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Body piercings, because of their very nature, take an incredibly long time to heal and are extremely prone to bacterial infections, allergic reactions, or rejection of the jewelry. To help avoid this, it is a good idea to wear loose fitting clothes made of non-irritating material such as cotton. Tight fitting or rough clothing such as wool should be avoided to aid in healing and reduce irritation. A common problem is tight fitting clothing causing a constant source of pressure and irritation to the piercing. Low cut or hip hugger style jeans are good choice for navel piercings.

Do not touch your new piercing unless you are performing aftercare. Wash your hands before care with unscented liquid antibacterial soap, such as dial antibacterial. Do not let anyone else touch your piercing with dirty hands. Do not pick or scratch your new piercing. It may be uncomfortable and itchy, but this is normal in early healing. LEAVE IT ALOINE!

Avoid the following while your piercing is in the healing stage:

  • Neosporin and other triple antibiotic ointments 

  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine or other similar home remedies

  • BACTINE, Bactine is not meant for puncture wounds

  • Contact with chlorinated water

  • Ponds, lakes, pools, or hot tubs

  • Sleeping on the location of the piercing

  • Rough housing

  • Activities which will potentially bump, rub, or otherwise irritate the piercing site

  • Putting anything with make-up, scents or dyes on your piercing

Not following these instructions could cause keloiding or scarring. Please remember new piercings are open wounds. It is extremely important to keep them clean and take care of them properly to avoid potential infection, improper healing or migration. As a normal part of the healing process, a white to yellow discharge will be released from the piercing hole. This can form a crust on the piercing, be sure to wash this away daily.



  • Shower normally, avoiding scented body wash or scrubbing your piercing.

  • Be aware of using anything abrasive to wash your piercing, such as a washcloth which may catch on the piercing.

  • Gently hand-wash the area with care using unscented liquid antibacterial soap.

  • Rinse piercing thoroughly, soap is only effective if it’s rinsed away after cleaning.

  • Wash your piercing and the jewelry (without removing jewelry) 2-3 times a day with anti-bacterial soap.

  • You can speed up the healing process by using saline, after the antibacterial wash.

  • Clean your piercing after any physical workout. Avoid activities which may cause your piercing to get exposed to dirt, oil, grease, chemicals, or any other irritants.


Oral piercings such as tongue piercings, labret piercings, and other lip piercings should rinse with 50/50 antiseptic nonalcoholic mouthwash or saline solution for no more than 30 seconds, especially after eating or smoking or drinking (4-5 times per day). It’s also recommended that you get a new toothbrush to cut back on the chance of bacteria in your mouth.


Healing times for body piercings vary depending on many factors ranging from the location of the piercing to variations in individual physiological factors. Heal times can also be lengthened by other irritations. The healing periods we have listed are generalized, and do not include the extended healing times to be able to take your jewelry out and leave it out for long periods without closing.

• eyebrow piercings: 8 weeks

• ear lobe piercings: 8 weeks

• ear cartilage piercings: up to 1 year

• tongue piercings: 4 weeks

• navel piercings: 6-8 months

• nipple piercings: 6 months or longer

• female genital piercings: 6-8 months

• male genital piercings: 6-8 months

• nostril piercings: 2-4 weeks

• septum piercings: 1 month

• lip piercings: 2-4 weeks

• surface piercings: up to 6 months


For the amount of time listed above please follow the suggested aftercare instructions. The better you take care of your piercing, the better it will heal. When it comes to healing this new addition to your body, listen to the professionals. Protect your investment.

SURFACE PIERCINGS because of their very nature are extremely prone to migrate out over time. These healing times are averages and can quite commonly be as much as two or three times as long. When changing out body jewelry, the new jewelry, regardless of its origin, should be soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol for a period of 3 minutes immediately prior to being inserted in the piercing.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your piercer at 712-229-9897, message us @ Smoking Guns Tattoo Art Studio or stop by the shop. If needed, we do offer free jewelry changes, due to swelling. If your piercing happens to get irritated or infected, it’s the way your body is healing. Poor healing is often the result of poor after care not the procedure. Body jewelry is a foreign object in your skin. Understanding this is important. We would much rather you come back to us for a consultation with your body piercer to discuss options with your piercing than throw money away somewhere else.