After you get your new body piercing, the next step is to take care of it so the piercing can heal properly.

Not taking care of your new body piercing can lead to infection and complications. So aftercare is vitally important.

You may find that the location of the new body piercing may become tender and slightly swollen at first. Don’t be alarmed by this. This usually gets better over the course of several days. Other things that may occur during the healing process are slight bleeding and draining of a yellow or white fluid that forms a bit of crust around the jewelry.

Here are a few tips to care for your new body piercing and prevent infection:

Keep your hands off. Don’t touch your new piercing unless you’re cleaning it. This includes twisting the jewelry. Avoid the temptation to touch and keep your hands off. If you must admire your new piercing, look at it in the mirror instead.

Wash your hands. Use water and soap to wash your hands before cleaning your body piercing. By having clean hands when cleaning your piercing, you cut down on the possibility of germs entering the area. This reduces the risk of infection.

belly-button-navel-piercing-ring-studAvoid friction. Just as you shouldn’t touch the body piercing, keep clothing away from it. Too much rubbing can slow down the healing process and cause irritation. It’s not just annoying, but it can cause an infection in the area. Problems with too much friction can happen especially with a navel/ belly button piercing or genital piercing. Wear loose clothing to avoid friction.

Soothe the pain. Sometimes your piercing area may experience swelling, such as an oral piercing like a tongue piercing. You can ease the swelling by getting a prescription for an anti-inflammatory pain medication. Two other options are to melt ice chips in your mouth and to drink cold water to help with the swelling and pain. Warm salt water also helps.

By following these above tips to care for your new body piercing, you’ll enjoy a smooth healing process.