JM | Oct 12, 2021

How to care for new piercings

/ Our Today

Images from Instagram @candiceneedlezdavis

By Ategie Edwards

Were you excited when you got your first piercing? How did that turn out?

Body piercings have existed from as far back as the days of the Aztecs and the Mayans and have been done for a
plethora of reasons. These include self-expression, religious and spiritual reasons, aesthetics, marking an occasion, rebelling, etc.

Piercings can be done on many areas on the body, the most popular of which is the ear. Piercings can also be done on the nose, tongue, chest, brows and navel. While piercings have become an accepted norm in society and is done by almost everyone – can most people say without a shadow of a doubt that they know how to take care of a new piercing?

Our Today spoke with NeedleZ’s very own Candice McKellar.

McKellar is the owner and operator of the very popular piercing and tattoo establishment located on Clock Tower
Plaza, Shop 7, Half-Way Tree Road, St Andrew.

Candice ‘NeedleZ’ McKellar did her first apprenticeship over a decade ago in St Ann under the tutelage of a piercing specialist. She then went on to purse several courses in the US and the UK. In the initial stages of the company, she
was the sole piercer. Over time, the company expanded and now they have a total of three piercers.

McKellar shared with Our Today very vital and possibly unbeknownst tips on caring for new piercings.

What to Consider When Getting a Piercing

McKellar stated that there are several things one should to consider before taking the needle:

– Is my piercing studio/artist reputable and hygienic?

– Piercing placement matters, so the important questions is “Can I commit to looking after this
piercing based on the location on the body and healing time?” For example, if you wear belts or
waist trainers often, you may want to reconsider getting a navel piercing.

– Piercings hurt!

– If you change your mind about keeping the piercing, a scar may remain.

How and what should be used to clean a piercing?

McKellar listed the following as the best cleaning solutions:

– Saline (mixture of salt and water)

– Warm Sea Salt water solution (1 tsp of sea salt to a cup of boiled/bottled water) Did you know
sea salt water is a cleaning agent for piercings?

– X-Pressions Piercing cleaning spray (available for purchase at NeedleZ)

– Recovery Saline Wash (available for purchase at NeedleZ)

Should persons with sensitive skin have a different method for cleaning their

McKellar stated that persons with sensitive skin actually do not need different cleaning agents from the
average person, but they do need to be gentle, pay extra care to the area of the body pierced and be
consistent right through. She also advised getting an over the counter topical antibiotic ointment that is
safe for puncture wounds, the triple antibiotic ointment in particular. This is available for purchase at

How long does it take for a piercing to be fully healed?  Does it depend on where the piercing is?

Different piercings have different healing durations. Most will take six months to a year to heal with the
exception of oral piercings which take on average 2-12 weeks to heal. 

Is there anything that is deemed common knowledge about piercings but is
actually false?

There has been some misinformation regarding ‘twisting’ the jewellery when cleaning. This should not be done
as it actually irritates the area, hinders healing and can cause trauma and scarring.

Is there anything that should be known about piercings that isn’t? 

Piercings need consistent care and do not heal on their own or overnight. 

Have you ever had to correct a piercing done by someone else and why?

McKellar shared that she frequently has to correct piercings for a plethora of reasons. These include fear,
as, often, persons being pierced are scared and fidget which results in their piercing being ‘lean’ or poorly done by their piercer. Also persons seeking cheap prices visit locations that are not reputable and end up with poorly done piercings.


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