Many people wonder when it’s the safe time to change their jewelry. This is particularly important when it comes to the initial jewelry (the first jewelry piece your piercing is done), but it can refer to any other time. After all, with so many gorgeous jewelry pieces, it’s not surprising that you want to try many of them and change your jewelry depending on the occasion.
However, caution is always advised when you wish to change your jewelry, especially if it’s for the first time. Therefore, it’s worth knowing when it’s safe to change your jewelry and when it’s better to wait.
Changing Initial Jewelry
Initial jewelry is the jewelry you receive at the time you get your piercing done. Your piercer performs the procedure and inserts your initial jewelry into place. This jewelry is specially made to be body-friendly and completely safe to be used in new (fresh) piercings. It is made of hypo-allergenic materials (titanium is one of the best choices). Some materials that are safe for general jewelry (such as nickel-free gold and organic materials) should not be used as initial jewelry. These materials are suitable only for healed piercings.
When it’s safe to change your initial jewelry? Generally speaking, you should wait until your piercing is healed. Since many piercings take months (or even a year) to fully heal, it seems like a long time to wait. However, it’s crucial to let your piercing heal before you change the jewelry. You might change initial jewelry after some time (before it’s fully healed), but only if your piercing is not tender to the touch and doesn’t pose any discomfort or other problems. Even in these situations, you must wait at least a few months to change your jewelry (except for the piercings with a very quick healing time). It’s not safe to change your jewelry before the initial healing time has passed, which can lasts for weeks or a few months.
There is one exception to this rule: sometimes, initial jewelry has to be changed quickly after procedure. However, this change should be done by your piercer. Never try to change jewelry on a fresh piercing on your own! Some piercings, such as lip piercings or penis piercings, tend to swell a lot after the procedure. It’s therefore impossible for piercer to tell how long the jewelry should be. This is why initial jewelry for these piercings is longer than the one you’ll eventually need. After the swelling is gone, after about a week, you should go to your piercing studio and get initial jewelry replaced by the new one. This has to be done by your piercer, and once you get new jewelry you should treat it as yet another initial jewelry and wait until the piercing is healed to change it.
Healed Piercing Jewelry
Once your piercing is healed you can change the jewelry on your own. However, it’s important to listen to your body and wait until the piercing is truly healed. This time can vary from person to person. Keep in mind that the full healing is not the same as the initial healing. A piercing may look healed on the inside but to still be unhealed from the inside.
You should not reopen the wound by changing your jewelry. If you notice the wound opening or hurting when you attempt to change the jewelry it’s a sign that you should stop and let it heal for a few weeks more.
Therefore, you need to make sure that your piercing is healed enough that it can take jewelry change without becoming irritated or without opening the wound. When changing your jewelry for the first time, it’s vital to go slowly and as gently as you can. This is not a process that should be rushed.
Tips for Changing Jewelry
- Some piercings can accommodate many jewelry changes, such as earlobe piercings or navel piercings. These piercings have many richly ornamented jewelry pieces to use and you can match jewelry with your outfit. Other piercing types are not truly intended for frequent jewelry change, such as some ear cartilage piercings or genital piercings. Keep this in mind when deciding on your jewelry and which piercing you wish to get.
- Make sure that the jewelry you use is the same gauge as the previous one, that is, the gauge you are pierced with.
- The only exception is if you wish to stretch your piercing, but in this case you should wait a bit more until the piercing is fully healed. Only then you can attempt stretching.
- When stretching, allow enough time between two gauges to let your piercing rest. Never jump more than one gauge up from your previous piercing. The only exception are very small gauges (20 gauge, 18 gauge or 16 gauge) – with these gauges you may attempt to go two gauges up, but not more than that.
- If you experience pain and discomfort, stop and wait a bit more until you try to change your jewelry again.
- Hygiene is a must: make sure to wash your hands and new jewelry thoroughly before attempting to change your jewelry.
- You may wish to lubricate your piercing and jewelry for easier insertion.
- Once the old jewelry is removed, make sure to insert the new one straight away, or your piercing will shrink.
Donna Carlson is a staff writer for TheChainGang. She combines her love for body piercings with adult fun, such as sex toys, BDSM and other forms of pleasure. She says: “Piercings and sex toys often complement each other in the most sensual ways. I am happy to help you discover new ways to pleasure yourself and your partner. With a bit of practice, anyone can learn how to enhance their love life. And with a bit of courage, anyone can enjoy body piercings”. In addition to intimate piercings and adult toys, Donna also writes about body jewelry and other piercing adornments.