August 04, 2020 4 min read
Many wonder what the healing process is like for piercings and today we are going to tell you what that process is.
What is a piercing on a scientific level?
A piercing is an intentional wound created to heal with a foreign object inside your body. There are three stages to the healing process
In the first few days after getting pierced, blood clotting occurs. Platelets which are the cells that circulate throughout our blood will bind together when they recognize damage in the body. Plasma, then will infiltrate the wound to achieve hemostasis which is the stoppage of blood.
In this stage the skin starts to heal from the outside to the inside creating a tight channel for the jewelry. Keep in mind new skin is also very delicate and can be torn easily and we call this the crusty stage. This is typically the stage where people come into a piercing studio and explain to the piercer that their piercing isn’t healing. This is because your skin is so delicate and a slight touch onto the piercing, hit, or snag can re-open the thin seal and cause blood to start flowing. You are basically going from this stage back to stage one.
Now, for the matured stage it usually takes months or years for your piercing to be healed. Throughout this healing process people will cycle between stages 2 and 3. This means that your body is trying to heal itself, so be patient your body is doing everything it can to heal this open wound. Healing time depends on each person, body lobes tend to be the fastest to heal because it is made of soft tissue. Any piercings in the cartilage area can take anywhere from 6 to 9 months but it can also depend on your body and how you’re actually taking care of it during this healing process.
What’s Normal To See/Experience With A New Piercing?
Some normal things that you will experience are tenderness, swelling, and discomfort. You will also see bodily fluids such as transparent discharge and white pus, when these dry, they are also known as crusties. You will also see redness but that is very common so don’t freak out.
How Do I Know If My Piercing Is Healing/Healed?
Something we always tell people is the side you have your piercing on should match the skin color of an area that has no piercings. With that being said there should be no redness, tenderness, crust, or bumps. You want the area to feel just how it felt before you got a piercing.
How Do You Know If Something Is Wrong With Your Piercing?
If you have had any trauma and or friction to the piercing it can cause you to have complications such as irritation, delayed healing, excessive scarring, migration, or rejection.
What Do I Use To Clean It?
One thing you can clean with is saline solution but just make sure it is sold in a can. We do not recommend making saline solution at home because it is not sterile nor safe. The saline solution in a can is very simple to use. You can either directly spray onto the piercing and then pat dry it when you’re done or you can soak a Q-tip and clean the piercing that way. Another option would be using antimicrobial soap, the best time to use this cleaning method is when you have an infection or it’s starting to get infected. What you can do is pour a drop of soap into a small dixie cup and fill it up to the top with water, once that is done you are going to take a Q-tip and place it into the cup with the mixture. Once the Q-tip has soaked up the solution clean the area, but because it is soap make sure you wash it off your piercing. The water you want to use is distilled water or USP water. Also when you get a new piercing make sure to stay away from essential oils, a lot of people message us asking if they can use tea tree oil as a cleaning method but that is a big NO. Essential oils are very harsh for an open wound and it will irritate it. Tea tree oil can be used for those piercing bumps but only at the stage where the wound has completely healed. One thing to make sure you do is wash off the tea tree oil once you leave it on for about 15 minutes.
What Should I Not Use On My Piercings?
Some of the products you do not want to use on your piercings are bactine, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, ointments etc. So with ointments what it does is, it coats your piercings which does not allow it to breathe and it doesn’t allow you to clean it properly. Your body is constantly growing new cells to heal your piercing and if you’re using something like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, it is killing off the good and the bad bacteria which is not allowing your piercing to heal properly.
Can I Speed Up The Healing Process?
No, there is no solution that has anything to help speed up the healing process, there’s no such thing. What you can do to ensure your body heals properly or on time is eat healthy meals, exercise, stay hydrated, take multi vitamins, and stay away from drugs and alcohol. Think about it this way, if doctors and/or surgeons don’t have a solution that can help their patients heal faster there is no such thing that can do that for piercings.
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