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rec.arts.bodyart: Piercing FAQ 5--Care of New Piercings


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Archive-name: bodyart/piercing-faq/new-pierce-care
Last-modified: May 01, 2000
Posting-frequency: Quarterly
URL: http://www.cs.uu.nl/wais/html/na-dir/bodyart/piercing-faq/.html

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Summary: This posting contains information about body piercing. Anyone 
    interested in the subject and/or who wishes to read/post to 
    rec.arts.bodyart should read the Piercing FAQ first.

The rec.arts.bodyart Piercing FAQ is divided into 30 parts:

1--Introduction
2A--Jewelry Materials
2B--Jewelry Sizes & Designs
2C--Facial Piercings & Their Suggested Jewelry
2D--Body Piercings & Their Suggested Jewelry 
2E--Genital Piercings & Their Suggested Jewelry
3--Getting A New Piercing
4A--Professional Organizations, Piercing Instruction
4B--Professional Piercers - United States - Alabama - California
4C--Professional Piercers - United States - Colorado - Iowa
4D--Professional Piercers - United States - Kansas - Nevada
4E--Professional Piercers - United States - New Hampshire - North Dakota
4F--Professional Piercers - United States - Ohio - Pennsylvania
4G--Professional Piercers - United States - Rhode Island - Wyoming
4H--Professional Piercers - Canada
4I--Professional Piercers - Beyond N. America
4J--Professional Piercers - Beyond N. America Cont'd
5--Care Of New Piercings
6--The Healing Process & Healing Problems
7--Healed Piercings
8--Historical Information
9A--Resource List
9B--Resource List Cont'd
10A--Personal Experiences - Facial & Unisex Piercings
10B--Personal Experiences - Genital Piercings
10C--Personal Experiences - Genital Piercings Cont'd
10D--Personal Experiences - Genital Piercings Cont'd
11A--Jewelry Manufacturers
11B--Jewelry Manufacturers Cont'd
11C--Jewelry Manufacturers Cont'd

This section includes:

5  Care Of New Piercings
   5.1  Skin Cleansers, Wound Cleansers and Soaps
   5.2  Antiseptic Products
   5.3  Other Products
   5.4  Products to Avoid
   5.5  Essential Oils
   5.6  Aftercare for Facial Piercings
   5.7  Aftercare for Oral Piercings
   5.8  Aftercare for Body Piercings
   5.9  Aftercare for Genital Piercings
   5.10  Herbal Hot Compress Recipe

All texts written and (c) 2000 by Anne Greenblatt unless otherwise
noted.
Please see Part 1 of the FAQ for information regarding copyright and
dissemination of the FAQ.

DISCLAIMER! The Piercing FAQ contains material of a sexually explicit
nature. The information contained in the Piercing FAQ should not be
construed as medical advice.


5  CARE OF NEW PIERCINGS

Piercings are susceptible to infection during the healing period.
Appropriate aftercare is crucial to promote healing and prevent
infection.
An appropriate aftercare regimen includes cleansing the piercing and
jewelry
regularly, usually two to three times daily. Cleansing is accomplished
by
using a skin cleanser that is safe and appropriate for use on broken
skin.
Cleansers intended for use on intact skin can damage dermal cells and
impede
healing.

The skin is comprised of two main layers, the epidermis and the dermis.
The
epidermis is the outermost layer and is comprised largely of dead
cells. The
dermis is comprised of delicate living cells. The epidermis protects the
dermis from outside organisms and chemicals.

Microorganisms, or microbes, include bacteria, viruses, and fungi. If
the
skin is compromised, or broken, microorganisms may enter and cause an
infection.

A product or ingredient described as "antimicrobial" is effective
against
bacteria, viruses, and/or fungi. A product or ingredient described as
"antibacterial" is effective against bacteria only.

Because the process of healing a piercing is unlike that of healing a
typical wound, no products have been designed specifically for piercing
aftercare. As a result, piercing enthusiasts have had to rely on
products
which are not ideal for piercing aftercare. Povidone iodine and
Chlorhexidine gluconate cleansers were frequently recommended for
aftercare
during the 1970's and 1980's because more appropriate products were not
available at that time. At present, mild antimicrobial skin cleansers
are
favored by most piercers. While wound cleansers are more appropriate for
aftercare, they are not widely available.

Information about the efficacy and intended application of a particular
product is available in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and other
literature released by the manufacturer. Piercing suppliers and piercing
studios should have the MSDS and other literature available for all
products sold to customers and/or used in the studio.

5.1 SKIN CLEANSERS, WOUND CLEANSERS, AND SOAPS

Skin cleansers are designed to aid in the physical removal of foreign
materials such as dirt, microorganisms, and dead cells. Skin cleansers
contain detergents and surfactants which help remove foreign materials
and
antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients which kill some, but not all,
bacteria and other microorganisms. Some ingredients, such as fragrances
and
dyes, are irritating to sensitive skin. Certain types of detergents and
surfactants are not ideal for use on broken skin.

Wound cleansers are intended for use on broken skin, and contain only
ingredients that do not damage dermal cells.

SKIN CLEANSERS AND SOAPS CONTAINING CHLOROXYLENOL (PCMX)
  
  Brand names Provon Medicated Lotion Soap and Satin Antimicrobial Skin
  Cleanser

  Chloroxylenol is an antimicrobial antiseptic effective against both
  gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungal and yeast
microorganisms.
  Chloroxylenol is more effective against a broader range of
microorganisms
  than many other antiseptics. Used in skin cleansers and soaps
intended for
  wound care and frequent hand washing.

  While these cleansers and soaps are intended for use on intact skin,
their
  formulations appear to be the safest and most appropriate for piercing
  aftercare.

  Unfortunately these soaps are not yet widely available in drugstores
but
  are available from several piercing suppliers and directly from the
  manufacturers and/or their distributors.
   
  Provon Medicated Lotion Soap, 0.3% chloroxylenol
  Available in wholesale quantities from McKessonHBOC Medical Group, 
  1-800-877-1919
  
  Satin Antimicrobial Skin Cleanser, 0.8% chloroxylenol
  Manufactured by Care-Tech Laboratories, 1-800-325-9681, (314)
772-4610,
  http://www.caretechlabs.com

WOUND CLEANSERS CONTAINING CHLOROXYLENOL (PCMX)

  Brand name Techni-Care Surgical Scrub, 3% chloroxylenol
   
  Safe for mucous membranes and non-irritating to dermal tissue.
Intended for
  pre-operative and post-operative skin cleansing and for wound
cleansing.
  Used to cleanse skin prior to piercing.
   
  Manufactured by Care-Tech Laboratories, 1-800-325-9681, (314)
772-4610,
  http://www.caretechlabs.com
  
  Available from several piercing suppliers.

LIQUID ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS CONTAINING TRICLOSAN

  Brand names Dial Liquid, Almay Hypo-Care, Softsoap

  Triclosan is primarily an antibacterial ingredient. Most formulations
  contain 0.2% to 0.5% triclosan.

  Most orange-colored soaps can be irritating and drying with frequent
and
  prolonged use. Soaps that are low-pH, free of deodorants, dyes, and
  moisturizers are suggested.

  The "Triclosan MIC Sheet" reviewing antimicrobial efficacy is
available 
  from Decon Laboratories Inc., (800) 332-6647, (610) 520-0610
  http://www.deconlabs.com/deconlab/dcn03s.htm


5.2 ANTISEPTIC PRODUCTS

Antiseptics and disinfectants are chemicals designed to kill and
inhibit the
growth of microorganisms. Unless specified, antiseptic and disinfectant
products do not contain surfactants that help remove foreign materials
and
thusly do not function as skin cleansers.

BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE AND BENZETHONIUM CHLORIDE SOLUTIONS

  Brand names Bactine, No More Ouchies, Pierced Ear Care Solution, 
  Sensitive Ears Solution
  
  Containing 0.12% Benzalkonium-chloride or 0.13%
Benzethonium-chloride. Both
  ingredients are intended to be used for first-aid antisepsis and not
for
  prolonged use. Prolonged use has been associated with dry or flaking
skin.
  If these symptoms occur discontinue use.
   
  Do not dilute; diluting with water will decrease efficacy and may 
  contaminate the solution bacteria.

  Some products contain isopropyl alcohol which is very irritating and
drying.
  Brand names Bactine and No More Ouchies contain lidocaine which can
cause
  irritation.
  

5.3 OTHER PRODUCTS

OTHER SOAPS

Other soaps, such as brand names Clearly Natural, Dr. Bronner's,
Neutrogena,
have been successfully used by many people to cleanse piercings.
However,
these soaps do not contain clinically proven antimicrobial ingredients.

SALINE SOLUTION

Saline or an isotonic solution (0.9%, or 1/4 teaspoon table salt or sea
salt
per 8oz distilled water) may be used as often as desired but should not
be
solely relied upon for cleaning. Prepackaged saline is preferable to
homemade solution because it is sterile. Do not use saline solution
containing enzymes, cleansers, or disinfectants.

Soaking the piercing in warm salt water or using a warm salt water
compress
helps remove dried discharge and lymph secretions, relieve itching, and
increase circulation to the piercing. Use 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or table
salt per 8 ounces of water. Table salt and sea salt are both sodium
chloride
and essentially the same; table salt simply contains ingredients to
alter
the taste and improve flow in cooking. Epsom salt is hydrated magnesium
sulfate and should not be used.


5.4 PRODUCTS TO AVOID

ANTIBIOTIC AND MEDICATED OINTMENTS 

  Over-the-counter antibiotic ointments and creams containing any
combination
  of bacitracin zinc, Neomycin, and Polymyxin-B.

  These products do not cleanse the piercing. Their petrolatum (oil)
based
  formulation can clog the piercing, making cleansing more difficult.

  As determined by the US Food and Drug Administration, antibiotic
ointments
  are contraindicated for use in puncture wounds or for use beyond one
week.

  Prolonged use of neomycin encourages development of neomycin-resistant
  strains of Staphylococci bacteria.

  Some people are highly allergic to bacitracin zinc.

CHLORHEXIDINE GLUCONATE (CHG) CLEANSERS

  Brand names AC 2000, Bacticlens, Hibiclens, Hibiscrub, Hibitane,
Savlon,
  Spectro Gram 2

  Containing 2 to 4% chlorhexidine gluconate. Intended only for hand
washing
  and pre-surgical skin antisepsis. Very irritating and drying.

  Ingredient warnings: "For external use only. Irritative skin
reactions may
  occur. Generalized allergic reactions to chlorhexidine have also been
  reported. Patients with ear drum perforation should avoid use near ear
  canal. Avoid usage near the eyes."
      
  References:
  
  Hibiscrub, http://home.intekom.com/pharm/zeneca/hibscrub.html
  Savlon, http://home.intekom.com/pharm/pharmedica/savlnsol.html
  Spectro Gram 2, http://www.rxmed.com/monographs/spectro2.html
 
HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

  Hydrogen peroxide has limited antiseptic effectiveness and damages
dermal
  cells.
  
ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL ("RUBBING ALCOHOL")

  Intended as an antiseptic for use on intact skin only. Isopropyl
alcohol has
  limited antiseptic effectiveness and is very irritating and drying.

POVIDONE IODINE
  
  Brand names Betadine, Triadine
  
  Povidone Iodine is an antimicrobial antiseptic. Intended for
pre-operative
  skin antisepsis and as a first aid antiseptic. Contraindicated for
use in
  puncture wounds or prolonged use. Prolonged use may cause dermal
cells to
  lyse (over-saturate and rupture) as well as skin discoloration.

  Used to cleanse skin prior to piercing.
  
  Some people are allergic to povidone iodine; an allergy to shellfish
is a
  predictor. Prolonged use may cause an allergy.
  
References:

Contact Dermatitis Home Page. List of antiseptics and further
references.
http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/vumcdept/derm/contact/Trolab_Antimicrobials.
html

Farley, Dixie. "OTC Options: Help for Cuts, Scrapes and Burns" 
FDA Consumer Magazine, May 1996, http://www.fda.gov

Ovington, Liza G., PhD. "A Cleanser is not a Cleanser is not a Cleanser"
http://woundcare.org/newsvol3n1/prpt3.htm


5.5  ESSENTIAL OILS

Many people have found essential oils beneficial to healing and
preventing
scarring. Essential oils should not be relied upon to cleanse the
piercing.

Aromatherapy practitioners emphasize differentiating between essential
oils
and perfume oils. Oils should be used sparingly and diluted, never
full-strength, (neat). Suggested carriers include Grapeseed and Sweet
Almond
oils. Some piercing studios which suggest essential oils for aftercare
provide customers with a premixed solution. Most health food and
alternative
healing stores sell oils individually and can make solutions.

Patch tests to determine sensitivity or allergy are strongly
recommended. 
Apply a drop of the oil to the inside elbow or wrist. Acquired
allergies to
essential oils are possible.

Denise Robinson of Ambient, http://www.ambient.on.ca suggests using
oils in
addition to hot salt water soaks or compresses. "In combination with the
heat, which opens up blood vessels, thus bringing more white blood
cells to
the area and removing infectious matter, and the mild antiseptic
properties
of the salt water, oils can be a valuable addition. In addition to
their own
special abilities, many oils have the inherent ability of stimulating
the
immune system. Using a soap with these oils as an active ingredient can
also
help."

Lavender oil and Tea Tree oil are most frequently suggested. Both are
considered by aromatherapy practitioners to be antiseptic. However,
their
antiseptic qualities have not been scientifically tested or evaluated.

Lavender oil, when used for aromatherapy, is said to be very relaxing.
Lavender oil is very mild and few people experience allergic reactions.

Tea Tree oil is very strong, both in scent and effect. It is said to be
antifungal and antibacterial. Some people use a mouthrinse of salt water
and a few drops of tea tree oil to aid the healing of oral piercings.

Wheat germ oil contains vitamin E which may reduce scarring. However,
it is
very sticky which may be detrimental towards healing. Some people are
allergic to vitamin E oil.

Brad Zutaut <bzutaut@ix.netcom.com> of Red Earth
<http://www.redearth.com> 
comments:

  "I use tea tree oil on my piercings. I dilute it in grapeseed oil,
about
  ten drops in 15ml of grapeseed oil works nicely. I would never use it
  undiluted. It acts as a lubricant as well as being antiseptic. I've
heard
  you can also dilute the tea tree oil in lavender, as lavender is a
gentle
  oil that can be used undiluted itself. Tea tree is not as harsh as
alcohol
  or hydrogen peroxide as it does not dry and it does not kill the
healing
  tissue along with the germs. For fresh piercings, I would recommend
  soaking them in salt water to soften any crusties and then cleaning
with
  rings with swabs dipped in the salt water, and then applying the tea
tree
  oil and leaving it on. Wipe excess from around the piercing as it can
  stain clothing. For healed piercings, I wash daily with antibacterial
soap
  and apply tea tree oil.

  "Antiseptic oils should not be used on genital piercings involving
mucous
  membranes. I would be wary of using them on facial pierces near the
eyes.
  Tongue piercings can be healed by using one or two drops of
peppermint oil
  in a glass of water as a mouthwash. Do not use peppermint oil
undiluted."

Oils should be stored and handled responsibly. Prevent contamination of
the
oil; do not touch the dropper or mouth of the bottle. Air content of the
bottle should be kept at a minimum. The bottle should be dark or
wrapped and
stored away from sunlight.


5.6  AFTERCARE FOR FACIAL PIERCINGS

Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before touching your
piercing or jewelry.

The piercing should be cleaned twice a day while it is healing.
Over-cleaning can irritate the piercing; do not clean more often unless
the
piercing has been exposed to dirt, sweat, or bodily fluids. Saline
solution
may be used to remove dried discharge between cleanings.

Antiseptic solutions containing benzalkonium or benzethonium chloride
are
often suggested for cleaning ear and facial piercings. Remove dried
discharge using a cottonswab and hot water or the antiseptic solution
before
rotating the jewelry; do not use your fingernails. The disinfectant
should
be applied liberally to both entrances using a cotton swab while
rotating
the jewelry. Rinsing the piercing under running water is suggested to
remove
bacteria and antiseptic residues. If the skin around the piercing
becomes
red, dry and chapped discontinue use.

Liquid antimicrobial skin cleansers and antibacterial soaps are
suggested by
most piercers. The shower provides the best place to adequately lather
and
rinse piercings. Remove any dried discharge from the jewelry using a
cottonswab and hot water before rotating the jewelry; do not use your
fingernails. Apply the soap around the piercing and work it into a
lather
while rotating the jewelry for at least 15 seconds. Rinse the piercing,
jewelry and the surrounding area thoroughly under running water. While
rinsing rotate the jewelry several times.

Use a clean cotton swab each time you apply soap to prevent
contaminating
the bottle.

Do not use a washcloth or sponge to clean your piercing. Cloths and
sponges
trap and collect bacteria and mildew.

Dry the piercing using a tissue or cotton swabs.

Rinse your piercing and jewelry thoroughly with water after showering or
bathing to remove soap residues.

Soaking the piercing in warm salt water or using a warm salt water
compress
helps remove dried discharge and lymph secretions, relieve itching, and
increase circulation to the piercing. Use 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or table
salt per 8 ounces of water. Table salt and sea salt are both sodium
chloride
and essentially the same; table salt simply contains ingredients to
alter
the taste and improve flow in cooking. Epsom salt is hydrated magnesium
sulfate and should not be used. Soaking 10 to 15 minutes once or twice
a day
is suggested. The tub or container used for soaking should be
disinfected
using a household disinfectant or bleach solution. If more than one
piercing
requires soaking, disposable cups should be used. There is no need to
clean
your piercing after soaking in salt water; however, soaking should not
replace cleaning.

Do not allow your piercing to come in contact with cosmetics, lotions,
and
perfumes which can cause extreme irritation. When using har spray cover
your
piercings with your hand or a tissue.

The most frequent causes of infection are touching the piercing or the
jewelry with unwashed hands or contact with unclean items such as
clothing,
bedding or hair. Do not wear hatbands or bandannas over ear and eyebrow
piercings. In the case of ear piercings use the opposite ear for
telephones
or place a clean tissue between the ear and the receiver.

Do not allow your piercing to come into contact with saliva (of others
and
your own) or another person's bodily fluids.

Swimming in public pools, spas and hot-tubs may risk infection as one
can
never be sure of the quality of sanitation and the risk of exposure to
bacteria is too great. Although some people have experienced no
ill-effects
from swimming in natural bodies of water, exposure to dirt, bacteria or
other microorganisms could adversely affect the piercing or cause an
infection.

Laundry detergents containing stain-fighting enzymes should not be used
to
wash clothing which is in direct contact with the piercing. The enzymes
can
impede healing.

After the healing process is complete you should continue to clean your
piercing once a day as part of your bathing or showering routine to
prevent
accumulation of dirt and dead skin cells.


5.7  AFTERCARE FOR ORAL PIERCINGS

Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before touching your
piercing or jewelry.

Most piercers suggest rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash after eating,
drinking anything other than water and smoking.

Mouthwashes are not intended to be used as often as is typically
required
for oral piercing aftercare. Mouthwashes with a high alcohol content
such as
Listerine quickly dry out the tongue's protective mucous layer.
Alcohol-free
and reduced alcohol mouthwashes such as Biotene, TECH 2000, Rembrandt,
and
Oral-B brands are suggested. TECH 2000 has the added benefit of being
effective against thrush (Candida albicans). If you use an alcohol-based
mouthwash dilute 50% with bottled water, preferably distilled. After
using
any mouthwash rinse with water to reduce mouthwash residues and dryness.

A white discoloration of the tongue indicates that the mouthwash is
being
over used. When over used the mouthwash dries out the mucous layer of
the
tongue, upsets the pH and depletes the healthy and necessary bacteria
of the
mouth. Depletion of healthy bacteria can result in thrush (Candida
albicans), a fungal infection indicated by a white carpet-like layer on
the
tongue. Medications for treating thrush are only available with a
doctor's
prescription. In some cases the condition of the mouth can be restored
if
frequency of use is reduced. Some people have successfully treated minor
thrush by rinsing with warm salt water containing a few drops of tea
tree
oil which is said to be fungicidal.

Oral cleansing antiseptics such as PerOxyl and Gly-Oxide containing
peroxide
or carbamide peroxide may be detrimental towards healing when used for a
prolonged period. Use of these products in addition to an antiseptic
mouthwash is probably unnecessary. The US Food and Drug Administration
has
declared "oral wound healing agents [including] allantoin and carbamide
peroxide in anhydrous glycerin" as "unacceptable" because these products
have not been found to be safe and/or effective for treatment of oral
wounds; these products have effectively been recalled. See "FDA Medical
Bulletin, January 1996, Volume 26 Number 1" at http://www.fda.gov

During the first 24 to 48 hours the tongue usually swells to almost
twice
its normal size. Swelling should not impede breathing. Apply ice and
drink
ice water to minimize swelling and tenderness. Some people use over the
counter anti-inflammatory pain medications to reduce swelling and
discomfort. Do not take Aspirin because it thins the blood. Swelling and
discomfort should steadily recede during the next 3 to 5 days. The area
immediately around the piercing will be swollen for an additional 2 to 4
weeks. The lymph nodes in the neck and under the jaw can respond to the
piercing by becoming swollen and tender for a few days.

After the swelling has receded, warm salt water rinses may be used to
remove
discharge and lymph secretions. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or table salt to 8
ounces of distilled water is suggested.

Bleeding usually stops immediately with application of ice. The
piercing may
bleed very intermittently during the next few hours. If the piercing
does
not clot or bleeds after 48 hours the piercing may have nicked a blood
vessel and may require medical attention. Using a needle thicker than
the
jewelry often results in heavy bleeding. If the piercing bleeds while
you
sleep or upon waking the piercing may have become dry during the night
causing the clot to adhere to the jewelry and reopen the piercing when
the
barbell is moved.

Tongue piercings produce a discharge just as any other piercing. This
discharge is sticky and white to off-white. A dark yellow or green
discharge
indicates an infection.

The inside entrance of lip, labret, cheek piercings should be treated as
described for tongue piercings. The outside piercing should be cleaned
following the instructions for facial piercings.

Do not allow your piercings to come into contact with another person's
bodily fluids.

Avoid spicy or hot foods. Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages during the
first week; alcohol is a chemical irritant and thins the blood which can
cause excessive bleeding and swelling.

While smoking may be irritating but not necessarily damaging to a new
piercing the use of chewed tobacco products is highly discouraged in the
case of any oral piercing as the use of chewed tobacco has been
attributed
to oral cancers and lesions.

Get a new toothbrush. Do not chew on pens or other items or share eating
utensils or glasses.

Oral jewelry will collect plaque, especially in the crevice between the
ball
or disc and the bar. Plaque traps bacteria and can cause the jewelry to
have
a bad odor. Daily use of an anti-plaque rinse will prevent plaque
build-up.
To remove a build-up of plaque, remove and soak jewelry in an
antibacterial
denture cleaner following the package directions.

References:

Biotene
http://www.laclede.com/biotene.html

TECH 2000, Care-Tech Laboratories, 1-800-325-9681, (314) 772-4610
http://www.caretechlabs.com


5.8  AFTERCARE FOR BODY PIERCINGS

Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before touching your
piercing or jewelry.

The piercing should be cleaned twice a day while it is healing.
Over-cleaning can irritate the piercing; do not clean more often unless
the
piercing has been exposed to dirt, sweat, or bodily fluids. Saline
solution
may be used to remove dried discharge between cleanings.

Liquid antimicrobial skin cleansers and antibacterial soaps are
suggested by
most piercers. The shower provides the best place to adequately lather
and
rinse piercings. Remove any dried discharge from the jewelry using a
cottonswab and hot water before rotating the jewelry; do not use your
fingernails. Apply the soap around the piercing and work it into a
lather
while rotating the jewelry for at least 15 seconds. Rinse the piercing,
jewelry and the surrounding area thoroughly under running water. While
rinsing rotate the jewelry several times.

Use a clean cotton swab each time you apply soap to prevent
contaminating
the bottle.

Do not use a washcloth or sponge to clean your piercing. Cloths and
sponges
trap and collect bacteria and mildew.

Dry the piercing using a tissue or cotton swabs. The inside of the navel
should be dried thoroughly using a cotton swab.

Rinse your piercing and jewelry thoroughly with water after showering or
bathing to remove soap residues.

Soaking the piercing in warm salt water or using a warm salt water
compress
helps remove dried discharge and lymph secretions, relieve itching, and
increase circulation to the piercing. Use 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or table
salt per 8 ounces of water. Table salt and sea salt are both sodium
chloride
and essentially the same; table salt simply contains ingredients to
alter
the taste and improve flow in cooking. Epsom salt is hydrated magnesium
sulfate and should not be used. Soaking 10 to 15 minutes once or twice
a day
is suggested. The tub or container used for soaking should be
disinfected
using a household disinfectant or bleach solution. If more than one
piercing
requires soaking, disposable cups should be used. There is no need to
clean
your piercing after soaking in salt water; however, soaking should not
replace cleaning.

Do not use bath additives or bubble baths while the piercing is healing.

Do not allow your piercings to come into contact with another person's
bodily fluids.

The most frequent causes of infection are touching the piercing or the
jewelry with unwashed hands or contact with unclean items such as
clothing
and bedding.

Swimming in public pools, spas and hot-tubs may risk infection as one
can
never be sure of the quality of sanitation and the risk of exposure to
bacteria is too great. Although some people have experienced no
ill-effects
from swimming in natural bodies of water, exposure to dirt, bacteria,
parasites, or other microorganisms could adversely affect the piercing
or
cause an infection. Several brands of waterproof bandages can be safely
worn
over new piercings; the bandage should not put uncomfortable pressure
on the
jewelry.

Laundry detergents containing stain-fighting enzymes should not be used
to
wash clothing which is in direct contact with the piercing. The enzymes
can
impede healing.

After the healing process is complete you should continue to clean your
piercing once a day as part of your bathing or showering routine to
prevent
accumulation of dirt and dead skin cells.


5.9  AFTERCARE FOR GENITAL PIERCINGS

Genital piercings often bleed between 12 to 24 hours depending on the
depth
and complexity of the piercing. Prince Albert, Ampallang, and Apadravya
piercings may bleed intermitantly for several days, particularly during
erections. Triangle piercings may bleed intermitantly for several days.

Genital piercings should be cleaned following the instructions for body
piercings. Some antiseptics and soaps can irritate the urethra in both
men
and women. After cleaning the piercing, urinate to flush out any
residues in
the urethral opening.

Women should be careful to prevent the antiseptic or soap from entering
the
vagina and to rinse thoroughly with running water. Depletion of the
bacteria
naturally present in the vagina can cause yeast infections (Candida
albicans). Women should use the most lint-free toilet tissue available.
Unscented pantyliners may be worn if the piercing bleeds. During the
healing
period do not wear pantyhose which restrict air circulation and are
often
uncomfortable.

Do not allow your piercing to come in contact with another personšs
bodily
fluids while the piercing is healing. This includes saliva (of others
and
your own) as well as semen. Your own urine is non-pathogenic as long as
you
do not have a bladder or urinary tract infection. There is no need to
clean
the piercing after urinating, although it may burn during the first 24
to 48
hours. While a new or healing genital piercing does not prevent sexual
activity, appropriate barriers should be used (condom, dental dam). You
should not feel pain during sexual activity after the piercing has
healed.


5.10  HERBAL HOT COMPRESS RECIPE

Provided by Michaela Grey, formerly of Gauntlet and the Association of 
Professional Piercers.

Ingredients:
     
Comfrey
Chamomile
Goldenseal
Echinacea
Sea salt

Simmer ingredients in water to make a strong, hot infusion. Apply as a
compress for 20 minutes twice daily.


-- 
--

                              Anne Greenblatt
                Manager of the rec.arts.bodyart Piercing FAQ
                             Piercing Exquisite
                      http://www.piercingexquisite.com

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM