BODY PIERCING CARE AND GETTING PIERCED
This guide has been written by The International Shop of Mystery to help you to choose where to get pierced and to care for your piercing. At The International Shop of Mystery we want you to be happy with your purchase, so if you need any additional information please don't hesitate to contact us, and we'll do our best to help!
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To take a look at other guides, which include further information on body jewellery, please click here.
Choosing a Piercer
When choosing a piercer, consider the following points:
Are they well established and reputable?
Do they belong to the Association of Professional Piercers (APP)?
Does the piercer have first aid training?
Does the place look professional and clean?
Is the piercing area divided off from the waiting area (by a door, not just a curtain)?
Does the piercer have a device for sterilising body jewellery and tools, such as an 'autoclave' - you can ask to see it
Will the needle be taken out of the packet in front of you so you can see that it's new and sterile?
Is the body jewellery being used appropriate for a new piercing (see below, 'choosing body jewellery for your new piercing')
Is aftercare availble, including written and verbal advice and check ups?
Is there a portfolio of their work that you can take a look at?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, consider going somewhere else. If you have any doubts or queries, don't be afraid to ask.
Cleaning your new piercing
You should clean your new piercing twice a day, for example after a morning shower and after an evening face wash; you should also clean you piercing if it gets wet or dirty during the day - this includes if you touch it.
To clean your piercing, add about half a teaspoon of salt to a clean cup of recently boiled water, and allow it to cool to luke warm, then wash your hands, take a clean cotton bud, dip it in the salt water, and gently and carefully clean around your body jewellery, taking care to remove any crust or discarge. Exactly how your clean depends on the piercing, ask your piercer for advice. Don't dip the used cotton bud back into the water. You should keep a store of clean cotton buds for this purpose, don't leave them where people will touch them with dirty fingers. Mix up a new lot of salt water every time you clean your piercing. Dry your piercing after cleaning with a clean dry cotton bud or paper towel. Please note that it's not a good idea to use more than half a teaspoon of salt - this will not necessarily increase its cleaning power, but may damage your skin and slow down the healing process. Don't be tempted to buy cleaning solutions, mild salt solution is generally better and certainly cheaper. If you have any problems, consult a professional piercer or doctor.
Things to avoid with your new piercing
Avoid alcohol imediately before and after getting pierced
Your fingers are dirty - don't touch it!
Take care not to catch body jewellery on clothes
Avoid getting make-up into/onto facial piercings
Lip and tongue piercings have special requirements regarding what you can put in your mouth! Check with your piercer
Don't change your body jewellery until after your piercing has healed
Choosing Body Jewellery for your new piercing
Many piercers will only pierce with a certain type of jewellery, and you won't be given a choice, other piercers may allow you to choose the style of your jewellery and the material. New piercings are traditionally fitted with high grade surgical steel, but bio flex is now often instead as there is some evidence that it may promote healing. The most important things are that you are not allergic to the material of your body jewellery, and that it is sterile.
For a new piercing, body jewellery must not just be clean, but properly and professionally sterilised. If a piercer does not sterilised equipment and jewellery then don't go there. Don't assume that body jewellery is sterile when it comes out of a packet, ask to see the sterilisation process. Piercers should use a device for sterilising called an 'autoclave' - ask to see it. The vast majority of jewellery cannot be autoclaved without being damaged - for example, most titanium, acrylic, and most fancy bars with gems or logos cannot be autoclaved, so should not be used in your piercing until it is healed - stick to plain surgical steel, bio flex, or other body jewellery that can be autoclaved until your new piercing is healed.
Some piercers advise using a ball closure ring (bcr or cbr) in new piercings, so that it can be turned to clean thoroughly, whilst others do not advise turning and specifically advise using a bar rather than a ring to prevent a dirty ring from turning and introducing dirt into the piercing. Consult your piercer and make an informed choice - if your piercer will not offer the choice that you want to make, it's worth considering going somewhere else.
After your piercing has healed
The time taken for your piercing to heal will depend on the location of the piercing and how well you look after it; make sure you go for check ups with your piercer while your piercing heals. Once your piercing has healed, you are free to use a much wider range of body jewellery. Click here to take a look at our other guides for body jewellery advice, visit The International Shop of Mystery for a wide variety of body jewellery.
If your piercing becomes damaged (eg from catching jewellery on clothes) or infected, or you decide to stretch your piercing, consult your piercer and return to the cleaning routine used for new piercings.
The above information is a guide only. Always seek advice from your piercer before getting pierced, stretching a piercing, changing your body jewelry, or performing any other action relating to body jewelry or body piercing. This guide is not intended to replace or supersede professional advice.
For a full range of body jewellery in a wide variety of types, gauges and sizes, please visit our eBay shop, The International Shop of Mystery.
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