Any form of piercing needs aftercare and time to heal. It should be treated like any other open wound should be as it could get infected if not taken care of properly.

Depending on what piercing you decide to go for, your new body modification could take anything from three weeks to up to a year to heal properly. Here’s what to avoid doing in the days and weeks following your piercing appointment:

Do Not Get Pierced with a Gun

Before you even get your piercing, make sure the piercer is using clean, sterile and appropriate equipment. Do not let your ears be pierced with a gun as it could seriously harm your body.

Do Not Take the Piercing Out

Although pretty gems and cool, weird bars may have caught your eye, do not replace your piercing from the original until it’s completely healed. You may be tempted by that tongue bar that says ‘WOW’ or want to change to gold, hoop earrings for a night out, but it will open the piercing to risk of infection, especially if the replacement is not clean or made of proper metal.

Do Not Ignore Your Piercer

Everything your piercer tells you to do and not to do – listen. They are the expert and are there to answer any questions or concerns you have about your piercing before and after you get it done. They will give you their advice on how to look after your piercing and roughly how long it will take to heal. If you do experience any problems, go back and see your piercing artist.

Do Not Forget to Clean Your Piercing

Piercings need a lot of cleaning and it’s important not to neglect it, especially in the first few weeks of getting it done. Mix salt and warm water and dab around the piercing with a cotton bud. Alternatively, you can buy solution specific to piercing aftercare. Always ask your piercer if you’re unsure on what to use to clean the piercing or how to do it.

It’s important to clean your piercing regularly, but also take extra care after swimming or working out. Remember to wash your hands before cleaning the piercing.

Do Not Wear Clothes That Will Rub

Clothes can pull and damage your piercing, especially if it’s in a potentially hazardous place like the belly button. Wear loose clothes that won’t attach themselves to the belly bar or stud in the first couple of days of your piercing’s healing stage to avoid infection.

Do Not Let Your Hair Get in the Way

The same goes for your hair – it’s another potential hazard that can pull and damage your piercing. Make sure your hair doesn’t wrap itself round your ear piercing and keep it tied up and out of the way as much as you can.

Do Not Sleep on It

Sleep on the side that your piercing isn’t on and rest on your back if you’ve just got a belly bar. Sleeping on it could make the area become irritated and painful.

Written by Wayne Grant