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Piercings and Lifestyle!

Often when we get a piercing, we don’t think too much of the complications. Piercings are quite typically seen as ‘just a piercing’ and not a lot of thought or care is put into the upkeep of trying to heal a piercing. But anyone who has had an irritation bump will know that piercings are not easy to heal, and require a lot of our time, effort and energy. They are also incredibly responsive to our environment, which is often why we may need to consider our lifestyle in relation to the piercing we are getting.

I’m going to break up our aftercare’s 3 main rules and some examples of lifestyle choice (or lifestyle influences that aren’t necessarily choices) that might influence the heal of your piercing.

1. Keep it Clean!

Keep it clean by cleaning twice a day with a sterile saline solution and general shower hygiene is the routine that we recommend you stick to in terms of actively cleaning your piercings after everyday movement. This help remove any casual dirt, grime, sweat, and crusties that have built up overnight or during the day.

But for some people, they may need to think about what they are up to during their everyday life. For example, if you are working in a job where there is an extraordinary amount of ‘dirt’ ‘mud’ ‘debris’ etc, you may want to consider if a piercing is for you. For example, working in career fields such as oil rigs, mining, construction, plumbing, farming, can leave you covered in insulation, wood chips/dust, contaminated water, faeces, and lots of other things you might not have thought about. Getting dirt in your piercings can cause serious irritation and infection, which is a good reason not to get the piercing for some people. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We can start slow and steady, doing one piercing at a time. We may recommend an extra clean during the day, or finding something to protect the site, such as PPE. We want to work with you to heal piercings where possible, so we rely on communication from both us and yourselves to ensure the best heal, and to fix any arising issues.

2. Keep it dry!

Avoid soaking and submerging for an absolute minimum of 6 weeks, no swimming and bathing in bathtubs!
Have you got a holiday booked that involves a swimming pool, the ocean or a hot tub? Have you got swimming sessions booked with school or in general? Maybe now isn’t the best time to get that piercings. Pools of water are really great at harbouring bacteria and micro-organisms, which is not great for a fresh and healing piercing (or tattoo, or wound!). If your lifestyle is revolved around swimming, but you are adamant on having a new piercing, you need to be able to commit to a 6 week break, and be thorough with the cleaning and drying appropriately after.

Alongside water being a great harbour point for bacteria, there is also mixture of chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine, which can be incredibly harsh and damaging to fresh piercing sites. These are two very drying chemicals which can also be incredibly hard to remove from the jewellery. This can lead to really pesky irritation bumps which can be a pain to get rid of.

Did you know that a single litre of pool or sea water can contain up to 1 million bacterial cells?

3. Leave it alone!

No touching, twisting, turning or fiddling with the jewellery. And definitely do not remove the jewellery, for an absolute minimum of 3 months (unless you plan to retire it of course).

If you have a job, or are in a school, which will ask you to remove your piercings, maybe adding an additional new one isn’t worth it. Removing jewellery in the initial stages of healing can cause trauma and irritation alongside introducing bacteria into a healing wound which can cause an infection. Depending on how long the jewellery is left out, the piercing channel can shrink (which requires a slight stretch to re-insert the jewellery) or it can close completely.

You may also want to consider your clothing choices. For example, if you are a person who wears a binder, having nipple piercings may not be the best course of action. The extreme tightness and pressure from the binder can cause excessive pressure on a piercing, resulting in irritation, migration and or rejection. This is incredibly similar to navel piercings and high waisted clothing. For navel piercings you need to avoid wearing any clothes that will create pressure around the piercing site, we normally recommend bottoms such as low waisted jeans and dresses, or things like leggings where the waistband can be folded over.

In ear objects! Headphones, stethoscopes, ear plugs, hearing aids, all objects that go inside your ears can be really aggravating for certain piercings. Daiths, Conch’s, Tragus’s and even Rook piercings can all be affected during the early healing stage (especially with the longer posts) due to the constant insertion and removal of the item risking knocks and snags. They can also cause additional pressure on the jewellery which in turn irritates the piercing channel. Excess pressure and irritation may result in bad angles, migration, rejection or retiring the piercing.

Stop Touching!

If you are unsure if your lifestyle would work with a piercing, feel free to send us an Instagram message, call us, or book a consultation for an in depth chat!

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