Piercings in any region of your body do not heal overnight, and must be cared for diligently and correctly. With proper care, and the proper jewelry, even the most dramatic of piercings will heal with little or no trouble. Without the proper care, the simplest can cause serious problems.
The after care of a piercing is not a rigid matter as most brochures on the subject would seem to indicate. The very act of cleaning a piercing puts stress on the supporting tissues and causes injury. The healing of a piercing goes through a series of stages from the day it is created through to a point where it has completely healed. The after care which is suitable for a fresh piercing can be detrimental to the health of the piercing later on. Healing management involves a trade-off between the need to keep the piercing clean, and the need to minimize the damage done by that cleaning. It is a question of balance. After care is transitional!
Remember! Your body heals its own injuries. Whatever you do to look after your piercing actually damages the new tissue and slows down the healing process. This does NOT mean that you should neglect your aftercare, but rather that the goal of your aftercare is to stop it as soon as you can reasonably do so.
The initial aim of after care is to prevent infection allowing the body to establish its initial barriers to bacterial invasion. As healing progresses the need for cleaning decreases. After 10 to 14 days of progressively less, cleaning should no longer be necessary. The after care after this period should be to maintain the health of the tissues supporting the jewelry.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that a healthy piercing requires a healthy person. Without good general health, the natural healing process will be slower and less successful. Illness, fatigue, stress, poor nutrition, major injuries, excessive smoking or other substance abuse, poor hygiene, will all contribute to problems with the healing process. Any of these things can mean continuous problems with healing no matter how good your aftercare is. If you want a problem free piercing, get your life in order.
For a detailed explanation of the healing protocols for all piercings, download our Piercing Aftercare Manual.
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