Pierced It? Leave It Alone!

Leave It The Hell Alone

When people get their first body piercing done, be it nose, ear, lip, tongue or navel – they start worrying about whether it will heal properly.

Sometimes they clean the fresh piercing TOO much, twisting the jewelry and irritating the piercing. In this case your body piercing aftercare attempts can prevent your body from healing the wound rather than heal it! When you get a new piercing, use fragrance-free, anti-bacterial soap and saline soaks. If you find that the soap and soaks irritate your piercing, try to let the wound heal naturally for a short while, using only water to clean the wound.

Leave It  Alone!

The miraculous fact is that our body is capable of healing itself without any help. The piercing is simply a small hole and when done safely by an experienced professional, can easily heal. And many folks do very well without applying antibacterial soap or saline solution to speed up the healing.

Antibacterial soap can clear out the resident and Transient Bacteria from the body, but when it is used for a long time, it can also kill the bacteria that would help fight the bacteria.

As long as you leave it alone, any minor swelling will naturally subside. Of course, you must never touch it or try twisting it. If it does happen to get dirty, you can use clean distilled water or boiled water and a cotton bud to clean it, after which it can be patted dry with a tissue. It goes without saying that if it is just wet, then patting it dry with a tissue is enough. Don’t forget to wash your hands with antibacterial soap before you clean your piercing.

While exercising or showering, you may want to cover the piercing to prevent sweat and moisture. You can use inexpensive cling wrap and tape the edges down instead of investing in bandage.

About the only cleaning agent you will ever need is clean water, if at all you need to clean the piercing. But even this is unnecessary in most cases. For most people, applying cleaning agents or medication only causes irritation around the piercing, further slowing down the healing process.

For many folks ‘Leave it alone’ really works because the concept of the body healing itself is an approach that is safe and promotes quick body piercing healing process! And most likely you’ll end up with a successfully healed piercing if you happen to be healthy and follow the right hygiene. So it’s up to you to decide if you need any extra medication to clean the body piercing. You can also Leave It  Alone! 😉

One extra point worth mentioning here is the question of whether to remove your jewelry if you have an infection. Jewelry should only be removed as a last resort. Removing the jewelry can cause the wound to close and the infection will be caught under your skin, thus forming an abscess. If you have an infection and feel you must remove your jewelry, consult a piercing or medical professional immediately and do not remove the jewelry unless advised to do so. Leave it alone!!


  1. hey. it seems like you know alot about piercings but i need advice. i got my navel pierced last year in late december… now that its all healed… its VERY thinned out.It looks like it’s going to split like right at the middle of the skin holding the ring. i want to let it heal but i took it out and it wont. what do i do? do i just get it repierced and leave the extra whole there?

  2. Hi Dominique,

    Your navel ring is getting rejected. Navel piercing is essentially a surface piercing and some girls find themselves in situation like you.

    Unfortunately there’s no way around it, just take the belly ring out, allow the hole to close up and go to the piercer again. Just ask him to make the piercing a bit deeper than the first time and consider inserting some flexible belly ring to reduce the likelihood of rejection.

    You can have a look at flexible bioplast belly rings here: http://www.belly-button-rings-guide.com/navel-ring-bioplast.html

    Good luck!


  3. I got my belly button pierced 7 weeks ago. I got a hoop because I wear hoop everything. I am starting to regret that decision seeing that my ring lays to one side. Is this normal? should I lay it the other way to get it to lay right? When it heals I want to put just a bar in it which I wish the piercer would have recommended. Help!

  4. The skin on the top of my piercing is like swallowing the ball. I think my hole stretched out. I don’t know if this is normal or if I should take the piercing out. I just got my navel done 6 days ago. Also it’s all red on top and the inside by the bar looks white. I have some pus looking discharge and runny liquid. I clean with dial soap 2X a day and put a few drops of saline water whenever it looks goopy and dry with a tissue. Any advice?

  5. Liz I’m havn the same problem as yu..I gt myne done a wk ago and idk wut ta du..Is this normal?? ..du I need a bigger navel ring??

  6. Dear Robby,
    I got my BB pierced in Feb 2009 and i took all the necessary care as mentioned and it healed wonderfully in a months time…
    However my little boy of 4 and half who obvioulsy doesnt realise what it is happens to hurt me by ways of playfully fighting or during a tantrum etc… Now its sore.
    First the bottom was oozing slighty with white discharge which gradually healed. Now the top part has a reddish skin area moist and soar and fills up with white discharge(i suspect its puss) i clean the same with cotton buds dipped in dettol water (antiseptic germicidal) and used to use soframycin(framycetin skin cream) which i spopped after reading all the posts.
    Now if i touch the top part a little i see oozing and clean it off with a tissue. this has happen only for the past 12 hours.
    I dont wet it while taking bath and only clean with the dettol water (antiseptic germicidal) and dry.
    Please advice further. Thanks a MILLION, Archana, India, Bangalore

  7. i have a BIG problem and i need HELP FAST.
    ok so i got my bellybotton pierced over like a month ago and now all the sudon i have a huge swelling on the left side of it and its getting wource. and sinse the bottom of the ring is big its bieng pushed over by the swelling. so i put another bellyrigh in that has small on the bottom ut dangles on top. and ive had the swelling for a couple days and it keeps getting wource i have been puttin ice on it but it doesent seem to help. also i took a shower today and put my shower head over my bellybotton after i took the piercing out. after a while it hurt bad from the warm water so i stopped then wen i went to put the dangly rign in all the suddon puss/water came out so i figured ohh this is a pus ball in my bellybutton so i put the ring in and where the swelling is i can move the whole ring in there its like the hole expanded al the way to the left. so i tryed to get the discharge out and it didnt work so i went to put the dangly one in but the stem was to small since it swelled more. so now it hurts bad and i really dont wanna take it out should i just litha?

  8. I have a question.
    I got my naval pierced (unprofessionally) and after 3 months it started rejecting. Within 5 months of having it pierced, I took it out. Immediately the hole started to close and then it started to scar really badly. It turned into a keloid.
    I got the steriod injections and it’s flatter now, but the discoloration is still here.

    My question is if I get it repierced (because I want to hide the discoloration) what are the chances of it getting pierced again?

  9. I just got my belly pierced yesterday and im really worried about it becoming infected. I’ve being given some piercing spray which ive been using twice a day after showering. However i was told to put a bandaid on it yesterday and I left it on all day today and i just took it off tonight.

    Is it okay to let the piercing air without a bandaid on in the first couple of days or should i keep it closed up with a bandaid and if so how long for?

  10. hi, i got my belly button pierced 2 days ago….and this this small dark spot on the top of my belly button where the little ball is. and it bleed a lil the first day when i cleaned it. it didnt do it again. im wondering if thats normal? what should i do?

  11. ok i am having the same problem with my belly button as some girl up thare…it seems to only lay to one side and i have got it profesnially done and the pericer told me if it did lay to one side just kinda whash my hands and push it back over to the middle…well i done this and it want stay!!..when i push it over its like its pulling my skin as it goes over is this normal? why want it stay in the middle??…i have had this done 3 times and i have a scar on the top how long will it take for this to go away also?? im soo aggravated at this stupid percing please help me asap!

  12. i have had my belly pierced 4 times. none of them where proffesionaly pierced. (it was sterile) the first time i had it pierced, i cleaned it with a piercing solution that i had from getting my cartilidge proffesionaly pierced. i took it out because i thought it was infected and i didn’t want to get worse. the second time i had it pierced, the piercing was done horribly and there was barely any skin between, one day i was on some waterslides at a hotel. while coming down the waterslide the belly ring ripped out. it didn’t hurt, it just bled alot. the third time was the same story as the first time. and with the belly ring i have now, i have done some reserch and found out that my piercing was never infected, just irritated. wich helped ALOT. i now clean it with piercing solution that i got from walmart. it was only two dollars.

  13. hi, i got my navel repirced 2 months ago, and at first it was a little red a sore, but now i think i have a keloid, because if i touch it or rub it hurts like hell. i have a picture of what it looks like. i need to know if it is infected, do i need to go to the doctor. i use the salt water spray, now because before i used peroxide, but im scared tht it has gotten to bad to the point where i will have to take it out. can you please check this out and let me know whats wrong with it. becuase it has crust and dry blood at the bottom of the ring. but it has never bleed or had any puss come out of it.

  14. hi, i got my navel repirced 2 months ago, and at first it was a little red a sore, but now i think i have a keloid, because if i touch it or rub it hurts like hell. i have a picture of what it looks like. i need to know if it is infected, do i need to go to the doctor. i use the salt water spray, now because before i used peroxide, but im scared tht it has gotten to bad to the point where i will have to take it out. can you please check this out and let me know whats wrong with it. becuase it has crust and dry blood at the bottom of the ring. but it has never bleed or had any puss come out of it.


  15. I just got my belly button pierced 5 days ago and i was wondein if its normal to have it red on the top with white crusties . It dosnt hurt never does but it does a little bit now. And i got it pierced at fine line in dover nh and they wouldnt let me get a banana bar yah no the jewelery that looks little like this ” ) ” and i got a ring because they said no to banana bar. But also i heard they do rings because it is harder to get infected it wont get infected as easy.. I clean it 2 times a day with antibacterial soap and if i have crusties i use warm water on qtip . And i use bactine..

    1. What you are experiencing is quite normal for a new piercing. You don’t really need bactine – carry on using the antibacterial soap and try saline soaks. Crusties are easier to remove if you clean them in the shower when they have softened. If it gets worse and begins to hurt a lot or you get any serious swelling you should consult your piercer.

  16. LITHA only works for piercings that aren’t currently in a ‘crisis’ situation, and I would advise against LITHA if you get dermal anchors. Dermal anchors are single-point piercings, there is no fistula “tunnel” to allow fluid to drain. A hot compress of salt water will allow any fluid to drain from the piercing.

    I find a combination of LITHA and very hot salt soaks to be the best method of healing piercings. I would only do a soak once a day, only increasing that number if I encounter a problem such as infection (I managed to rescue an infected sternum piercing using only salt soaks).

    LITHA method worked for me with my high nostrils, septum, and snakebites. Did not work with navel, sternum, 3x helix, clavicles, or 3x nape dermal anchors.

    I’ve had and healed 27 piercings now. Just use your head, it’s really common sense. There’s no sense thinking something if it isn’t broken, but simultaneously you do not want to risk losing a nice new piercing!

  17. Hi i got my nape (surface piercing) done a month ago, about a week ago it got infected and i over cleaned the piercing, it went all swollen and inflammed, and had a plastic like sheen over it. I have done sea salt soaks twice a day and a week later the swelling has gone and it isn’t inflammed anymore but it has left two large dark brown circles around the the piercing. I have no clue how to get rid of this, please help!!

  18. Hey,

    Hope someone can help, I’m getting unstable scarring on my nose and forward helix piercings. I’ve read conflicting things about what’s best to use to help reduce this. So far I’ve narrowed it down to ice, vitamin e oil and warm salt compresses. Should I just experiment to see what works?

    Also using LITHA on my rook piercing; it’s working like a charm!

  19. Hey please help me. I got three lobe piercings in mid September 2015, and it is now February and they still are not healed. I cleaned them with SSS and antibacterial soap in the shower. But now I just got bumps in the back of them about a week ago. They’re purple and bleed when I clean them. The front looks completely fine. But the back crusts up and are bumpy. What the heck. How do I heal the bumps and hole? I’m thinking about doing LITHA. Would litha get rid of the purple bumps?

  20. Hi! I got my nose pierced almost two months ago. It’s been healing nicely and I have a small nose stud in it. A friend has invited me to go swimming with her at a public pool with water slides. Can I do this? The piercer gave me the go-ahead and said that it should be fine after a month to go in a public pool. Any advice would be helpful! Thank you!

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