PIERCING AFTERCARE

ORAL PIERCING 

ORAL PIERCING AFTERCARE

CLEANING SOLUTIONS:

Use one or more of the following solutions for inside the mouth:
• Antimicrobial or antibacterial alcohol-free mouth rinse.
• Plain clean water.
• 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. (Note: If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition, please check with your doctor before using a saline product as your primary cleaning solution.)

CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSIDE THE MOUTH:

Rinse mouth with your chosen solution for 30-60 seconds after meals and at bedtime (4-5 times daily) during the entire healing period. Cleaning too often or with too strong a rinse can cause discoloration and irritation of your mouth and piercing.

CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE EXTERIOR OF LABRET (CHEEK AND LIP) PIERCINGS:

Soak in saline solution and/or wash in mild, fragrance and dye free liquid soap.

• WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
• SALINE soak for five to ten minutes once or more per day. Simply soak directly in a cup of warm saline solution for five to ten minutes. For certain placements it may be easier to apply using clean gauze saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.
• SOAP once a day. Lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing for 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 TO AVOID

• Do not play with your jewelry. Long term effects include permanent damage to teeth, gums, and other oral structures.
• Avoid undue trauma; excessive talking or playing with the jewelry during healing can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, and
other complications.
• Avoid using mouthwash containing alcohol. It can irritate the piercing and delay healing.
• Avoid oral sexual contact including French (wet) kissing or oral sex during healing (even with a long-term monogamous partner).
• Avoid chewing on tobacco, gum, fingernails,
pencils, sunglasses, and other foreign objects that could harbor bacteria.
• Avoid sharing plates, cups, and eating utensils.
• Avoid smoking! It increases risks and lengthens healing time.
• Avoid recreational drug use.
• Avoid aspirin, alcohol, and large amounts of
caffeine as long as you are experiencing bleeding or swelling.
• Avoid submerging healing piercings in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, etc.
• Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. If you have any questions, please contact your piercer.

WHAT IS NORMAL

• For the first three to five days or so: significant swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and/or tenderness.
• After that: some swelling, light secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus).
• A piercing might seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because they heal from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the tissue remains fragile on the inside. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
• Even healed piercings that you have had for years can shrink or close in minutes! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in — do not leave the hole empty.

WHAT TO DO

TO HELP REDUCE SWELLING:

• Allow small pieces of ice to dissolve in the mouth.
• Take an over the counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium according to package instructions.
• Don’t speak or move your jewelry more than
necessary.
• Sleep with your head elevated above your heart during the first few nights.

TO MAINTAIN GOOD ORAL HYGIENE:

• Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush and store it in a clean area away from other toothbrushes.
• Brush your teeth and use your chosen rinse (saline, water, or mouthwash) after every meal.
• Floss daily, and gently brush your teeth, tongue, and jewelry. Once healed, brush the jewelry more thoroughly to avoid plaque build up.

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 eat a nutritious diet. If you don’t, consider taking nutritional supplements daily.
• Avoid emotional stress, which can increase healing times.

ORAL PIERCING HINTS & TIPS

• Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace the original, longer jewelry with a shorter post to avoid intra-oral damage. Consult your piercer for their downsize policy.
• Because this necessary jewelry change often occurs during healing, it should be done by a qualified piercer.
• With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness.
• Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.
• Contact your piercer for a non-metallic jewelry alternative if your metal jewelry must be temporarily removed (such as for a medical procedure).
• Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or have a professional piercer remove it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.
• In the event an infection is suspected, quality
jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage. Should the jewelry be removed, the surface cells can close up sealing the infection inside the piercing channel, resulting in an abscess. Until an infection is cleared up, leave in quality jewelry or an appropriate substitute.

EATING

• Slowly eat small bites of food placed directly onto your molars.
• Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for a few days.
• Cold foods and beverages can be soothing and help reduce swelling.
• Foods like mashed potatoes and oatmeal are hard to eat because they stick to your mouth and jewelry.
• For tongue piercing, try to keep your tongue level in your mouth as you eat because the jewelry can get between your teeth when your tongue turns.
• For labret (cheek and lip) piercings: be cautious about opening your mouth too wide as this can result in the jewelry catching on your teeth.

HEALING TIMES

Below are approximate healing times for healthy piercings. Keep in mind that your piercing may heal more quickly or take even longer. Continue suggested aftercare for at least the amount of time listed below for your piercing.

Tongue – 4 weeks
Lip/Labret – 6-8 weeks
Beauty Mark – 6-8 weeks
Philtrum – 6-8 weeks
Cheek 6 months – 1 year
Smiley – 4-12 weeks

At the end of the healing time multiple daily cleaning is no longer required, although once-a-day cleaning is still suggested. When your piercing is healed, jewelry can safely be changed but it shouldn’t be left out for longer than it takes to switch jewelry.

BODY PIERCING 

CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS

• WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
• Packaged sterile saline (Without additives. Read the label) is a gentle choice for piercing aftercare and can be used to clean the area 2 to 5 times a day.
• SALINE saturated onto clean gauze. Apply gently to the area no more than 5 times daily.
• If your piercer suggests using soap, gently lather around the piercing and rinse as needed. Avoid using harsh soaps, or soaps with dyes or fragrances.
• RINSE site as needed to remove cleaning solution residue. Remember to remove any soap residue from the pierced area with saline after shower.
• Moving or rotating jewelry is not necessary during cleaning or rinsing.
• 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, and/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 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 person; 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 but you must stay away of water activities and be careful about trauma from impact or abrasion. A fresh piercing can bleed as you become more active.
• 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 help reduce swelling gently place a clean cold pack over the pierced area for 15 minutes.

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 eat a nutritious diet. If you don’t, consider taking nutritional supplements daily.

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.
• 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.

FOR PARTICULAR AREAS

NAVEL:

• A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of elastic 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.

EAR/EAR CARTILAGE AND FACIAL:

• Use the t-shirt trick: Dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and change it nightly
• Maintain cleanliness of phones, 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.

NIPPLE:

• The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel comfortable, especially for sleeping.

GENITAL:

• Genital Piercings—especially Triangles, Prince Alberts, Ampallangs, and Apadravyas—can bleed freely for the first few days. Be prepared.
• Additional cleaning after urination is not necessary.
• Wash your hands before touching on (or near) a healing piercing.
• In most cases you can engage in sexual activity as soon as you feel ready, but maintaining hygiene and avoiding trauma are vital; all sexual activities should be gentle during the healing period.
• Use barriers such as condoms, dental dams, and waterproof bandages, etc. to avoid contact with your partners’ body fluids, even in long-term monogamous relationships.
• Use clean, disposable barriers on sex toys.
• Use a new container of water-based lubricant; do not use saliva.
• After sex, an additional saline soak or clean water rinse is suggested.

SURFACE ANCHORS

• These piercings require maintenance during their entire lifetime because matter can build up underneath the threaded top causing the piercing to become irritated. Saline and/or shower rinses may be helpful with removing
matter from underneath the threaded top.
• Avoid putting makeup on these piercings even after healing.
• Even with proper care, surface anchors may be less permanent than other body piercings.

HEALING TIMES

Below are approximate healing times for healthy piercings. Keep in mind that your piercing may heal more quickly or take even longer. Continue suggested aftercare for at least the amount of time listed below for your piercing. At the end of the healing time, multiple daily cleaning is no longer required, although once-a-day cleaning is still suggested. When your piercing is healed, jewelry can safely
be changed but it shouldn’t be left out for longer than it takes to switch jewelry.

EAR & FACIAL PIERCINGS 

Ear Lobes – 6-8 wks
Ear Cartilage – 6 mos – 1 yr
Eyebrow – 6-8 wks
Nostril – 6 mos. – 1 yr
Septum – 6-8 wks
Bridge – 8-10 wks

NIPPLES & NAVELS

Nipples & Navels – 6 mos – 1 yr

SURFACE PIERCINGS

1 year or longer

SURFACE ANCHORS

2–6 months

VULVA PIERCINGS

Inner Labia – 4-6 wks
Outer Labia – 3-6 mos.
Clitoral Hood – 4-6 wks
Fourchette – 6-8 wks
Triangle – 8-12 wks
Christina – 6-9 mos
Clitoris – 4-6 wks
Princess Albertina – 4-6 wks

PENIS PIERCINGS

Prince Albert – 6-8 wks
Reverse PA – 4-6 mos
Frenum – 6-8 wks
Scrotum – 6-8 wks
Guiche – 8-10 wks
Dydoe – 8-12 wks
Foreskin – 8-10 wks
Ampallang/Apadravya – 4-8 mos.
Pubic – 1 yr or longer

MINORS:  A person may not perform body piercing on a minor without the written notarized consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, and an establishment may not perform body piercing on a minor under the age of 16 unless the minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian as specified in section 381.0075, Florida Statutes.

Disclaimer: These guidelines are not to be considered a substitute for medical advice. Visit a doctor immediately if you have problems with your piercing and/or: *Experience severe redness, swelling, or pain from the piercing. *Have a large amount of discharge that is thick, green, yellow, or gray and smells bad . *Take steroids or have a chronic illness or other health condition. *Have symptoms that last for a week or get worse. *Experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or disorientation.

636 3rd St S
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

(904) 760-0247

TUES-SAT 12-9 PM

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