Piercing aftercare advice – Part 1

Nic Fletcher is our resident body piercer here at Sunset Tattoo, and with over 25 years experience, he certainly knows his business!

Nic has put together his recommendations for piercing aftercare, what to do and what not to do, and as one of the very best piercers in the country, you’d be best advised to listen to him.

A new piercing

If you’ve just got your first piercing, then the following things might happen…

Piercings might bleed for a few days, especially cartilage and genital piercings, so don’t panic if that happens. Even without the bleeding they’ll be tender, swollen and red for a few weeks. As part of the healing process, the skin might tighten around the jewellery, and possible secrete a whitish/yellow fluid. This is NOT pus, and should not be picked off as it’s part of the healing process.

Cleaning a piercing

Before cleaning you should wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap.

Piercings above the neck

Using Benzalkonium Chloride as a cleaning solution, remove any dried matter with a cotton bud. Saturate a second cotton bud with cleaner and apply to both ends of the piercing (except oral piercings cos’ it’ll taste like crap). Gently work cleaner into the piercing by moving it back and forth a few times. Continue this twice daily till piercing is fully healed.

Piercings below the neck

Instead of using Benzalkonium Chloride, use liquid anti-bacterial soap as a cleaning solution. You will find it easiest to clean body piercings in the shower. Once any dried matter has been softened remove it with clean hands. Lather up a small amount of anti-bacterial soap in hands then gently work cleaner into the piercing by moving it back and forth a few times. Leave soap in piercing for 2 minutes. Flush with clean water and move jewellery through piercing to remove any traces of soap. Continue this twice daily till piercing is fully healed.

Oral piercings

When it comes to oral piercings, use an anti-microbial mouthwash as a cleaning solution. Gargle a table spoon of this mouthwash three times a day, but no more than that. Salt water gargles can be used where needed, or sucking on an ice block to reduce swelling can help.

Come to Sunset for a piercing

If you’re interested in getting your first – or your 100th piercing, then come on down to Sunset and see the man himself.

Nic is running a private, appointment only studio here with us and will take walk-ins every Saturday. Get in touch with Nic or email us for bookings and inquiries! You can email Nic on nicfletcherpiercing@gmail.com


Coming in Part 2 - Tips on looking after piercings, products to avoid, and what to do with infections.