Piercing Aftercare

Healing a new body piercing can be a delicate process. Each body piercing can incur unique complications. This page contains general guidelines for aftercare. It does not contain specific procedures for every piercing. It has been provided for reference only. Please ask your piercer for customized care instructions for your piercing and remember that nothing can replace the advise of a qualified physician.


To clean the outside of your piercing, rinse it with a sterile saline such as Neilmed Wound Wash or equilavent to remove dried exudate. Twice a day should be sufficient. Ask your piercer for the best procedure for your particular piercing.

Neilmed Wound Wash


Your new oral piercing can swell for a minimum of 3-5 days. You can treat swelling with the use of cold compresses, cold clean water, and/or one 200mg ibuprofen every 4-6 hours.
To keep your new oral piercing clean rinse with cold clean water anytime you eat, drink or smoke. Also periodically rinse with a mild non-alcoholic oral antiseptic such as Biotene® or Crest® Pro-Health. Oral antiseptics should not be used more than 5 times daily. Carefully and slowly brush your teeth at least once a day and remember to rinse thoroughly with clean water after.

Avoid (oral)

During healing period:

  • Sharing anything orally
  • Spicy foods
  • Large amounts of caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Foreign oral and bodily fluids
  • Playing with the piercing

Avoid (non-oral)

During the healing period:

Physical trauma

  • catching
  • snagging
  • changing prematurely
  • pulling
  • handling the jewelry

Chemical trauma

  • hydrogen peroxide
  • rubbing alcohol
  • antibiotic ointments
  • soaps
  • body washes
  • moisturizers
  • creams
  • pools
  • hot tubs
  • hair care products
  • cosmetics

What to expect

During the healing period:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Discoloration
  • Dry skin
  • Itchiness
  • Sensitivity
  • Crusties (dried exudate)

The duration of these symptoms can very from a few days to a few weeks. Consult your piercer if symptoms persist or seem excessive.
Hives, in addition to redness and swelling, may indicate an allergic reaction to your piercing jewelry. Your piercer can try to replace it an alternate jewelry option.

When to Worry

See your doctor if you experience:

  • Thick yellow or green discharge
  • Red streaks from the piercing
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • A feeling that your mouth or throat is swelling shut


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