How to Heal a Piercing

One of the aspects to take into account to heal a piercing is that this depends largely on the area in which it has been performed. The least demanding on the ears and nose. The most demanding are on the navel and genitals.
How to Heal a Piercing

Last update: 16 May, 2021

To heal a piercing, the most important thing is that it’s done in proper hygienic conditions and by someone who knows what they’re doing. If the studio doesn’t meet basic conditions, this can lead to all kinds of problems.

In principle, you must sterilize all the material. The person doing the piercing should wash their hands thoroughly, use new surgical gloves and not touch anything that has not been previously sterilized. It’s also necessary to properly disinfect the part of the body where the piercing will be done.

You can’t perform the piercing on areas of the skin that are affected by burns, moles, blemishes, scars or warts. Obviously, whoever performs the procedure mustn’t smoke, eat, or drink during the procedure. At the end of the procedure, they must discard all materials they used.

Initial care

A bar of soap.

The piercing breaks the skin on both sides. Therefore, it generates quite an important injury. It’s normal for that area to swell and redden which generates discomfort in the following days. To heal a piercing properly and prevent it from infection, you must follow some basic measures such as the following:

  • Manual piercing with hollow needles: The use of piercing guns usually gives rise to greater problems. These guns are much more difficult to sterilize and keep hygienic.
  • Leaving the piercing guide: To heal a piercing properly, you must leave the guide or the ‘stick’ that’s placed there. If you remove it, the skin will be exposed in the flesh and this will hinder healing.
  • Regular cleaning: You must perform a daily cleaning to heal the piercing and avoid infections. It’s best to do it with mild antibacterial soap and cotton swabs. In the first days it’s advisable to do between three and four cleans a day.

In addition, specialists recommend cleaning the piercing in a solution of water mixed with sea salt. This helps to remove infected substances from the piercing and helps to reduce irritation.

How to heal a piercing with problems

To heal a piercing properly, it’s important to be on the lookout for any signs of infection. Sometimes these go unnoticed. If there’s permanent itching, redness that doesn’t stop, a burning sensation, leakage of any liquid through the hole or bad odor, then it’s likely to be infected.

The best course of action in such cases is to consult a physician. Although infections caused by a piercing are usually mild and transitory you can never know for certain. Nor do we advise resorting to home measures or popular advice because only a professional can guide you correctly in this situation.

While the doctor tells you what to do to heal an infected piercing it’s best that you refrain from putting on creams, lotions, or going to swimming pools. Having said that, sometimes what’s behind these cases is a possible allergy to metal.

Problems with an old piercing

A lip piercing.

Usually, the piercing hole heals completely after two to seven months. You can only remove the piercing once you’re sure that it’s completely healed. Removing it beforehand exposes you to irritation or infection.

Specialists suggest that, once healed, you should wash the hole twice a day, preferably with a saline solution. You should do this very carefully to avoid injury. During this process, you must continuously follow up to verify that everything is going correctly.

However, if you no longer want to wear the piercing, you should know that only very small holes close completely without medical help. Larger holes will need specialized attention, which includes the use of healing substances.

Other facts to keep in mind to heal a piercing

Not all piercings heal in the same way. You shouldn’t forget that it’s an open wound and involves various risks. These risks relate to the part of the body where it’s performed. The piercings that heal the fastest are ear, nose and tongue piercings. On the other hand, a navel piercing can take up to seven months to heal.

To heal a piercing in the mouth, the above-mentioned hygienic measures alone aren’t enough. You also have to avoid fatty, spicy, acidic foods and alcoholic beverages. Tongue piercings require the use of alcohol-free mouthwash two to three times a day.

Body piercings require that you don’t wear tight clothing while they heal. Genital piercings can take up to 10 weeks to heal. It’s not advisable to have sexual intercourse for the first few days and then to always use condoms.

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Original article: Cómo curar un piercing — Mejor con Salud (

  • Mataix, J., & Silvestre, J. F. (2009). Reacciones cutáneas adversas por tatuajes y piercings. Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas, 100(8), 643-656.