Here’s the dish on soap—whatever you use to clean your piercing, make sure it helps more than harms. New cells have to grow to form the fistula, the internal “skin tube” that connects the two ends of the piercing. But if you’re killing new cells with harsh products, you’re decelerating the healing time. Few soaps are designed for long-term use on open wounds. Many have added dyes, fragrances, and other ingredients that can irritate your piercing and your skin.

To avert harming your fragile new cells, always use a mild liquid soap suitable for wound care. We suggest Provon, an antimicrobial lotion soap. It’s not readily available in stores or pharmacies, but you can get it through medical supply companies, or here at our shop. It contains the active ingredient Chloroxylenol, which is non-toxic to humans in low doses, and is biodegradable. It’s an effective broad-spectrum antimicrobial, and can also be used for cleaning healed piercings or jewelry (aiding greatly in the reduction of some piercing-related smells.)

Any product you decide to use should be fragrance and dye free, as well as low-pH or pH balanced. Products with a pH greater than 8 are alkaline and tend to be very irritating to the skin. Remember, it’s not the soap that’s healing your piercing; your body heals itself. Therefore, depend on a soap product only to help keep the area clean; rely on sound health habits, responsible behavior and gentle treatment of the wound for the healing to take place.