Each new piercing is sensitive and has to be cleaned properly. The initial healing time is when your piercing is the most sensitive and prone to infections and other problems. In order to avoid these problems and to speed up the healing process, it’s vital to perform adequate aftercare.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the aftercare is cleaning. Your new piercing has to be kept clean in order to remove any dirt, bacteria and other agents in the new piercing. It is important to keep the piercing properly clean so your piercing can heal as quickly as possible.
However, it’s important to understand that cleaning should not be overdone. Overcleaning can bring numerous problems so it should be avoided at all costs.
What is Over cleaning?
Simply put, “overcleaning” is any cleaning that is more extensive than needed. You have to keep your piercing clean, but you don’t want to hurt the tissue with too much cleaning. Remember: too much of a good stuff is bad, so you have to resist the urge to clean your new piercing more than it’s needed.
Some people think that their new piercing will be kept clean only if they wash it every hour or so. Nothing can be further from the truth. Exposing your tissue to water and cleaning products so often will only cause more trouble.
As a rule, you should only clean your new piercing a few times per day. Up to 4 times a day during the initial healing time (a few days after you getting your piercing done) and about twice per day during the rest of the healing period.
In some situations, you might want to clean your piercing more. For example, your tongue piercing and other oral piercings should be cleaned after every meal. That being said, a few times per day is enough. You should not clean your piercing more than that. Remember, it will bring more harm than good.
Improper Cleaning Products
Another problem may come from the improper cleaning products. Not all cleaners are created equal and you should not use them all to clean your new piercing. Just because a product is suitable for use on body and face doesn’t necessarily mean it’s suitable for cleaning your piercings.
The best cleaning solution is a mixture of salt and water. You can easily make this mixture all by yourself. It’s affordable, easy to make and very handy. Anyone can make a basic saline solution so you don’t even have to spend much money on it.
Never use harsh chemicals or strong cleaners on your piercing, even if they are otherwise allowed to be used for washing body and face. These cleaners contain chemicals that are not good for your piercing and will harm the tissue.
Signs of Overcleaning
There are several common symptoms of overcleaning or cleaning with improper products:
- Tenderness. Your piercing and skin around it may become tender to the touch.
- Soreness. The piercing and tissue around it may feel sore.
- Damage. A piercing may produce a puss-like liquid.
- Redness. Sometimes, an overly cleaned piercing will become red.
These are just some of the signs to watch for. If you experience any of these problems it’s a sign that you’re overcleaning. Reduce the number of times you clean your piercing and switch to a gentler cleaner. In case you use a saline solution to clean your piercing, it might be too strong. In order to prevent further problems, dilute the mixture and use sterile water with salt.