Getting a new piercing is an exhilarating experience, but it doesn't end when you get off the piercing chair. Instead, the most important part begins aftercare. When piercing, it is recommended that the freshly cleaned area be cleaned several times a day to keep it clean, fresh, and free of dirt.
It is usually recommended to use a sterile saline spray or piercing aftercare sprayer to clean it as this will clean it, drain the leak, and stimulate blood flow to the open wound. But are all sea salt spray the same?
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Sterile saline spray or saline solution is usually recommended for cleaning new piercings, as they are not as harsh as other cleaning agents. Products such as hydrogen peroxide, povidone-iodine (also called betadine), or other strong soaps can dry out the skin and destroy the newly formed tissue, essentially reversing needed healing.
Creams and ointments, no matter how thick they are, should also be avoided, as they interfere with the air circulation needed for healing and can contain harmful ingredients if used for a long time.
In addition, products containing benzalkonium chloride (BZK) and benzethonium chloride (BZT) – as ear piercing and bactin solutions – should also be avoided as they can be irritating and are not intended for long-term use.
With so many products to avoid, it's no wonder that piercings and dermatologists usually recommend sterile saline solutions to treat the new body and facial piercings.