Do you have a piercing? If so, saline solution is something that needs to be on your radar.
The liquid saltwater’s used as a wound care product for piercings and other types of wounds. They can be also used to clean the area around the wound and provide relief from pain.
The saline solution I’ll discuss here is specifically designed for piercings. You should not confuse it with saline eye drops. (used to wade off dryness in your eyes)
You may be wondering why saline solutions matter. Well, they’re great because they don’t contain alcohol which could irritate sensitive skin!
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what saline solutions for piercings are, their benefits, and the different types available. I’ll also show you how to prepare one and what to avoid when cleaning your piercing wound.
Let’s dive in…
What is a Saline Solution for Piercings?
A saline solution is a liquid wound care product that contains saltwater. It’s used to cleanse the area around a piercing wound. It can also provide relief from pain by removing dirt or bacteria in and around your piercing.
Saline solutions are very helpful because they don’t contain alcohol. Alcohol, in some cases, is also known to irritate some people.
If you have sensitive skin, it’s best not to use something containing alcohol on your wound. Wait, at least, until your wound has fully healed (which takes time). This is because alcohol will dry out your skin.
So, using a sterile saline solution instead can help speed up healing. And this is without causing irritation or damage to new cells.
Benefits of Saline Solutions for Piercings
Saline solutions for piercings are quite beneficial. That’s why most doctors or piercing artists recommend them for your wound healing.
Why is that though?
Well, some of the main reasons are because:
- They work well in cleaning the area around your piercing. This is very important in reducing scarring and irritation.
- They provide relief from pain by removing disease-causing dirt or bacteria. Also, saline solutions can speed up healing time if you use them as prescribed.
- Many different types of saline solutions have one thing in common. They all contain saltwater (which means that they’re sterile). Saltwater helps create an environment where harmful microorganisms cannot thrive. This includes yeast infections like thrush which is often associated with earrings.
- Helps clean your piercing by removing oils and other debris.
- They don’t contain alcohol which could dry out new cells surrounding a piercing wound. This is very important in the initial stages of healing.
- Saline solutions are quite easy to make too. You can prepare them at home and use them when required (which saves time).
- You can also find saline solutions available pre-mixed for wound care. Their liquid saltwater formula is both sterile and safe to apply to your skin. They’re proven effective in helping wounds heal faster too!
By using a saline solution every day (or a couple of days) after showering, your piercing will stay nice and clean! You can even use this on an as-needed basis if your wound seems dirty at any point during the healing process.
Different Types of Saline Solutions for Piercings
There are quite a few types of saline solutions for piercings on the market. Each one has its benefits and use-cases. So, it’s important to understand what they’re made up of before you buy one.
Here are some examples:
1. Warm Sea Salt Soaks
Warm salt soaks are by far the most popular saline solution for piercings. They’re cheap, easy to make at home, and you probably already have one in your kitchen cabinet!
To prepare a warm sea salt soak:
- Add ¼ – ½ teaspoon of non-iodized (or “raw”) sea salt into 1 cup of distilled water. Ensure that it dissolves completely. You want it as salty as seawater without any additives. Such additives include things like iodine or anti-clumping agents.
- Bring this mixture to a boil on low heat until all fine particles dissolve. Let it cool a bit before using it to avoid scalding yourself during the cleansing process.
- Store leftover mix in an airtight container overnight or for up to 48 hours inside your fridge. This is if you don’t plan on using it immediately.
Note: Make sure to label your container “Salt Solution for Piercing Wound”. Also, include the date you prepared it (i.e.: Day/Month/Year). This will avoid possible infections or other complications due to negligence of hygiene.
Also, try not to use excess salt while making your saline solution. This is since excess salt can also irritate your wound.
To use a warm sea salt soak on your piercing wound:
- Wet the area with only enough warm saline solution to cover it entirely.
- Let your skin absorb as much of this liquid as possible for around 5 minutes. This will help the salt move deep into your puncture wound. It will cleanse out any excess grime or dirt caught inside.
- Afterward, you can either rinse off the remaining sea salt solution or leave it. Dry well using sterile gauze pads wrapped around surgical tape on each side of your piercing. (i.e.: when cleaning an earlobe).
- You can place ice over your piercing to calm any inflammation that might come up during cleaning. Make sure you don’t touch ice directly onto the pierced area since it might cause a burning sensation.
2. Sterile Saline Sprays
Sterile saline sprays are very convenient for healing your piercing wound. They’re also great if you don’t know how to prepare a salt solution at home!
These solutions come in small bottles. They contain around 4 to 7 ounces of sodium chloride or sea water-based sterile saline pucks.
Now, saline sprays are the best option for you if you’re always on the go. They help you carry on your healing process regardless of place and time. You’ve guessed by now that a soak needs more time and you settled down.
To use saline sprays:
- Simply remove the cap from the bottle. Then, spray enough liquid over your pierced area until it’s completely soaked.
- Allow this to dry on its own without rinsing afterward.
- You may store leftover amounts inside a refrigerator once opened. Still, try not to keep these beyond a month. This is since they might lose their effectiveness after that time frame has passed.
Note: If you can’t find any disinfected saline spray bottles in stores, you can purchase them online.
Important: Saline sprays are not ideal for piercings located in areas with more open skin. This may include places like armpits or behind your ears. This is due to their short range of success when sprayed onto large surfaces. You’ll have to rub it into your skin while spraying which wastes time and liquid.
Some people prefer mixing up sterile saline solutions at home themselves. They would then apply them onto pierced areas via spray bottles.
However, most producers avail premixed and sterilized saline sprays. This is the BEST OPTION for you since all you have to do is spray and go!
How to Choose the Right Saline Solution for Your Piercing
Honestly, any saline solution would do for you! Still, it’s important to consider some factors when choosing the best one for your healing process.
This is since some saltwater solutions might not be sterile enough. Others may not contain ingredients that make them appropriate choices in certain situations.
Some folks use tap water only because they don’t have access to sterilized sea salts at home. This is very dangerous and can lead to infections from contaminated water sources!
Others opt for commercial saline sprays instead which are also great alternatives. Still, these might come with extra ingredients such as alcohol among others.
Alcohol isn’t totally bad per se. It does help disinfect areas around piercings. But, it also dries out skin and can lead to other complications such as scabbing.
This is why you should always choose a sterile saline remedy.
According to piercing experts, different people heal differently. This means that what may work for you may cause an ugly flop on another person!
All this may be also influenced by your location, health, lifestyle, and type of piercing.
How to Prepare Yourself Before Cleaning a Piercing
Before you clean your piercing wound, make sure to do the following:
- Clean your hands with soap and water well.
- Remove any jewelry from around your piercing area before cleaning it. This is since these accessories may scratch or injure your skin during the process! Use clean tweezers for this job if possible.
- Do not touch unpierced areas of skin especially those close to piercings. This might lead to bacterial infections which can be quite dangerous in some cases! Always wear gloves when preparing and applying saline solutions onto piercings.
- Always follow the product’s instructions to reap the most benefits! This is especially when you’re using commercial saline sprays.
- Avoid touching your piercing wound until it heals. This is to prevent scabbing which can be quite difficult to treat once formed!
What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Piercing
When cleaning your piercing(s):
- Do not touch the wound with dirty hands or materials. This is especially true for individuals who have their piercings on areas such as the face and neck!
- Skin infections can also occur. Avoid self-treating yourself and seek medical advice when this happens.
- Do not soak the piercing for too long. This is since it may increase your risk of infection and can cause skin irritation.
- Avoid using any powders, antiseptics (such as peroxide), and other disinfectants regularly. These might lead to allergic reactions which may cause more harm than good in certain cases!
- Be careful when applying gels onto piercings located around the eyes. This is since these are sensitive body parts that need proper treatment too.
- Ensure you contact professional piercers in case your wound closes up after cleaning. They might help open up a closed-hole again. They can also suggest other methods of treatment depending on its current condition!
You must invest in buying a saline solution for piercings on your body. It’s a safe way to keep your piercing wounds clean while healing.
You should also note that we all heal differently. This means that a specific saline cleaning process may work for you and not for others. (and vice-versa)
The important thing is to keep your hands clean and follow the right steps to avoid infections.