Piercing! Heal thyself!
Piercing aftercare has evolved significantly over the time I have been piercing. A number of myths about aftercare have gained prominence in the industry simply because of the democratic nature of the internet. Dispelling these myths, and finding aftercare protocols that actually worked has been an ongoing endeavor at Blackstar.
We have come to realize three basic principals.
1. Healing occurs naturally.
You do not heal your piercing. Nothing you do will heal the piercing. The healing process happens by default, and will proceed no matter what you do or do not do to the piercing.
2. Whatever you do interferes with the natural healing process
Every time you clean your piercing, you damage the new tissue that is forming. Whatever solution or preparation you apply will retard new tissue growth. Every time you move the jewelry, even playing with it, you abrade some of the tissue lining the piercing.
3. Infections usually happen within the first two days
Prevention of infections becomes less important the longer the piercing is in place.
Given these three principals, we now recommend the BLIA (Basically, leave it alone!) philosophy. Aggressive cleaning should never be continued after one week. Good personal hygiene should be sufficient for most piercings, and 2-3 days of an antibiotic ointment should prevent most infections. We are finding that the less invasive piercings (nostril screws, microdermals ...) are best left alone from the start.
Most of the problems we have seen arise from excessive aftercare. Piercing aftercare has become a business venture, generally populated by snake-oil salesmen who do not give a rat's ass if their product actually works (they don't) as long as they can convince you that you should buy it. None of these specialty aftercare products is worth wasting your money on.
What does work? Grab your favorite soap or body wash and have a shower!
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