Body Piercing

How to Clean a Dermal Piercing

Dermal piercings need regular care. You should clean your dermal piercing with a sea salt soak twice a day. You easily can make a sea salt soak at home with warm water and sea salt. In addition to cleaning your dermal piercing twice a day, you should make sure you practice good hygiene and consume a healthy diet to support healing.

Method One of Two:
Cleaning Your Piercing with a Sea Salt Soak

  1. Wash your hands before you touch the piercing. You should never touch your piercing with unwashed hands. Before you clean or touch your piercing, wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least twenty seconds. Then rinse your hands with hot water and dry with a clean towel.
  2. Create a sea salt solution. Add ¼ teaspoon of sea salt to 8 ounces (240 mL) of warm, filtered water. Use a clean spoon to stir the mixture until the salt dissolves. Do not add more than ¼ teaspoon of salt, as a stronger solution can irritate your piercing.
  3. Soak a cotton ball in the solution. Take a cotton ball and soak it in the sea salt solution until it is completely saturated. The cotton ball should be almost dripping with the sea salt solution.
  4. Place the cotton ball on the piercing for at least five minutes. Put the cotton ball directly on your dermal piercing. Allow the cotton ball to soak the piercing for at least five minutes. After five minutes, remove the cotton ball from the piercing and throw it away.
  5. Allow the piercing to air dry. Once you are finished with the sea salt soak, you will need to let the piercing air dry. Do not touch the piercing while it is drying. Do not manually dry the piercing as this can introduce bacteria into the piercing.
  6. Clean your piercing twice a day. You should clean your dermal piercing with a saltwater soak twice a day. It is important that you clean your piercing regularly to prevent infection and support the healing process.
  7. Remove crust with the sea salt solution. Crust forming around a dermal piercing is a normal part of the healing process. You can remove the crust by fully saturating a cotton ball in the sea salt solution. Place the saturated cotton ball over the crust and allow the solution to soften it. Then use the cotton ball to gently wipe away the crust.[

Method Two of Two:
Practicing Safe Aftercare

  1. Never use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or Bactine on your piercing. You should avoid using anything but salt water on your dermal piercing. Alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and antibacterial agents like Bactine can damage healthy cells and cause scar tissue to form near your piercing.
    • You should also refrain from using antibiotic ointments on your dermal piercing.
  2. Use a mild soap for bathing. It is important that you use a mild soap when you bathe. Strong soaps can irritate dermal piercings. In general, you should do your best to not let soap come into contact with your dermal piercing while you bathe.
  3. Change your clothing daily. Personal hygiene is important if you have a dermal piercing. Do not wear dirty clothes. Make sure you wear clean clothes each day. Doing so will decrease your risk of getting an infection.
    • Exercise caution when getting dressed and try to avoid bumping your piercing.
  4. Change your bedding at least once a week. It is important that you sleep on clean sheets while your dermal piercing is healing. Sleeping on dirty sheets can invite germs into your dermal piercing. This can lead to infection.
  5. Follow a healthy diet. Eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods will support your immune system and aid the healing process. Aim for a diet that includes 6-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, healthy protein sources, and whole grains.
    • Try lean protein sources like poultry, fish, tofu, or beans.
    • Whole grains like rice, quinoa, and whole wheat are healthy dietary choices.
  6. See your doctor at the first sign of infection. Infected dermal piercings are usually red and inflamed. The area surrounding the piercing can become sensitive, and a pus filled abscess can form near the piercing. If you notice these symptoms, visit a doctor.[

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