The first step in any aftercare routine is to wash your hand! Most infections are caused by dirty fingers.
Oral Piercing Aftercare
Oral aftercare is not just for tongue piercings, but also for piercings like a side lip or a Monroe. This aftercare should be followed for the first 30 days after your new oral piercing.
Your non-alcohol based, anti-microbial mouthwash should be used twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. Each rinse should last 30-60 seconds.
In addition to the oral rinse, saline or distilled water rinses will assist in the healing of your new piercing. You should do an oral rinse ( see below for saline recipe) after anything goes in your mouth. We mean anything but water or ice cubes. This includes (but is not limited to) things like fingernails, pens, pencils, smoking, eating, etc. We repeat, anything but water or ice cubes! Rinse for about 15 seconds, then spit out. Now we should be clear – it’s not after each sip, each drink, but after each cup of juice…well you get the picture.
Natural alternative options:
Some clients into natural herbal remedies love drinking chamomile tea as a rinse.
While Primal Decor is not well versed in the herbal remedies this is a method commonly used and we do know it will not hurt your piercing.
Oral piercings have a tendency to swell quite a bit, hence the larger starting jewelry. Swelling can last for 3-5 days, sometimes longer, so do not stress about it if you are dealing with swelling after 5-7 days.
Things that can help with the discomfort of this swelling are:
• Ice: crushed ice is easier to deal with especially for tongue piercings.
• Anti-inflammatories: OTC Ibuprofen or Naproxen Sodium (taken according to package directions) can help with swelling and pain associated with oral piercings.
Tongue piercing diet:
Stick to soft, cold foods for as long and the swelling lasts – ice cream, yogurt, applesauce, ice pops, Ensure, etc. AVOID hot, spicy foods!
Avoid undue trauma, excessive talking or playing with the jewelry during healing.
Keep your water bottle clean by rinsing with 1 part bleach to 10 parts water every day to avoid contaminating your new piercing with germs.
Non-Oral Piercing Aftercare
This method should only be introduced after the initial healing is finished. A good rule of thumb is when the piercing is no longer tender to the touch. ( usually after 30-60 days)
This does not mean you should not shower normally. Or that you should not use soap to wash your body as you normally would. This just means please while your piercing is healing avoid focusing on your piercing with soap. Soap is really harsh on new cells developing in and around the piercing. We want to create a healthy healing environment for your new piercing. But hey after a month to three months switching to a gentle soap is A okay!
Just make sure its a gentle soap. Nothing crazy like Dial or the like. Way to harsh for your skin let alone a piercing
While bathing/showering take a small amount of a gentle soap like Dr. Bronners baby shampoo or the like. A dime size should be sufficient. Lather up to a thick foam and gently clean around the piercing while also gently cleaning the jewelry. Use your hands to gently guide the water to rinse off the soap. Do not twist, rotate or move the jewelry.
* Never let shower water directly hit your new or newish piercings. It can irritate them.
Saline Cleaning and Hot compressing ( Our favorite!):
With clean hands, take your saline solution (Saline recipe below) . Our favorite brands are Neomed! But you can find saline anywhere nowadays in the wound care section of your local drug store or at a reputable piercing studio. heat it if you wish, to a warm but comfortable temperature. Heat is not needed, but it does make cleaning easier. Take a clean cotton swab and start at your piercing, cleaning in an outward motion, always pulling the germs away from – not towards – your piercing.
Now as humans sometimes we think more is better. Not true for your saline recipe. Follow the recipe and if you feel your piercing is too dry or irritated reduce the salt. If you find this to be too high maintenance then please buy a sterile saline solution or a bottled saline wound care solution.
We carry NeoMed. And again most drug stores carry sterile saline in a can.
Crusties are normal. If they are not easily removed, leave them be. Take another cotton swab and dry the area.
Heat saline solution to as warm as you can stand it, but be careful not to burn yourself. For navels, nipples, and male genitals, it’s easy to take a clean disposable item like non-woven gauze or a clean paper towel and saturate it with warm salt water. Apply compress over your piercing and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Hot compressing a piercing is good for it. It forces blood to the area which promotes a faster healing response. If you feel your piercing is soar after a hot compress you can ice compress and take an anti-imflammatory. (Ibuprofen should only be used as directed on the bottle and only if you are not sensitive to it.)
Think of your hot soaks as a security blanket…when in doubt, hot compress. If your piercing looks weird to you, if it feels sore, or if you think you might have snagged it on your seat belt , etc…hot compress.
Also keep in mind you can overdo it! You can over-clean a piercing. Trust your body! It’s a healing machine. Unless you are super active or somehow cause your piercing to get extra dirty, two times a day is sufficient aftercare. Even less if its doing well. Listen to your body. Do not over think your aftercare. Keep it clean, Keep your hands off of it, keep your hands clean when touching it and it should be fine.
Please see FAQS for piercing complications.
At home saline recipe as per Wound Care Essentials Third addition
At home saline solution recipe:
* 1 tsp of noniodized salt with
* 1 quart of distilled water
Stir until the salt is completely dissolved.
This solution can be stored for up to 1 week at room temperature in a tightly covered glass or plastic container.
Now whats all the talk about in our industry about not making your own saline?
well here is the deal. Saline is easier on your wounds. It feels better and its less harsh on a wound than other acceptable solution like distilled water.
However if you make your own solution the risks are that you may use too much salt making it a Hypertonic Saline solution. This would cause irritation and drying of a piercing.
The other problem is that you may make the solution with not enough salt. This would make your solution Hypotonic saline.
This can cause excess moisture around your piercing and this can cause other irritations especially if you live in humid climates.
The other risk is that you may not make the solution in a clean way. Meaning you may contaminate your solution with dirty hands and or put it in a dirty container. This can introduce bacteria.
So as a whole the piercing industry is steering away from DIY saline to better help clients succeed in their aftercare.
Being open for 21 years Primal Decor has many different types of clients. We have some that love the ease of the newer saline option that has only been available in recent years , it’s perfectly balanced and user friendly. However some of our cleints that have years of experience with piercings still love the DIY saline method.
Please know we are hear to support all your needs and are available for any questions you may have.
We carry NeilMed saline in house and also non-iodized salt to make your own.
The truth is that your body is designed to heal. Our job is to keep the piercing clean.
Please do not over think your aftercare.
Keep it clean, do not touch it, and in time your body will do its job by creating a nice beautiful piercing tunnel.
Listed in months:
Side Lip: 3-4
Center Lip: 3-4
Vertical Lip: 3-4
Tongue Web: 1-2
Single Point: 8-24
Common Genital: 1-3
All healing times are approximate.
Everybody is different. Some people take longer to heal than others. Please feel free to come in if you have any questions about your aftercare.
What you’ll need:
• Gental soaps such as Dr. Bronners or Baby Shampoo
• Tattoo ointment such as Primal Decor brand, breathable oils like coconut or jojoba, Emu Oil. There are lots of brands on the market. Avoid Petroleum based items as they will not allow your tattoo to breath.
• Lotion such as Curel or Lubriderm
How to care for your new tattoo:
Remove bandage after 1 hour and gently wash your tattoo. Do not scrub. Use lukewarm water and antimicrobial soap to remove any excess ink or dried blood.
Gently pat your tattoo dry with a clean paper towel, such as Viva – they are softer and less irritating.
Let air dry for about 20 minutes.
Apply a thin layer of ointment. DO NOT RE-BANDAGE!
Continue to apply ointment 3-5 times a day or whenever tattoo feels dry. Be sure to wash your hands any time you touch the healing tattoo or put your hands in your ointment container.
Healing time is usually 2-3 weeks. It is normal for the tattoo to form a colorful layer of skin that peels off. This does not mean the tattoo ink is coming out.
Do not pick or scratch your tattoo no matter how itchy it gets while healing. Doing so increases your chance of infection and can cause scarring.
Keep your healing tattoo out of direct sunlight. Once a tattoo is healed you should apply sunscreen to protect your new artwork from sun damage for the entire life of your tattoo.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (707) 445-2609.
Ask for Luis or Dan for your tattoo questions.