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Piercing Aftercare

You’ve been pierced, yay! Follow the instructions outlined on this page to help your new piercing heal.

Our 2 Step Sterilear Piercing Spray system has been designed to provide optimum healing for ear and body piercings for the first month after your piercing, and can then be used throughout the healing process to clean and care for your piercings.

Our best piercing aftercare tip…be patient and follow our expert advice! Healing can take anywhere from 1-12 months, so stick with your piercing aftercare plan. It also depends on the type of piercing, fleshy areas like the lobes will heal in 1-2 months, but if you’ve had anywhere in your cartilage pierced, like your conch, you can expect it to take a year to heal.

Weeks 1 & 2 after your piercing

Sterilear Step 1: Clean Piercing Spray
  • Made for use in the initial stage of healing.
  • Contains the optimal concentration of salts to promote healing.
  • Sterile solution helps prevent bacteria from forming around the piercing.
  • Helps to safely clean and wash away dried discharge, crust or secretions around the piercing.
  • Non-irritating formula to help calm and heal the skin.
  • Aseptic pump pack keeps the solution sterile.

Directions: Spray front and back twice a day, directly over the piercing and jewellery. Not for oral use. External use only.

Weeks 3 & 4 after your piercing

Sterilear Step 2: Care Piercing Spray
  • Enhanced formula enriched with aloe vera, lavender and vitamin E to soothe the skin and promote healing.
  • Contains peppermint oil to provide anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
  • Aseptic pump pack keeps the solution sterile.

Directions: Spray front and back twice a day directly over the piercing and jewellery. Avoid eye contact. Not for oral use. External use only.

Note: Even in the strictest conditions, infections can occur and possibly even leave a scar. If you notice any changes in your piercing please visit your nearest Essential Beauty salon as soon as possible. If you follow all aftercare instructions, the chances of an infection are very low.

What not to do

Do not touch your piercing or rotate your jewellery (this will remove the healing scab and may spread bacteria, leading to infection).

Avoid swimming for the first two weeks after a piercing. If you must go swimming, we recommend covering your piercing with a waterproof band-aid and spray with Sterilear Step 1: Clean after exiting the water and removing the band-aid.

Do not use the following products or ingredients on your piercing:

Dettol, Betadine, hydrogen peroxide, disinfectants, soaps, tea tree oil and alcohol. These can dry out, irritate and burn the piercing.

Avoid using personal care products on or around the piercing including makeup, body lotion and perfumes.

How long will it take for my piercing to heal?

Healing time is different depending on the part of your body that you get pierced. Areas that are softer, with no cartilage such as ear lobes will heal faster than other areas. Healing times can vary from person to person, and will also depend on how well you follow our recommended aftercare instructions.

Ear lobes, Tongue: 1 – 2 months

Ear Cartilage (helix, daith, rook, snug, conch, tragus): 6 – 12 months

Belly/ Navel: 6 – 12 months

Eyebrow, Nose,  Lip/ Labret, Dermal Anchor/ Skin Diver: 2 – 4 months

Septum: 3 – 4 months Surface: 3 – 6 months

Monroe/ Cheek: 3 – 5 months

Nipple/ Genital: 4 – 6 months

After the times listed above, you may be able to remove your jewellery for a short time. However, your piercing may begin to shrink. We cannot give you an exact time for how long you can remove your jewellery before it becomes difficult to reinsert. This varies between people. Just remember – never force jewellery into a piercing that has shrunk.

What’s normal during healing?

  • Some discharge or secretions around the jewellery and piercing is normal. This is the body’s natural defence system working to repair and protect the piercing. Any scabs or dried discharge will wash away when Sterilear piercing spray is used regularly.
  • Skin can “stick” to the jewellery. It will dislodge once the outer layer of skin around the piercing has healed.
  • A small amount of swelling is normal, providing the jewellery does not sink into the skin. We pierce with larger jewellery to allow for possible swelling.
  • Some minor pain.

Extra aftercare hints and tips

Sleeping with new piercings

Keep your sheets and pillows clean. Bacteria can all be transferred from bedding and get inside your fresh piercings. Make sure your sheets are cleaned and changed quite frequently to prevent any problems. If you’ve had any part of your ears pierced, sleeping on your back is ideal, but you can also use a U-shaped travel neck pillow so that you can sleep on your side.

Jewellery

Unless you’re experiencing a problem with the size, style, or material of the jewellery you’ve been pierced with, leave it in for the entire healing period. See one of our Piercing Specialists to perform any jewellery change over that becomes necessary during healing.

Visit your local Essential Beauty if your jewellery must be removed for a medical procedure. There are non-metallic jewellery alternatives available such as clear Bioplast piercing retainers that are not visible in x-rays and can be worn during most surgeries.

Downsizing your jewellery

Most piercings require jewellery that is longer in length if a labret or barbell or wider in diameter for rings. This is done in order to allow room for swelling around the piercing, this is a necessary precaution to prevent jewellery from sinking into the skin if any swelling occurs.

It is important that you don’t leave larger jewellery in for an extended period of time after your piercing as healed. You should visit an Essential Beauty salon to purchase shorter jewellery that will snugly fit your piercing.

Leaving large jewellery in after your piercing has finished healing will make it prone to catching or snagging on your hair and clothing, and pushing down on the skin when sleeping. This trauma may cause piercing bumps that can lead to migration of your piercing, causing it to move and look crooked.

Piercing Bumps

Avoid unnecessary trauma to your piercing such as friction from clothing, towels, loofahs, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewellery, knocking the piercing, and over cleaning. This trauma may cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable piercing bumps, swelling, prolonged healing and other problems.

Extra piercing aftercare tips for particular areas

Tongue & Lip Piercings

Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash and Difflam Anti-inflammatory Gargle (separately) at least 3 times a day, after eating. Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol during healing. Swelling and discomfort is to be expected for a few days.

Dermal or Surface Piercings

Leave dressing on for 24 hours then remove. Dressing should be worn during the night for the first 7–10 nights. Do not undertake any form of tanning while piercing is healing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting a new piercing can spark a lot of questions, we're here to help!
Read More FAQs
What do I do if my piercing has a bump on it?
  • Ask one of our Piercing Specialists to change your jewellery to Titanium (nickel free) or Bioplast (nickel free, medical grade plastic).
  • Reduce knocking or bumping your piercing.
  • Avoid excessive cleansing and continue using Sterilear Step 2: Care.
  • Use Bump Discs which provide pressure and help reduce inflammation.
  • Read our full piercing aftercare information here.
When can I change my child’s jewellery?

It is best to leave the initial piercing jewellery in for as long as you can, until the piercing is fully healed, this is why we have such a huge range of different colours and styles available for Children’s Ear Piercing! The average healing time for ear lobes is 6-8 weeks – it is important that you do not change jewellery before this period of time has passed.

We sell a range of hypoallergenic jewellery styles in our salons, so if you’re wanting to change your child’s jewellery come back and see us!