Inside: Piercing Recovery – The first 48 hours healing guide.

It has always blown my mind how something so small can make such an impact on how you feel. I’ve had piercings before that just in general made me feel pretty… icky? For lack of a better word, for the next couple days.

Rest assured, if you’re looking into your first piercing, most are not like this! It was a super tough one, you’ll be alright.

Either way, the first 48 hours after you get a new piercing are incredibly important and the best time to take care of that new little wound. There’s a lot to manage and take care of, and a lot of the best practices are established in the first couple days.

It’s the most sensitive now, of course, so the most protection and cleaning should be happening now rather than the next couple weeks.

Piercing Recovery - first 48 hours healing guide

Here’s a recovery guide to make your piercing as healthy as possible!

Getting The Piercing

Welcome to the world of piercing if this is your first one! It’s true what they say about tattoos and piercings– they really get addicting to get more. You get the first one or two, cool it for a while. After a few months, the “itch” kicks in and you decide to go get another one. And the cycle keeps going.

If this isn’t your first piercing, you know the drill! You can skip this section.

For those of you that are new to this, there isn’t a ton of prep that goes into getting a piercing. Other than deciding what exactly it is that you want, all you have to do is show up to the shop of your choice. Choose your shop, schedule an appointment and get on your way!

Eat before you go and get your blood sugar up, I tend to get a little weak, even with the easy ones. But I’m a pansy.

Check out your different cleaning solution options and have it all ready for you at home.

Diamond stud earrings

Piercing Recovery – First 48 Hours Healing Guide: Cleaning

Everything you need to keep it clean is pretty simple. You likely already have it all around the house or could pick it up in a quick trip to the store on your way home from your piercing appointment.

What you’ll need:

  1. Cotton swabs
  2. Saline solution

And that’s really it!

Saline solution you can find at any store, you could even probably buy from your piercer as well. They usually sell some sort of cleaning solution. Saline is the most natural cleanser, so it’s my preferred method of cleaning, but anything your piercer sells is a great option.

The cleaning is going to be pretty tender the first couple of days, but it starts to get easier as you get used to the feeling.

Soak the cotton swab with the cleaning solution you choose, and gently douse the area of the piercing with the end. New piercings “weep” like regular wounds, so you’ll likely find some crusty spots. You can use the cotton swab to clear it and keep the area refreshed.

You will want to repeat this process every night and every morning. Unless you’re working with a cheek or lip piercing, then you’ll want to wash it three times a day, including swishing with mouthwash.

Keep it clean!

A girl with a diamond stud earring

Protecting And Recovering The New Piercing

A new piercing is easy to care for.

The first tip is to always avoid touching it. When it’s time to touch to clean, make sure you wash your hands!
If you’re working with an ear piercing, the most you have to worry about is your hair and how you sleep on your ears. Sleeping on your side will be normal again, don’t worry. You’ll be back to all of your favorite sleeping positions in no time.

While changing clothes, drying your face, and doing your hair, you need to be super aware of the piercing. It’s so easy to get it stuck on a towel… I’ve done it many times. Unfortunately.

Face piercings have the same concerns of course, with some additions.

When I got my nose pierced, my piercer told me to sleep with a bandaid loosely over the nose stud, but only while I slept. I never heard that tip before, and I’ve never heard anyone doing it again, but it had the easiest time healing up! I had no issues, I never got the bump, and it never snagged in my sleep. I can’t necessarily attribute that all to the bandaid, but I can’t say it WASN’T because of the bandaid, right?

With a facial piercing that involves a lot of movement, you’ll want to limit it as much as you can, at least in the first 48 hours. Lips and cheeks are obviously the most affected when it comes to talking and eating, so you can’t limit it completely. But as best you can, be careful to not do more than totally necessary.

Protecting From Sweat And Product

Keep in mind sweat and care products while dealing with your piercings.

Avoid saunas and excessive sweating as much as you can in these first 48 hours! Whatever you can help is great, and if you do happen to be in an environment that you’re sweating a lot in, just go ahead and give it another cleaning afterwards.

The products you’re using in your hair and on your face are not good to mix into your fresh piercing, so make sure not to let your products onto the piercing. The chemicals aren’t going to help it stay clean at all, just irritate it.

A girl getting her ears pierced

What To Know After 48 Hours Of Healing

This is the piercing recovery first 48 hours healing guide. Healed up yet? The whole time you’re healing your piercing, you’re going to be a little bit concerned about it being infected or something being wrong with it. But these first 48 hours are going to be the most crucial to making sure that doesn’t happen.

After the first 48 hours, this is when you can really start to tell if the healing is going well. Before that point, don’t worry about it too much. It won’t be completely healed, but according to Mayo Clinic, if you’re still experiencing pain and bleeding after a few days, you should call your doctor.

Infection is evident if the swelling is going on longer than those two days of cleaning. If you’re concerned about something being wrong, wait out the swelling for the first few days and then see what it all looks like.

Girl getting her ears pierced with a new stud

Taking care of your piercing is crucial to making sure it heals well and looks the best that it can for the entirety of the time you keep it in.

Snagging and tearing easily happen during this timeline, and the area is more prone to infections while it’s a fresh wound so these first 48 hours healing guide is likely to be a saving grace for your piercing!

Utilizing the right cleaning products and tools are essential. While some people have the luck of getting by just fine with the bare minimum or less than, that’s not a chance I like to take. Piercings, while not dangerous if not dealt with, can be incredibly irritating to heal once it’s infected or torn. Taking proper care is the only way to help make sure that these things don’t happen.

As you’re looking into different piercings and how to care for them, check out the ultimate face piercing chart here.