After getting your first piercing or any additional ones, you should take note of the first rule of proper aftercare: No swimming within the first 24 hours. That’s because of the possibility of getting an infection from any body of water.
Ideally, it’s best to wait until the piercing is properly and fully healed. According to the NHS, new piercings are usually red and tender for a few weeks.
The general guide is that for ear lobes and the top of the ear, recovery usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. If you had your nose pierced instead, it may take up to 6 months. Recovery is longer for the belly button, which can last a year. The fastest to heal is the tongue, as it only takes 2 to 4 weeks.
So, if it’s summertime or vacation and you’d be visiting pools, beaches, streams, lakes, and rivers, then it’s probably not the best time to get piercings. Otherwise, you’d have to sit out of the fun. Oh, right, Hot tubs are also no-go’s, so there’s that.
The second rule is to keep things dry and clean. Please note that the important step here is washing your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap. Then dry them with a disposable towel before touching and cleaning out the piercing.
It would help if you also used a sterile saline solution designed for wounds – not contact lens saline, eye drops, or homemade saltwater solution. You should also avoid harsh products, including alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial soaps, and iodine. For the application, you can directly rinse it or soak a clean cloth into the solution to use.
Then, once all the discharge has softened, clean it with a cotton bud or gauze. Clean the piercing as instructed to avoid overcleaning, which can lead to skin irritation and delay healing. Lastly, ensure that all things that come into contact with your piercing, mainly clothes, and bedding, are clean.
And the third rule is to watch out for infection. Signs that your piercing may be infected are swelling, pain, a very red or dark appearance (depending on your skin color), and the presence of blood or pus (white, yellow, or green and foul-smelling). If you are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, you should immediately see a doctor.
To wrap it up, before you get another piercing, take note of all the activities you’d be doing. That way, you could enjoy your new piercing and keep it safe. At the same time, you get to do all your planned activities.
Also, do ensure that you have read and understood the proper aftercare. You wouldn’t want your piercing to become a scar you’d regret!