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Ease the sting: Tips to reduce pain caused by a new piercing
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Ease the sting: Tips to reduce pain caused by a new piercing

Ignoring the aftercare after a new piercing can lead to infections and severe pain

The pain during the piercing process is inevitable, be it any body part. However, proper aftercare techniques can reduce the pain of a new piercing in the following days. Neglecting aftercare can lead to infections in the pierced area, intensifying the pain.

According to experts, aftercare is crucial in making the healing process faster and helps prevent potential complications. In some cases, infections can escalate to the point where surgical intervention is needed.

“It’s common for people to diligently care for their piercing for the first two or three days, following our recommended products and guidelines,” says Jayakumar, a piercing and tattoo artist and founder of Slinging Ink Tattoo Studio, Chennai. “However, this level of care often diminishes over time. Unfortunately, neglecting proper care increases the risk of infection due to exposure to bacteria and contaminants, which can lead to inflammation and potential complications.”

Healing of new piercing

The pain from a new piercing diminishes as it heals. However, the healing time varies from person to person and also depends on an individual’s general health.

“Generally, outer body piercings like earlobe, nose, and eyebrow piercings take around two to three weeks to heal. In contrast, inner body piercings such as tongue, nipple, and belly button  may require a month or even a couple of months to heal fully,” adds Jayakumar.

One’s age can also impact the healing time for piercings. “While teenagers often experience quicker healing, those in their 30s or 40s may require more time,” adds Jayakumar.

Precautions before getting a piercing

Taking certain precautions before piercing can promote faster healing, minimize pain, and reduce the risk of infection.

First and foremost, consult a professional piercing artist who is well-versed in the procedure. This will ensure a minimally painful experience. Sterilizing all piercing equipment, including the stud to be inserted, is crucial for safety.

If a needle is being used, it must be changed after each piercing to maintain hygiene and prevent infection. “For instance, when piercing both ears, a new needle should be used for each ear. Ensure the used needle is disposed in front of you,” says Jayakumar.

Proper aftercare for reducing the pain

Infections from piercings often do not show symptoms immediately after the procedure. However, in the following days, you may notice a burning sensation in the pierced area, accompanied by swelling, redness around the area, and, occasionally, pus discharge.

Aftercare includes cleaning the area with water, applying coconut oil or vitamin A+D ointment for better healing and preventing infection, and applying topical anesthetics for pain relief if needed.

“Following the aftercare procedure at least two to three times daily is essential for better results. For cleaning, you can use an antiseptic or a sanitizer without alcohol content. Avoid exposing your piercing to chlorine and saltwater for at least a month to prevent infection. So, it is ideal to refrain from swimming in pools or the beach during this period,” says Jayakumar.

Takeaways

  • Ignoring piercing aftercare increases the chance of bacterial and chemical exposure infection, which can cause inflammation and other complications.
  • A new piercing hurts less as it heals, while healing times differ from person to person.
  • To reduce the pain, adhering to the aftercare routine at least twice or thrice daily is important.

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