A Short Guide to Piercing Healing

Tongue piercingIf you are a piercing enthusiast or if you are looking forward to your first piercing it is always useful to know a bit about different stages and phases of piercing healing. This is a good way to understand the whole piercing process and how your piercings heal. Knowing about these things will not only help you perform better aftercare but will also help you recognize any potential problems with your piercing.

Stages of Piercing Healing

Keep in mind that your body treats any piercing as a wound. As such, it will always try to heal it. The jewelry inserted into your new piercing will prevent the wound to close, so it will instead heal around the inserted object. This way, a healed piercing becomes an open hole you can use to insert your body jewelry.

There are several main stages of healing that all piercings go through. It is useful to know them so you can treat your piercing better and to recognize any potential problems. Your piercer should walk you through all of these stages so if in doubt, make sure to ask for your piercer to explain in more detail.

The main stages of piercing healing are:

  • Hemostasis
  • Inflammation
  • Proliferation
  • Remodeling

After these stages are completed the piercing is considered to be fully healed. This is when it is considered a well-established piercing. The time needed to go through these stages will depend on many factors, first and foremost, the body part that is pierced. Keep in mind that each piercing has its own healing time so you need to be patient.


This is the initial stage of piercing healing or any other wound healing. It starts as soon as the wound is made, which means that it begins at the piercing studio. Since healing is a process that starts immediately, it means that it is vital to take a good care of your new piercing and not disturb it in any way.

In this initial stage of piercing healing, your body will release special chemicals that will start the process of healing. First, your body will try to make any bleeding stop. While not all new piercings bleed, some of them do, and stopping this bleeding is actually the first stage of healing.


This stage of healing is touchy, because this is when your new piercing will feel very vulnerable and sensitive. It may also swell, hurt and be painful to touch. This is the stage of inflammation, when a new piercing has a dramatic reaction. A fluid accumulates in the tissue around the piercing and the area becomes red, swollen and sensitive to touch. It makes the white blood cells rush to the affected area, which kills any present bacteria and other harmful agents.

During this phase, your piercing may seem like it’s getting worse. It is swollen, painful and may even have a discharge. Keep in mind that this is normal for this stage of healing. However, inflammation stage should not last for long. Your piercing should be better in a few days. A very important indicator is whether it feels better or worse. A healthy piercing in healing should feel better with each hour. If your piercing becomes worse, more painful or if the swelling get bigger, it is a warning sign. It may suggest that your piercing is actually infected. If you notice an infection or other warning signs you should consult your doctor. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to monitor your piercing closely, especially during the initial stages of healing.


Once the inflammation stage is gone your piercing will start to heal in the full sense of the word. During this stage, the tissue around the piercing develops new connective tissue through the process of granulation. This tissue is more delicate than regular tissue and also fragile, so this is one of the main reasons to be gentle when handling your new piercing.

You should never touch your piercing or jewelry, except during cleaning and other aftercare steps. Even then, make sure to be very gentle not to damage the new tissue. Never twist or turn your jewelry – this will only damage your new piercing in healing!


This is a late stage of piercing healing, when your piercing is almost fully healed. In fact, it might look like it is healed on the outside, but you still need to be careful. A lot of times, a piercing looks like it’s properly healed when it isn’t. During remodeling, a new tissue strengthens and the edges of the piercing are healing.

Keep in mind that this is a process that takes time. For most piercings, this phase lasts for months. There are also many piercings that have remodeling that lasts for a year or even more. Remember that a piercing can be considered fully healed only at the end of this phase. Since it can be very difficult to tell when it’s done just based on the look of the piercing, it is advisable to wait for as long as a specific type of piercing takes to heal. All piercing have their healing times and you need to know how much will it take for your piercing type to heal. Get this information even before you go to be pierced, because you need to know how long you have to wait before your new piercing is fully healed.

About Holes:
Steve “Holes” Armstong is a staff writer and researcher for TheChainGang. He is a long-term piercing enthusiast who is never tired of discovering new body modifications. In addition to this, he also likes to spend his time experimenting with new ways to find pleasure, which makes him a perfect person to discuss unusual adult toys. He says: “I love piercings and I can’t get enough of them. There is something special about body modifications and altering your looks… Even if it’s just below the belt! I am happy to share my knowledge of extreme piercings and lesser-known sex toys, made for both men and women”. In addition to writing, Steve is also a researcher, always on a lookout for new and exciting things.

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