One of the most common questions that customers have when thinking about a new piercing is how long it will take to heal? In this post, we’ll look into the length of the healing for some of our most popular piercings and discuss the unique process for each of our bodies to heal fully.
An odd quirk about all of our bodies is the healing process. Healing depends on many factors – our overall health, lifestyle, and the location of the piercing, and the circulation of that location. Each location on our bodies has a different healing time depending on the tissues or cartilage involved. Remember, your piercing is technically a wound and needs the same amount of care as a wound or injury.
In general, there are four stages of healing, and the length of these can be different for everyone.
This is the first stage of healing and starts the second you get your piercing. In this phase, your body is trying to stop blood loss. Your piercing technician will apply pressure to your piercing immediately after the jewelry is in place. This helps stop the blood loss on the surface and starts the clotting process inside the wound.
During this stage, the collagen fibers in the walls of your red blood cells activate the blood platelets to form a barrier to stop the bleeding and prevent harmful bacteria from getting in. This is what forms a scab around your wound that looks like dried blood. You may also feel some tenderness and discomfort.
In this second stage of healing your body goes into defensive mode to prevent infection and get rid of any debris left from your wound. White blood cells come to the injured area and get rid of anything harmful and make way for new tissue to grow. Macrophages also come in to clear away dead or damaged cells and send a signal for other cells to start the healing process.
There is an increase in fluid to the wound to help bring in healthy cells and clear away damaged ones and this is where you may experience swelling, soreness, and a clear fluid leaking from the piercing, this is all normal and a part of the healing process.
In this phase, your skin cells start to form new tissue. Fibroblasts start to pull the outer edges of the wound towards the center, healing the outside edges of the wound first. It is essential to be patient at this stage. Many people think that their piercing is healed but the wound is still very delicate and can be damaged if the jewelry is changed too soon.
This last phase of healing is where the newly formed tissue matures into fully healed tissue. The skin cells close and the other cells that are there to help with healing are no longer needed. At this stage, there should be no fluid leaking from the piercing and you should be able to remove your jewelry easily. This phase can take six months to two years to complete.
So now that we understand a bit more about the healing process – how long is it really going to take? Keep in mind the healing time is different for everyone but here is a look at some of the average healing times for piercings.
Ear Lobe Piercing – A simple ear lobe piercing should heal in four to eight weeks as long as you keep it clean and don’t irritate it by wearing helmets or other headgear.
Navel Piercings – Navels & belly piercings are one of the longest locations to heal with an average of 6 months to a year. This is because clothing such as jeans or a belt often sit right at belly button height and can rub against navel body piercing jewelry and irritate the wound causing longer healing times.
Ear Cartilage – Ear cartilage is another longer healing time. This is because cartilage does not have a high amount of circulation and is slow to regenerate.
Eye Brow – Eyebrow piercings being surface piercings also heal fairly quickly with an average time of four to six weeks.
Tongue – Believe it or not, the tongue is one of the quickest places to heal with an average time of three to six weeks. The tongue has a high amount of blood flow that helps with the healing process.
As we said before, everyone heals at a different pace and this depends on your health, diet, lifestyle, and how you care for your piercing. If you have Diabetes, it can affect your circulation and lead to longer healing times. Also, diet and dehydration can affect how your cells can activate and heal.
Your lifestyle also affects your healing. If you have an active lifestyle and play a lot of sports it can cause irritation through sweat and bacteria or be damaged through contact. Wearing a helmet can irritate ear piercings and swimming in a pool or lake can introduce bacteria into the wound. Even sitting with a bad posture can irritate a navel ring or navel jewelry.
Consider when you get your piercing to minimize the irritation and damage of sports activities or even being out in the sun during the summer.
If you are interested in unique piercing ideas and have questions about piercing healing times get in touch with Sage Piercing. Our experienced technicians are happy to explain the process and help you take care of your piercing with proper aftercare. Call Sage Piercing for a booking today!