Piercing: general

Marks and Punctures have a large selection of tattoo designs and piercings available, we are happy to work with your requirements and designs, giving the best possible advice along the way. Our shop in Aylesbury has a comfortable waiting area and sterilised rooms for piercing and tattooing. Find out more in the about us section.

General Piercing Aftercare

Never handle a new piercing with dirty hands! Wash hands and fingertips well.

Avoid introducing foreign bodily fluids (e.g. sweat, blood, saliva) into the area.

Do not harass the piercing’s healing process by wearing constrictive clothing or allowing repeated bumping and knocking the jewellery.

Use caution when swimming during healing; poor water quality and high bacteria presence will infect your new piercing. Some people run Vaseline or Neosporin liberally through the hole prior to a swim in order to seal off the exposed tissue temporarily. Afterwards the area should be washed with antibacterial soap and then bathed in salt water. Alternatively, you can purchase a waterproof dressing from your local pharmacy – Tagaderm patches are best, and we also sell them in store for 70p each.

Listen to your body’s reaction to various products. Some ingredients found in skincare products can irritate the vulnerable tissue in new piercings. Eliminating variables in product exposure will often solve occasional irritation.

All new piercings secrete a gooey, sticky fluid called lymph. This will dry up and form a ring of crust on the jewellery, at the piercing’s holes, making moving the jewellery painful. Soaking and cleaning this lymph daily is necessary to avoid any problems with the build up of bacteria.

Don’t remove the jewellery until well after the piercing has completely healed.
Once healed, a piercing is permanent –however, when the jewellery is removed, the displacement will cause the hole to shrink, making jewellery re-insertion difficult unless you first stretch the hole gently back up to size.

New piercings heal the best when aftercare products do not interfere with the cell regeneration process. Products like alcohol, surgical spirits and peroxide are NOT recommended as they often harass the healing cells. Salt water is by far the least reactive and most effective cleaning solution. Sea salt is the best - approximately a quarter of a teaspoon in a glass with half a glass of warm boiled water is excellent.

For below-the-neck piercings, the whole glass can be placed over the piercing and left for 10 minutes. For above-the-neck piercings, it’s easier to soak a cotton wool ball or pad in the salt solution first, and then apply directly to the piercing.

Alternative products such as Bacitracin Zinc, Bactine, Betadine, Hibiclens, Benzalkonium Chloride, Campho Phenique, and D-Alpha Vitamin E oil have also been successful, but no product is universally good for all types of skin except salt water.

If an irritation persists despite eliminating product types, a metal allergy may be the culprit – try changing the jewellery with help of a piercing professional.

General Cleaning, Problematic Piercings and Mild Infections

Sea or rock salt [table salt contains unnecessary additives] dissolved in boiled water is a great way to clear up an infection or settle an irritated piercing. If this method does not help an infected piercing after 2 weeks of bathing twice daily, see you GP for antibiotics.

Fill a normal drinking glass or mug with boiling water and add a quarter of a tea spoon of salt. Once the water has cooled (so you won’t burn yourself!) dip in a clean piece of tissue them hold the saturated tissue over the piercing. Once the water on the tissue has cooled, repeat with a clean piece of tissue. Do this till the water in the glass has gone cold.

Alternatively hold the glass of water over the piercing and lie down/tilt the body part so the piercing is submerged in the salt solution. Remove once the water has cooled. Always rinse the salt solution from your skin with clean water as salt can be very drying to the skin.

To save time, mix the solution in a large drinks bottle. Keep in the fridge with its lid on tight to keep it sterile! This can be heated in the microwave to as warm as you can stand without burning your skin, when needed.

Be sure to get your salt to water ratio correct: approx. 1 teaspoon to 1 pint. You can do a taste test - it should be similar to a teardrop. Too much salt can dry out the skin and harm the piercing.

This should be repeated daily or twice daily for problematic piercings. Any questions or problems then please come in to the shop and see us.

Most importantly, do not touch, pick or play with your piercings! This is a guaranteed way to get infection, lumps and bumps!

Lumps and Bumps?

Swelling, lumps and bumps are highly common with piercings, especially cartilage piercings. If one occurs it could be a sign of infection or just an upset piercing. Once you have eliminated the possibility of infection by having a check up, you should try a Chamomile Compress to help reduce swelling. Buy yourself a box of 100% Chamomile tea bags, make yourself a cup of chamomile tea then instead of throwing away the tea bag, use it as a compress on the problematic piercing. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Repeat this once daily as well as your salt water bathing and you should see improvements within two weeks!

A common cause of lumps and bumps etc forming can be from sleeping on your piercing, knocking it or catching it repeatedly. Remember to be careful with a new/healing piercing!

If your jewellery ever feels too tight or uncomfortable, come back in to get longer jewellery put in, don’t just leave it!

Call us on: 01296 399969