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As anyone who’s pierced knows, the change in seasons can be a particularly difficult period of biological adjustment, especially for those of us with piercings that are still healing. But just follow these general rules for piercing care during the cold months, and you’ll be able to combat the dry chilly season with the greatest of ease.

1. Invest in some on-the-go Aftercare Products

Okay, so I know we say this a lot, but go-anywhere, pre-formulated aftercare mists, creams, and mouth washes really have no substitute, and especially during the freezing dry months, it’s a great idea to fight dry skin and irritation with a simple spritz. And for those who have tongue, lip, or other oral piercings, a little container of specially formulated aftercare mouth wash is your best friend at Holiday parties where you’ll be eating off and on for most of the day and need a quick worry-free clean.

2. Don’t skimp on the protection

The same goes for winter sports as games played during the rest of the year: new piercings, especially on the trunk area of the body, should be protected from knocks and scrapes. Some piercers suggest covering surface and belly piercings with a medical grade eye patch, and avoid allowing them to come into contact with mud or snow.

3. Cover up what you don’t want seen

So you’ve got a piercing that maybe you neglected to tell your great aunt Fay (or your mother) about. To avoid having to “go there” during what’s supposed to be a joyful Holiday occasion, get yourself an invisible bioplast retainer. They’re lightweight, clear, and can be worn regularly throughout the holiday festivities because they’re made of hypoallergenic material.

Hot Tip: these are also great at any family gathering to prevent infants and younger family members from tugging on your jewelry.

4. Stay hydrated

This goes for your piercing as well as the rest of you for optimum skin health.  Because of the chill, it’s easier to not feel thirsty when you’re out in the snow, but any time you play winter sports or do winter yard work, you should be drinking the same amount of water as when you perform those activities in the summer. Your piercings should also be cared for with hydrating soaks after long periods of exposure to avoid the itch and irritation that can come with dry skin.

5. Pick a favorite

It’s easy to get caught up in changing out a dangly cartilage piercing, lip stud, or belly ring CONSTANTLY during the Holidays with all of the cute sparkly jewelry that’s available this time of year, but a good rule of thumb to lessen your chance of infection is to pick one or two fancy pieces of jewelry that really speak to you and just stick with that. This way there won’t be irritation or extra cleanings needed from multiple change-ups.

Now you’re ready to have a happy, hassle free, pierced and perfect holiday and winter season.

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