The so-called ‘civilized’ world may frown at any mention of body piercing and body modification. They may even cock their nose up at body piercing being called an art. However, art it is, and leaving the skeptics and cynics to fight over it, more and more people are decorating their body with ornate jewelry, which is pierced through their skin. Though body piercing may look outlandish, and for some people it may also seem freaky, it is this very nature that attracts people towards it. Those who think that body piercing is a recent phenomenon patronized by freaks and admirers of gothic will be surprised to know that people have been piercing their body from time immemorial. In fact, body piercing ranks alongside tattoos as one of the oldest art forms practiced by man. While nose and ear piercings were widely prevalent, and also accepted in the modern world, piercing of other body parts were also fairly common among the ancients. And body piercing was practiced in almost all the cultures of the world. For example, lip and tongue piercings were practiced by African and Native American tribes, and even Egyptian mummies were found with a few piercings in their nose and ears. If that seems hard to believe then it will come as a shocker to know that the Ancient Roman were the first people to have nipple piercings while genital piercings were mentioned in the Kama Sutra, and its practice may have been prevalent from the 300 to 550 Christian Era. Whatever be the history, body piercings have been embraced by today’s youth. Since, in body piercing a wound is made on the skin to insert an ornament, piercing becomes a perfect recipe for infection. Without proper care, the risks are many. That is why as soon as you get a body piercing you must start with the aftercare procedure. To know more on how you can take care of your body piercing read below.
Image: Vilde Lauritzen@flickr
How To Care For Body Piercings
- If you have recently pierced yourself, the wound would be new and so application of any astringents, creams, and ointments on the piercings is not advisable.
- Keep your piercing away from any bodily fluids like saliva and semen. This will also protect the piercing from developing any infection.
- Neither you nor anyone should touch the piercing for the first few days.
- At least for a month or so do not take off your body piercing. The piercing needs to be healed completely.
- To avoid scarring of the tissue, do not clean the pierced area of the body with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Also, do not use petroleum jelly as it can lead to the growth of bacteria.
- Do not wet the piercings by submerging them in water. If you want to swim or soak in a tub then first cover the piercing with a waterproof bandage.
- If you have pierced your tongue or lips, then stay away from eating any spicy foods. It is also better to stop smoking or chewing tobacco, at least until the piercing gets healed.
- Stay away from direct sunlight as well as tanning oils, lotions, and sand.
- Do not try to over clean the piercing as it can delay the healing process.
- Also avoid drugs and too much of coffee.
- Keep the pierced area free from cosmetics and sprays.
Cleaning The Body Piercing
- Wash your hands with an antiseptic lotion, then soak a cotton ball in warm water and gently wipe away any dirt that has gathered around the pierced area.
- If the piercing is new, then rinse it with warm water several times and then dry it with a paper towel. However, if the piercing is a couple of days old then you can rinse it with anti-bacterial or anti-microbial soap water. Then rinse several times with warm water and then dry with paper towels.
- Rotating the piercing around is also a good way to clean the jewelry as well as the pierced area. However, do not do it if it still pains on touch.
- Apply tea tree oil in the piercing. The oil soothes the irritation and also refreshes it. Dilute one to two drops of the oil in a cup of water and apply it on the pierced area.
- You can also soothe the new piercing by soaking it in saline solution.
- Another excellent way to clean the piercing is to use sea salt soaks. In a disposable cup, take a pinch of sea salt. Now, add hot water to it. The water should be as hot as you can stand. Then take the cup and if possible invert it over the piercing. Or you can also soak a cotton ball and hold it against the piercing. After 5 minutes soak a new cotton ball and then apply it to the area. Then rinse with warm water and dry with a warm towel.