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Caring For Your New Body Piercing

Jun 25, 2008
If you have recently gotten a new body piercing or are thinking about getting one, you will probably get a lot of advice on how to take care of it. Some people advise using antibiotic ointment. Others use emu oil, salt water washes, or nothing at all. The plethora of conflicting information can be confusing. If you are not sure how to take care of your piercing, this article will help.

There are many different ways to care for a body piercing. That is because everyones body is a little different. We all heal in different ways, making some techniques better and some worse. So, if someone ever tells you there is only one way to care of a piercing, take that with a grain of salt. However, there are a few tried and true techniques you can choose from, and some things you should not do.

Disinfectants are used by some people. These are effective for keeping bacteria from colonizing the wound. However, they are not ideal having been initially designed for first aid and not regular use (brands like Bactine). Many people experience irritation, dry skin and flaking from prolonged use. Disinfectants are worthwhile if other options are limited, however.

You can use salt water washes, such as saline or salt water solutions as often as you like without worry of serious irritation or problems. However, they should not be relied on as the only cleaning method. Instead, use a wound care cleanser periodically, then wash with salt water. Saline is particularly effective for oral piercings as there is no danger if it is ingested. Do not use Epsom salts.

Antibiotic ointments are used by some to good effect, but these ointments may cause problems. They are not recommended by the FDA for use in puncture wounds, and their petroleum base may clog the wound. If you use antibiotic ointments, be sure to clean the body piercing regularly and use these ointments in small amounts only. Some people are also allergic to the ingredients of these ointments.

Peroxide, rubbing alcohol and iodine are all harsh disinfectants that can cause significant irritation and even damage skin cells. They are painful to use and can cause drying and irritation. If other options are available, try them first and avoid peroxide or alcohol.

Do not rely on essential oils to cleanse the wound. However, some essential oils used as hot compresses or applied in carrier oils can greatly reduce scarring and promote healing. You may wish to use a soap that has some of these helpful oils as a main ingredient.

Tea tree and lavender oils are common choices. Always check your choice of oil to make sure it is appropriate for use on a wound and will not cause problems. Just because something is natural does not mean it cannot hurt you.
About the Author
Alan Largo is the creator and administrator of Body Piercing Secrets and strives to assist others identify with current fads of body art expression through informative reviews. You're invited to visit Body Piercing Secrets to read his most recent article review.
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