Body Piecing Aftercare Products Guide
This is a series of blogs on Body Piercing Aftercare Products, not only some of the most commonly suggested products but also the many that I have come across over my years of piercing. Many of these products I do not suggest at all and will go through my reasons and also the pro and con of each product.
The reality is that there is no perfect product for healing a piercing or for each individual. Each piercing is different as is each person. When choosing what products and methods that I suggest, it is based on research, experience and what on average has the best outcome. If you would like information on what I suggest for aftercare, please visit the aftercare section of the site.
Before we get into the products I think it's important to talk about the evolution of aftercare and why there is so much conflicting information out there. Most of those that pioneered the body piercing industry had limited if any medical knowledge. Even those with a medical background really didn't have much knowledge about how a piercing heals or what the body needs during the healing process.
Many of those involved and drawn to Piercing early on were from a DIY and underground sub-culture and had been exposed to natural medicine, herbalism and homeopathy medician. It created a split between those that suggested western medicine based aftercare and those that suggested a more homeopathy plan. This ranged from the extremely aggressive and harsh products to the suggestion that no form of aftercare was needed at all.
Those that supported this idea that no aftercare is needed, often sighted that many uncivilized and ancient cultures had healed countless piercing without any type of anti-septic product or any of the knowledge of modern medicine at all. The problem is that all of these cultures were isolated with limited or no contact with the outside world. The reality of modern life and the life of most of my clients is that we are exposed to a countless number of foreign organisms on a daily bases. Though if you are healthy your immune system can fight off most of these invaders, having an open pathway into your body for a long period of time, makes you a great deal more acceptable to infection. So, precautions need to be taken.
So, over the years a plan of limiting issues was developed and it can be divided into four parts:
- Limit the piercings exposure to foreign pathogens through teaching habits to avoid contamination of the piercing during healing. Often referred to as cross-contamination prevention, it is why your piercer tells you to do things like washing your hands before handling the piercing, avoiding oral contact and exchanging bodily fluids with others, keeping your environment clean, avoiding swimming, contact with pets and unclean objects.
- Limiting abuse to the piercing during healing. Often referred to as "Babying the Piercing". This is why your piercer tells you to avoid constrictive clothing, sleeping on the piercing or over handling the piercing.
- Giving your body what it needs to help with healing. This involves a healthy diet, reducing stress, getting plenty of sleep and doing hot soaks and compresses.
- Reducing the population of foreign pathogens in the piercing area on a few times a day. Even the most careful and healthiest of us, will make at least a few mistakes during the healing processes and contaminate the piercing area. So, as an added precaution, your piercer suggests using an antiseptic product to clean and disinfect the area.
Now some may say that I'm oversimplifying this and there are other benefits to this product or that but the reality is most of the products on the market that are targeted marketed for healing a piercing or suggested by piercer main purpose is to disinfect the area. The key is to find a balance between something that is safe to use but effective. In a lot of cases, this has been a trial and error process. Many of the products in the following blogs were at one time widely suggested and due to new research or a better understanding of how the piercing heals has made it clear that their uses it either increases the healing length or has additional risks that we were not aware of at first.
I hope that these blogs can give you the information to make a decision on what products to use and not use or at least the knowledge to have a discussion with your piercer on what methods and products are going to work best.
Please click on the links before to learn more about each product.