Dark Harbor Tattoo Society

Piercing Aftercare Instructions

We Offer A Wide Variety of Aftercare Products By:


  1. NEVER TOUCH A PIERCING WITH DIRTY HANDS!!!!! If you are not cleaning it, leave it alone. Also, avoid the use of make-up, lotions, and harsh face scrubs on or near a fresh piercing.
  2. If you like your piercing, leave it in. Removing the jewelry during the initial healing, even for a few minutes, may result in the loss of the piercing. Even a well healed piercing of a few years can shrink or close in a few hours.
  3. If you were pierced with a barbell, or labret stud, once a day, with clean hands, check the jewelry to make sure the ends are nice and tight.
  4. Keep your clothes, and bedding clean. With oral piercings, be sure to be using a new toothbrush.
  5. Your piercer is always here to help you. If there are any questions or problems, please contact us. Cleaning Instructions for Ear and Body Piercings: Body Piercings should be cleaned twice daily for the entire initial healing period. They should then be cleaned once daily for the life of the piercing. It is usually easiest to clean piercings at the end of a shower.

Using NeilMed or Saline Spray: (Best Option)

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly. Never touch your piercing with dirty hands.
  2. Flush both sides of the piercing. Then spray a cotton swab with the saline.
  3. Clear any crusted material with the cotton swab.
  4. Pat the area dry with a disposable paper product or a clean towel.


Follow all the instructions for a body piercing, Saline is the best option. Also, keep it covered with a band-aid for the first 1-2 weeks, changing at twice least daily.

Using Anti-Bacterial/Microbial Soap:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly. Never touch your piercing with dirty hands.
  2. Let warm water run over the piercing to help soften any crusted material around the jewelry.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution to the area. Clean the area and the piercing. If comfortable, gently rotate the jewelry back and forth a few times allowing the soap to clean the inside of the piercing. If rotating the jewelry is uncomfortable or painful, do not force it, gently cleanse the piercing site.
  4. Leave the solution to cleanse the piercing for 1 minute.
  5. Rinse the area with warm, clean water while rotating the jewelry to completely remove the solution from the inside and outside of the piercing.
  6. Pat the area dry with a disposable paper product or a clean towel.

Cleaning Instructions for Oral Piercings:

Using Biotene or any other alcohol free anti-bacterial/microbial mouthwash is most recommended. These products are available in the oral hygiene section of most drug stores. Be sure to read all product information before use.

  1. Twice a day, at the beginning and end of your day, rinse out with the cleaning solution for 30-60 seconds.
  2. After any eating, drinking, or smoking, cut cleaning solution 50/50 with water, and rinse for 30-60 seconds.
  3. If the piecing is also outside of the mouth, (lip, labret, Monroe, etc.) follow the instructions for body piercing as well.
*If a while film is forming on your tongue, add 50% more water to each rinse.

Sea Salt Soaks:

Many people know of the benefits of warm sea salt soaks. It helps promote blood flow and reduces irritation.

  1. Take ¼ teaspoon to 8oz of warm water. Stir the solution until it is all diluted. If you can still see salt in the water it is too strong. Stronger is not better as it can burn the piercing.
  2. Invert the cup over the piercing creating a vacuum seal. If this is not possible, you can soak a paper product or cotton ball with the solution and apply it to the area.
  3. Leave the solution on for 5-15 minutes.
  4. After the soak, rinse the area with clean, warm water, and then pat dry with a paper product. This can be repeated 2-3 times a day if desired.
  5. This solution can also be used instead of mouthwash to take care of oral piercings.

Special Considerations:

Ear and Body Piercings: Bleeding, bruising, and/or swelling are not uncommon. These are not an indication of any problem. Try to stay away from aspirin and alcohol. If needed, Ibuprofen may be taken to help minimize swelling.

Secretion of a fluid that contains plasma, lymph, and dead cells is perfectly normal. The liquid is usually white, light yellow, or clear. This is the material that crusts on the jewelry when it dries. This is not pus, it indicates that the piercing is healing.

If swimming in the ocean, pool, or tanning during first month, rinse afterwards, and clean it at your next convenience. But do not submerge a fresh piercing in a lake, pond, or hot tub, for at least a month.

Oral Piercings: Swelling of the area is perfectly normal during the first part of the healing. Sucking on ice can help bring down the swelling. The less you play with it, and the less unnecessary talking
you do, helps the swelling go down as well. If desired, taking Ibuprofen will also help with the swelling. Swelling usually lasts anywhere from 3-7 days.

While you are getting used to your new piercing we recommend eating and talking slowly. You will most likely bite the jewelry. Doing everything slowly will lower your chances of damaging your teeth. We also recommend staying away from spicy foods for the first few days.

Avoid oral contact for at least two weeks. This is anywhere from kissing to nail biting. After any oral contact, rinse your mouth out immediately during the initial healing period.

What to Avoid:

Never use alcohol, peroxide, or Betadine because they are too harsh, and can dry out the piercing causing a longer healing period.
Never use Bacitracin, Neosporin, or any other ointment. They prevent oxygen from getting to the piercing.
Never clean more than two times a day. Over cleaning is worse than under cleaning.
Avoid oral contact to the area for at least six weeks. After any oral contact clean immediately during the initial healing period.
Keep the piercing uncovered and exposed to air as much as possible.
Listen to your body. If it hurts, avoid that activity for a week and then try again.
Avoid wearing constrictive clothing that puts stress on the piercing.
Leave the jewelry in for the entire healing period. Removing for only a few minutes during the initial healing period may result in the loss of the piercing.
Avoid submerging the piercing in a lake, pond or hot tub for at least one month.

Healing Times:

Your initial healing period is 2-4 months, but it takes years to be fully healed. Everyone's body is different. If you are not sure if your piercing is healed, please come in so we can take a look at it. A piercing is healed when it is no longer red around the hole, isn't tender to the touch, and is no longer producing a discharge.