Piercing Aftercare Instructions by The Fall

Posted by Josh Melvin on

Well done! You bit the bullet and got a new piece of body art; now it’s time to heal. We are referring to your new piercing and your aftercare process. 

You are probably still a bit swollen and feeling that tender tissue ache. Well, with the help of this quick guide, you will feel better in no time, ready for your next piece of body art. 

How to Look After Your Piercing

Looking after a new piercing isn’t a simple task; it takes a lot of planning and discipline. Here are a few quick and general tips to keep in mind:

  • Always clean everything that comes in contact with the piercing, including your hands and clothes. 
  • Avoid submerging the pierced area in a body of water, such as a pool or lake. 
  • Don’t move, turn, or remove the piercing during the healing period. 
  • Don’t use rubbing alcohol to clean your piercing. Instead, use either water or a sterile saline solution. 

Now that we have the general rules down let’s look at the regulations that come with time.

Ear being pierced

Within 48 Hours

Directly after receiving your piercing, avoid touching or shifting the stud. It is not common, but it is still possible to bleed at the pierced area during this stage. It is nothing to be concerned about; apply a small amount of pressure using a clean, dry tissue for a few minutes. 

The area will also be the most inflamed during this period. The body is busy rushing white blood cells to the site to start the healing process and fend off any bacteria that want to cause an infection. It will begin to go down shortly after this time. 

At the end of week one

By now, the swelling and pain have started to subside. Your piercing is starting to feel better, but it is still sensitive to the touch. Although, by now, you would have started getting into a routine with your piercing aftercare

Try to keep a strict schedule of when you clean, how you clean, and with what you clean your piercing. As mentioned before, especially during the beginning stages of your heal, stay away from anything that isn’t a sterile saline solution or water. Not too much water though, avoid submerging your body piercing. 

What’s next?

With time, your piercing will heal. Some piercings take a few weeks, while others can take many months. One major factor that plays a role is health. A healthy body makes for sound healing, so use this time to stick to that diet, get in that exercise, and avoid those harmful substances. In that way, you can reduce your healing period. 

Most of all, stick to your routine. Apply your piercing aftercare products as instructed by your artist, don’t sleep on your tattoo, and never move or remove your piercing until fully healed. Wear your new jewelry 24/7 to avoid complications such as scarred tissue or a skew piercing. 

It won’t be easy at times but will allow for a faster and better heal. Besides, before you know it, you will be showing off your fully healed piercing. 

Various types of piercing jewelry

Things to avoid during the heal

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Anti-bacterial ointments, soaps, or scrubs. 
  • Tea tree oil
  • Sea salt

Downsizing your piercing

When you get the piercing, your artist will most likely insert a more extensive piercing that they will downsize later. They do this to allow for swelling and irritation throughout the healing process. You will need to have the jewelry downsized after 5–6 weeks with most piercings. It could take longer, depending on swelling. 

Piercing Aftercare Products

There are many different methods of cleaning your new wound. We suggest using a sterile saline solution in an aerosol can or water. Most of your cleaning can be done under a warm shower, allowing the piercing to air-dry afterward. 

For those looking for a fantastic sterile saline solution, we recommend using NeilMed Piercing Aftercare. You can spray it in any position, including upside down. It’s also preservative-free, drug-free, and won’t give you any stinging or burning sensations—your perfect aid during the healing process. 

Specific Piercing Aftercare Tips

We have discussed what to do in general, but the rules may also vary depending on the type of piercing you got. So, here are some quick and easy tips for the various piercing types:

Ear (Heal: 2–12 months) 

Ear Piercing
  • Use a travel pillow to sleep.
  • Don’t use headphones if they touch the piercing.
  • Pull a t-shirt over your pillow and flip it around each night to clean the surface.
  • Keep anything that comes in contact with the piercing clean such as your cellphone.
  • Avoid hair products and inform your hairdresser of new piercings. 
  • Use low pressure when showering to clean the piercing.

Genital (Heal: 1–6 months) 

Genital Piercing
  • They tend to bleed freely for the first few weeks, but there is no need to be alarmed. 
  • No need to clean additionally after urination.
  • Avoid lubricants, but they are still better than saliva if needed. 
  • Gentle intercourse is allowed after 3–4 weeks, and you feel ready, but avoid any strenuous activity. 
  • Use barriers such as condoms to prevent exposure to your partner’s bodily fluids. 
  • After sex, a saline rinse would be best.

Oral (Heal: 1–6 months) 

Tongue Piercing
  • Avoid makeup or cream on the piercing.
  • Be careful of spicy food.
  • After a meal, we suggest a quick rinse to remove any excess debris. 
  • For tongue piercings, swelling comes easy. Try to find things to reduce swelling, such as cold fruits, juices, or perhaps ice.

Navel (Heal: 6–12 months) 

Navel Piercing
  • Avoid clothing that is too tight.
  • Be wary of clothes such as high-rise jeans touching the piercing.
  • Try to avoid body sprays and creams on and around the pierced area.
  • Getting your hands on a hardcover eye patch and placing it over the navel piercing could protect it from harm. You can use a nylon stocking or elastic bandage to secure it in place.

Nose (Heal: 6–12 months) 

Nose Piercing
  • Practice caution when blowing your nose.
  • Don’t use any non-saline nasal sprays.
  • Beware of harsh face washes.
  • Be careful not to use creams and serums on the piercing.

Nipple (Heal: 2–12 months) 

Nipple Piercing
  • Avoid lace and woven clothing.
  • Make sure your clothes are clean. 
  • A tight cotton bra or shirt could support the piercing while sleeping.

Dermal (Heal: 4–6 months) 

Surface Piercing
  • Be careful not to wear jewelry over the piercing.
  • Don’t use body cream, sprays, or perfumes around the pierced area.
  • Avoid exposure to other bodily fluids. 
  • Be wary of bag straps or handles. 
  • You can use a small bandage to cover the piercing while sleeping or engaging in active situations.

Your next body art piece?

Caring for a piercing is no simple task, but it will all be worth it once your wound has healed. Even though it might take quite some time for certain piercings, it gives you more than enough time to save up and find your next piercing or tattoo idea. 

Make a booking at any time to get your next body art by us today. Of course, you are also welcome to visit our FAQs page for any other questions you may have. 

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Tattoo Aftercare Instructions by The Fall

Posted by Josh Melvin on

Congratulations! You’ve taken the leap and decided to get a tattoo. You feel elated, happy, and a little (or very) badass. However, getting a tattoo is no walk in the park for your skin. Aftercare is a key component of ensuring your tattoo looks amazing and your skin recovers appropriately. In this article, we’re going to give you detailed tattoo aftercare instructions you should follow - no matter if it’s your first tattoo or your tenth!

New Tattoo, Now What?

Although you’re probably over the moon the minute you leave the tattoo studio, a new tattoo is a huge compromise. Aside from having it be a part of who you are and your personal image, tattoos require love, care, and hygiene measures to be followed. After all, you don’t want your beautiful new tat to turn into an infection, do you? To avoid this - and to set your tattoo up for success - aftercare is essential.

How to Take Care of Your Tattoo

The First 48 Hours

Immediately after your tattoo is finished, your tattoo artist will cover your new piece in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage. They may also apply a protective medical-grade patch (such as Saniderm) to ensure your tattoo can breathe without letting any bacteria in.

If your artist uses a bandage, remove it after 24 hours and wash the tattoo gently with antimicrobial soap and water. Pat dry or allow to air dry - never rub your tattoo with a towel. This may lead to irritation and if the towel isn’t sterilized, can end up leaving grime, bacteria, and lint on your skin. Apply an antimicrobial ointment and cover again if needed.

Be careful and don’t sleep on your tattoo. If you got a back tattoo, sleep on your stomach. If you have a left arm sleeve, sleep on your right side. Avoid unnecessary pressure and keep the skin as free as possible of any weight or friction. Also, try to wear loose-fitting clothes that won’t rub against your new ink in rodder to protect it as much as possible.

If you are using Saniderm, your artist will tell you when you need to remove it. The skin will start to “ooze” and “peel”, creating a small bubble of liquid inside the patch. Don’t worry, this is completely normal. And this liquid will actually keep your skin moist, protecting it at the same time. It looks a downright mess, but trust us, and don’t remove the patch. If your patch becomes so full of liquid that it starts to creep towards the edges, then it might be time to remove it. We recommend doing it in the shower and taking your sweet time so that you don’t pull or snag your skin. Be extra careful!

After removing the patch, you will follow the same process we described above. Clean your tattoo with antimicrobial soap and apply an antimicrobial moisturizer or ointment to keep it moist. This will last around 2 to 4 weeks in total.

Other care measures include avoiding sunlight exposure for around 2 weeks. Wear physical sunscreen during the day or use bandages or clothing to cover up the tattoo area if you are going to be exposed to sunlight.

Also no swimming and no sweating (sorry, gym rats). A tattoo is the same as a puncture wound - or in fact, thousands of puncture wounds. Exposing it to bacteria (like the ones found in a pool or at a gym) is a sure recipe for infection. Also, sweating generates bacteria in the body, and weight lifting can warp your tattoo if you aren’t cautious in the first few weeks. Talk to your tattoo artist if you’re physically active to discuss when you can be expecting to return to your workout routines.

We also don’t recommend drinking, partying, or submitting your body to any excess. This is because, according to Byrdie, tattooing puts a strain on your immune and lymphatic systems, which will be working hard to heal your new ink. Taking it easy can help improve the rate of recovery and get your tattoo healed in less time.

The First Week

You will continue cleaning your tattoo and applying moisturizer several times a day. Making sure it stays both clean and hydrated is key to recovery.

During this time, your tattoo will start to scab, develop hard layers, and “peel”. Never, ever, pick, scratch, or peel it. You could trigger an infection (dirty fingernails pushing bacteria inside the open wounds) or you could end up removing the ink altogether. Definitely not something you want. Let the scabs fall naturally. We know, it looks gross, but that’s the way it needs to be.

After That?

Tattoos can take around 6 weeks to heal. In some cases, that timeframe can extend to even 6 months. The more careful you are, the more you follow your tattoo artist’s instructions to a tee, the better your recovery will be.

Hygiene and hydration will be your tattoo’s best friends. Avoiding sun exposure and using loose clothing, its second best friend.

Also, don’t shave until the skin is fully healed. Shaving can remove the top layer of skin, exposing the open wounds and even removing a bit of ink. Remember: don’t scratch, pull, or pick at your skin.

Tattoo Aftercare Products You Will Need

After antimicrobial soap, our most recommended products are tattoo aftercare lotions, like PurTect, or fragrance-free lotions like Lubriderm. PurTect is an innovative tattoo aftercare product formulated by experienced chemists, biologists & skincare experts. It can help reduce irritation, swelling and keep redness down. It’s a great option to start with because it lubricates and moisturizes the skin while also cleaning and soothing.

It also has a unique combination of essential skin nourishing Vitamins A and E, plus moisturizing Squalane, and the highest grade of pharmaceutical-grade Petrolatum help PurTect create a protective and breathable film barrier without clogging pores, allowing the skin to breathe as it heals.

Lubriderm, on the other hand, is a fragrance-free lotion that will replenish and moisturize dry skin. It’s fortified with Vitamin B5 and has a non-greasy finish. It's great for continuing your tattoo care in the weeks leading up to your recovery.

If you prefer ointments to moisturizers, Aquaphor might be the better choice. Different from a lotion or cream, this multi-purpose ointment protects and soothes extremely dry skin, chapped lips, cracked hands and feet, minor cuts and burns, and many other skin irritations - which makes it fantastic for tattoo recoveries!

We also recommend buying a few spare sheets of Saniderm - just in case you need to remove yours before the necessary amount of days and need to replace it for protection.

If your tattoo is hurting, itching, or burning (but without showing signs of infection), then a numbing cream like Dr. Numb might work to ease the pain. These creams are also used before getting your tattoo done to make the pain more bearable.

The Best Tattoo Aftercare Advice We Can Give You

Our advice sums up to this: stay consistent and be patient. Tattoo aftercare is extremely important to guarantee your ink lasts you for a long time. It’s also crucial for recovery and in order to avoid infections. Follow the instructions laid out by your artist, keep your tattoo clean, wash your hands before touching it, and don’t forget to moisturize and apply sunscreen. The rest will take care of itself!

Also, if at any point you believe that your tattoo has become infected, isn’t healing properly, or something else has happened, consult your doctor.


Tattoos are an open wound and should be treated as such. Care for them, keep it clean, and wait for your skin to heal and recover while you enjoy your new inked look. Also, while you wait… why not start looking for your next tattoo? Book your next tattoo session with one of our talented artists today and start getting your second, third, or twentieth tattoo!

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