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Body Piercing Care
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Body Piercing Aftercare & Healing Guidelines

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO HEAL?
 
That depends. Each area of the body has its own unique healing period and process. Oral and oral/facial piercings tend to heal fastest, while others tend to heal a bit slower. Also, every individual body heals and reacts to piercings in an individualized manner. So, your friend may have tackled an entire pizza a few days after getting a tongue piercing (which is HIGHLY unrecommended) while you, on the other hand, may still be spoon feeding yourself ice cream and soup after waiting the same amount of time. A general guideline for approximate healing times is as follows:

Cheek: 2-3 months
Cartilage: 2 months-1 year
Earlobe: 6-8 weeks
Eyebrow: 6-8 weeks
Genitals: 4 weeks-6 months
Labret: 6-8 weeks
Lip: 6-8 weeks
Navel: 6 months-over 1 year
Nipple: 2-6 months
Nostril: 2 months-1 year
Septum: 6-8 weeks
Tongue: 4-6 weeks

Will a piercing heighten sensitivity in the pierced area?
 
Yes. While all piercings will make you more aware of the pierced area, there are definitely some piercings that heighten sensitivity more than others. Typically, these include the tongue, nipples, and genitals. As a piercer I have heard everything from “erotic stimulation” to “instant orgasm.” Now, I cannot guarantee that one of these three types of piercings will make you shudder in sexual or sensual delight; but, I will say that I have never heard anyone say that one of these three types of piercings did not enhance sensitivity

Should I "spin" my jewelry when cleaning a new piercing, or will this drag bacteria into the wound and delay healing?
 
After receiving a couple emails concerning the effectiveness of "spinning" jewelry during the cleaning process (for a fresh piercing), I went ahead and consulted Tribalectic's piercing-friendly medic, Dr. Janet L. H. Keating. The following is her response to my inquiry:

"Rotating or "spinning" the jewelry during healing will cut down on scabbing. If done with clean hands, it should not increase the infection rate--though I have seen recommendations for minimal handling. In other words--it is not necessary, but should not be harmful, if done properly."

HOW LONG BEFORE I CAN CHANGE THE STARTER JEWLERY?
 
In accordance with healing, this time period can vary from person to person. There are two things to consider: the initial and full healing periods. The initial healing period is that time when the body creates a nice layer of skin between you and the starter jewelry. The full healing period is when the new piercing is entirely healed. Now, when deciding how long to wait before changing your jewelry you have to remember that you don’t want to reopen the wound. This will delay your healing process and require intense aftercare to prevent possible infection. And when you change your jewelry you are going to irritate your new piercing—no matter how gentle you are. So, my advice is to wait until the piercing is no longer tender (meaning, you can play with your piercing without experiencing ANY discomfort). At this point you can consider changing your jewelry. However, use as much care as possible when changing your jewelry for the first time!

My piercing looks phucked-up … what should I do?
 
There are several different things that can be wrong with your piercing. Most commonly, you may have an infection or adverse reaction to the jewelry. Please click on the Healing and Aftercare link for our comprehensive Suggested Aftercare & Healing Guidelines. If you feel as though this information is not clarifying your problem, please contact the piercer at or shop in which you were pierced. If you are in a new location, contact your local professional piercer or shop. If you still don’t feel satisfied, or if the complications persist, please contact your personal physician or schedule to see a local doctor.

Should I use alcohol to clean my piercing?
 
DO NOT use any type of alcohol to clean your piercing. Alcohol is not meant for internal use, and will only irritate and further complicate the healing process.