How Body Piercings Heal
Piercings go through various stages of healing before they are considered fully healed.
The healing phase starts as soon as a piercing is done. The first step is the reaction phase and that’s where you will see some bleeding, bruising, and inflammation. This usually lasts for a week and a half or longer. For almost every piercing, the jewelry used is longer in order to account for inflammation. A shorter bar must be put in (we call it downsizing) at least one more time during the healing process. You can expect to downsize a second or third time (or more) depending on the piercing.
After the first 3 days, the body will start to regenerate tissue and heal. During this time the body creates a waste product called serous exudate, which is usually beige or slightly yellow in colour and can form a crust on the jewelry. This is normal.
Throughout the initial healing phase the skin is healing from the two outside parts of the piercing towards the middle of the piercing and is usually finished this phase at the initial healing time specified for your piercing.
After the first downsize and newly formed tissue.
After the initial healing period has passed, it does not mean that your piercing is completely healed and you can take your jewelry out and put it back in as you wish. This is when you can stop doing aftercare.
There is long term healing that needs to take place and this is when the fistula (tube of skin) of the piercing is getting stronger and no longer fragile. This is why we don’t recommend that people remove their jewelry for an extended period of time as the fistula can tighten up and reinserting jewelry can tear this, even in old piercings.
After full healing and final downsize
The piercing fistula is essentially sophisticated scar tissue that forms in a tube around the jewelry. Healing a piercing is tricking the body to regenerate tissue around a foreign object.
This is why the quality of body jewelry is so important because if the quality is low, you could have great difficulties healing the piercing or, if it does heal, the fistula can be thicker and due to excessive scar tissue. This is why some people will feel lumps in their earlobes for piercings that have been done with guns or other low-quality material. The body has formed this excessive scar tissue while trying to heal around the jewelry.
There is a big difference between a piercing feeling good and looking good and a piercing that is fully healed. Some people can have more issues healing and others can have the same piercing heal very easily and without incident. The best thing to do is to follow the guidelines set out by your piercer at Mauve.