No matter what kind of piercing you received, or the type of body jewelry you want to wear, there are some things you absolutely must observe – the most important being hygiene. We’ve come a long with antibiotics and medications in this world but the last thing you want is an infection from a poorly cared for piercing body piercing jewelry .
When you first receive your piercing, the initial body jewelry you get is just a place-holder that’s often sanitized and made of a material that is neutral for most people (i.e. won’t cause an allergic reaction). This piece of body jewelry is ugly and unattractive but functional. It’s generally made to be larger than common pieces for the body part in question because the area you pierced is going to swell.
The swelling occurs no matter where the piercing takes place (belly, eyebrow, nipples, lips, tongue, etc). During the period where the swelling goes down, you’ll need to tend to the site of the piercing and clean around the temporary body jewelry until it’s time to make a switch.
Before you remove your current piece and add the newly purchased body jewelry, take the time to disinfect it. You have no idea where it’s been or who has handled it. Since it’s passing through your skin, there’s a good chance it could transmit a nasty bacterial or even viral infection if it’s not sanitized. To disinfect properly, clean the body jewelry with a benzalkonium chloride pad or another anti-bacterial cleaner. Depending on the material used for the jewelry, you may want to consider dipping the item in boiling water.
Wash your hands as part of the cleaning process. Remove the placeholder jewelry and make sure that it can move freely. If the area is irritated, painful, oozing at all or still swollen then it’s not a good idea to try and swap the piece out. If there are none of the above signs then you’re ready to make the swap out to your new body jewelry.