Piercings: What to Expect

Piercings What to ExpectThere are some normal things you can expect from your piercing after getting the procedure done. All piercings go through several phases: initial healing time (right after the procedure), healing and healed piercing.

In order to take a good care of your piercing and avoid any problems it’s vital to know what to expect from your piercing at each of these stages.

After the Procedure

It is normal to experience some pain and discomfort right after having your piercing done. Swelling (localized on the spot around your new piercing), some bleeding, tenderness and light bruising are all normal and are not a cause for concern.

If you experience pain and other discomfort during the first hours after getting your piercing done, you can take a painkiller to ease the pain. Do not be concerned: this discomfort, swelling and tenderness should pass quickly.

In case the pain persists or becomes more pronounced, it might be a sign of a problem. However, it’s vital to understand that some discomfort right after getting the piercing done is normal and to be expected.

During Initial Healing

Your piercing should not cause further pain or serious discomfort, but your piercing will be sensitive during the entire healing time. During the initial healing time and beyond, you may expect to experience some itching or discoloration on the area of our piercing.

It’s also vital to know that you may notice some whitish-yellow fluid coming out of your new piercing and forming crust around the jewelry. The crusts are not dangerous but it’s important to perform regular cleaning to remove it. Do not twist or turn your jewelry to remove these crusts! You should try to touch your jewelry as little as possible.

Keep in mind that this fluid is not pus. It is easily distinguishable from pus, so you won’t make a mistake there. In case you do notice pus, it’s a sign of a trouble and you should seek medical help immediately.

Healed Piercings

Once a piercing is healed properly it is considered fully established. However, it’s important to make sure that the piercing is truly healed. Keep in mind that most piercings look healed much before the process is actually completed. The tissue tends to heal from the outside, so it takes additional time for it to heal on the inside. This is why it’s so important to keep cleaning and performing aftercare during the entire healing period.

A healed piercing should not pose any problems or discomfort. With a healed piercing, you will be able to change jewelry and try many different jewelry pieces. Depending on the piercing type, you may even be able to stretch your piercing to a larger gauge, if this is what you want.

At the same time, keep in mind that even an established piercing can develop a problem, such as an infection, migration on rejection. It means you should never forget about your piercing: make sure to observe it to notice any potential changes.

Keep in mind that jewelry should sit comfortably inside a healed piercing but it may not move much inside it. This is for the better: you don’t want your jewelry to sit too loosely in the piercing. However, it also means you should not force it to move, either.

Another thing to remember is that even older, well established piercings may accumulate some bodily secretions if you don’t clean them properly. These secretions may become smelly if you don’t clean your piercings regularly.

Also, keep in mind that even old, well-established piercings will shrink once the jewelry is removed. This is why it’s important to keep your jewelry inside at all times.

Cleaning Solutions for Your New Piercing

H20cean Piercing Aftercare Spray

H20cean Piercing Aftercare Spray

Cleaning is an integral part of piercing care. When you get pierced, your new piercing will start to heal, and the healing process is crucial for the future of your piercing. If you want to have beautiful and attractive piercing (and, even more importantly, if you want your piercing to be safe and healthy) you need to follow aftercare instructions carefully and take a good care of your healing piercing. It’s also important to keep your body jewelry clean.

Cleaning is one of the most important things you need to perform during the aftercare. It’s very important to keep the piercing hygienic. It’s therefore important to have a quality, body safe cleaning solution for your piercings. You need to be careful: many commercial cleaning products are just not suitable for piercing care.

Good Cleaning Solutions

There are some body-safe cleaning solutions you may use:

Saline Solution. Packaged sterile saline solution is probably the easiest product to use. It’s important to check that it has no additives, so you need to read the label. It’s very gentle to the skin and it does the job perfectly. This solution is not expensive and it’s very easy to use, so it’s a handy choice for people who want to keep their healing piercings clean and healthy.

Non-Iodized Sea Salt Mixture. This is a mixture you can prepare all by yourself. Take about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt (make sure it’s iodine free) and mix it with one cup (about 8 oz) of water. It’s best to use warm, distilled or bottled water. Make sure not to make your saline solution too strong – it can irritate the skin and your healing piercing.

Anti-microbial soap. You may use a liquid, anti-bacterial soap but you need to be careful with it. Make sure it doesn’t contain any strong chemicals. Also, keep in mind that you should not use a lot of it on your healing piercing (don’t apply it too often and in large quantities).

The H2Ocean Spray. This is a commercial product we can recommend because it’s safe and contain chosen body-safe ingredients. It’s specially formulated and it uses ingredients natural to your body. This spray is made to prevent infections in your healing piercing. The spray uses purified water, sea salt, Lysozyme and Sodium Benzoate. These ingredients not only clean the piercing but also help with the healing process. Just keep in mind that the spray is designed for external body piercings (don’t use for oral piercings).

Oral Piercing Aftercare Tips

Oral PiercingHere are some basic aftercare instructions for your oral piercings. As usual, the best thing to do is to listen to your piercer carefully and to apply all the aftercare measures your piercer recommends. This is yet another reason why you should always find an experienced, reliable piercer: you will need to be informed about all of the appropriate aftercare and safety measures you need to perform during healing.

Remember: healing time is crucial for your piercing. You need to perform adequate aftercare measures and to follow some common safety tips, to ensure your piercing heals nicely and without any problems.

Oral piercings are often tricky because part of the wound is typically located inside your mouth. As such, it may pose a problem, especially during eating and chewing. Oral piercings such as tongue piercing or labret piercings (lip, cheek) have to be cleaned carefully and a special measure should be taken not to damage the piercing during eating.

Cleaning Instructions

To clean your oral piercing, it’s best to use a gentle solution that will not cause harm to your piercing. At the same time, a solution you choose has to be strong enough to fully clean your piercing. It’s best to use a common saline solution suitable for all piercing types, or a special, gentle cleaner specially formulated to be used for healing oral piercings. Before you use any product, make sure it’s safe to be used for mouth rinsing.

To clean your piercing inside the mouth, rinse your mouth with the solution about 4-5 times a day. It’s important to rinse your mouth after every meal and before you go to bed. Make sure to rinse your mouth for at least 30-60 seconds.

At the same time, don’t overdo it. Cleaning and rinsing every half an hour will not help. In fact, it can only make your skin very sensitive and irritated.

For the exterior part of the piercing (such as exterior of the lip and cheek), you should clean using the saline solution or a special anti-bacterial soap. Before you start, make sure to wash your hands before you touch your piercing. You may apply saline solution 2-3 times a day but soap should not be used more than 1 to 2 times per day.

To clean, soak the piercing with the solution and then rinse. You need to rinse thoroughly if you choose to use an anti-bacterial soap. With a saline solution, even a quick rinse will do. Make sure to dry your piercing. You should pat gently to avoid hurting your piercing. Always use disposable paper products for this purpose: cloth towels can harbor bacteria.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips you should follow:

  • Make sure to use a new, relatively soft toothbrush. It’s also best to floss daily to avoid accumulation of bacteria.
  • Don’t forget to brush your teeth and apply mouth rinses after every meal.
  • You need to clean your jewelry, too. At first, you should brush the jewelry gently, to prevent damage to the healed piercing. Later, it’s important to brush the jewelry regularly at the same time as you brush your teeth and tongue. This is the only way to prevent accumulation of plaque.
  • Oral piercings tend to swell easily in the first couple of days. To reduce swelling and hotness, you can put a small piece of ice in the mouth and allow it to dissolve on its own.
  • When eating, make sure to do it slowly. Take small bites of the food and place them directly onto the molars. If you have a new tongue piercing, try to keep the tongue level in your mouth as you eat.
  • It’s best to avoid any strong, spicy food and alcohol. It will only damage your piercing and make it burn and hurt.
  • Cold foods and beverages may sometimes help reduce swelling, but don’t go overboard.
  • You piercing may seem healed well before the healing is complete. Remember, a piercing heals from outside in, so you should apply aftercare throughout the whole healing period.
  • Never play with your jewelry during the healing time! The only time when you should even touch your jewelry is during cleaning.
  • Avoid excessive talking or laughing during the first days. Opening your mouth too wide may damage your labret piercing because the inside of the labret can get caught on your teeth.
  • Stay away from any sexual contact (including French kissing) during the first stage of healing.
  • Don’t chew on pencils or other objects. You should also avoid chewing gum.
  • It’s important to change your initial jewelry with a shorter one as soon as the swelling is gone. Since this will happen during the healing time, it’s vital that you ask your piercer to do the jewelry change. Don’t even attempt to change your jewelry by yourself!

Piercing Healing Time

Piercing Different piercings have different healing times. It’s also important to remember that the exact healing time for any piercing is highly individual and depends on many factors, such as the piercing size and depth, jewelry, aftercare, and other factors.

However, it’s also important to know the average healing time for different piercings. While any healing time chart should be taken as information only (because each piercing is different), it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to healing time.

A Healing Piercing

After you get pierced, your body will treat the new piercing as a wound. However, this wound can’t heal the way wounds usually do, because there is an object inside the hole. Therefore, your body has to work to accommodate it, so the piercing wound heals around the object. A fully healed piercing heals around the jewelry, leaving the hole in the middle so the jewelry can be inserted without pain or discomfort.

There are several stages of healing:

  • The inflammatory stage. It happens right after you get pierced. Your immune system reacts, which leads to redness and short-term tenderness. In this stage, your body seals the tissue, and it separates your body from the jewelry. Some swelling is normal at this stage and is not a sign of infection. It’s also normal to experience some crusting or drainage during this period. This is all normal and should not be confused for an infection. However, this phase doesn’t last long so if you do notice excessive swelling or puss, it’s a sign that your new piercing is infected so you’ll need to cure the infection.
  • The reconstructive stage. This time is the longest one and it takes weeks (sometimes months). In this stage, the body grows a new tissue around the piercing. However, the new tissue is weaker than the old one and can easily tear. This is why it’s important to take a good care of your piercing and not to disturb it by changing the jewelry or moving (rotating) the jewelry.
  • The maturation phase. This is the last healing phase. Here, the new tissue strengthens and goes back to the normal size. The scar tissue diminishes until the wound is fully healed and the piercing hole remains in the middle.

Healing Times

It’s vital to take these healing times as information only. It’s not unusual for a piercing to look fully healed while in fact it’s not. This is why it’s advisable to treat your piercing as not fully healed for a little longer than you may feel is necessary. It’s better to wait a few weeks more than to disturb a not fully healed piercing.

Here is a quick healing time chart for the most popular types of piercings:

  • Earlobe: 4-8 Weeks
  • Ear Cartilage: 2-12 Months
  • Eyebrow: 2-4 Months
  • Navel: 6-12 Months
  • Nostril: 2-6 Months
  • Septum: 6-8 Weeks
  • Tongue: 4-6 Weeks
  • Lip: 8-12 Weeks
  • Nipple: 2-6 Months (for men, it takes 2-3 months)

Male Genital Piercings:

  • Prince Albert: 4-9 Weeks
  • Reverse PA: 4 – 6 months
  • Ampallang: 6-10 Months
  • Apadravya: 4-10 Months
  • Dydoe: 2-6 Months
  • Guiche: 2-3 Months
  • Foreskin: 6 – 8 weeks
  • Scrotum: 2-3 Months

Female Genital Piercings:

  • Clitoral Hood: 2-3 Months
  • Triangle: 8 – 10 weeks
  • Fourchette: 4– 6 weeks
  • Inner Labia: 2 – 8 weeks
  • Outer Labia: 2 – 6 months
  • Christina: 2-3 Months

Piercing and Tattoo Aftercare – Advice You Shouldn’t Ignore

The healing process is the most important process in a body modification. The healing time defines how the end product is going to be accepted into the body, look and feel.  When leaving the shop after getting a tattoo or a body piercing jewelry, instructions are handed out for aftercare. Majority of the clients that receive this aftercare instruction sheet will either not follow it or lose it. Those who do follow and don’t lose the instructions on the aftercare for their new modification have a much greater chance that their new addition to their body will heal correctly without problems.


Prevent Infection & Prolong Lifespan of a Body Modification with proper aftercare


Whether it is a new piercing, a tattoo, or implants keeping the area clean is the most important thing in preventing infection. Most infections are caused by touching the area with dirty unwashed hands. Using antibacterial or antimicrobial liquid soap to wash your hands is best before touching and/or cleaning the area. This type of soap can also be used to clean the modification itself.


Sea Salt is great for healing and cleaning piercings. The reason why it works so well to help clean, reduce redness, swelling, and pain is because it contains many minerals that help activate the body’s natural way of fighting infections and healing wounds. After getting a tattoo or a body jewelry item, it is not recommended to go swimming in any kind of dirty or unclean water source such as a lake, pond, ocean, or chlorinated water until the area is healed.


Heal time for each individual piercing and tattoo is different for each individual person because everyone’s body and immune system is different. When piercings are healing it is normal for there to be a slight discharge. If this discharge dries, it will look like “crusties” around the piercing; to take care of this simply clean the area with Sea Salt and warm water.


However, if this discharge starts looking like pus, which is thick and usually yellow or greenish, it means infection. Most infections can be healed with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. There is a product out there, also available with us, called H2Ocean that contains Sea Salt and natural antibiotics in a spray form, this makes it easier to clean the piercing and helps it to heal.


You can read more about H2Ocean aftercare products at: https://www.thechaingang.com/blog/h2ocean-line-of-body-piercing-aftercare-products/


Rotating the body jewelry while cleaning will help the healing process as well. Tattoos heal by scabbing over and peeling. The area where the tattoo is done needs to be kept moist and not allowed to dry out. Letting the tattoo dry out can cause the tattoo to over scab and loose pigment color. Tattoo Goo and Vitamin A&D Ointments are great products to help prevent the tattoo from becoming too dry and over scabbing. Often during the healing process the tattoo can become irritated, red, and/or swollen. Putting warm water compresses over that tattoo with a clean washcloth can help these symptoms.


Both tattoos and body piercings need to be maintained and cleaned very well at least twice a day after the initial shop visit for about two weeks. Listening to the advice of the licensed professional and following the instructions handed out at the shop on the aftercare instruction sheet about your modification will greatly increase your chances that the piercing or tattoo will heal fine and look great.