This is a subject of much debate among body piercers: to use or not to use antibiotics. Most of the 'reasons' given for not recommending them are valid concerns (except for this misunderstanding of the nature of a piercing), but do not present the whole picture. It is not a question of whether to use an antibiotic, but rather one of 'proper choice and proper use of one. Several antibiotics are all safe to use as a preventative to infection for the first week or two, while the piercing goes through its inflamatory cycle and the body builds up its own barriers to infection. Then the use of antibiotic must stop.

When antibiotics are included in the care regimen for body piercings, it is important to distinguish between cleaning and medication. Too many times I have heard a client with problems say "But I cleaned it twice a day with Polysporin!". What they in fact did was to gob on the antibiotic without ever cleaning the piercing. It is essential that the client understand that the piercing must be cleaned of pus, dead tissue, old antibiotic, trapped dirt etc. After the piercing is clean, then the piercing can be medicated and the antibiotic is replaced.

Antibiotics are an indispensible tool for clients in their battle to heal body piercings without infection problems. However the client must be carefully educated in the proper use of the antibiotic, and the body piercer should monitor the client, during that use. No matter how carefully you explain something, there will always be people who do not understand.

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