Piercing Aftercare Protocol
The Curated Lobe Aftercare Protocol
So, you’ve just visited our studio in Oakville and have fresh piercings! Congratulations and welcome to the next stage - the healing. During your appointment, we provided you with aftercare instructions, but if the excitement got the best of you and you forgot everything, we’ve got your back.
How to Care For Your Fresh Piercings
Rule 1: Cleaning Your Fresh Piercing
Start with clean hands. For the first two weeks, spray the front and the back of the piercing with sterile saline solution two times per day, then once per day for the balance of the healing time. When needed you can pat dry with a paper towel or use the cool setting on your hairdryer. There is no need to rotate or move the jewelry back and forth. Treat your piercing like you're healing a wound.
Pro Tip: Sterile saline is a gentle choice for piercing aftercare. Stick with store-bought sterile saline solutions. Contact lens saline, eye drops, and other saline products should never be used on a piercing. Your saline ingredients should list 0.9% sodium chloride as the only ingredient. Mixing your own sea salt solution will result in the product being far too salty and strong, which can overdry the piercing and interfere with healing.
Rule 2: Sleeping Smart
Say it with us, do not sleep on your piercings. Sleeping on your piercing can cause a shift in angle, piercing bumps, it can slow healing and cause pain. Migrated piercings will affect the way your jewelry fits and lays. So let’s set you up for success. If you’re a side sleeper (who isn’t) we strongly recommend a piercing pillow. Sleep comfortably and heal faster.
Rule 3: Downsize Your Jewelry
When you first get pierced, we intentionally use a long barbell to allow room for swelling. When the initial swelling has come down, it’s important to shorten the length of the barbell. This is called a downsize. A downsize does not mean that your piercing is healed, it’s an interim step to help along with the healing. If you do not downsize, the longer barbell can become pesky catching on hairbrushes and towels which can delay healing. It can also make your piercing more prone to migration which can change the angle of your piercing. The downsize allows the barbell to be flush with your ear, thus making it less likely for piercing bumps and migrated angles.
Typical Piercing Healing Process
|Time to Fully Heal
What to Expect
Initially, it's normal to experience bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising around your new piercing. As it heals, you might notice some discoloration and itching. A whitish-yellow fluid, which isn't pus, may secrete and form crusts on the jewelry. The skin around the jewelry might also appear slightly wrinkled as the tissue tightens during healing. Once healed, the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing, do not force it. A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient with your piercing and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
Remember, healing times can vary from person to person, and it's crucial to keep the jewelry in place, as new piercings can close up quickly.
Bump or Keloid?
Piercing bumps can pop up due to friction, a knock, or if the jewelry's not quite right. They're red, gelatinous, and sometimes leak a little. They can appear and disappear but will clear up with the right care. Sleeping on the piercing or using low-quality jewelry often causes these bumps. Got one? We can help you figure out what to do.
Keloids are different from a piercing bump. Keloids are caused by an overproduction of collagen in response to the piercing wound. They're firm, skin-colored, and keep growing. Keloids are more common if they run in your family. Unlike bumps, keloids don't just disappear without medical intervention (surgical removal or injection). If you develop a keloid, consult with your doctor.
Friction, trauma, poor or wrong jewelry
Overproduction of collagen, genetic tendency
Does not ooze
Comes and goes
Goes away with proper care, avoid pressure and use quality jewelry
Requires medical intervention
Avoid sleeping on it, use suitable jewelry
Cannot be avoided if prone
Check with us for a care plan
Seek medical advice
Removing and Swapping the Jewelry in a New Piercing
Keep it in: Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place for the entire healing period.
See us to perform any jewelry change that becomes necessary during healing.
Remember: even healed piercings that you have had for years can shrink or close quickly! If removed, reinsertion can be difficult or impossible.
Glass Retainers: Contact us for a glass retainer if your metal jewelry must be temporarily removed from your fresh piercing (such as for a medical procedure).
Swapping the Jewelry Safely: If your piercing is healed enough, you may try to swap your earrings. Make sure to use only clean hands or paper products, and be sure to regularly check threaded and threadless ends on your jewelry for tightness as metal expands and contracts, loosening it in your ear.
Permanent Removal: Should you decide you no longer want the piercing before it heals, simply remove the jewelry (or have us remove it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases, only a small mark should remain.
Infections and Complications: If you suspect an infection in your piercing, it's often best to leave the jewelry in. This can help the infection to drain and heal properly. However, if removing the jewelry is necessary, be aware that this might cause the piercing hole to close up, potentially trapping the infection and leading to an abscess. Always consult with your doctor to decide whether to keep the jewelry in or use a non-reactive alternative during the healing of an infection.
And that's the lowdown on piercing care! Keep these tips in mind, and your piercing should heal up just fine.
Recap - Piercing Do’s and Dont’s
- Keep it in place: Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place for the entire healing time.
- Clean Regularly: Wash your hands thoroughly. Spray your piercing with sterile saline twice a day for the first two weeks, then once daily for the balance of healing.
- Dry Carefully: Use a paper towel or a hairdryer on a cool setting. Avoid anything that has excess fiber or towels as they will leave debris and bacteria behind.
- Sleeping: Don't sleep on your piercing, a piercing pillow will be the best investment you make for your ear-scape.
- Downsize Your Jewelry: Switch to a shorter barbell once swelling decreases to minimize snagging.
- Avoid Harsh Cleaners: Stay away from alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, and homemade solutions. Also avoid ointments as they prevent necessary airflow.
- Prevent Over-Cleaning: Overdoing it can irritate the piercing and delay healing.
- Limit Substance Use: Cut down on drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. We need your immune system working full-speed!
- Keep Out Unclean Water: Avoid submerging the piercing in lakes, pools, and hot tubs. If you do submerge your piercing, clean thoroughly afterward.
- Delay Attaching Extras: Wait to attach charms or objects until fully healed. Do not swap to hoops until healed as spinning will prevent healing (some exceptions exist, check in with us before!)