Piercings require a specific anatomy, so your body must have the correct shape for the piercing to be placed correctly. A professional piercer always starts with a check to see if the desired piercing is possible for you and then discusses the options with you. Sometimes a specific piercing cannot be placed or only one can be placed when you might have liked two or three right next to each other.

Whether you have the correct anatomy for the piercing(s) you want can only be assessed by the piercer in person. Photographs often give a distorted image and therefore most piercers may require you to come to the studio for a consultation. If you have specific wishes but are not sure whether you have the correct anatomy, you can make a consultation with most piercers. The piercer will then take the time to discuss all the options with you.

Healing times
  • Average healing times 

As you might have read in the section “when can I change my piercing jewellery” healing times can vary from person to person and from piercing to piercing. The healing times below therefore are only an indication and not a guarantee. Your body will tell you when a piercing is healed, not the calendar. Have your piercer check your piercing to see if it’s healed, changing too early could set you back a couple of months as well as bringing the risk of further complications.

Stretching healed piercings

wait at least 3 months between each stretch to allow the tissue to heal


cartilage ear

(helix, scapha, tragus, conch, rook, daith…) 6 – 9 months or longer

lobe 6 – 9 weeks


bindi/verticaal bridge 4 – 6 months

earl/bridge 4 – 6 months or longer

lip 7 – 9 weeks

septum 4 – 8 weeks or longer

nostril 3 – 6 months

teardrop/anti-eyebrow piercing 3 – 4 months or longer

tongue 4 – 8 weeks

eyebrow 6 – 8 weeks


navel 6 – 9 months

dermal anchor/microdermal 3 – 4 months or longer

nipple 3 – 9 months or longer


ampallang 3 – 9 months or longer

apadravya 3 – 9 months or longer

inner labia 4 – 8 weeks

outer labia 3 – 4 months

Christina 6 – 9 months or longer

clitoral hood (horizontal) 6 – 8 weeks

clitoral hood (vertical) 4 – 8 weeks

dydoe 3 – 6 months

fourchette 3 – 9 months

frenum / dolphin 3 – 4 months or longer

guiche 3 – 6 months

hafada 3 – 4 months or longer

lorum 3 – 4 months or longer

prince albert 4 – 8 weeks or longer

pubis 3 – 4 months or longer

reverse prince albert 4 – 6 months or longer

triangle 3 – 4 months

foreskin 2 – 3 months or longer

Infected piercings

 Is my piercing infected?

Whether a piercing is infected can only be determined by a doctor. When there are complaints, such as tenderness, swelling, redness or fluids that drain from the wound, this can indicate an infection, but often it is just irritation or simply the first phase of healing. During the first weeks after piercing, some swelling and redness is to be expected, the piercing will be sensitive and some fluids may drain from the piercing. All of this is quite normal. Some people may experience more of these complaints than others. If these complaints are getting worse or if you feel constant pain (even if the piercing hasn’t been bumped or something similar), please contact your piercer or doctor. In most cases it will be nothing serious but your piercer will be happy to take a look, even if it’s just to reassure you. If you suspect that something is wrong with your piercing, do not wait too long to seek help. Both irritations and infections can usually be resolved quickly if you act quickly. If you have complaints such as:

  • fever, nausea, vomiting
  • redness and swelling that extends well beyond the piercing site (more than about 1.5cm from the hole)
  • the area of ​​the piercing is warm to the touch
  • pus coming from the piercing

It’s wise to contact your doctor immediately.

Piercing bumps

A bump is an annoying but common complication with piercings. There are a number of different bumps such as irritation bumps, hypertrophic scar tissue, granuloma or keloid and it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference. In the vast majority of cases it is an irritation bump that can be fixed without losing the piercing.

The most important thing to do is to contact your piercer so they can have a look at it. Your piercer will ask you a number of questions to try to figure out the cause of the bump and what can be done about it. It’s always important to find the cause of the bump because only by removing the cause you will get rid of a bump permanently. Sadly, sometimes there is nothing you can do about it and it is better to have the piercing removed. When the angle of the piercing is not correct, for example, it is sometimes necessary to remove the piercing. A piercing that is not perpendicular to the tissue can cause a bump because the jewellery puts uneven pressure on the tissue. That angle can not be fixed so the cause of the bump can not be removed and the result is a bump that will not go away.Other cases can only be resolved by a doctor. Your piercer will advise you to seek medical attention if necessary.

What you can do yourself:

  • Don’t touch it! Touching it with your hands is the number 1 cause of problems with healing piercings and can be a cause of bumps. Bacteria can enter the piercing through your hands and also the friction and pressure of movement can cause a bump. So just leave it alone!
  • Prevent the jewelry from moving or experiencing pressure in any other way. Tight clothing on the piercing, headphones and sleeping on the piercing, just like touching your piercing with your hands, cause pressure, friction and can bring microorganisms. Your piercing needs a rest.
  • Clean the piercing with sterile saline solution. Do not make this yourself because the ratio, quality of the salt and water and sterility are all very important. A professional piercing studio sells this. Make sure that there are no other ingredients in it, you only need saline solution. Furthermore, do not use harsh chemicals such as sterilon, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc. as these can damage the skin and the delicate cells in the piercing and thus cause all kinds of complications and can also be the cause of bumps.
  • do not scrape off crusts, this just keeps the wound open, damages the tissue and can lead to infections. Use the saline solution to soak crusts, they will soften and come off completely, after which you can wipe them off with sterile gauze with minimal force.
  • Ensure well-fitting jewelry. If you still have that long bar which was used during piercing, it is wise to have it downsized after a few weeks. Wearing a ring during healing (as the first piece of jewelry or changing it before the piercing has completely healed) is in many cases also a cause of bumps. Only a few specific piercings can have a ring as the first piece of jewelry, for most piercings however it is better to wait until the piercing is completely healed.
  • Keep the wound dry! After grooming, but also after showering, it is very important to dry the wound well to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Provide good quality jewelry. Jewelry with a poor finish (scratches on the surface), protruding threads, made of unsafe materials, damaged jewelry or jewelry with a coating can cause bumps as they irritate the skin. Have your jewelry changed with a high quality jewelry by a professional piercer.
  • Beware of home remedies, there are many different methods on the internet claiming to remove piercing bumps. Many of these remedies do not work or only work in some cases, some are downright dangerous. As long as the cause of the bump is not found and remedied, a bump will keep coming back. Make sure you follow the above points very strictly and contact your piercer, together you have the best chance of suppressing the bump!
Pierce the same spot twice

When you lose or remove a piece of jewelry, it is possible that a piercing will close. Very annoying, especially when you were satisfied with the placement. It is often possible to re-pierce in the same place, but the tissue must be sufficiently healed. To re-pierce in the same place, it is wise to wait at least 3 months from the moment the jewelry has been removed. The wound itself is often closed much earlier but it takes time for the underlying tissue to heal.

After 3 months it is wise to have it checked by your piercer first. Exactly how long it takes depends on a lot of factors such as how old the piercing was when the jewelry was removed, how quickly you heal, does it get enough rest during healing, etc. Three months is often enough, but sometimes more time is just needed. Re-piercing too quickly can cause all kinds of unpleasant complications and the wound often heals less well. Tell your piercer how long it has been healing and have them assess the site of the piercing. When your piercer advises you to wait, it is wise to take that advice to heart. A professional piercer puts your health first.

If you do not want to be pierced exactly in the old place but within a radius of about 5mm around the old hole, it is also wise to let it rest for the full 3 months and then have it checked by a piercer. If you want to get a new piercing further than 5mm away from the old site it can sometimes be pierced sooner. Discuss such wishes with your piercer, who can tell you what is possible. In any case any swelling that may be present needs to be gone.

Removal of piercing

During healing it is important not to remove the jewelry. Removal of the jewelry is not without risks and it is best to leave that to your piercer. There can be several reasons why you think that the jewelry should be removed from the piercing, such as irritation, inflammation or you no longer want the piercing itself. In all cases, it is important to go to your piercer and discuss the reason why you want to remove the piercing. Often there is a lot to do about your complaints and you can keep the piercing. If you still want to remove the jewelry, you can of course have it removed (provided it is not infected) but it is important that this is done hygienically, otherwise you run the risk of inflammation in the piercing during removal.

In case of inflammation it is imperative not to remove the jewellery yourself. The jewelry keeps the wound open so that pus can drain from the wound. When you remove a piece of jewelry when the piercing is infected, there is a chance that you will trap the inflammation which in the worst case can lead to an abscess. Furthermore, inflammation is caused by microorganisms that have infested the wound and are causing symptoms. These are not removed by removing the jewelry. Removing the jewelry will therefore not cause inflammation to go away. If you have an inflammation in your piercing, contact a doctor and always follow his / her advice. Often the inflammation can be remedied and you can keep your piercing.

If the piercing is irritated  it’s important to find the reason for that irritation. Your piercer will ask you a number of questions to determine the possible cause. Often a piercing calms down quickly when the cause of the irritation is found and removed. See “I have a bump on my piercing” in the FAQ for tips on what you can do about irritated piercings. These tips work just as well with irritations as with bumps.

Taking the jewelry out to clean it is not a good idea and often results in an irritated or infected piercing. Doing this will keep the wound open longer and you may introduce dirt and bacteria into the wound. You also run the risk that you will not get the jewelry in it anymore. The piercing will quickly close again and you might lose your piercing. leave your piercing alone as much as possible during healing. There is nothing to be gained from removing the jewellery and only leads to problems. Look at “aftercare body piercings” for tips for your healing piercing or contact your piercer for a check-up. In any cases: don’t touch your piercing!

Twisting piercings

NO! Very simply said, never twist or move the jewellery of your piercing, it will only lead to longer healing times and complications like bumps and infections. Whenever you twist the jewellery, crusties are being torn loose from the skin and the wound is opened up again. Through your hands, bacteria can spread to that freshly opened wound causing infection. Besides that, dirt and bits of that crust may be pulled inside the piercing causing irritation and twisting jewellery is a major cause for those pesky bumps.

A piercing really cannot “grow” into the body. When something has to grow firmly in the body (as with some surgical implants) the surface of that implant has a very rough finish and holes have been made in which tissue can grow. Piercing jewelry has a smooth finish because even micro scratches can cause irritation. That smooth finish prevents jewellery to grow in your body


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