Piercings are a way to express individuality amongst ourselves. There are multiple places on the body that can be pierced and different people get different areas pierced, some get all of it pierced, some do not get pierced at all.
A lot of times, people go get pierced because they are in the here and now. Next thing they know, they have a cartilage piercing that is going to take at least six months to heal. Now that's a commitment that some people do not plan for.
Or, people are turned-off by piercings because they do not want to run the risk of infection or getting a keloid.
So if you're in the boat where you have this piercing and you do not know what or how to take care of it or you are skeptical about getting one, here are some pro-tips that I have found helpful for my own piercing's healing.
1. Do not touch your piercing.
We are filthy humans, with filthy hands. It does not matter if you washed your hands two seconds before touching your piercing, if you want to minimize the risk of infection - do not touch or play with your earring during the healing process. Bacteria from your hands can get into the piercing and cause redness, swelling, and even infection.
2. Donut pillow, donut pillow, donut pillow.
This is the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to ear piercings. When you have any type of ear piercing, you do not want to lay on the side that the piercing is on. But if you MUST lay on that side, place a donut pillow down and place your ear in the hole of the donut (you could also use a travel pillow as well). This helps keep your ear from rubbing up against any unclean surface that could have bacteria. It also helps keep pressure off the ear to prevent any keloids from forming. Plus, if it is a fresh piercing, it helps you not hurt yourself when you lay on that side and remember that you recently stabbed yourself with a needle for funzies.
3. Salt water soaks.
One thing that makes not touching your piercing impossible, is all the gook that builds up around the piercing during the day. Instead of chiseling off the crusties with your filthy fingers, submerge the piercing in warm water for 10-20 minutes once a day. Do this two times a day if the piercing is looking red or swollen. This helps disinfect the piercing and also soften up the crusties around it. After soaking the piercing take a q-tip that has been dipped in the salt water and clean up that piercing. Use the dry end of the q-tip to dry the piercing off.
4. No swimming pools.
If you think your hands are nasty, think about the water in a public pool. There are germs and fecal matter all up in that water. You do not want to be putting your fresh piercing in water that has poo-poo swimming around in it. That is an infection waiting to happen.
5. Tea Tree oil once a week, not rubbing alcohol or peroxide.
If you put anything on your piercing, make sure it is NOT alcohol or peroxide. These two products will actually dry up your piercing and cause the skin around it to crack, making it even more susceptible to bacteria entering the piercing leading to infection. Mix a drop of tea tree oil with a bit of coconut oil or vaseline right before bed once a week. Tea tree oil is an antibacterial oil so it will help keep the piercing clean and free of bacteria. Do this once or twice a week as needed. You do not want to put tea tree oil on the piercing every night because you would then run the risk of drying out the skin.
6. Go see your local piercer if you have concerns about your piercing or getting one.
Local piercers are there to help you with all of your piercing questions or concerns. Most piercers do free piercing check-ups, so if you are concerned about how your piercing is healing, go talk to your local piercer. They will be able to provide the best after care advice and tell you exactly how the healing is going.