Common pre-piercing questions
Piercings often require specific anatomy. Your body must have the correct shape and/or size for that particular piercing to be placed correctly. A professional piercer always starts with a check to see if the desired piercing is possible for you. Then, they present you with the options.
Sometimes a specific piercing can’t be placed or only one piercing can be placed instead of multiple piercings in a row.
Only the piercer can assess whether you have the correct anatomy for the piercing(s) you want. It is necessary to go to a studio to have the place of the piercing assessed. Suppose you have specific wishes, but you are not sure whether you have the correct anatomy. In that case, you can make a consultation appointment with most piercers.
It is often possible to pierce again in the same place, but the tissue must be sufficiently healed. When you lose or remove a piece of jewelry, a piercing may close. Very annoying, especially when you were satisfied with the placement. To re-pierce in the same place, it is wise to wait at least three months from the moment you remove the jewelry. The wound itself is often closed much earlier, but it takes time to allow the underlying tissue to recover.
After 3 months, it is wise to have it checked by your piercer first. Exactly how long it takes for it to heal fully depends on many factors such as how old the piercing was, how quickly you heal, how much rest it got during healing, etc. Re-piercing too soon can cause various unpleasant complications and often heals less well. Tell your piercer how long it has been healing and have them assess the location of the piercing. If your piercer advises you to wait, it is wise to take that advice to heart. A professional piercer puts your health first.
If you do not want to be pierced precisely in the old place but within a radius of about 5 mm around the old hole, it is also wise to let it rest for the entire three months. Then you have it checked by a piercer. If you want your new piercing further away from the original spot, it might not be necessary to wait the entire three months. Discuss such wishes with your piercer, who can tell you what is possible.
Common post-piercing questions
Only a doctor can determine if your piercing is infected. Intense sensitivity, swelling, redness, or moisture draining from the piercing can indicate an infection. The first phase of healing comes with these mild symptoms so keep an eye on how they evolve. If they worsen or feel constant pain (even if it has not been bumped or something similar), please contact your piercer or doctor. Your piercer should be happy to reassure you if you need it. Act quickly to solve the problem if you suspect it’s more serious.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience complaints such as:
- Fever, nausea, vomiting
- Redness and swelling that extends well beyond the site of the piercing (more than about 1.5 cm from the hole)
- The area of the piercing feels warm
- Pus coming from the piercing
No. It’s more difficult to heal if you turn it. When you turn it, you pull off the crusts, opening the wound. The bacteria you carry on your hands gets transmitted to the wound directly. The twisting movement can irritate your wound, while dirt or loosened crust might get into the piercing.
Turning during healing is also a significant cause of bumps.
A piercing can’t “grow into” your tissue. For something to grow firmly in the body (as with some surgical implants), you see that the surface has a very rough finish and that there are holes in which tissue can grow. Piercing jewelry has a smooth finish. Even micro-scratches can cause irritation. My advice as an experienced piercer is to leave it alone.
After piercing, your piercer will give you an indication of the healing time. When exactly you can change your jewelry depends on, among other things:
- the place of the piercing
- the method of piercing
- the quality of the jewelry
- how well it has been taken care of during healing
- how quickly your body heals
A piercing has healed when there is no more swelling, redness, sensitivity, and no crusts form for at least a month. Check with your piercer if you are unsure.
My advice as an experienced piercer is to wait a little longer than to switch too quickly.
With some piercings, it is necessary to downsize the bar after the first swelling has gone. Downsizing means exchanging the first longer bar for a shorter bar. This may be necessary because the longer bar can cause quite a few problems if you leave it in place too long. For example, you can easily get caught on it, which can irritate the piercing again. Your piercing has not healed yet, so a sterile piece of jewelry must be used when downsizing. Your piercer will indicate whether this is necessary and often asks you to come back after a few weeks for a check-up to see if it is already possible to downsize. With the shorter bar, your piercing can continue to heal, but the chance of irritations, bumps, and crooked growth is much smaller.
After changing the jewelry, there is a slight chance the piercing can become a little irritated again. The piercing can be a bit sensitive again, or there may be some swelling. This could mean that the piercing has not entirely healed when it was changed. If this happens, contact your piercer, have the old jewelry put in, and give it some extra time.
** For an indication of healing times, see “average healing times” later in the FAQ.
Healing time differs from person to person and from piercing to piercing. Your body indicates when the piercing has healed. If you are unsure whether or not the piercing has healed, have your piercer check the piercing.
If you want to stretch your lobes after piercing, let them heal for at least three months before trying.
(Helix, scapha, tragus, conch, smoke, daith …) 6 – 9 months or longer
earlobe 6 – 9 weeks
Bindi / vertical bridge 4 – 6 months
Earl / bridge 4 – 6 months or longer
Lip 7 – 9 weeks
Septum 4 – 8 weeks or longer
Nostril 3 – 6 months
Teardrop / anti-eyebrow piercing 3 – 4 months or longer
Tongue 4 – 8 weeks
Eyebrow 6 – 8 weeks
Belly button 6 – 9 months
Surface anchor / microdermal 3 – 4 months or longer
Nipple 3 – 9 months or longer
Ampallang 3 – 9 months or longer
Apadravya 3 – 9 months or longer
Inner labia 4 – 8 weeks
Outer labia 3 – 4 months
Christina 6 – 9 months or longer
Clitoral hood (horizontal), HCH 6 – 8 weeks
Clitoral hood (vertical), VCH 4 – 8 weeks
Dydoe 3 – 6 months
Fourchette 3 – 9 months
Frenum / dolphin 3 – 4 months or longer
Guiche 3 – 6 months
Hafada 3 – 4 months or longer
Lorum 3 – 4 months or longer
Prince Albert 4 – 8 weeks or longer
Pubis 3 – 4 months or longer
Reverse Prince Albert 4 – 6 months or longer
Triangle 3 – 4 months
Foreskin 2 – 3 months or longer
A bump on the piercing is an unsightly but common complication with piercings. Types of bumps you can experience: irritation bumps, hypertrophic scar tissue, granuloma, or keloid. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. Most of the time, it is an irritation bump that you can treat easily.
Contact your piercer so they can have a look at it. Your piercer will ask you several questions to try to figure out how the bump started and what you should do about it. Sometimes, however, you can do nothing about it, and it is better to have the piercing removed.
If the angle of the piercing is not correct, it is sometimes better to remove the piercing. As long as you don’t remove the cause, the bump will not go away. There are situations only a doctor can solve. Always contact your piercer and follow the advice carefully.
What you can do yourself:
- Leave the piercing alone as much as possible. Touching it with your hands is the number 1 cause of slow healing piercings and can cause bumps. Bacteria can enter the piercing through your hands, and the friction and pressure of movement are often a cause of bumps. So please don’t touch it!
- Prevent jewelry from moving or experiencing pressure in any other way. Things like tight clothing around the piercing, headphones, or helmets can put pressure on the piercing. Like touching the piercing with your hands, these things can put pressure or friction on the piercing and transport microorganisms. Your piercing needs rest throughout healing.
- Clean the piercing with sterile saline solution. Do not make this yourself because the ratio, quality of the salt and water, and sterility are all essential. A good piercing studio sells this. Ask if there are no other ingredients in it; you only need a saline solution. Furthermore, do not use harsh chemicals such as sterilon, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc. These can damage the skin and the delicate cells in the piercing, causing all kinds of complications and can also be the cause of bumps.
- Don’t scrape off crusts. This keeps the wound open, damages the tissue, and can lead to infections. Use the saline solution to soak crusts until they become soft, after which you can wipe them off with a paper towel or gauze with minimal force.
- Provide properly fitting jewelry. If you still have the long bar in what was placed during the piercing, it is wise to have it downsized. Wearing a ring during healing (as the first piece of jewelry or changing it before the piercing has completely healed) is in many cases also a cause of bumps. Only a few specific piercings can have a ring as the first piece of jewelry; otherwise, it is better to wait until the piercing has healed completely.
- Provide good quality jewelry. Jewelry with a poor finish (scratches on the surface), protruding threads made of unsafe materials, damaged or coated jewelry can cause bumps as they irritate the skin. Have your jewelry replaced by a professional piercer for high-quality jewelry (see the section on “materials” for more information!).
- Beware of home remedies; there are many different methods on the internet claiming to remove piercing bumps. Many of these remedies do not work or only work in some cases; some are downright dangerous. As long as the cause of the bump is not found and resolved, a bump will keep coming back. Make sure you follow the above points very strictly and contact your piercer; together you have the best chance of suppressing the bump!
A piercing should be pierced at a right angle that is perpendicular to the tissue. This ensures the most uncomplicated healing and as few complications as possible. It is not always perfectly horizontal or vertical but always relative to the place of the piercing. Sometimes it might seem as if a piercing is placed crooked, but in reality, it goes perfectly with the curve of the tissue.
If you have multiple piercings next to each other, it can sometimes happen that the bars are not 100% parallel to each other. At times it might be difficult to estimate whether a piercing has been placed at the right angle.
Contact your piercer if you think the piercing is crooked, or contact another piercer for a 2nd opinion.
During healing, there may be some swelling that sometimes skews a piercing. This can give a distorted picture. When the swelling disappears, the piercing often returns to the place where it was pierced. Check if the piercing is straight; ask for a 2nd opinion as soon as possible after the piercing is placed. If swelling has already occurred, it can be challenging to estimate. You’ll then have to wait until it has completely disappeared before you can be sure that it is straight.
If the piercing is pierced crooked, it will not straighten out later.
Sleeping on the piercing can cause crooked growth, especially when you are still wearing the long bar you were pierced. You put pressure on the piercing through your head and the pillow. The long bar provides leverage, and the piercing grows crooked.
Do not sleep on it (see “What happens when I sleep on my healing piercing” later in the FAQ for tips on preventing this) and downsize in time to prevent skewed growth. If a piercing has grown crooked, you can do nothing about it, and you will have to remove it.
When you sleep on a piercing, you will put pressure and friction on the piercing. It can cause all kinds of complications such as irritation, pain, extra swelling, and bumps. You can also contract an infection through your pillowcase, and a piercing can grow crooked.
Irritations and infections usually hurt. You often don’t feel a misguided growth, so even if it doesn’t hurt, it’s still not wise to sleep on it. Cartilage piercings are often much more susceptible to complications from sleeping on them than ear lobe piercings. Cartilage piercings have a considerably longer healing time. This means that there is more time for something to go wrong. Cartilage is much more unforgivable than the earlobe. When something happens with a cartilage piercing, it leads to complications much faster than when the same happens with an earlobe piercing.
If you have one side that you always sleep on, it may be wise to put your piercing on the other side. If you notice in the morning that the piercing is sensitive, it hurts, feels sore, or you wake up on the side of the piercing, these are all indications that you have been lying on it in your sleep.
Wear a hair clip in your hair on the side where you have been pierced before going to sleep. If you then roll up on that side in your sleep, you will feel uncomfortable and roll back to the other side. You can also make a ponytail or bun instead of a hair clip or both. Make a ponytail or bun on the side you are pierced and put a hair clip over it. This is especially useful when you have soft hair because the clamp will stay in place better in your sleep.
You can also buy a donut pillow or neck pillow. When you lie in the hole with your pierced ear, there is no pressure on the piercing. Therefore you prevent the problems.
Try out what works for you, not every tip works equally well for everyone, so if something doesn’t work for you, you can always try something different. Just remember that it is essential not to sleep on it, and as long as you continue to sleep on it, the problems caused by it will not go away.
Do not remove jewelry during healing. It is risky to do so. Leave that to your piercer. There can be various reasons why you think that you should remove the jewelry from the piercing. It might be irritation, infection, or you no longer want the piercing itself. In all cases, it is important to go to your piercer and discuss the reason you want to remove the piercing. Often there is a lot that can be done about your complaints, and you can keep the piercing. If you still want to have the jewelry out, you can, of course, have it removed (provided it is not infected). It would be best if you did this hygienically. Otherwise, you run the risk of contracting an infection during removal.
DO NOT under any circumstance remove the jewelry in case of infection yourself. The jewelry keeps the wound open so that the pus can drain from the wound. When you remove a piece of jewelry during infection, you will risk that you will lock up the infection, which in the worst case can lead to an abscess.
Furthermore, an infection is caused by microorganisms that have lodged in the wound and cause symptoms. These are not removed by removing the jewelry. Removing the jewelry will, therefore, not make the infection go away. Contact your doctor immediately if the piercing is infected. Often, you can resolve the infection, and you can keep your piercing.
If there is irritation to the piercing area, this can have many reasons. Often the piercer will ask you several questions to determine the possible cause. A piercing usually calms down quickly when the cause of the irritation is found and removed. See “I have a bump on my piercing” in the FAQ for tips on what to do about irritated piercings. These tips work just as well with irritations as with bumps.
Taking the jewelry out to clean it is not a good idea and often results in an irritated or infected piercing. Furthermore, this will hinder healing and prolong healing times. You take the risk of introducing dirt and bacteria into the wound. You also risk that you will no longer get the jewelry back in. The piercing will quickly close again, and you will lose your piercing. Leave your piercing alone and jewelry as much as possible during the healing process. You gain nothing by removing your jewelry and only leads to problems. Check out “aftercare for body piercings“ for tips on taking care of your healing piercing, or contact your piercer. In all cases, LEAVE IT ALONE!
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EUR2 : €21,00
ROW : €31,80
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EUR1 : €18,00
EUR2 : €23,50
ROW : €34,30
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ROW : €44,30
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