Proper aftercare always includes an anti-microbial soap to clean off bacteria and “crusties” with warm water. “Anti-microbial” soap is usually a hospital grade skin cleanser. Most of the good ones that I have used over the years are known as anti-microbial hand soaps that are used in medical offices and hospitals. They kill pathogens and have a lotion texture to the soap to keep moisture in the skin. The lotion and moisturizer is necessary for medical professionals (and piercers) who constantly wash their hands between clients all day. Without the lotion or moisturizer in the soap, hands will get very chapped and dry - a miserable situation. The same can be said about piercings, you need to keep a new piercings supple and moist to heal. Anti-microbial soaps not only kill pathogens but put that moisture back into the piercing.
The main staple of the aftercare package is a good anti-microbial lotion soap. The soap is used to clean the piercing thoroughly by lathering the soap all around skin and onto the jewelry for about 30 seconds. Rinse it exceptionally well with clear clean water. Pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel or just let it air dry. If you do not rinse soap off, it will chafe your skin and sometimes cause a chemical burn. Many people will mistake anti-microbial lotion soaps as lotions and leave it on. This can lead to a pretty ugly situation. 3 days or longer of soap “lotion” not being rinsed off, it will be pretty red, chaffed and take a lot of rinsing to get lots of soap suds off the piercing. So, take the time to read the labels on products you use. Make sure you understand exactly what it is supposed to do and if it needs rinsed off. Don’t be deceived by some of these air can salt spray manufacturers that tell you to just spray on the sea salt spray and leave it on and do nothing else. There is no Genie in that bottle and the magic fairy is not going to come clean it for you. Not gonna happen. So let’s get real. Sea salt sprays has a place within the aftercare routine but they DO NOT clean your piercing. Sea Salt soaks can help to remove debris and lymph and crusties however, they don’t have anti-microbial properties that kill pathogens. You need anti-microbial soap and clean water to have a squeaky clean and refreshing moment on a new piercing. It is well worth your time to use an anti-microbial soap if you want to avoid healing complications.
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