I personally love body adornment. I myself have 14 piercings, so I know all too well the down falls of of having piercings and how much maintenance they can need at times. What’s gross is that even after years of having the piercing if a little extra care isn’t taken, you may begin to notice that your holes SMELL! And it doesn’t matter how pretty or exotic the body jewelry is, that smell is putrid! Don’t be alarmed though, it is completely normal for this to happen over time. It is your body’s way of letting you know you need to give it some extra attention. The smell comes from a build up of dead skin cells, oil, and dirt. According to Maria Tash piercing spa owner and professional, “Cleaning the piercing tunnel occasionally with antibacterial soap also cleans off any skin cells that can collect in the jewelry and create odor.”
I’ve had some of my piercing for over a decade and from time to time some of them will get itchy, raw, and irritated. I noticed that even after the piercing has healed the skin can be very reactive to certain materials. My ear piercings are especially sensitive, but who can afford to only wear real jewelry all the time? I often have to clean my piercings with antibacterial soap, and keep earrings out of my ears for a few days just to give them a break.
New piercings are especially sensitive, and it is important that you keep the jewelry that was place in the hole in until the piercing has healed. I know it can be hard, especially because starter jewelry usually isn’t the most interesting or beautiful, but it is best for the healing process. Keeping the new piercing clean is also important. I’ve been to several piercing salons and often you will get different takes on the best way to care for your new hole. From my experience is to keep it clean, and keep your hands off of it. Plain drug store anti-bacterial soap and clean paper towels to dry should do the trick. Every now and again, even on my old piercings if they get agitated I will do a sea salt soak with warm water, but its not something I do on a regular basis.
It is important to keep an eye on your piercings, and know your body. If you notice a bump or rash forming it may be your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Some times your body will get infected and try and reject the jewelry on its own. According to Director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic, and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, New York Dr. David Banks, “if your skin is raised or there’s a ring or bump forming around the piercing, your body may be telling you it’s not happy with your newest accessory.”
Here are some quick Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind:
1. Don’t Over Clean
Like I said earlier keep it simple, with a plain antibacterial soap. Whatever you don’t stay away from harsh disinfectants such as rubbing alcohol. It can do more harm than good, by slowing down the healing process, and even ruining skin cells.
2. Clean Sheets and Towels
Anything that touches or rubs up against your piercings (especially new ones) is affecting your piercing. If you put something filthy in the presence of an open sore than the likelihood for infection is pretty high. Try to stay away from dirty towels, and keep your sheets cleaned regularly so that as you sleep at night you’re not counteracting your healing process.
3. Keep Hands Clean
Just like with the dirty sheets and towels, playing with your piercing with dirty hands is a definite no no. If you need to touch your piercing for whatever reason, make sure you wash your hands first.
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