avoid 

  • Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing and other complications.

  • Avoid the use of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Hibiclens or ointment.

  • Avoid over cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.

  • Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.

  • Avoid stress and recreational drug use including excessive caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

  • Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, jacuzzis, etc. Or protect your piercing using a special water-proof bandage such as Tegaderm, which is available at drug stores.

  • Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, sprays, etc.

  • Don’t hang charms or any other object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.


Hints and Tips


  • Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place for the entire healing period. A qualified piercer should perform any necessary  jewelry change that occurs during healing.

  • Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be temporarily removed (such as for a medical procedure). There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives.

  • Leave jewelry in at all times. Even old, well healed piercings can shrink and close in minutes after having been there for years! If removed re-insertion can be difficult or impossible.

  • With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check the ends on your  jewelry for tightness. (“Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”)

  • Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.

  • Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, seek professional help in the  removal of the jewelry and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small indentation will remain.

 For Particular Areas

 Ear/Ear Cartilage and Facial 

  • Use the t-shirt trick: dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and turn it nightly; one clean t-shirt provides four clean surfaces for sleeping.

  • Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats and anything that contacts the pierced area.

  • Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.


  • A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of ace bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.

 Tongue/Lip (Labret)/Cheek 

  • Swelling will normally occur within the first 72 hours. It is important to drink lots of cold liquids and gently suck on ice to help minimize the swelling. Use ice 30 minutes  on, 30 minutes off to help keep maximum blood flow.

  • Don’t share plates, cups, or eating utensils with others. Replace your toothbrush and  keep it clean during the healing period. Keep dirty fingers, pencils, sunglasses etc. out of your mouth.

  • Avoid excessive talking, playing with the jewelry and all oral sexual contact (including wet kissing) during the healing time.

  • Check that the threaded ends of the jewelry are on securely. Tighten them each day to ensure the jewelry stays in place.

  • Those with tongue piercings should be cautioned that playing with the jewelry excessively is frequently the cause of reported tooth and gum damage and should be avoided.Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. If you have any questions, please contact your piercer.


  • The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel

    comfortable, especially for sleeping.

Surface Anchors

  • Clean the area around the anchor but do not lift or move the jewelry to clean under.

  • Soften as stated above then clean the softened debre away with sterile gauze or diposable towel or use saline to flush the piercing.

  • Avoid any type of materials that can snag the jewelry.


  • In most cases you can engage in sexual activity as soon as you feel ready. Comfort and Hygiene are vital. 

  • During healing all sexual activities must be gentle.

  • To increase comfort and decrease trauma, soak in warm saline solution or plain water to remove any crusty matter prior to sexual activity.

  • Use barriers such as condoms, dental dams, and Tegaderm, etc. to avoid contact with a  partner’s bodily fluids, even in long-term relationships.

  • Use clean, disposable barriers on sex toys.

  • Wash hands before touching on or near the piercing.

  • Use a new container of water based lubricant. Do not use your own saliva.

  • After sex, an additional saline soak or clean water rinse is suggested.

  • Prince Albert and Apadravya piercings can bleed freely for the first few days.

  • If using soap, urinate after cleaning any piercing that is near the urethra.



Taking Care Of Your Tattoo​​​​

Now, you have your fresh new tattoo, and you want to take good care of it!​
From this point on, your artist is not responsible for any infection or problems you may have with your tattoo if you don't take proper care of it. It is very important that you follow these guidelines. A really beautiful tattoo can turn into a disaster if the proper aftercare is not taken.​

Leave That Bandage Alone!​

Your artist took the care to cover up your new tattoo for a very good reason - to keep airborne bacteria from invading your wound. Yes, as pretty as your new tattoo is, it is still a wound. Open flesh is a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Leave the bandage on for no more than an hour. The first 24 hours of your tattoo healing process is the most crucial and should be very well taken care of and nurtured. Excitement of having a new tattoo will make you want to remove the bandage so you can show your friends, but your friends will just have to wait until later.
The only exception to this rule is if your artist covered your tattoo with Saran wrap or some kind of plastic. This is extremely detrimental to a tattoo, so it should be removed immediately so you can wash and treat. You're better off not having any covering than to be suffocating your new tattoo with plastic wrap for a prolonged period of time. No more than an hour after getting it.

​Wash and Treat​

After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo so do so when you get home from getting your new tattoo. Take a hot, steamy shower as this will open your pores to allow any plasma that is secreating to the surface of the skin to come out. This will make the healing process more comfortable with less swelling & will give it a head start toward the peeling process. Avoid direct contact with the shower water as this can be too abrasive to the freshly perforated skin and cause damage. Use a fresh clean wash cloth to place over your tattoo while showering but do not use this to remove the ointment as it can be to abrasive. Your hand is the best tool to use to gently wash away any ointment, blood and/or plasma to completely clean the area. Liquid antimicrobial soap or a soft soap without dyes or fragrances such as Dove will be the best choices for cleaning. Pat (do not rub) the area with a CLEAN towel or paper towel to dry and allow your skin to air dry for about 5 minutes. Follow with a very light application of your choice of ointment. We prefer Aquaphor.

​**Note your ointment may become runny or start to accumulate on top of the skin therefore smothering the tattoo. You'll notice that the area you had tattooed is very warm if not hot. This is our bodies natural defense to keep the area protected from any airborne bacteria or impurities. The hot skin is what causes the ointment to liquify thus smothering the tattoo. Check every 20 minutes to a half hour. You want to wash your hands and gently rub the ointment back into the skin making a nice smooth surface. If the tattoo seems dry wash off the area and repeat.** 
Aquaphor would be my first choice because it has the least amount of petroleum & it is made by Eucerin. A&D vitamin enriched ointment would be my second choice, but if you don't have any, Bacitracin or a similar antibacterial ointment is acceptable.
**Do not use Neosporin. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not for tattoos. Some can have an allergic reaction to the Neosporin, which causes little red bumps. When the bumps go away, so does the ink, and you end up with a polka-dotted tattoo.**​

(If your tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma. Try to gently remove as much of this as possible - when the plasma dries on the skin surface, it creates scabs.)

For bedtime, work or going outside of your home​

For bedtime we recommend a couple different methods. One method would be to wash off the area before bed, pat it dry (be gentle), air dry for a couple minutes and then cover it with saran wrap. This will allow any plasma that continues to surface to aid in the healing process as well as will prevent the area from drying out and sticking to anything such as material or bedsheets. Take off the saran wrap when you wake, wash off the area and apply your ointment. The second evening us a little ointment but please dab off the excess before placing the plastic wrap barrier over the tattoo. The following two evenings no siran wrap, just some type of loose cotton covering and ointment. By the forth morning after firtst getting your tattoo you should now be using ointment.


For work or going outside of your home you should keep the area covered with *New* white cotton such as a loose t-shirt or a loosely fitting sock that is turned inside out and apply your ointment before covering. This will keep your tattoo moist for the next hour. In one hour you need to uncover your tattoo and reapply your ointment. Washing it off isnt' always necessary before reapplying your ointment. Make sure to wash your hands first before touching the area. Do not uncover the tattoo to show friends unless you plan on cleaning it at that moment.​ To clean, uncover the tattoo if you have waited too long to reapply the ointment  you might have to loosen the fabric from the skin by wetting it before removing it as the cotton can stick to the skin. Wash your hands and then wash the skin making sure to get all of the excess ointment off or if plasma has dried on the surface dab the area with a saturated paper towel after washing gently and apply ointment as stated above than re-cover the tattoo with the cotton. Remember, even though covering the tattoo may seem convenient we still need to allow it to breathe. Whenever at home and not sleeping leave your tattoo uncovered and the ointment on sparingly. 

Specialty Products and Lotions​

If you prefer, you can also use a specialty product such as Tattoo Goo or After Inked. It's not necessary, as many over the counter products work just fine, but it's your choice. Use the products as directed as continue for 3-5 days.
After that, continue to keep it clean, but you can use lotion when needed instead of ointment, to keep the skin soft. Whatever lotion you use, it should be dye and fragrance free. A lot of artists recommend Lubriderm, but I have found that Lubriderm stings when I apply it. Instead, I have had great success with Eucerin. Aveeno is also a great alternative.

Bathing, Showering, Hot Tubs, and Swimming​
Yes, you can (and should!) shower with a new tattoo.  It's OK to get your tattoo wet - just don't soak it. Submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub can cause serious damage, so you'll want to avoid those for 2-3 weeks, but showering is perfectly fine as long as you don't saturate your tattoo. If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo, just remove it quickly with water. Swimming - whether it be a pool, fresh water or salt water - should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.

Scabbing and Peeling​
After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. Excessive scabbing could indicate you haven't taken care of your tattoo properly or it may be the cause of a poorly-done tattoo. A little is sometimes normal and there is no need to panic. Apply warm moist compresses to the scabs for about 5 minutes 2-3 times a day to soften them and they will eventually come off on their own. (Do not apply ointment or lotion to a softened scab - wait for it to dry) You will also start to itch as any surface abrasion will when it begins to heal. The advice here is, don't pick, and don't scratch! If the skin itches, tap it gently with your hand. Once again, Gently Please!!. If it is peeling, put lotion on it. And if it is scabbing, just leave it alone. Your tattoo is almost healed, and now is not the time to ruin it!

Protection from the sun​
After your tattoo is healed, from now on, you will always want to protect it from the sun's ultraviolet rays. These can fade and damage a brilliant tattoo very fast. Before spending a lot of time in excessive heat, protect your tattoo with a minimum 30SPF sunblock. This will keep your tattoo vibrant for many years, and it will continue to be a source of great pride.