During your summer vacation, there are probably a few things you want to tick off your seasonal bucket list. A couple of these may include getting a new piercing and going swimming, but can you swim after getting a piercing?
Whether you've never been pierced before, or you've got too many piercings to count, you probably didn't need to know if you could swim with a new piercing until now. This will be true if you've previously been pierced during the winter, because unless you're a big swimmer, you might only take a dip during warmer weather. If you're going on a vacation this summer – no matter if it's somewhere abroad or a staycation – you may have planned to get pierced just prior to, or during, your down time. New piercings need looking after, especially in the early days, which may be difficult to keep on top of if you're at work. So it makes sense that you'd get pierced while taking your holiday leave.
With summer well under way, if you're planning to get pierced and you're a total water baby, it's crucial that you discover if you can swim with your new piercing. After all, summer brings pool parties, trips to the beach, holidays, and water sports. It can be tempting to dive in with your friends or partner, throw caution to the wind, and think about the possible effects later. Especially if you've had a margarita!
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) advises, "After having a piercing, it is important to keep the area clean and dry." In regards to swimming after having a piercing, the NHS states, "You should avoid swimming for at least 24 hours after having a piercing, and ideally until it has healed properly." According to the NHS, there are a number of places you should avoid swimming while your piercing heals, because, "It's possible to pick up an infection from any body of water..." Such places include: Swimming pools, the sea, streams, lakes, rivers, and it's advised you should even steer clear of hot tubs too.
However, I understand how difficult it must be when it's a scorching hot day and all your friends are having fun, splashing around without you. But, don't be tempted to ignore the NHS' sage advice, because infected piercings are not to be taken lightly. Fellow Bustler Annie Crawford reported on how to help prevent and treat infected piercings and she found that, "If you ignore a major infection, it could (total worst case scenario, don't be too scared) lead to death by sepsis."
Of course, that's in extreme cases, so as long as you properly look after your new piercing and take care of any infections, you should be fine. IMO – which definitely should not be taken as professional medical advice – it seems to me, that as long as you are sensible and do not get your new piercing wet, you should be fine. If you've gotten your ears, nose, eyebrow, septum or any other place on your head or face pierced, it may be totally okay to have a little swim, just so long as your piercing doesn't get splashed and stays dry. You could always have a little paddle to play it safe, rather than fully submerging your bod in the water. Just make sure your friends know about your new piercing and that you can't get it wet. If you've gotten anything below the neck pierced, I probably wouldn't risk it.
Although it may seem like you're missing out on all the fun, your piercing will be healed before you know it and you can go back to enjoying your life as normal!