top of page
Your piercing site may be tender, itchy, and/or bruised for a few weeks. Minor bleeding, swelling, redness, and warmth to the touch is normal for the first few days and periodically throughout the healing process. Secretion of white/pale yellow/clear fluid is to be expected and may form a crust on your jewelry.
Wash your hands before handling your new piercing. Clean your piercing 1-2 times a day. Clean it more often if you sweat excessively in the area or get hair products, makeup, sunscreen, or similar products on the piercing. In the shower, avoid shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. getting into your piercing. Rinse the area thoroughly after your shower.
Use sterile saline and/or antibacterial soap to clean your piercing. For oral piercings, use an alcohol-free mouthwash after eating or drinking or smoking. DO NOT use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, or anything else other that sterile saline spray and/or antibacterial soap. ( Some brands of soap are even too strong for a fresh piercing in some people. Dove gentle wash is a great alternative.)
Spray the saline over the entire piercing and use a paper towel to dry. Cotton swabs are unnecessary – to remove any crust or discharge around the jewelry, soak with running water in the shower.
Do not turn or rotate your jewelry. Try your hardest to NOT TOUCH YOUR PIERCING! Do not submerge your piercing in water such as pools, rivers, lakes, the ocean, hot tubs, or baths for at least two weeks. Avoid tight clothing and be extra careful with masks around new facial or ear piercings. Avoid sleeping on your piercing because this can cause irritation and/or jewelry snags)
Most piercings will require a jewelry downsize after 3-4 weeks. Do not change your jewelry except for this downsize until the piercing is fully healed. (See our chart below for average healing times.)
There are several stages to the healing process of a piercing. It's important to know what happens in each stage to be able to accurately know when your piercing is healed!
Stage 1: Inflammatory Stage
During this stage the piercing is a raw open wound, and swelling, soreness, and bleeding are all normal to see. Blood clots and plasma gather around the site and base cells begin to appear as the first layer for the growth of the new skin!
Stage 2: The Proliferative Stage
This stage is where growth of new cells happens! Your piercing will remain in this stage for most of it's healing time. Proteins and cells are produced and the edges of the site begin to heal and in this stage 'crusties' are normal. It's very important to still be extra careful with your piercing at this time, as the new tissues are very delicate!
It is also important to note that the piercing may appear to be healed, sometimes in this stage, but most of the time is not. This is because the piecing heals from the surface entrance and exit wounds first, and then in to the middle of the flesh. By the end of this stage the piercing is considered to be initially healed.
Stage 3: Maturation
During this stage the flesh lining the piercing becomes stronger! Yellow or white discharge around the jewelry is normal at this time.
Piercings are more complicated than a simple wound, and so they may go back and forth between the 2nd and 3rd stages for quite a while. Any complications such as bumping your piercing or exposure to harsh chemicals (shampoo, soaps, alcohol) will prolong this process! It may take up to a year or more for the piercing to be fully healed and the flesh lining the piercing to be fully stabilized. This is why you commonly see flare ups every so often in 1-2 year old cartilage piercings!
You may be thinking, how do I know for sure when my piercing is healed? Well, it varies from person to person and from piercing to piercing. These stages give you a good idea of where your piercing is at in the healing process, but your piercing can regress if it is not properly taken care of. For example, a piercing that has just entered the maturation stage can be regressed all the way back to an open wound if it is bumped too hard! This is what makes healing piercings such a challenge. It's important to remember why you got the piercing in the first place and stick with that instead of giving up on a difficult piercing.
It is your best bet to assume the piercing is unhealed and act as such until the average healing time that your piercer has advised for that piercing, has passed. Then look for the signs that your piercing is healed: The edges will have a sealed look, there will be no secretions, and no tenderness.
If you are unsure, it is always a good idea to revisit your piercer for their opinion!
Congratulations on your new tattoo or piercing! Getting your new body art is half the journey. After care is just as important as when you got your new tattoo or are freshly pierced! Every artist has their own recommendations for after care. These are a few of our general recommendations for caring for your new tattoo and/ or piercing! If you feel there is anything going on that is out of the realm of “ normal” during the healing process, please feel free to reach out to any of our staff and we would be more than happy to help you trouble shoot and get you back onto the path of a healthy happy * modified* body!
You will leave our studio bandaged. Each artist uses their own form of bandage. The two main bandages we use are
1.) “ Second skin”. There are many different brands, but the general idea of this bandage is that it acts as a secondary layer of skin while your tattoo is still vulnerable to infection and debris. It is breathable, water proof, self adhesive and see through. If your artist applies this type of bandage, please leave it on for 3 days. You do not need to remove it to shower. You can work out as normal. This bandage will create a liquid pocket under the bandage. It is generally grayish in color but can vary based on the color of your tattoo. Also, the amount of liquid acquired underneath varies from person to person as well. This is a collection of plasma and run off ink. This is very very normal for a fresh tattoo and believe it or not, its helping to heal your tattoo in that pool of liquid under the bandage! Ensure there is nothing leaking from the bandage. Do not poke a hole or squeegee it out. If you do notice a leak, take it off and begin after care guidelines under our “ traditional bandage” section. You can also contact your artist and ask them if they think you need another second skin bandage put on. After the three days is up, slowly remove your bandage by peeling a little at a time, starting at a corner. It tends to help if removal is done in the shower. Once your bandage is removed, start after care under our “ traditional bandage “ section. Second skin is a latex free product, however, if you notice any rash or irritation from the bandage, please remove it immediately.
2.) “ Traditional bandage”. We will put vaseline and a non porous bandage on your fresh tattoo. Please leave this on until you get home. Your fresh tattoo is technically and open wound and is vulnerable to infection and degree. When home, wash your hands and gently remove your bandage. Wash it with antibacterial soap and pat dry with a clean paper towel. After your tattoo is dry, you can apply non scented lotion to the tattoo. Any brand of unscented lotion is fine. ( Scented lotion is alcohol based and will sting like crazy if applied to a fresh tattoo). Cocoa butter is acceptable, as is coconut/vitamin e oil. Do not recover your tattoo! Swimming and soaking in baths/hot tubs is off limits for about 2 weeks. You may shower as normal, but try your hardest to not allow your fresh tattoo to get soaked. There will be a little tenderness and potential redness for a day or two.
Also, in some places of the body, bruising is normal. ( Think under arms, bellies - aka sweet meat) If you notice anything that looks out of the realm of “ normal” during your healing process, contact your artist immediately for trouble shooting and recommendations to aid your healing journey!) Once your tattoo has hit about 5-7 days, peeling will occur. This is NOT your color coming out, it is dead skin falling off, replaced by your body’s freshly tattooed skin! Please do not pick or scratch these flakes! They could potentially be attached to another part of the tattoo that is not ready to flake and could pull the color out of your tattoo! Please do NOT use anything that is “ goopy” on your tattoo. ( Vaseline, neosporine, bacitracin etc) We tend to use too much thinking we are helping our tattoo, however, we are inhibiting the body’s natural healing capabilities. We just need to help aid it so our tattoos will look amazing once they’re healed. Just lotion… no goop.
bottom of page