Whether you are planning on getting pierced for the first time, or already have a lot of piercings, it is always important to know how to care for your body piercings. Most piercings are easy to take care of but improper care can lead to irritation and scarring, so it is important to do your research and take good care of your piercings. Because this information is so important, we are starting a new series on the BJS blog, showing you how to care for all types of body piercings. This straightforward information will help you to take care of your piercings and avoid common piercing problems such as soreness, rejection and irritation.

How To Care For A New Piercing

When you get a new body piercing, your piercer should give you full instructions on how to care for it. In general new piercings should be kept clean and dry, allowing the body to heal in its own time. The way that you keep your piercing clean depends on where it is, but most piercings can be cleaned with saline solution and a clean cotton bud. For oral piercings, you can rinse with a suitable mouthwash and try to keep your mouth as clean as possible. It is also important not to touch your new piercing too much, or play with it. Even clean hands carry germs and oils that can interfere with the healing process. Apart from cleaning twice or 3 times a day, we recommend that leave your new piercing alone. Your body is very good at healing small wounds like a piercing, but touching and playing with the piercing can get in the way of this process.

How To Clean Body Piercings

In terms of cleaning, body piercings fall into two categories: external piercings and oral piercings. The first type includes all piercings that are on dry skin, such as belly button, ear and eyebrow piercings. External piercings should be cleaned with saline solution and a cotton bud. Gently wipe away any dirt or lymph from both the piercing site and the jewellery. You should be able to rotate the jewellery in the piercing comfortably. Oral piercings e.g. tongue piercings, require the use of antiseptic mouthwash. We recommend that you use a mouthwash designed specifically for piercings and rinse as per the instructions on the bottle. For piercings that have one end inside the mouth and one outside e.g. lip piercings, simply clean the external piercing using saline and follow up with mouthwash. Both can be found in our Piercing Healing and Aftercare section.

You can also use oil to clean external body piercings. The oil removes dirt from the piercing and also conditions the skin and fistula i.e. the skin inside the piercing. Whether you use saline solution or oil is just down to personal preference, but most piercers sell the former. If you do decide to use oil, we recommend jojoba, olive, almond or hemp oil.