Taking care of a new piercing

Piercings can take 3 weeks to 6 months to heal, depending on the piercing site.

Flesh tunnels can take 2 - 4 months or longer to heal depending on size and location.

Below are some don'ts and dos to help your piercing heal effectively.


  • touch your new piercing, or let other people touch it, unless you (or they) have washed their hands first
  • use alcohol-based cleaning solutions – they will slow healing and may cause skin irritation
  • share jewellery with friends, even in healed sites
  • insert non-sterile jewellery or jewellery made of materials other than those recommended by the operator
  • have sex for at least 2 weeks after a genital piercing – check with your body artist for more information as some piercings can take up to 6 months to heal properly
  • swim until the piercing is healed – contaminated water poses a high risk of infection
  • wear tight clothing over piercings such as navel or nipple piercings.


  • follow the care advice provided by the body artist
  • return to the body artist when advised, or if you are having problems
  • see a doctor at the first signs of infection
  • be aware that you may experience tissue rejection which means the piercing site may swell, the skin colour may change and the area may become itchy (this is different from infection where there is pus and usually pain). If you think your piercing might be infected, see your doctor.


Ear piercings

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