In order to understand how scarring forms and how to prevent it, it’s important to understand how tissue heals. When healing occurs, especially in the case of a piercing being closed, it rarely happens in a perfect way. Meaning, the tissue will not match the surrounding tissue perfectly.
There are several things that may happen. It may heal in a different direction than the surrounding tissue. Or it may heal in a different degree of thickness. These things are highly individual and will depend on several factors. You can never predict how a tissue will heal on its own.
Since this process is so unpredictable, you can never tell what the results will be. Since the tissue rarely heal in the way to match the surrounding tissue perfectly it means it will leave a scar. Depending on the way the tissue heals it will form different types of scarring.
Piercings and Scarring
When it comes to piercings, it’s important to know that your body treats a piercing as a wound and jewelry as a foreign body. It means there is always a risk for your body to turn against the jewelry, which will lead to migration and rejection.
At the same time, jewelry is the only thing that prevents your piercing from closing. When you remove your jewelry you allow your body to start closing the piercing. It means that your tissue will close and heal. This healing will not be perfect so it will usually leave some scarring.
This is particularly true for old, well-established piercings. Even they will close once the jewelry is removed. The older the piercing is, the more of a scarring tissue it will leave. Another common occurrence for scarring happens in the case of migration and rejection. Jewelry that is pushed out of the skin will leave a visible scar.
Many times, this scar will be too small to be noticeable. Some scars are very light and will not pose any aesthetic or functional problem. You can usually get away with it and many times, people will not even be able to tell that you ever had a piercing. However, keep in mind that this is an idealized situation. Many times, the scar will be there and it will be somewhat noticeable. Sometimes, the scarring is so bad that it may pose a problem to be pierced in the same spot again, though this is not a common occurrence. As long as you take a care of your piercing chances are that you will be able to get repierced without a problem.
How to Minimize Scarring?
In order to minimize the scarring and to make the surrounding tissue as healthy as possible, it’s vital to know how to retire your piercing properly. Proper retiring will leave the minimal scarring and it will allow you to get repierced after the tissue is fully healed. This is the best way to go: while you can rarely prevent scarring to appear, there are ways to minimize this problem.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep your piercing as healthy as possible. A healthy piercing will typically close without much problems, so it won’t leave much scarring. This is an easy decision if you wish to retire your piercing on purpose, but what if you are forced to retire a piercing? Chances are that if you have to retire your piercing, you will need to do it because of another problem, such as infection, migration or rejection. Once the additional problem is present there is a higher risk of scarring, so that’s something you need to keep in mind.
Migration is a particularly problematic because the moving piercing will cause tissue damage. The jewelry will press onto your skin as it gets pushed to the surface. This will lead to tissue damage and scarring. Migrated and rejected piercings tend to leave the biggest scars.
In order to prevent this, it’s important to remove your jewelry as soon as you notice migration and rejection happening. There is nothing you can do to stop migration and rejection, so you should ensure that it doesn’t cause any additional problems. If migration and rejection are underway, the safest thing to do is to simply remove the jewelry and retire the piercing before it can cause further tissue damage. Remember: you can always get repierced later.
The similar thing should be done in the case of infected piercings. Once you notice an infection, it’s important to cure it. You should never try to remedy the problem on its own. Seek medical advice instead and visit your doctor. They will give you appropriate medications and help you stop the infection. Chances are that you will need to retire a piercing, but don’t be sad about it. Your health comes first. Once the infection is cleared and the tissue is properly healed you can get repierced.