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How to drain a cheek piercing

Updated April 17, 2017

If you are interested in getting a cheek piercing it is important you find a reputable piercer who follows all hygiene protocol. The healing process takes from 8 to 12 weeks depending on the person. During this time, it is important to stay away from things that can trigger infection and also to make sure your piercings are clean. Regardless of what type of piercing you receive it is imperative you clean it on a daily basis to reduce the risk of infection.

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  1. Rinse your mouth for a minute with a non-alcohol mouthwash after meals during the initial healing period. Also make sure to rinse your mouth for 15 seconds with a mild sea salt mixture (1/4 sea salt with 1 cup warm water) after you drink, eat or put anything in your mouth except clean water.

  2. Clean the outside of your piercings twice daily, everyday for the entire initial healing period. It is best to clean the piercings in the morning and at night. Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before handling your piercings.

  3. Rinse the piercing area with warm water or saline solution. Saturate a cotton swab and clean the areas where you see drainage or any type of crusting. Your piercing may crust and appear to leak fluid due to dead skin cells, blood plasma and dead lymph cells. This is a sign that your piercing is healing. The fluid should never be pus coloured or green, if it is, then your piercing may be infected. Never pick your piercing site with your nails.

  4. Dilute your antibacterial soap with some distilled or bottled water to create a soapy mix and clean the piercing. Once the swelling of your piercing site goes down, you will be able to rotate the piercing to clean it even more thoroughly. Do not use the antibacterial soap to clean the area more than twice a day. This can cause dryness to the skin and irritate your piercings, making them more prone to infection.

  5. Allow the solution to sit for a minute and then rinse the area thoroughly under running water and rotate the jewellery back and forth to completely rinse any soapy residue. Pat the area dry with a clean paper towel. Cloth towels can harbour bacteria.

  6. Tip

    Avoid spicy foods. Cold foods and beverages can help diminish the swelling greatly. Also be sure to drink plenty of water to help flush the body of toxins. Anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen may be taken to help reduce the pain and swelling caused by your piercing.


    If you notice an abscess or a painful bump go to your doctor to check to see if the piercing is infected.

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Things You'll Need

  • Biotene or alcohol-free antimicrobial or antibacterial mouth rinse
  • 1/4 teaspoon non-iodised sea salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Saline solution
  • Cotton swab

About the Author

Stephanie Cai began professionally writing for clients in 2010 and freelance writing in 2008. She is currently a writer for various online publications and is knowledgeable in fields such as health and beauty, fashion, celebrities, films and video games. Cai graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing.

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