In honour of National Piercing Day this week, we look at how you can ease the aftermath of your piercing, whether it’s your first…your seventh…or your last.
Piercings are essentially a wound in your skin, so it’s important you take extra care of yourself as your piercing heals, whether you’ve recently had your nose, cartilage, belly button or eyebrow pierced.
What Hurts the Most?
The aftermath of a piercing can depend purely on what piercing you decide to get, as some will be more pain-inducing than others. One of the least painful piercings is the ear lobe, which means it can be less risky when it comes to infections as the area is less likely to get irritated. On the other hand, piercings like the industrial, which goes through two parts of the cartilage, and the septum, which goes through the top of the nostrils, are both considered two of the most painful piercings. The industrial and septum piercings also take the longest to heal, so are at risk of getting infected.
Try Not to Touch It
As with any body modification, you need to leave the area alone as much as possible, unless you’re cleaning the piercing. For example, if you’ve just got your ear pierced, make sure all your hair is tied back so it doesn’t get tangled up or irritate the piercing or if you’ve just got your naval pierced, wear loose fitting clothing that won’t rub or infect the wound. If anything obstructs the wound, the pain of the piercing is more likely to get worse.
Clean to Your Heart’s Content
Piercings are prone to infections as they’re exposed wounds, so it’s important to keep the area clean. You can either use a salt and warm water solution, or buy the liquid provided by your piercing artist. All you have to do is apply the solution with a cotton dab around the piercing hole gently. If your piercing does get infected, it will prolong the time it takes the piercing to heal properly, make it hurt even more and might actually end in you having to take the piece of jewellery out and let the hole heal that way.
You can normally tell if your piercing is infected if it’s red, swollen, irritated or really painful. Make sure you aren’t overcleaning the piercing too, as this may cause the area to become enflamed and sore.
Although it may be tempting to touch or fiddle with your piercing, you should leave it well alone. When the temptation comes, distract yourself. Listen to some music, fiddle with a hairband or play a game on your phone – anything to distract yourself from touching the open wound. You may also want to change the jewellery from the original piece you got pierced with, but it’s important not to mess with the area until the piercing has fully healed. Follow the advice from your piercing artist and ask about your options.
Look After YourselfAfter you get your piercing, make sure you look after yourself. Sleep well, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. A good immune system and healthy body will encourage the piercing to heal quicker.