The way your piercing heals depends on the way you treat it, especially in the vital first few weeks! Common causes for infection include touching the area with unwashed hands, body fluids coming in contact with the area, low grade jewellery, bumping or irritating the piercing with tight clothing and soaking in still water such as lakes, baths, and swimming pools, as these harbour bacteria and also create a moist environment for the bacteria to breed. The chemicals in swimming pools can also be very harsh on a new piercing, remember you need to treat it as an open wound!
Using a piercing aftercare twice daily and being careful not to sleep on it or bump it will help speed up the healing process, if you feel your piercing needs a little bit of extra help, you can soak it for 5 minutes in warm sea salt water (do not to use too much salt as this can irritate the piercing) a couple of times a week to give it a boost. There is such thing as "over cleaning" a piercing, so if it's doing fine - leave it alone! Changing the jewellery prematurely can be damaging to the healing cells, so don't change it until it's completely healed, unless the bar is too tight or too long causing problems, then see your piercer and get them to change the bar so it's comfortable. The piercer will put a longer bar (or bigger ring) in to start with which is referred to as a "swell bar", this allows room for your body to react naturally to the trauma without causing discomfort, so when the piercing settles down the bar may look too big. The Airlie Ink staff will give you an appointment card with the date in which you can come back get the jewellery downsized for free, although the date may be pushed back in the piercer feels it is not ready to be changed.
For oral piercings, do not smoke cigarettes or anything else for at least the first few days as it can increase the risk of infection and slow the healing process. Use an alcohol FREE mouthwash and avoid toothpaste with whitening agents.
It is normal for your piercing to form what's called "crusties" around it, which is made up of spent cells your body has used to help heal the piercing. This is not a sign of infection and it isn't puss, it means your piercing is healing. To clean them off use disposable tissue or towelette and warm sea salt water, do not use a towel as they harbour bacteria! Do not ever use alcohol, peroxide, polysporin (bacitracin), bactine, contact lens cleaner or solution to clean your piercing as these are way to harsh and will cause damage.
We do not recommend rotating or moving the jewellery, even to clean it, and if you must touch it make sure your hands are clean, otherwise leave it alone and let your body do its thing!