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Healing Time for Piercings

You are getting a piercing, but before that you want to know how much time it will take to heal and when you will be able to change your jewelry. Here are your answers.
ThoughtfulTattoos Staff
So maybe they are not the latest fad anymore, but there are a lot of people out there who are fascinated by the idea of body piercings and adorning their body with different jewelry. If you are enamored by them, too, then there are couple of things that you need to know and decide on, like which body part you are getting pierced, what the healing time is, and what the aftercare procedures that need to be followed are. Following is a detailed brief on how much time these body adornments take to heal.
It is important that you allow any piercing to heal well. Most people tend to commit the mistake of not allowing the jewelry to stay for the entire duration of healing time, changing it to more fashionable pieces. But this change can play havoc with the healing process. The entire process for healing can be divided into three stages.
The first one being the inflammatory phase, wherein the wound is still open and therefore, bleeding. It is in this phase that you can expect to experience swelling around the area of the piercing and also tenderness and pain.
The next phase is the proliferative phase, which is the phase in which the body produces cells and protein to heal the wound. The main part that is healed during this process is the puncture itself and the edges around, which are caused to compress. This phase lasts the longest and takes the most amount to heal.
The last phase is the maturation phase, which is the phase in which the body produces those cells that line the piercing and strengthen it. There may be a white or yellow discharge that is noticed on the jewelry initially. Do not be alarmed by this, as it is a healing mechanism of your body. The sebaceous glands produce this substance to moisturize the wound which reduces the healing time considerably.
The time that a piercing takes to heal depends on the place where you have got it done. Surprisingly, one of the fastest healing piercings are the one on the genitalia, with some in the area healing in less than 4 weeks. One of the most painful piercings and one that takes the most amount of time to heal are the ones done on the navel. They can take as long as a year to heal. In case you want to get a navel piercing done, then it is important to have a ledge for it to catch onto and depth to the navel. For nose piercings, the time differs depending on which part of the nose you are getting pierced. Septum piercings take about 2 months to heal and they heal better, if there is no cartilage involved. Ear piercings can also take time, varying from 4 months to almost a year.
Piercing Healing Time
Body Part Time
Ear lobe 4 to 8 weeks
Ear cartilage 3 months to 8 months
Eyebrow 6 to 12 weeks
Nostrils 2 to 4 months
Nasal septum 6 to 8 weeks
Lip 2 to 4 months
Tongue 4 - 6 weeks
Lingual Frenulum 1 - 2 months
Nipple 3 to 9 months
Navel 7 months to 1 year
Female genitalia 4 to 10 weeks
Male genitalia 4 weeks to 6 months

It is important to understand what the risks involved are. Always remember to go to a place that is reputed, licensed, and uses sterilized equipment. Infections like hepatitis, tetanus, and even HIV can spread through the needles used, so insist on using a new needle. Avoid using a gun, as it cannot be sterilized and is therefore, a huge risk. Ensure that you are not allergic to the metal that is being used for the piercing. In order to avoid infections, clean the area regularly.
A reputed and licensed piercer will always give you tips for aftercare and advise you about the healing time. Follow his advice and in case of any sort of unexpected reaction, consult a doctor. As long as you take care, both before and after you get the piercing, there is nothing to fear.
Bearded man with tattoo
Woman with tattoo and piercing