Most body piercing wounds can be
cared for at home. If you received written instructions from the person who did
the body piercing, follow those instructions carefully. This will help prevent
problems and promote healing.
If you did not receive instructions
for care of the piercing site, try the following:
Stop any bleeding by applying direct pressure to
the piercing site.
cold pack to help reduce swelling or bruising. Never
apply ice directly to the skin. This can cause tissue damage. Put a layer of
fabric or a cloth towel between the cold pack and the skin.
wound for 5 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day, with large amounts of warm water.
piercing area, if possible, to help reduce swelling.
If you have a mouth or tongue piercing, use an
antibacterial mouthwash, such as Listerine or Scope, 3 or 4 times a day to help
the healing process. Avoid smoking, and don't drink alcohol or eat spicy foods
until the piercing site is fully healed.
Clean your jewelry with
hot, soapy water.
Use of an antibiotic ointment has not
been shown to affect healing. If you choose to use an antibiotic ointment, such
as polymyxin B sulfate (for example, Polysporin) or bacitracin, apply the
ointment lightly to the wound. If a skin rash or itching develops, stop using
the ointment. The rash may be caused by an
Avoid tight clothing
over the piercing area. Tight clothing may irritate the piercing site. If
irritation develops, it is best to bandage the site. Piercing sites usually
will heal well with or without a bandage.
If the piercing site is
red or you are worried about getting an infection, remove the jewelry. Soak the
site in warm water for 20 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day. If it is too hard to
soak the piercing site (for example, if you had your belly button pierced),
apply a warm, moist cloth instead. If the site looks or feels worse during home
treatment, check your symptoms to find out if you need to see
your doctor. If the site does not get better after 48 hours of home treatment,
call your doctor.
How fast the wound heals
depends on the piercing site. The wound may take 4 to
6 weeks or longer to heal. Some sites may take up to a year to heal
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your pain:
Aspirin (also a nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drug), such as Bayer or Bufferin
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box.