So, I promised you some tips on how to make sense of all the conflicting aftercare advice out there.
— First, and most important, is to use your common sense, and pay attention to your body. Keep in mind the basic goals: You want to keep your piercing clean and free of infection. During the healing phase, you are going to want to protect your piercing and promote healthy healing.
— Don’t think you have to “do” anything to your piercing to get it to heal. Your body does the healing, not anything you do to it or put on it. Concentrate on your general health.
— Do your research. The links on this blog are a great place to start. Check out the aftercare guidelines, for example, at the Association of Professional Piercers’ site. This link describes the “standard” aftercare, as much as anything is.
— Listen to a good, professional piercer you trust–if you can find one! Ask questions, find out why they are recommending a particular thing, and make up your own mind. Even if that person’s recommended aftercare regime is a little different from the “standard,” if you trust that person and it seems right to you, go for it.
— One place NOT to get aftercare: Your friends. Sorry, but after listening to a gazillion “but my friend said I should do [random crazy thing] to it”–this is the source I would trust least. Piercers get extremely frustrated when they find out that their customers ignore their carefully explained aftercare instructions in favor of their friends’ crappy advice, and I don’t blame them.
— Remember, there is no one, right way. People’s bodies are different–their habits, health, and environments differ. What works for your best friend or your boyfriend in another state, or even for most people, may not be right for you. The right way for you is the one that lets your piercing heal the fastest with a minimum of discomfort and fuss.