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Piercing Aftercare

Welcome to your piercing aftercare journey! 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 up to a year or more 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 onwards after 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 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 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:

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:

Do not use Dettol, Betadine, hydrogen peroxide, disinfectants, soaps, tea tree oil and alcohol to clean your piercing. These products can dry out, irritate and burn the pierced area.

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

Do not remove your jewellery:

You should not remove the jewellery from your body piercing during the healing process as the piercing hole will immediately start to close and you may not be able to get jewellery back in. You do not need to take your jewellery out to clean your piercing, simply spray the front and back of your piercing and jewellery with the Sterilear Piercing Spray.

If you must change your jewellery we recommend visiting a professional body piercer in your local Essential Beauty salon to help select the correct jewellery and insert it for you.

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.

How long until I can change my jewellery?

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 for a changeover. 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.


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, increased swelling, prolonged healing and other problems. If you do experience a piercing bump, we highly recommend our Sterilear Bump Dots, perfect to wear over your piercing.

Extra piercing aftercare tips for tongue, dermal and septum

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 are to be expected for a few days.

Dermal or Surface Piercings

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

Septum Piercings

In weeks 1 & 2 after your septum piercing spray with Sterilear Step 1: Clean, spray 2 – 4 times on each side of your piercing twice a day, tilt your head over the sink to avoid making a mess. Switch to Sterilear Step 2: Care in weeks 3 & 4 to promote healing. Throughout the healing process do not pick or scratch off any scabs that form, scabs will naturally dislodge once the outer layer of skin around the piercing starts to heal. Ensure you take extra care when blowing your nose while your piercing is healing.

Do not flip your jewellery up for the first two weeks as this can prolong healing time. If you must have your jewellery flipped up for school or work, tell your piercer during your appointment, they will flip it up for you, but you will need to wear it that way for at least 2 weeks.

Intimate Piercings

Keep your genital piercing clean by spraying with Sterilear Step 1: Clean no more than 1 – 2 times a day for the first two weeks after piercing.

You will need to take a short break from sex after getting a Christina, VCH, Prince Albert or any other intimate piercing. Oral sex should be especially avoided during the healing period (approx. 2 weeks), as germs and bacteria from bodily fluids can enter the piercing which can lead to infection and prolonged healing time.

Wear breathable underwear that is not too tight, and steer clear of restrictive jeans or activewear. You can also wear a panty liner to protect the area from friction.

If you are using soap on your intimate piercing, ensure you’re using a gentle, fragrance-free soap without any harsh chemicals.

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?

Piercing bumps can pop up at any time and can occur due to any number of things that can irritate and aggravate your piercing, the most common being touching or playing with jewellery.

  • Ask one of our Piercing Specialists to change your jewellery to Titanium (nickel-free), cobalt-chrome (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.
  • Use our Calm – Piercing Bump Treatment Dots on your piercing bump to help reduce redness and swelling. Plus, we have a great range of Bump Dots to treat pimples, blemishes, ingrown hairs and any other fluid-filled bumps on the skin as they draw out any fluid or moisture.
  • Read our full piercing aftercare information here


Need help on treating a piercing infection? Check out our blog 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, it is important to note that lobe piercings can take even longer to heal in some instances and it’s always best to check with a piercer in salon if you’re unsure.

If you are confident that the piercing has healed enough to change the jewellery over, it is important that you do not leave jewellery out of the piercing for long periods of time as the piercing can start to close almost immediately after the jewellery has been removed.

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

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