How to Heal Piercings Faster

Avoid non-ocean swimming until your piercing heals.
Avoid non-ocean swimming until your piercing heals. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Getting a piercing is an exciting fashion statement and a major responsibility. Getting your skin pierced by a licensed facility isn't difficult, but the post-piercing care necessary for fast healing requires a bit more commitment. Even with the most diligent healing-related care, different body parts heal at different rates. A nostril-piercing requires between one to four months of healing time, whereas a pierced-earlobe typically heals in six to eight weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Implant-grade stainless steel
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Saline solution
  • Paper towel
  • Adhesive bandage

Choose implant-grade stainless steel as your initial piercing ring. Implant-grade stainless steel costs more than your average silver or nickel combination metal, but it's also the least likely to irritate or prolong healing. Titanium is another low- irritant option.

Clean your piercing twice a day. Gently scrub the site with a dime-sized amount of fragrance-free antibacterial soap in the morning and night. Do not pull off flaky or swollen skin, and do not scrub the site with anything besides your fingers. Pat the piercing dry with a paper towel, as cloth towels store bacteria. Keeping the area clean reduces bacteria and infection, and expedites healing.

Rinse your piercing with a saline or sea salt solution. The salts protect your skin by drawing bacteria and drainage to the surface while keeping the pierced skin dry.

Cover your piercing with an adhesive bandage while exercising, sleeping or wearing potentially irritating clothing that rub against the site. Limiting irritation and friction promotes healing and reduces your chances of infection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask the piercing facility for a handout to ensure you take all recommended precautions.
  • Do not clean your piercings with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. These products are ultra-drying and can irritate your skin.
  • Do not apply antibacterial ointment. The gel-like consistency limits air circulation and can cluster bacteria near the piercing ring.

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