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Use alcohol to clean ear piercing?

Nurses   (78,619 Views 25 Comments)
by cowboy_carl cowboy_carl (New Member) New Member

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Cherry2000 works as a RN on a Cardiac Stepdown Unit.

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The thing that I found that works the best is Bactine. It only takes 1 or 2 days to clear up whatever is going on...and is pain-free!!!

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16,058 Visitors; 2,098 Posts

When I had my navel pierced, the piercer recommended soap and warm water for cleaning, and a warm water/sea salt soak for soothing irritation and inflammation. He advised against alcohol and h2o2 because of the damage to healthy, healing cells as well as to bacteria.

Same goes for a tongue piercing. I was told alcohol free mouth wash and absolutely no H2O2.

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GrumpyRN63 works as a Nurse.

9,024 Visitors; 833 Posts

I like bacitracin, oint, keeps things smooth so the piercing wont get sticky or scabby, great for ears, navals, nipples (I would imagine), probably not so good for the tongue tho......

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21,279 Visitors; 6,487 Posts

I couldn't wear earrings for years, in spite of cleaning the you-know-what out of the posts and my ears with alcohol. No matter how pure the posts, I would react to it. Soap and water didn't work either. Recently my daughter, who let her holes close years ago because she reacted, got her ears repierced and had no problems. She used the cleaning solution the piercing places gave her faithfully. I tried it and it worked, I haven't had any trouble since.

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Pipsqueak has 8 years experience and works as a Critical Care Nurse.

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I like bacitracin, oint, keeps things smooth so the piercing wont get sticky or scabby, great for ears, navals, nipples (I would imagine), probably not so good for the tongue tho......

I have had all those piercings plus some, and it is true that ointments do provide lubrication, but I was advised not to use them as it can gunk up inside the piercing and become a breeding ground for infection. (That said, I still used the Neosporin on occasion).

Antibacterial soap is best for daily cleaning, esp while in healing stages. To the OP, you have to apply the soap to the ring/barbell itself and turn it in the piercing to clean the inside as well. Just rinse really well. If irritated, soak in warm water mixed with sea salt, and when I had infections I was advised to use pure tea tree oil after cleansing and it always worked like a charm.

For the tongue, use listerine and swish really well,. It has to be the original nasty flavor until it is healed, as the mouthwashes with flavor leave a residue. Once healed the tongue ring can be removed periodically and soaked in H2O2 to remove any residue adhering to it.

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nursejohio has 8 years experience and works as a RN.

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Actually, with all 10 of my piercings *except* the first set in my ears and my tongue, the rules were soap & water 2-3 times a day, salt water soaks BID and leave them alone. I think that kids health site got their info from a mall piercing gun type place :no: Peroxide and alcohol damage the healing tissue, rotating the earring causes irritation and increases the chances for infection.

For my tongue, it was salt water swishes after eating/drinking. Alcohol free mouthwashes still have the flavoring and/or sugar that can cause problems, and the ones with alcohol... well, that goes back to the alcohol thing

http://www.safepiercing.org/bodyAftercare.html

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3,736 Visitors; 90 Posts

when i was traveling my ear cleaner that the piercing place had given me was confiscated at security (it was 4 oz. and the limit is 3). i called the ear piercing place and asked if i could use anything else, like rubbing alcohol, and they told me it would irritate it more and dry it out and to either get more of their solution or only use warm water.

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53,507 Visitors; 11,191 Posts

I think that kids health site got their info from a mall piercing gun type place :no:

kidshealth is actually, a pretty reputable site.

however, here are a few more links, endorsing the use of alcohol.

from the cleveland clinic:

http://www.clevelandclinic.org

in search box, type in 'ear care tips'.

click on first result, "Ear Care Tips-Overview"

"If you have pierced ears, clean your earrings and earlobes with rubbing alcohol."

from a children's hospital:

http://www.thechildrenshospital.org/wellness/your_health/ear/pierced.aspx

and another children's hospital:

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/pa/pa_pierced_hhg.htm

however, i did note sites that discouraged use of alcohol and peroxide.

and i know they're cytotoxic.

but we're not talking about big, gaping wounds here, where granulation needs to take place w/subsequent need to preserve viable tissue.

i suppose it's all a matter of perspective.

leslie

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Kunzieo has 7 years experience and works as a RN.

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Neosporin for ears works great! (On regular posts, not sure about larger gauges...)

Just dip the post in some Neosporin or Bacitracin before re-inserting. Works wonders if there is any kind of infection or discharge.

But just for regular maintainance I agree w/ everyone else...soap and water or mild saline soln.

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nursejohio has 8 years experience and works as a RN.

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It's probably also a matter of how fresh the piercing is. I would never ever use alcohol on anything that was still healing, but my newest just hit 6 months. I still get the occasional crusty and will use peroxide or an alcohol wipe as a quick fix to get them off.

I had nothing but problems with my ears when I followed the alcohol, rotate etc instructions to the letter, got them done at the mall... piercing gun, gold posts etc. . They always hurt, stayed swollen, just wouldn't heal. Took them out, waited a couple years, tried again. Exact same thing happened the second time around. Being the mule-headed girl I am, I wasn't giving up, but by then I'd started hearing all the bad things about the mall places. I've had all 8 done (and the first set in my earlobes redone for the 2nd time) at a tattoo/piercing place, 14g hollow needle, surgical steel jewelry and all have healed beautifully. I'm a firm believer of the soap&water, salt water and leave it alone theory.

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twistedpupchaser works as a ED, Finaly got there!!!!.

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My original piercings, (as a dopey teenager) were all cleaned with methylated spirits, it hurt a lot but dried everything up and killed all infections....and I guess quite a few healthy cells.

I recently, 2 years ago, got some more piercings and asked the "needle chick" how best to keep them clean, in her opinion a mild antiseptic solution made of natural products with a small amount of lubricant does the best job. Fancy that! she had lots of bottles of the solution for sale at a lot higher price than soap and water. But it did seem to work....and hurt less than the metho.

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