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Piercing Aftercare

Taking proper care of your investment will help prevent infection and promote proper healing.  We offer a complete line of aftercare products at our studio, and we recommend the following technique:



DO NOT TOUCH THE SITE OF YOUR PIERCING!  The area is an open wound until fully healed.


Touching the site, playing with your jewelry, or otherwise interfering with the healing process increases the risk of infection, hypertrophic scarring or "piercing bumps", discomfort, and may prolong healing times.


Healing times vary from person to person but generally are 3 to 6 months.


Your piercing’s healing progresses with each passing day, but it must be cared for throughout the process. When time to downsize or change your jewelry, be sure to schedule these follow ups with your piercer. Should you run have concerns, please schedule a follow up or otherwise contact your piercer for directions before attempting anything not directed below.


Dark Age Tattoo recommends NEILMED® Piercing Aftercare, which may be purchased at the shop.



To promote proper healing, you must keep the site of your piercing dry!


After you shower, you can use a hair dryer on cool or low to dry out any excess fluid near your piercing.


If you think you have an infection or a problem DO NOT TAKE YOUR JEWELRY OUT UNLESS INSTRUCTED BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL! Your piercing can quickly close, trapping bacteria inside.  If you become concerned about the way your piercing is healing, contact Dark Age Tattoo or your medical professional immediately.


HEALING GENERALLY:  Keep it clean. Keep it dry. Leave it alone.

For  the first six weeks, minimize exposure to filth


Week 1:  Inflammation, swelling, redness and clear fluid are normal during this period. Consider the use of ice in a plastic bag to reduce swelling and inflammation.  Remember to keep the area dry.


Week 2-4:  During this stage in the healing process, yellow “crusties” form around the site of your piercing. DO NOT PICK OR REMOVE THEM! They have a purpose in your healing and will keep your piercing safe from dirt, debris, and other germs. Allow the “crusties” to resolve themselves naturally.


Week 5:  By this point in the healing, redness should be mostly gone. Continue to clean the piercing daily.


Week 6:  Schedule a follow up appointment with Dark Age Tattoo, so that we may downsize your jewelry to something more fitting, as you no longer need room for swelling, and the larger size may become problematic.


ORAL PIERCINGS:  Use alcohol-free mouth rinse NO MORE THAN twice a day. You may use the mouthwash you purchased from us, or any other ALCOHOL-FREE option.  Use of ice and cold drinks during healing is encouraged.  Swelling is normal for 2 weeks.  Eat soft foods during initial healing.  Avoid beer and other beverages containing yeast, and refrain from alcohol as it may slow or disrupt the healing process.  Rinse your mouth with cold water after every meal.  DO NOT play with jewelry during the healing process. 


Plan to return to Dark Age Tattoo in 4-6 weeks to downsize the jewelry for your piercing.  Total healing time may take up to 3 months.


NOTE:  Follow FACIAL aftercare for lip piercings.


FACIAL, EAR, & TORSO:  Soak twice a day with NEILMED® PIERCING AFTERCARE or similar product.  It may be easiest to do this by filling a small receptacle (like a shot glass) with ¾ of an ounce of NEILMED® and flipping the receptacle on the area. It the location of your piercing prevents this, soak the area using a gauze pad.  Alternatively, you can also spray twice daily with NEILMED® PIERCING AFTERCARE SPRAY.  Be sure to rinse off excess solution in shower.  Do not touch, pick, or otherwise interfere with the site of your piercing.  Do not turn/twist jewelry.


DERMAL PIERCINGS:  Apply ice to the area for the first 24-48 hours, while making sure to keep the area dry. You may also apply anti-bruising cream on red areas, BUT we recommend NOT using these creams if you can avoid it and allow bruising to resolve naturally.  If you elect to use the cream, we do not recommend use more than twice daily or for more than three days.  Don't pick or remove “crusties” or dried blood that may form in the area.  To encourage drying at the site of the piercing, remove the cover after the first day and do not re-cover the site.  Be very careful not to catch the piercing on anything.  Total healing time for a dermal anchor is typically around one month.


We recommend scheduling an appointment with your piercer to change the head for the first time.  We do not recommend you attempt changing the head yourself until you have had this piercing for some time and have experience and professional supervision changing it.




Gold and sterling silver can be problematic during the first 6 months.  Be mindful of any metal allergies you may have when selecting jewelry.  If you believe you may be having an allergic reaction to the metal, contact your piercer or medical provider.  Sleeping on or bumping your piercing will slow healing and cause irritation bumps. Be gentle and consider a neck pillow, if you are a rough sleeper.  Hot chamomile tea bag compress soaks reduce bumps and increases blood flow. Oral piercings that are constantly played with will rip and cause white bumpy scar tissue. Saline rinses, Aspro Clear and honey can help to reduce bumps. Avoid using alcohol wipes, cleaners like DETTOL™ or LISTERINE®, betadine, iodine, or any harsh products, which could harm your piercing. While use of these agents was once recommended, we now know more about the healing process than we previously did, and they are no longer suggested for this purpose.  Stick to gentle aftercare and LEAVE IT ALONE when not cleaning it. PATIENCE IS KEY WITH BODY PIERCINGS!


Parents should be checking their children's piercings until they are fully healed.  Redness, swelling, or any problems should be discussed with your piercer or medical professional, so that you may get DIRECTION BEFORE YOU ACT!  Don't panic.  Kids are generally rougher on piercings, less aware of dirty hands, and forget not to touch the site. Problems are typically easily addressed and resolved, so please contact Dark Age Tattoo with concerns.


REMEMBER:  Dark Age Tattoo employees are not medical professionals. They CANNOT advise on your specific healing.  Contact your Health Care provider at the first sign of infection, allergic or adverse reaction, or if you notice any other symptoms that concern you. Please also report the occurrence of infection, allergic or adverse reaction and its diagnosis provided by healthcare practitioner to your piercer and to the Texas Department of State Health Services at 1-512-834-6711.

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