How long does it take a body piercing to heal?
The healing time for a body piercing varies depending upon what you’ve had pierced. Some parts of the body heal more quickly than others. For instance, if you pierce your earlobes, you can expect them to heal within two months and be ready for jewelry other than the original piercing jewelry.
The belly button is in an area that heals slowly, however, because it’s right where the body bends, twists and turns, which slows the healing process. It also doesn’t get as much air circulation because it is covered much of the time. It can take up to six months or even a year for a belly button piercing to heal completely.
The better you care for a body piercing, the more quickly it will heal, so be sure to discuss the proper care of your piercing with the piercing professional who does your body piercing to ensure a quick, clean piercing and you will heal in the least amount of time possible.
What should I clean my piercing with?
Today most professional piercers agree that the best way to clean a fresh piercing is with a mild antibacterial soap. These should not contain perfumes or dyes, which can irritate a piercing and lead to discomfort or an allergic reaction. There are a few on the market that are specifically designed for body piercings, including Technicare® and Satin® and Provon®.
After cleaning, if you wish, you can follow up with a sea salt water soak. Sea salt is available at natural health stores, piercing and tattoo studios and a variety of other stores. The sea salt solution helps soothe the area and draw impurities out of the wound to promote faster healing. H2Ocean is an excellent pre-mixed sea salt solution that can be sprayed on for ease of use. It’s highly recommended by many professional piercers and is convenient especially if you’re traveling or on the go.
Every person being pierced has a right to:
- Be pierced in a scrupulously hygienic, open environment, by a clean conscientious piercer wearing a fresh pair of disposable latex gloves.
- A sober, friendly, calm and knowledgeable piercer, who will guide them through their piercing experience with confidence and assurance.
- The peace of mind which comes from knowing that their piercer knows and practices the very highest standards of sterilization and hygiene.
- Be pierced with a brand new, completely sterilized needle, this is immediately disposed of in a medical sharps container after use on the piercee alone.
- Be touched with only freshly sterilized, appropriate implements, properly used and disposed of or re-sterilized in an autoclave prior to use on anyone else.
- Know that ear piercing guns are never appropriate and are often dangerous, when used on anything other than earlobes.
- Be fitted only with jewelry which is appropriately sized, safe in material, design, and construction, and which best promotes healing.
- Gold plated, gold filled, and sterling silver jewelry are never appropriate for a new or unhealed piercing.
Basic Piercing Information:
- Healing time for piercings varies greatly from piercing to piercing and from person to person.
- Some people assume they can remove their jewelry at any time and reinsert it easily. This is not true.
- If your piercing was done properly and you conscientiously attend to the aftercare your risk of infection is minimal.
Most Problems are Caused By:
- Oral contact or handling your piercing with dirty hands.
- Using a cleaning agent which is not compatible with your body.
- Over cleaning, under cleaning, or not cleaning your piercing properly.
- Wearing jewelry to which you are allergic or which is not appropriate in material, size, or design for your particular piercing.
- Excessive crusting, discharge of a clear fluid, and/or enlargement of the piercing usually indicates an allergic reaction to either the cleaning agent or to the material the jewelry is made of.
- Signs of an infection are swelling, pain, excessive redness, and/or discharge of a non-clear puss.
- Removing your jewelry will not necessarily end an infection and may in fact make matters worse by eliminating a passageway for the discharge of puss and other matter.
- Over cleaning and using too many different cleaning agents at once can create problems, so don't change your routine unless you are certain your body is reacting negatively to it.
- Cleaning agents: Technicare liquid antibacterial soap
- Healing plan
- Wash hands thoroughly before contact with piercing.
- No oral contact of any kind for at least 3 weeks.
- Use a wet Q-Tip to remove any dried discharge from around the piercing and jewelry.
- Wash the piercing 2 times a day.
- After letting sit for 1 minute, rinse by rotating (15 - 20 times) under running water.
- Do not use Betadine, Bactine, Hydrogen Peroxide, alcohol, or ointments.
- No use of pools, ponds or hot tubs.
- Wear clothing to bed to protect the piercing.
- Check the ends of the jewelry to ensure the balls are tight.