3 Stages of a Healing Body Piercing


In a previous post, we took you through the three stages of tattoo healing, which we hope proved to be helpful for all of our inked readers out there. Today, we’re turning the spotlight onto those interested in piercings or, more specifically, those thinking about getting their first body piercing.

Just like with tattoos, body piercings also go through a three-step healing process. If you’re considering a new piercing, or you’re just interested in the process, read on to find out how body piercings heal.

The Healing Process

A piercing, no matter where it is on the body, is considered a puncture wound, and should be treated like one. It is important to try and leave the freshly-done piercing alone as much as possible, allowing the site to heal naturally to avoid drying out the healing skin.

It’s also important to leave your jewellery in for the period of time specified by your piercing professional. Avoid swapping the piercing out for another kind of jewellery, as this can lead to infections or allergic reactions. Changing the piercing could also interrupt the natural healing process of the site, making it last even longer. All piercings have different healing times, with some taking over six months to a year to be fully healed.


Stage 1: The Inflammatory Phase

The inflammatory phase will occur for the first few days after you have gotten your new piercing. In this phase, playing with or changing the jewellery can cause bleeding from the site, as can accidentally knocking the piercing. For many people, a fresh piercing can cause pain, swelling and tenderness in and around the piercing area.

You should already be following your aftercare procedure as outlined by your piercer. This will help reduce the symptoms and help your piercing begin the second stage of healing.

Stage 2: Proliferative Phase

Stage two is the main healing stage, known as the proliferative phase, where the edge of your piercing will begin to heal. This stage is the defensive stage, your body will begin producing proteins to try to help heal the area, to destroy bacteria and remove any debris left in the wound.

It’s extremely important that you try not to knock or move your jewellery during this phase to allow the site to heal more quickly. Fibroblasts will make their way to the wound and begin contracting, pulling the outside edges of the wound towards the centre. This is the reason you should not change your jewellery out during this step, as taking it out and reinserting jewellery can damage the delicate tissue forming, effectively restarting the healing process over again.

The proliferative phase is the longest phase of healing your piercing, lasting up to many months, so hang in there!

Stage 3: Maturation Phase

During the third and final stage, your body will strengthen the skin which lines the site of the piercing. The wound is changing and maturing, the cells that were helping heal it are no longer needed.

You may notice a discharge hardening on your jewellery more in this phase, and as long as it is clear and not painful, it is normal to experience this. This occurs as the sebaceous glands in the skin produce the substance, known as lymph, to moisturise the piercing site. It can be gently cleaned from the jewellery using lukewarm water and a cotton ball.

As we mentioned before, every piercing will heal at different rates, so it’s important to discuss how long a piercing should take to heal with your piercer before the procedure. Genital piercings typically heal the fastest – healing within four weeks – whereas a navel piercing takes a very long time to heal – up to a year. Wherever your piercing, keeping the piercing site clean and free from any irritants will greatly aid your healing experience.


For all you tattoo artists and piercing professionals out there, Body Shock has you covered for all of your tattoo and piercing needs. From high quality tattoo ink, to piercing needles and body piercing jewellery, we have everything a professional body artist could need. For more information on the products that we provide, contact us today, and one of our team members will be happy to help you.