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Industrial Piercing Care and Cleaning

Question Posted Thursday September 23 2010, 9:52 pm

I think this is in the wrong category, but anywho I just got my industrial pierced today and I was wandering what the best way to take care of it is, and how long it takes to heal. I have H2Ocean cleaning spray too.
Thanks. (:

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karenR answered Friday September 24 2010, 8:08 am:
You should have been given an aftercare instruction sheet, but not all places hand them out.

Here you go, this is from [Link](Mouse over link to see full location)

Ear Industrial Piercing

Summary General Healing Time 8 weeks

The manufacturers of piercing guns do NOT recommend their use for this type of piercing
Healing Time: 6 - 12 months
Do not touch your piercing, or let others touch it while it is healing
Clean your healing piercing only twice a day, with antibacterial soap
Never use alcohol swabs, Betadine or hydrogen peroxide to clean your piercing
Never use cotton balls or cotton swabs to clean your piercing
Pain, redness and unusual discharge may be due to infection. Consult your piercer or a physician if you develop any of these symptoms
Take vitamin C and zinc to maximize your healing
Wait till your piercing is healed before changing jewelry yourself

Daily Care Routine

Do not touch your piercing unless you are cleaning it. Unwashed hands carry bacteria and your piercing is a point where these bacteria can penetrate below your skin and cause an infection.
While healing, at least for the first 2 - 3 weeks, your piercing will need to be cleaned once daily - while showering is ideal. You will need to use an antibacterial soap.
The step-by-step procedure is:

Wash your hands with antibacterial soap.
Wet the piercing with plain water.
Put a few drops of antibacterial soap on the piercing and work them into a lather with a cotton bud.
Try to loosen any crusted discharge and float it off the jewelry and your skin with the cotton bud.
Leave the antibacterial soap on the piercing for two minutes while rotating the jewelry back and forth, allowing the disinfectant to penetrate the piercing.
Rinse with water and air dry thoroughly.
Piercing Options and Jewelry Choices

Suitable Types:

Captured bead rings
Rings are much cheaper than bar bells, but they do tend to park flat against the skin. Special pliers are usually required to remove or replace the bead.
Curved bar bells
Either choose internally threaded bar bells or, if the bar is externally threaded, be very sure that no threads are exposed.

Suitable Sizes:
Only 14 gauge or heavier jewelry should be used. Smaller gauges will migrate out through the skin.
Suitable Materials:
Surgical Stainless Steel, 18 carat gold, titanium, niobium.
Do not use 9 karat gold, silver (which can stain the tissues permanently), or gold plated jewelry in new piercings. In a healing piercing the gold plating will wear off the jewelry before the piercing is healed. This is not such a problem in healed piercings.
Changing Jewelry:
It is possible to change jewelry during the first 2 months, but this is best done by a professional piercer. Once a piercing is healed anyone can change the jewelry.

Other Issues

Bacterial Infections

Symptoms include increased pain, increased redness and an increase in the amount and thickness of the discharge. The infected discharge is usually thick and yellow, green or gray and may have an unusual odor.
Consult with your physician or piercer and do not remove the jewelry until you seek advice. Removing the jewelry may prevent pus draining and cause an abscess to form.

Cleaning Agents
Never use alcohol swabs, Betadine, chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide, methylated spirit or tea tree oil to clean your new piercing. These do kill bacteria but they also destroy your healing flesh. The killed flesh then becomes easily infected.
Be careful not to knock the piercing accidentally when playing sport or doing physical work. You can use a bandage to protect it, but afterwards remove it and wash the piercing as soon as possible.
Use surgical tape while sleeping to protect the piercing.
Swimming is not prohibited while your piercing is healing, but you should only swim for short periods in pools that are thoroughly chlorine- or ozone-treated. Do not let your skin become wrinkly and soft. If you swim in the ocean or waterways, do not swim after heavy rain. Storm water run-off often contains bacteria and parasites.
Tightening can occur in all piercings. The skin at either or both ends can grow tightly against the jewelry. This is not dangerous and will usually resolve if the piercing is rotated or moved about with each daily washing. However, you should not rotate the piercing excessively as this can delay healing.
Viral Infections
Viruses such as Hepatitis A, B, and C, and HIV can penetrate a piercing that has not healed. These viruses may be present in the blood, saliva, semen, sweat and vaginal secretions of infected persons. Until your piercing has healed avoid any other person's bodily fluids contacting your piercing.
Studies have shown that vitamin C and zinc promote wound healing. Aim for about 2000-3000 mg vitamin C and 100 mg zinc daily. Note that these amounts are not available in multivitamin tablets. Ask at your pharmacist or health-food store for advice on suitable products. If you are taking any medications, ask your pharmacist to make sure there are no interactions between them and the vitamin C and zinc you intend to take. For example, vitamin C can delay the absorption of the contraceptive pill - they should be taken at different times.

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Peeps answered Thursday September 23 2010, 11:04 pm:
Use a saline solution (in this case you can use your H2Ocean) on it twice a day to remove crusty bits with a clean q-tip but do not touch the piercing with dirty hands. Do not move the piercing excessively (your skin will NOT grow to the bar contrary to popular belief).

This particular piercing takes about 1 year to fully heal from the inside and out. This is mainly because there are usually two puncture wounds instead of one and that does reduce the healing process speed of your body. This piercing is pretty "extreme" for you body to handle properly and is prone to getting dirt put not the wounds from your hair, sweat, and skin secretions. This part is also laid upon during sleep and tugged on quite a bit, in general. If you're lucky, healthy, and take care of you body (lots of water, vitamins, exercise, proper eating habits, etc) then the piercing can heal in 6 months time.

So, you're looking at somewhere between 6 months and 1 year healing time. You probably won't be so "lucky" so expect 1 year since it's pretty typical.

During this healing process you don't want to get any more piercings. If you get a third piercing (because this piercing has TWO puncture wounds so that is, technically, two piercings) you will slow down your healing process on all of the piercings. Your body is more prone to infection then. You just don't want to do it.

Just for note, you might not want to use "I just got my industrial pierced" because there is no such thing on the human body as an industrial. You actually got your upper ear cartilage pierced. Technically, if you want to get into it, you actually got TWO piercings and are only using one bar for those. You got something called the anti-helix piercing and the helix piercing and are using an industrial barbell in those holes.

Do not remove the barbell for 1 full year so that the healing can continue. Changing the barbell--no matter how sanitary you think you are--will introduce new bacteria, dirt, and germs tot he wounds. It will also actually hurt a bit of the freshly healed areas within the wounds, prolonging the healing process even further. Just don't do it. If you absolutely must then see your piercer again so that they can autoclave the new jewelry and sanitize everything right. They can also get a good position to reduce the damage done when replacing the barbell.

Do not ever, ever, EVER use alcohol or peroxide on your piercings. If they become infected you keep using the saline water and you see your piercer for further instructions. NEVER use alcohol or peroxide. Both of those substances will cause more scar tissue and further healing time. They will damage live and dead cells. They will kill good and bad bacterias. Just don't do it.

Keep your hands away.
Keep your hair pulled away.
Wash it twice a day. Three times is the most you should EVER wash it in one day.
Avoid using soap, alcohol, or peroxide on the wounds.
Do not change the jewelery or mess with it.

For about 1 year.

Next time you choose to get a piercing please, please, PLEASE do some research BEFORE getting it done. If you had known about a 1 year healing time (and having to avoid getting other piercings in that time, dishing out money for saline solutions, and not being able to change the barbell) then you MIGHT have reconsidered this piercing at this time in your life. I've had about 17-ish piercings and I cannot stress the importance of reading BEFORE you get the piercing enough. You have to think about the future sometimes, you know ;)

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