In short: yes, this can be a problem. The size (gauge) of your jewelry should always be the same as the gauge of the piercing needle. However, there are some ways to make this situation better.
Gauge of the Needle and Gauge of Jewelry
When you go to a piercing studio, your piercer selects a piercing needle of a specific gauge. Most of the time, you don’t have a say over gauge. It mainly depends on the piercing type and the body part you wish to pierce. There are strict rules and guidelines about the minimal gauge for specific piercing types. In some cases you can request a specific gauge but it has to be within the guidelines and your piercer has to agree that this is a good choice for you.
A specific needle gauge means the size of your piercing hole. Your piercing hole will be of the same gauge as the needle. In order to keep this size and to have a healthy and nice piercing, you need to wear only jewelry that is of the same gauge as your piercing hole.
In this sense, it is bad to even think about wearing jewelry that is smaller or bigger than your piercing hole. Both of these scenarios can bring a lot of problems. You should always find a perfect fit and wear only jewelry of the appropriate gauge. If you are unsure about the gauge of your jewelry, you can use a handy gauge wheel. If you are unsure about the gauge of your piercing, it’s best to consult your piercer and ask about it.
What happens when the hole and jewelry are not of the same size? There are two possible scenarios: that the jewelry is larger than the piercing or that piercing is larger than the jewelry.
Piercing with Gauge Needle Larger than Jewelry
In this scenario, you have a piercing hole that is bigger than your jewelry. You can insert the jewelry with ease because it is smaller than the piercing hole. This may seem like a good and painless solution. However, the trouble is that the piercing hole can’t stay open unless there is jewelry inside to prevent it from closing.
If you wear jewelry that is smaller than the piercing hole it will make your hole to shrink. It will not close completely because jewelry is inside the piercing but it will shrink down to the size of the jewelry. You will no longer have a piercing of the original gauge but a new one that is the same as the gauge of the jewelry.
Sometimes, this is a painless process but it opens risks for many troubles. The shrinking is never a straightforward process so the wound may heal incorrectly, leading to infections and other problems. Also, remember that the jewelry will be loose so it can fall off or get snagged on clothes.
The solution? Switch your existing jewelry to the one that is bigger and it’s the original size of your hole. Don’t ever wear jewelry that is too small for your piercing.
Piercing with Gauge Needle Smaller than Jewelry
In this scenario, the jewelry is bigger (thicker) than the piercing hole. If you attempt to insert such jewelry expect a lot of pain and discomfort. However, this is not the only potential problem. Inserting jewelry that is bigger than the hole can lead to numerous problems.
This can make your hole overstretch and tear. That can lead to infections, migration, rejection and other problems. This is particularly true if your piercing is new and still in healing. You can truly damage and hurt your piercing if you attempt to insert larger jewelry pieces that are bigger than the size (gauge) of your hole.
The solution? Stretch your piercing carefully to fit your jewelry. Alternatively, buy smaller jewelry that will fit your piercing hole perfectly.
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.