You have been following the cleaning routine of your piercing holes religiously. You can’t wait to finally wear those gold loops that make you feel like Beyoncé. But you know you shouldn’t remove the initial earrings until the piercing is healed.
But how do you know the piercing is healed?
In this post, we cover the healing process of a piercing and signs that it is healed.
Stages of Healing
- The first two weeks after the piercing is a battle, which is why if proper care is not followed, infections usually occur during this time, OR an allergic reaction if you are sensitive to the material used to pierce. The body rejects the foreign object you have put in it and cleans up the wound. This step is characterised by inflammation, tenderness, and discharge. Eventually, the body will stop fighting and start accepting the earrings.
- Proliferative stage. Now that the war is over, the body starts to produce new skin to cover the wound. The skin begins growing from both ends going inwards. There is also the formation of new blood cells to promote healing. While the tenderness and discharge may have gone away, you will notice that it’s now harder to freely move the earrings. This can go on for a couple of weeks.
- In this stage, the body forms an extra skin and strengthens the fistula. Moving the earrings gets easier, and there is no more discharge, inflammation, or tenderness unless you have an infection.
Average Healing Time Before Changing to Regular Fashion Earrings
Healing time differs from one part to another. The general healing period is 6 weeks for earlobes and 12 weeks for cartilage or helix. If you have a nose piercing, 4 weeks is sufficient.
Keep in mind that this period is only possible if you have no infection or nickel reaction along the way. It’s also vital to ensure you don’t touch the area with unclean hands and clean the piercing with some saline solution twice a day. Alternatively, Blomdahl aftercare cleansing swabs can provide a quick and simple cleaning solution for your newly pierced ear and/or nose.
In the case of nickel allergy, we recommend Blomdahl skin friendly jewellery that has a massive selection of hypoallergenic earrings from plastic to titanium. The Blomdahl ear piercing studs are designed with thicker posts, around 1.3 mm. These are essential especially during the healing phase. Most fashion earrings have a thickness shaft of 1mm. Once removing the 1.3 mm piercing shafts, your wound will immediately shrink to accommodate for regular fashion earrings of 1 mm shafts without stretching and tearing the skin.
It Takes 12 Months for a Piercing to Completely Heal
While you can wear fashion earrings after the initial 6-12 weeks healing period, the wound is still not completely healed. The skin has closed up, but still needs some time to fully rebuild its natural defences and skin flexibility. Because of this – as tempting as it may be - we recommend not going too wild with trying on new earrings made of all sorts of materials for a minimum of 12 months! In fact, it is safest to wear nickel free jewellery during this time, and ensure that the wound is kept as clean, dry and airy at all times possible to maximise healing.
Alas - if you understandably get a little too excited and find that you changed your earrings prematurely, you run the risk of going back to square one. So, how do you tell it is time to move on to bigger and better earrings?
- The edges of the holes are smooth and pulled inwards. When the tissue connects inside there, the holes pull inward and look smooth.
- The earring moves freely and loosely without pulling the piercing in the direction you are rotating to.
Making sure that your piercing is healed before you change your earrings will save you a whole lot of trouble. If you are not entirely sure though, expert opinion from your certified piercer will come in handy.