Getting a piercing is a trendy way to express yourself and add a personal touch to your style. The options are endless, from ear lobes to cartilage, nose, tongue, and even navel piercings. However, just like any other body modification, piercings have risks and require proper care to heal correctly. It can be challenging to tell if your piercing is fully healed or still healing. In this guide, we will provide a comprehensive overview of knowing if your piercing is fully healed, what to expect during the healing process, and how to take care of your piercing to ensure a safe and healthy healing experience.
How Do You Know if Your Piercing is Fully Healed?
It’s crucial to understand that each piercing type and location has its healing timeline, and not all piercings heal at the same rate. Generally, a piercing can take anywhere from four to twelve months to heal fully. Here are some signs that your piercing has fully healed:
No more pain or discomfort:
During the initial healing period, it’s normal to experience some pain, soreness, and discomfort around the piercing area. However, if your piercing has healed completely, you should not experience any pain, tenderness, or swelling.
The jewelry moves freely:
If you can move your jewelry without any resistance or discomfort, it’s a sign that your piercing has healed. However, keep in mind that excessive movement or twisting of the jewelry can cause irritation and delay the healing process.
No more discharge:
A newly pierced hole will produce some discharge, which is the body’s way of protecting itself against infection. However, you should not experience any discharge or bleeding if your piercing has healed.
The skin around the piercing looks normal:
If the skin around your piercing looks healthy and normal without any redness, swelling, or discoloration, it’s a good sign that it has healed.
You can change the jewelry:
If you can change your jewelry without any discomfort or pain, it’s a sign that your piercing has healed completely. However, it’s essential to ensure that the new jewelry is of good quality and sterile to avoid infection.
The Development of Crusties in Piercings
During the healing process of a piercing, the body secretes more lymph, leading to crusties forming. Therefore, an unhealed piercing produces more crusties than a fully healed one. As the piercing nears the healing phase’s end, the crusties’ frequency decreases, and less cleaning is required. Thus, if you notice that you need to clean your piercing less frequently, it may indicate that it is close to fully healed.
Assessing Pain and Soreness to Determine if a Piercing is Healed
Assessing pain and soreness can be tricky to determine if a piercing is fully healed. While a healed piercing may still become sore if you sleep on it for several days or if it is hit or if the jewelry is changed, it should not be sore on a day-to-day basis without any apparent reason. During the initial healing phase, the piercing may feel persistently sore, but a dull ache should not be present after the healing process is complete. Therefore, using pain and soreness alone is insufficient to conclude whether a piercing is fully healed.
Redness and Appearance of the Piercing Holes
When a piercing is first made, the tissue around the piercing holes appears red and resembles an open wound. However, once the piercing has healed, the tissue should no longer be red or swollen, and the piercing should not have the appearance of an open wound. Nonetheless, the appearance of the piercing and the tissue surrounding it may vary throughout the healing phase. Therefore, this method alone should not be used to determine if a piercing is fully healed.
What to Expect During the Healing Process?
The healing process can vary depending on the piercing type, location, and your body’s natural healing ability. Here is what you can expect during the healing process:
Redness, swelling, and tenderness:
These are the common symptoms that occur after getting a new piercing. Your body will produce white blood cells to fight off any bacteria or foreign substances around the piercing area, leading to swelling, redness, and tenderness.
As mentioned earlier, a newly pierced hole will produce some discharge, which is the body’s way of protecting itself against infection. However, excessive discharge or pus is a sign of infection, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
As your piercing heals, you may experience some itching around the area. It’s essential to avoid scratching or rubbing the piercing to prevent irritation and infection.
Some piercings, such as cartilage, may take longer to heal due to the lack of blood flow in the area. Being patient and following the aftercare instructions is essential to ensure a safe and healthy healing process.
How to Take Care of Your Piercing?
Taking care of your piercing is crucial to ensure a safe and healthy healing process. Here are some tips to take care of your piercing:
Keep your hands clean:
Before touching your piercing or cleaning it, ensure that your hands are clean to avoid introducing bacteria to the piercing.
Clean the piercing regularly:
It’s crucial to clean your piercing regularly with saline solution or mild soap and warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or alcohol, which can irritate the piercing and delay the healing process.
Avoid touching the piercing:
As tempting as it may be to touch your piercing, it’s crucial to avoid it as much as possible. Touching the piercing can introduce bacteria and cause irritation.
Avoid swimming or soaking:
Avoid swimming or soaking in a pool, hot tub, or bathtub during the initial healing period. These environments can introduce bacteria and irritate the piercing, delaying healing.
Avoid tight clothing:
It’s essential to avoid wearing tight clothing or accessories that can rub against the piercing and cause irritation.
Avoid sleeping on the piercing:
If possible, avoid sleeping on the side of the piercing during the initial healing period. Sleeping on the piercing can cause irritation and delay the healing process.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How long does it take for a piercing to heal completely?
A: The healing time for a piercing can vary depending on the type and location of the piercing. Generally, a piercing can take four to twelve months to heal completely.
Q: Can I change my jewelry during the healing process?
A: It’s best to avoid changing your jewelry during the initial healing period as it can cause irritation and delay the healing process. Waiting until the piercing has healed completely before changing the jewelry is recommended.
Q: Can I swim or soak during the healing process?
A: It’s best to avoid swimming or soaking during the initial healing period as these environments can introduce bacteria and irritate the piercing, delaying the healing process.
Q: What should I do if my piercing gets infected?
A: If you suspect that your piercing is infected, seek medical attention immediately. Signs of infection include excessive discharge or pus, redness, swelling, and fever.
Getting a piercing is a trendy way to express yourself, but it comes with risks and requires proper care to heal correctly. Understanding the signs of a fully healed piercing, what to expect during the healing process, and how to take care of your piercing to ensure a safe and healthy healing experience is crucial. By following the aftercare instructions and being patient, you can enjoy your new piercing and confidently show it off.