Getting a new piercing anywhere on the body might be the ultimate form of stylistic expression for you. Nevertheless, it’s a wound you have deliberately inflicted on your body. Therefore, you need to make sure it heals properly. You need to treat it with the same amount of care as you would for an accidental injury. Or else the piercing might develop an infection, and you would need long-term medical care for it to heal completely.
One of the best ways to care for your piercings is to treat them with saline solution. It is a wonderful remedy for keeping the wound clean and facilitating healing. However, there are a lot of opinions that you will come across regarding the use of the saline solution. For example, you might find some saying that saline solution could lead to further infections. However, that could only happen if the user does not follow certain hygiene protocols while applying the solution.
Here is everything you need to know about making saline solutions for piercings and their applications and benefits for faster healing.
Why is Saline Solution Ideal for Caring for Piercings?
Before you start using a saline solution for cleaning your wounds, you need to understand that there is no hard and fast rule. A lot depends on the kind of piercing you have received and whether the piercing is near any pre-existing tattoo on your body where the ink might play a part in the healing process.
Nevertheless, many experts have observed that saline solution works best in keeping the wound clean. The salt prevents any bacteria build-up and allows the wound to heal faster. It prevents infection from setting in, and you do not have to follow rigorous medical routines to take care of it. A sterile saltwater soak nullifies any bacteria from the jewelry you wear on the piercing as well.
Piercings can discharge dead cells, lymph, blood, and blood plasma. It could attract dirt and bacteria, and this discharge needs to be gently removed. Using a ton of products necessarily does not promote healing.
Instead, you should promote the body’s healing powers and make it work better for your wound to heal faster. Unfortunately, the saline does not heal the piercing wound. Still, the irritation flushes out the toxins and bacteria and makes it easy for the body to heal.
How Do Additional Factors Affect the Healing of Piercings?
To promote healing, you also need to make certain lifestyle changes.
For example, wounds can take longer to heal if you have diabetes. If you must get a piercing regardless, you should first consult a doctor and ensure that your sugar levels are checked. Since the wound would remain open for a longer duration, you need to be even more careful about using saline solution and use it regularly.
The saline solution helps prevent irritation and redness and works well for any micro-dermal piercings. In the same way, wounds also heal faster in colder climates. So if you are in a humid region, you need to be extra careful about your piercing and must now allow the area to stay damp due to sweat.
Also Read: How to Get Rid of Keloids from Piercings? Causes, Treatments, and Home Remedies
How to Make Saline Solution?
You do not have to buy bottled saltwater sprays to take care of your piercings. You can prepare it at home just like a saltwater soak would be ideal rather than just a spray. By soaking, it does not mean you have to put your piercing in a bowl of water. Rather, it would be a long compress that allows the piercing to soak in the saline solution.
Some experts recommend a sea salt soak for piercing. If your doctor recommends, you can also use sea salt instead of regular salt. It contains trace minerals like zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Depending on your kind of piercing and its location, it can facilitate healing.
Here are some of the different methods for you to make it.
#Method 1: Stove Top Method
- Add two cups of regular tap water to a small pot and boil it for ten to fifteen minutes. This will sterilize the water.
- You can also heat the water in the microwave, letting it boil for three to four minutes.
- Allow it to cool down to room temperature. Keep the pot covered.
- Add one teaspoon of salt. Ensure it is NOT iodized salt when you buy it from the grocery store.
- You can add a pinch of baking soda, but it is optional.
- Stir the mixture properly and pour into a clean airtight container.
- You can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.
- When using the solution, pour an adequate amount into a clean bowl and warm it up a bit. Do not overheat the solution as it will again irritate the wound.
- Use a sterile gauge to dip it in the solution and press it on your piercing.
- Repeat till the water is warm, ideally for fifteen minutes.
- Throw away any leftover saline solution after 24 hours and make a fresh batch as it could lead to bacterial growth.
#Method 2: Distilled Water Method
It might not be easy to come across distilled water, but this is the best option if you can get your hands on some. In addition, distilled water is completely sterile, making a much more long-lasting saline solution. Hence, you can also make a large quantity and use it for as long as a month.
- Get a jar of one gallon of distilled water.
- Add eight teaspoons of salt to it. Do NOT use iodized salt.
- Stir it properly and keep it in the refrigerator. You can use it for up to a month.
- When using the solution, pour an adequate amount into a clean bowl and warm it up a bit.
- Use a sterile gauge to dip it in the solution. Then, squeeze out the excess and press it on your piercing.
- Repeat till the water is warm, ideally for fifteen minutes.
Bonus Read: How to Clean Nose Piercing Neatly and Safely? Complete Guide
How Many Times Should You Use Saline Solution?
Ideally, it would be best to clean your wound twice daily with the saline solution. A lot will depend on your daily activities and lifestyle, along with your skin type. If you are into strenuous physical activity or have oily skin, you should clean it thrice daily.
Make it a point to clean it once after waking up in the morning to clear out the accumulation of any sebum that might have accumulated in the piercing at night.
However, you should not over-clean the wound as well. That could lead to the skin developing rashes, or you could see redness from the friction. Instead, try to follow a cleaning pattern throughout your healing period.
Things to Avoid While Making Your Saline Solution
Here are some points you must avoid when you make and apply a saline solution to your piercing wounds.
- It would be best if you never used harsh cleaners, hydrogen peroxide, or even antibacterial soaps on a fresh piercing, assuming they will keep the infection away. Unfortunately, although they might remove the bacteria, they also cause dryness. This leaves the area sensitive and irritable, something you want to avoid after getting a piercing.
- Since cuts and wounds are vulnerable to infection, do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly before applying the saline solution.
- Do not just use any rag for the soaking. Always make sure you use a sterile gauge to soak in the solution and compress your piercing.
- Make sure the utensils you are using are also as sterile as possible. One way of ensuring that is to wash them first with some soap and hot water before you use them for storing and making your saline solution.
- Do not keep the gauge or compress on the wound for more than three to four minutes at a time. Once the gauge starts feeling cold, remove it, and soak it in the warm saline solution again. Squeeze out the excess and apply again. The entire process should last for about fifteen minutes.
- If the soaking water turns cloudy or dirty, discard it and opt for a fresh solution.
- Do not go swimming. Not even in the ocean. Although the sea contains saltwater, it also contains many other impurities, and you shouldn’t allow any of them to get near your piercing wound while it is healing.
- Do not use too much salt in the solution. Your solution should not sting or burn the wound. If it does, it means you have used too much salt.
- If you notice any redness, discoloration, bloody discharge, or pus accumulation on the site of the piercing, consult a doctor immediately.
Getting a new piercing is a way of expressing who you are. And it takes a considerable amount of time and money to get a proper piercing, not to mention the physical pain that comes later as the piercing is healing.
Hence, it only makes sense for you to care for the piercing. Saline solution is a tried and tested method that seldom goes wrong when you follow your expert’s instructions. Give your piercing some time to heal and follow the basic hygiene protocols, and all should be well. You will be ready to turn heads with your new piercing in no time!