New piercings are exciting but require a little extra care. Anyone who's gotten professionally pierced has probably been instructed to use saline solution. Saline is the best way to clean fresh wounds, helping your body's natural healing processes avoid running into any speedbumps. When deciding what solution to get, you are choosing a product that will have direct contact with your healing tissue, so you want the best!
So, we did the research to find the most trustworthy products available. Our top pick is NeilMed's Piercing Aftercare Fine Mist. This simple saline solution is frequently recommended by piercers. Plus, it has a fine mist nozzle for better reach and coverage. Scroll through the rest of our list to find the solution that suits you, and check out the buying guide if you're not sure what to look for!
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Saline solution uses salt and water to clean and irrigate wounds and infections. The salt (sodium chloride) draws water from the bacteria in the wound, killing them. If these bacteria are left to fester, an infection can arise. The solution also works by flushing any debris from the wound.
Saline solution is used to clean wounds because it is non-toxic and does not damage the healing tissue. It also doesn't detract moisture from the affected area.
The salt in saline is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent, so it can reduce swelling in addition to killing infection-causing bacteria. That said, if you have an infection that doesn't die down, seek medical care.
Some saline solutions are more popular than others, but the one piece of advice to follow above all others is to find what works for you and stick to it.
If you don't know where to start or have had problems with other products you've tried, here are some guidelines to keep in mind when looking for a saline solution for piercings.
Not all piercing solutions are saline solutions! Simple is best since additives are more likely to interfere with healing than assist in it, but some ingredients are safe and beneficial. For irritated and angry piercings, solutions with chamomile can soothe and speed up healing by opening up blood vessels and drawing out toxins.
Tea tree oil is sometimes included for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. However, tea tree oil is drying and can slow the healing process or cause irritation in new piercings. We would not recommend using it unless advised by a medical or piercing professional.
The sodium chloride used in saline solution is refined and man-made. If you prefer natural ingredients, sea salt is a feasible substitute. Sodium bicarbonate can be included to reduce stinging or irritation. Though a normal saline solution should not have these negative effects, some may find the sodium bicarbonate offers a gentler cleanse.
Saline solutions usually come in a bottle for soaking or a spray can. Both sprays and soaks will dehydrate harmful bacteria.
Saline soaks flush your piercings more fully than a spray. If you do a soak, dispose of any remaining solution instead of reusing it to avoid contamination. Dunk the pierced body part or apply the solution to the location without allowing any liquid to escape. Don't soak your piercing if it is bleeding, as this can prevent clotting.
Sprays are ideal for piercings in a location that is hard to reach or otherwise challenging to soak for a few minutes. Sprays are portable, so they are good for on-the-go, low-maintenance, or immediate care.
You can soak or spray your piercing without cotton balls or Q-tips, though these tools can be helpful for getting in corners or crannies. You can also use a saline or sea salt solution for oral piercings by rinsing and spitting the solution.
If you plan on making your own, just know that the Association of Professional Piercers, with both soaks and saline spray, it's better to go for a sterile, bought solution rather than a homemade one! You can still use a homemade soak during the times when you run out of solution, though.
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NeilMed Piercing Aftercare Fine Mist
Our Top Pick - Sterile Saline Solution With a Handy Nozzle
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Piercing Aftercare Spray
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Piercing Aftercare Spray
Best Solution for Hydration and From a Well-Respected Brand
NeilMed is a large and reputable brand. They have several saline solutions just for piercing aftercare, and this one has a unique fine mist nozzle. It uses only two ingredients: pharmaceutical-grade water and sodium chloride. The can is capable of spraying from any position, too!
A few reviewers struggled with getting the nozzle to spray. But, most customers said that using this spray solved their piercing woes. They also appreciated how easy it was to use, especially for piercings that are typically difficult to reach. Many specifically mentioned that this spray lasted much longer than others.
Sea salt is an alternative to sodium chloride for saline solutions. Sometimes it's preferred for the natural elements it contains that man-made sodium chloride doesn't. This solution includes lysozyme, an enzyme naturally found in your body that destroys harmful bacteria. This can also allows you to spray from any angle.
Reviewers said this product healed their piercings much quicker than other solutions had in the past. Some who had keloids, bumps, infections, or irritation noticed marked improvement soon after using the spray.
This saline solution is normal saline, or sterile saline, made with just purified water and sodium chloride. Steri-wash products are used in hospitals and other emergency care settings for wounds and burns. Plus, the cap twists shut to avoid spills or accidental sprays.
Some reviewers wished the spray stream was more of a mist. However, others said the pressure was perfect, and the product was overall easy to use. Since it's three ounces, people appreciated that they could take it on planes or carry it around with them for convenient use.
This saline solution is made of purified water and sodium chloride with no additives or preservatives. It comes in a tiny can that can be dispensed in any direction, making it a great choice for keeping in your purse or bag. The can is almost completely made of aluminum and can be recycled.
Some people had issues with quality control, saying they received empty cans. But, many reviewers said it works well, even helping piercings that were infected or struggling to heal. They also liked that one can lasts for a decent amount of time. A couple of people noted that this spray was recommended to them by their piercer.
This solution is a topical spray you can add to your daily regimen or use to treat acne, scars, or sun damage. However, some people use it for piercing aftercare too. It contains electrolyzed water and sodium chloride, but its active ingredient is hypochlorous acid (HOCl).
Hypochlorous acid is naturally produced by white blood cells to fight infection, reduce inflammation, and assist in the healing process. There is also evidence that it can encourage clotting in wounds.
Reviewers said this product was a cure-all for a variety of skin issues, including healing piercings. Some couldn't bring themselves to use it due to a smell they likened to chlorine or bleach, but others said it heals wounds in a fraction of the time and reduces cosmetic imperfections.
This mouthwash is a treatment for oral piercings that tastes a lot better than rinsing with a pure saline or salt solution. It's sea salt-based with natural flavors and xylitol. There's no alcohol or fluoride that might slow the healing of your piercing, either. It has other benefits, like helping with canker sores. It's also available in a lemon flavor.
This worked well for reviewers with tongue piercings, as it helped with the swelling. They liked that it saved them the hassle of making their own saltwater gargling solution, especially while they're on the go. They also appreciated that it's non-irritating and didn't cause any pain.
Aerosol sprays can be temperamental, but Wacan's saline solution comes in a reliable flip-top bottle. It is a unique blend of medicated sea salt, organic clove leaf oil, and clove bud oil. Cloves contain antioxidants and vitamins, and they have been used as an antiseptic. It's also made with vitamins A, C, and E.
Reviewers found this solution effective in reducing pus, keloids, blisters, swelling, bumps, and pain. They also loved the smell! People were also pleased with its use as an oral rinse and its gentleness on sensitive skin.
After Inked is a brand of aftercare for tattoos, piercings, and permanent makeup. Their saline solution is a normal fine mist spray that's dispensable from every angle. It is intended to clean piercings and other body modifications while improving your skin's hydration.
A couple of reviewers complained that their bottle ran out after only a few uses. But, most claimed that it helped heal their piercing bumps and infections. Reviewers said that it's a simple, sterile saline solution that does its job well and works as advertised.
Have you ever found yourself running low on saline solution, but not knowing what to do between the time you order a new one online and when it actually arrives at your house? Well, you can actually make a sea salt soak that is also effective at cleaning and caring for your piercings! Here are some tips, tricks, and a recipe from UrbanBody Jewelry.
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