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How Do I Know That My Piercing Is Healing? Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Jessy L. on 12th Apr 2023

How Do I Know That My Piercing Is Healing? Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know That My Piercing Is Healing? Frequently Asked Questions

Surveys show that 25% to 35% of people aged 13 to 19 have piercings on sites other than their ear lobe. Piercings are very common, and people of all ages enjoy them.

If you have recently got a piercing, you may be wondering how to care for it. There is always a risk of having a piercing infection, no matter where the piercing is located.

Some people are at a higher risk of this without even knowing it. That is why it is a good idea to understand what signs to look out for when you get a new piercing.

Keep reading to find out how to know if you’re piercing is infected or healing.

Signs of Healing Piercing

If you have just had your ears pierced, you are probably very excited. One thing you need to remember is that there is a healing timeline.

It may take a few weeks before your piercing has completely healed itself. If you are new to body piercing, you may not know what this looks like.

When a piercing is healing, that area of the skin should start to look normal. Any swelling you experienced should go down, as well as any redness.

If you experience discharge or flaking, this should also go away. A healed piercing should not have any pain, even when you are touching it.

Your piercings should also not have any bumps or lumps around them after it has healed. Keep in mind that you need to continue your aftercare treatment for a piercing.

There is a chance of an infection incurring even after it has fully healed.

Signs of an Infected Piercing

Now that you know how to spot a healed piercing, what happens if it doesn’t heal? If you have gotten a tongue piercing or navel piercing, you may be worried about infection.

No matter where the piercing is located, there’s always going to be a risk of infection. That is why it is important to keep an eye on your piercing to make sure it is healing.

Here are some signs to watch out for that could be cause for concern.


If you have gotten a new piercing, it may get a little puffy for a few days. Minor swelling is very common after getting your piercing and even up to several days after.

But the swelling should not last any longer than a week at the longest. A piercing is not an aggressive procedure, so it should not cause the area to swell for a long period.

Excessive swelling, along with other symptoms, could indicate that you have an infected piercing.


Most people know that infections create a warm feeling in the area. This is a very clear sign that something may be going on that isn’t good.

You shouldn’t feel warmth around your piercing unless you have just gotten it. You may initially feel warmth as the blood rushes to that area after the procedure.

But this sensation usually doesn’t last longer than an hour at the most. If after a few days, you feel warmth around the piercing, it may be developing an infection around the site.


It is quite normal for the skin around a piercing to change in appearance. If you have gotten a new piercing, you will probably have redness for the rest of the day.

You may even have redness for a day or two afterwards if you are particularly sensitive. Those with bear skin may find that this is more common for them.

But you should not notice any significant discoloration around the area. If it becomes bright or dark red several days later, this could be a sign of an infection.

You should also keep an eye out for white or bluish-purple discoloration. These are also signs that there could be an infection brewing from the piercing.


There are a variety of sensations you may feel when you have a new piercing. One sign that you may experience if it is infected is itching.

Sores can start to feel itchy if it is having trouble healing. It is usually normal if you feel some itching a few days after getting the piercing in, but it shouldn’t last long.

Itching is usually only a sign of infection if it is accompanied by other symptoms.


Experiencing some discomfort after a piercing is very common. Even those who have gotten dozens of piercings usually say that it still hurts a bit.

For a fresh piercing, you will most likely feel pain for the rest of the day. This is usually a dull aching pain and throbbing sensation that comes from the site of the piercing.

But the pain should not continue for several days after you have gotten the piercing. It is also a bad sign if the pain starts to change or become more severe.

Sharp pain could indicate that there is an infection, especially if it continues for longer than a week.

When Is an Infected Piercing Serious?

Now that you know what to look for when it comes to piercing infections, when is it serious? This is a good question to ask so that you are prepared for any possible situation.

Severe piercing infections are quite rare since piercings are minimal procedures. They do not do a lot of damage to the skin, so infections usually aren’t severe.

But there are cases where your piercing may become very infected to the point of needing medical care. If that happens, you want to be able to spot the signs as soon as possible.

Pus Filled Sores

It is not extremely uncommon to experience a little pus when getting a new piercing. This may happen if the side becomes especially irritated after the procedure.

But you should become worried if you notice a blister or abscess with pus. This may develop a few days or a week after you have gotten the piercing.

If this happens, that is a pretty clear sign that you have an infection. This could also indicate that the infection has progressed to a more serious stage.

You mustn't try to remove the pus or pop any bumps. This could make the infection significantly worse and introduce bacteria to the site.

Severe Pain

As we have discussed, a piercing infection will often feel quite painful. This can make it difficult to figure out if you have a mild or severe infection.

If the infection continues and worsens, the pain will often become stronger. It may become much harder to work through, or it could start to spread.

If the pain is spreading from your ear or into your face or neck, this is a serious sign. You do not want to wait around for the infection to start spreading before you address it.

Significant Swelling

Some puffiness is to be expected, but swelling shouldn’t last very long. A common symptom of an infected piercing is significant swelling for longer periods.

This can happen even if the infection is quite mild. That is why you will need to look for other signs of a more significant infection before jumping to conclusions.

Check for any signs of the swelling spreading to other areas. For instance, some people may experience facial swelling if their piercing is very infected.

Fever and Chills

Some more significant symptoms of a severe infection include fever and chills. This is a sign that you need to find medical care.

You may require special treatment when the infection has progressed this far. Anytime you get a fever after getting a piercing, this is cause for concern.

It is especially concerning if you have accompanying symptoms like chills or body aches.

Head Pain

Some people who have an infected piercing may start to have headaches or migraines. This can happen since the pain in your ear may be spreading to the rest of your head.

This could also cause a chain reaction that causes a headache if you already tend to get headaches. That is why you should not ignore a headache or migraine when you have a piercing infection.

This could be a serious sign that the infection is only growing worse. You may need to go to the emergency room to get a severe infection addressed.

If you can quickly schedule a doctor's appointment, you may be able to do this instead. The most important thing is to get medical care as soon as possible before the infection worsens.

What Causes Piercing Infections

You may be wondering what causes a piercing infection to begin with. There are multiple reasons why this may happen, and it depends on a case-by-case basis.

It also depends on the length of time that you have had your piercing. A lot of people do not realize that they can still get an infection, even with older piercings.

That is why it is important to always take good care of your piercings for long-term results. Here are some examples of what could cause different piercing infections.

New Piercings

If you have just gotten a piercing, this is when infections are the most common. Sometimes this can happen if you do not go to a reputable piercer.

The equipment may not be sterile, introducing the piercing to bacteria. In some cases, the bacteria may not have an impact, but it increases your risk for an infection.

A lot of piercing infections are also caused by a lack of care. After getting your piercing, it is vital that you keep it clean at all times.

Some people fail to do this or do not know how to do it correctly. This result in bacteria that could lead to an infection.

An infection can also start if you have been fiddling with your new piercing. The more you touch a piercing, the more bacteria you are exposing it to.

That is because your hands are covered with bacteria that could irritate the site. Moving the piercing around when you just got it also irritates the site.

Choosing the wrong kinds of piercings can also cause a potential infection. The piercing may be too tight, restricting blood flow and making it harder to clean.

That is why experts recommend using very simple pieces of jewelry for new piercings.

Old Piercings

Even if you have had your piercing for a while, not keeping it clean is a big no-no. This can cause bacteria to accumulate, resulting in an infection.

You should also be taking your earrings out at night to avoid irritating them. Choosing the wrong types of jewelry can also increase your risk of infections and all kinds of piercings.

Damage to the piercing site can also cause an infection to develop. You may have scratched that area or yanked on the piercing, causing inflammation.

Keep in mind that jewelry with nickel can also cause an infection. This can cause an infection for new and old piercings if you have an allergy to this metal.

That is why you need to buy high-quality jewelry. Companies like Body Pierce Jewelry offer some of the best options.

How to Care for a Piercing

There are certain things that you need to do when you get a piercing. One of these things is cleaning it with a salt water solution or piercing cleaner.

Keeping the site clean needs to be something you do every single day. You should also remove piercings at night if they are in a place where you will lay on them.

Sanitize your piercings and make sure they are clean before you use them. These are all ways that will help you to avoid infections.

Signs of Piercing Infections and How to Avoid Them

If you have a piercing, you may be worried about it becoming infected. A healing piercing should start to look normal, and any pain or redness should go away.

If it becomes infected, you may experience symptoms like swelling, warmth, and increased pain.

Are you interested in high-quality body piercing jewelry? Contact us today at Body Pierce Jewelry to view our piercing options.

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