One of the most common reasons for piercing healing issues is prolonged - or incorrect - use of antiseptic products. It is normal to think that if a piercing isn't healing, it just requires more of whatever our client is using on it - that is rarely the case.
It helps to be able to understand how a piercing heals - so that you can explain to your client why they shouldn't necessarily continue using an antiseptic to heal their piercing.
A piercing is made by cutting the tissue with a needle before inserting the jewellery. This "cut" forms a tunnel through the skin.
The basic explanation of how this heals is that cells form along this tunnel to make a new layer of tissue. Layer by layer these cells form to create a "fistula" - a layer of scar tissue formed to heal the wound created by the piercing.
The fistula is quite fragile in it's early stages and can be damaged by jewellery that is not completely smooth - including the removal/insertion of externally threaded jewellery.
Over use of antiseptics can dissolve the cells of the fistula - working against what the body is actually trying to do. Your body makes cells - you dissolve them - your body makes - you dissove - etc etc etc.
The only aftercare product that actually helps your body create the healing fistula is a mild salt water solution. 1/4 teaspoon of deiodized sea salt/ 250ml of clean water.
Salt water soaking can be done for as long as you need it - 2-3 times each day. It can be done whenever your piercing is sore and inflammed, regardless of how old it is.
Moral of the story - always check with your clients if they are using anything on their piercing to "heal" it. You will often find they are and once they stop - or replace with salt water - their piercing can begin to heal.
Sometimes figuring out what is delaying healing can require a bit of detective work so hopefully this information will give you another tool to better assist your clients :)