This article is from the Piercing FAQ, by Anne Greenblatt with numerous contributions by others.
BILLY, 73 Elm Row, Leith, Edinburgh
0131 556 5954
Piercing after 5pm; tattooing before 5pm.
*TRIBE*, 248 Cannongate, Edinburgh, EH6 8AA
0131 558 9460
PRIMAL PIERCING, Ground Control, 33 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh
VENUS FLYTRAP, Montrose Terrace, Edinburgh
0131 652 2005
Piercer: Roxx, formerly of Wild N West
5 Care Of New Piercings
Piercings are susceptible to infection during the healing period.
Appropriate aftercare is crucial to promote healing and prevent
infection. An appropriate aftercare regimen includes cleansing the
piercing and jewelry regularly, usually two to three times
daily. Cleansing is accomplished by using a skin cleanser that is safe
and appropriate for use on broken skin. Cleansers intended for use on
intact skin can damage dermal cells and impede healing.
The skin is comprised of two main layers, the epidermis and the
dermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer and is comprised largely
of dead cells. The dermis is comprised of delicate living cells. The
epidermis protects the dermis from outside organisms and chemicals.
Microorganisms, or microbes, include bacteria, viruses, and fungi. If
the skin is compromised, or broken, microorganisms may enter and cause
A product or ingredient described as "antimicrobial" is effective
against bacteria, viruses, and/or fungi. A product or ingredient
described as "antibacterial" is effective against bacteria only.
Because the process of healing a piercing is unlike that of healing a
typical wound, no products have been designed specifically for
piercing aftercare. As a result, piercing enthusiasts have had to rely
on products which are not ideal for piercing aftercare. Povidone
iodine and Chlorhexidine gluconate cleansers were frequently
recommended for aftercare during the 1970's and 1980's because more
appropriate products were not available at that time. At present, mild
antimicrobial skin cleansers are favored by most piercers. While wound
cleansers are more appropriate for aftercare, they are not widely
Information about the efficacy and intended application of a
particular product is available in the Material Safety Data Sheet
(MSDS) and other literature released by the manufacturer. Piercing
suppliers and piercing studios should have the MSDS and other
literature available for all products sold to customers and/or used in