Use one or both of the following solutions for healing piercings:
Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (read the label), or a sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine free), fine-grain sea salt into one cup (8 oz.) of warm distilled or bottled water. A mixture of 1⁄2 - 1 teaspoon of salt to a quart (32 oz.) of water can be made and stored in the refrigerator, then a small amount can be dispensed and warmed for use each time. A stronger mixture is not better; saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
A mild, fragrance-free liquid soap.
Cleaning Instructions for Body Piercings
WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piericng for any reason.
SALINE soak for five to ten minutes once or more per day. Invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum. For certain piercings it may be easier to apply using clean gauze or paper towels saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.
SOAP once a day. While showering, lather up a pearl sized drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing for up to thirty seconds, or follow the manufacturer's instructions for use.
RINSE thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.
DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry causing injury.
What is Normal?
INITIALLY: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
DURING HEALING: Some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
ONCE HEALED: the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
A piercing might seem healed before the healing process is actually complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient and keep cleaning throughout the entire initial healing period.
Even healed piercings that you have had for years can shrink or close in minutes! This varies from person to perosn; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in - do not leave the hole empty.
What to Do
Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. During healing it is not necessary to rotate your jewelry.
Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body.
Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping.
Showers tend to be safer than taking baths, as bathtubs can harbor bacteria. If you bathe in a tub, clean it well before each use and rinse off your piercing when you get out.
To Stay Healthy
The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal.
Get enough sleep.
To help healing and bolster your ability to fight infection, you should eat a nutritious diet rich micro nutrients and vitamins. You may also consider taking a daily nutritional supplement.
Avoid emotional stress, which may have an adverse effect on healing times.
What to Avoid
Avoid cleaning with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dial®; or other soaps containing triclosan, iodine, or any harsh products as these can damage cells. Also avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
Avoid Bactine®, pierced ear care solutions, and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care.
Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
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 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 unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or protect your piercing using a waterproof bandage or wound sealant.
Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays etc.
Don't hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.