Piercing Aftercare





Avoid contaminating the wound:

  • Touching your fresh or healing piercing is the main way that problems and infection start.
  • Washing hands frequently throughout the day and not touching on and around the piercing is your best bet for a smooth timely healing. 
  • Keeping your piercing protected during physical jobs or activities and keeping your sleeping environment clean really make a difference.
  • Avoid soaking water like baths, pools, hot tubs, rivers, lakes or oceans. Showers are fine.
  • Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing. 

 Avoid irritating the wound:

  • Friction is the enemy of healing! No touching, turning, tugging, or otherwise moving your jewelry around in the piercing. This would be similar to picking a scab off a cut everyday and like the cut, the piercing will react badly to this disruption with longer healing times and more scarring.
  • No rotation is necessary (even to clean), you will not "grow on" to the piercing. Some days the jewelry will feel stuck in place, other days it will move freely, both are normal and should be allowed.
  • Sleeping on a piercing can cause numerous problems, avoid it whenever possible. Talk to us if you are having a hard time, we have a number of creative solutions! 
  • Downsize your jewelry in a timely manner, if appropriate, as swelling subsides. When you get pierced, you will be told a good timeframe. Downsizing avoids unnecessary pressure from longer posts that can cause migration and unsightly bumps.

Cleanse in a way that minimizes trauma:

  • A fluid is produced by all wounds as part of the natural healing process.
  • These "crusts" come out clear, pale straw yellow or pale pink and tend to dry to a darker honey amber tone. These are normal and healthy.
  • Red, dark yellow, green or grey liquid could be a sign of an issue and we encourage you to talk to us for further information.
  • Carefully reduce "crusties" and contaminates with nice warm clean running water. A daily shower is suggested. 
  • Wetting the piercing briefly at the beginning of the shower and then allowing the "crusties" to soften as you continue the rest of your normal showering. At the end of the shower, point the spray of water to run directly onto the piercing for a full minute or two. This copious flow of water will safely remove the softened debris and surface contaminates without moving the jewelry.
  • It is ok if some debris is left, you'll get it next time. Harsh or over cleaning can be more problematic than just leaving it for the next day.
  • Avoid cleaning with Betadine, Hibiciens, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dial® or other soaps, specially those containing triclosan, as these can damage cells.
  • Also avoid Neosporin ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
  • Avoid Bactine, "pierced ear care" solutions and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). 
  • FDA issues final rule on safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps

Maintain a healthy isotonic environment:

  • Finish each cleaning with a quick full rinse with .9% Sterile Saline Spray like NeilMed Aftercare Spray. (9mg/ml)
  • We sell this in the shop with a fine misting tip specially made for piercing use, or it can be found in the first aid aisle of most drug stores labels as "Wound Wash" please double check that it has no additional ingredients.
  • Saline for contacts or products for nasal spray should not be used. 
  • Piercings may then be air dried or gently blotted dry with a single use lint free paper towel or gauze.
  • Special note should be paid to a piercing in a tight area, like the Rook or Navel. Avoid keeping the skin area behind the jewelry wet, day after day, for prolonged period.

If you have any other questions, please come into our studio or call us at 503-620-0110 and our experienced staff can help you any time. 



These guidelines are based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, research and extensive clinical practice. This is not to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. If you suspect an infection, seek medical attention. Be aware that many doctors have not received specific training regarding piercing. Your local piercer may be able to refer you to a piercing-friendly medical professional. For more information, see the APP Brochure Troubleshooting For You and Your Healthcare Professional.