Ear Piercing Aftercare
WHAT TO CLEAN WITH
USE ONE OR BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS ON
YOUR HEALING PIERCING:
•Ear Piercing Aftercare Packaged sterile saline solution made for wound care (read
the label), or a non-iodized sea salt mixture you make yourself:
dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt
into one cup (8 oz.) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger
solution can irritate your piercing, so don’t put in too much salt!
•A mild, fragrance-free liquid soap—preferably antimicrobial or
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR PIERCING
•WASH your hands really well before you clean or touch your
piercing for any reason.
•SALINE soak for five minutes once or more per day. Seal a cup
of warm saline solution over the area. For some piercings it will
be easier to use clean gauze or paper towels soaked in saline
solution. Rinse after you salt soak because dried salt crystals
could hurt you and your piercing.
•SOAP only once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a
dime sized drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing.
Leave the soap on the piercing no more than thirty seconds.
•RINSE to remove all of the soap from the piercing. You do not
have to rotate your jewelry through the piercing.
•DRY gently with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels
could snag on jewelry, and they might have bacteria on them.
WHAT IS NORMAL?
•At first: some bleeding, bruising, swelling, redness, and soreness
or mild pain.
•After healing: the jewelry may not move easily in the piercing; do
not force it. If you don’t clean your piercing as a part of your daily
bathing, normal but smelly secretions may build up.
•A piercing may seem just fine before the whole healing process
is done. This is because they heal from the outside in. Even if it
feels fine, the new skin is weak on the inside. Be patient, and
keep cleaning all the way to the end of entire healing period.
• If you have had a piercing for years, it can still shrink or close in
minutes if you take out your jewelry! This is different from person
to person; if you like
WHAT TO DO
•Wash your hands before you touch the piercing; leave it alone
except when cleaning. During healing, you do not have to to
rotate, turn, or move your jewelry.
•Stay healthy; the healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for
your piercing to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet.
Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body.
•Make sure your sheets and towels are washed and changed
•Showers are safer than baths because bathtubs can harbor
germs. Before you get into a bath tub, clean it first, and rinse off
your piercing when you get out.
WHAT TO AVOID
•Avoid cleaning with Betadine®, Hibiclens®, rubbing alcohol,
hydrogen peroxide, and Dial® or other strong soaps, because
these can damage your healing piercing. Also don’t use ointments
because they don’t let your piercing get the air circulation it needs
and may contain ingredients that are not safe for long-term use.
•Avoid Bactine®, pierced ear care solutions, and other products
containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). This can be irritating and
should not be used for long-term care.
•Avoid cleaning too much. This can irritate your piercing and make
it take longer to heal.
•Avoid irritation like friction from clothing, too much motion of the
area, playing with the jewelry, and rough cleaning. These could
make ugly and uncomfortable scar tissue form, and cause other
problems like migration and a longer healing time.
•Avoid rough play, unwashed hands on (or even anywhere near)
your piercing, and contact with others’ bodily fluids like saliva
while you are healing.
•Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including too much
caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
•Avoid putting a healing piercing in a lake, pool, hot tub, etc. First,
protect your piercing by using a waterproof bandage (such as
Clean Seals™). You can buy them in any drugstore.
•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.