The Hole Truth


Looking after a piercing doesn’t end when you walk out of the studio. A few months of extra care is needed to stop it becoming swollen, pus-filled and scabby. After having a piercing your skin could be sore, itchy, slightly red or bruised for a few weeks. It may also bleed a little for the first few days or even secrete white or yellow fluid which crusts on the jewellery.

You should keep your piercing as dry and clean as possible so make sure it doesn’t get infected. Infection means swelling, pus, scabs and even worse, sickness and a trip to the doctors for antibiotics.


To keep your piercing safe you need to:

  • leave it alone for a couple of days – touching it could infect it
  • wash your hands well before cleaning skin
  • make sure you only clean and turn the piercing at most twice a day – otherwise your could damage your skin even more
  • keep a dry bandage on it while it is healing
  • if your piercing is in or around your mouth, make sure you use a  antibacterial mouthwash after eating You’ll also need to disinfect the piercing twice a day for a month with a mild antiseptic mouthwash
  • if you have bellybutton piercings, avoid wearing belts, tight trousers or restrictive clothing for about six months to a year
  • always treat the piercing with care and gentleness.


Every piercing heals differently.

If you clean your piercing twice a day, it should heal in the following times:

  • Lip or ear – six to eight weeks.
  • Tongue – four to six weeks.
  • Cheek – two to three months.
  • Navel – six months to a year.
  • Nipple – four to eight months.
  • Genitals – four to eight weeks.