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We’ve all heard it: “Move your piercing back and forth so it doesn’t get stuck to the skin”. If you had your lobes pierced at the mall, your piercer probably told you that. Your mom and other members of the family likely backed up the poor advice. I for one even have memories of my mom checking up on me as I brushed my teeth before bed, asking if I’d twisted my piercing for the night. So where does this advice come from? Why shouldn’t you do it and what should you do instead?
Where the Rumor Came From
There are typically two reasons people who believe in this advice will give you: 1) By moving it, you’re preventing the jewelry from sticking to your skin and 2) This is how you clean the inside of the piercing (By putting cleaner on your jewelry and then twisting the jewelry). Because that was the common advice before piercings became more popular and widely known about, the poor advice is unfortunately still given by mall piercers or women who haven’t done any recent research.
Why You Shouldn’t Touch Your Piercing at All
The best way we can explain why neither of those reasons make sense is to think of your piercing as a scab (because this is extremely similar to what it is – a healing part of your body). If something (body jewelry) was near your scab while it was forming, it would get stuck. But by ripping at it, you’ll just pull the scab off and it will start bleeding again and need to re-heal. This is the exact same reason why you shouldn’t touch your piercing: you will damage it and lengthen the healing process.
There is also zero chance that your jewelry will somehow fuse to your skin and you will need to rip it out in order to change it. That rumor got started by crusties (a natural part of the healing process), hurting people when they changed out their jewelry too early before it was fully healed.
You also don’t need to clean the inside of piercings. Your body is self healing. Within one hour of getting pierced, your piercing has a fistula that protects everything inside. This is why it is so important to keep your jewelry from bumping and breaking the fistula. It is also why the vast majority of piercing infections occur while piercing and not during the healing process.
LITHA: The Best Way to Heal Piercings
LITHA stands for Leave It The Hell Alone and it is the best way to heal a piercing. Your body is amazing and can heal a piercing just fine on its own. Simply get pierced in a sterile environment and do not touch your piercing at all until your piercing is completely healed.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, someone gave you some bad advice about how to heal piercings. What’s important now is that you know the proper way to heal piercings: not touching them at all. If up until now you’ve been twisting your piercings, you probably have some pretty nasty irritation bumps and may have been attempting to heal your piercing for a while. Your irritation bumps should go away within two weeks of leaving your piercings alone and you can be well on your way to a fully healed piercing.