Is it time to say goodbye to your body piercing?

Getting rid of a piercing is not something we usually want to do. It costs money to get it and can hurt when you first get it. Then, there’s the work to ensure it heals well, and we often like the jewellery we put in it. But sometimes, you have to take it out for good. So, when is it time to do that?

Rejection OR Irritation

Certain piercings, like belly button and eyebrow piercings, along with some surface piercings, tend to be pushed out by your body. It can happen because the area moves a lot or your body doesn’t have the proper structure for the piercing to stay in place. If you notice that the area around your piercing is turning red, becoming scaly, and you can suddenly see more of the barbell than when it was initially pierced, your piercing is rejected. In this situation, it’s better to remove the piercing early to prevent more severe scarring in the future.

One of the most common reasons to consider removing a body piercing is if it becomes infected or irritated. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, tenderness, discharge, and sometimes even a fever. Irritation can manifest as persistent redness, itching, or the development of an irritation bump. While it might be tempting to remove the jewellery immediately, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional. In some cases, prematurely removing the jewellery can trap the infection or irritation, worsening the problem.

Incorrectly Pierced

The Consequences of an Incorrect Angle

When a piercing is done at an incorrect angle, it can cause several issues. The primary problem is that it creates uneven pressure on one side of the jewellery. It can lead to discomfort, irritation, and a persistent bump that tends to form in a crescent shape around the piercing. This bump is often called an “irritation bump” or “keloid.”

Recognizing the Signs

The first indication that your piercing may have been incorrectly placed is the presence of this irritation bump. It’s usually characterized by redness, tenderness, and a spot that won’t seem to disappear. You might also notice that your jewellery appears uneven or awkward within the piercing. These signs are your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right.

Should You Remove the Piercing?

The decision to remove an incorrectly placed piercing can be a tough one. It’s not a step you want to take lightly, especially if you’ve grown attached to the piercing. However, there are cases where removal is the best course of action.

Persistent Discomfort: If the irritation and discomfort are ongoing and affect your daily life, it may be necessary to consider removal. Prolonged pain can lead to additional complications.

Please consult a Professional: Before deciding, it’s advisable to consult a professional piercer. It can assess the extent of the misalignment and guide potential solutions. In some cases, they may be able to reposition the jewellery to alleviate the issue.

Body Tolerance: Whether you should remove the piercing also depends on how well your body tolerates the misalignment. Some individuals may experience minimal discomfort and decide to keep the piercing, while others may find it unbearable.

Risk of Further Complications: Leaving an incorrectly placed piercing in for an extended period can increase the risk of complications, including infection and scarring. If these risks outweigh the desire to keep the piercing, removal becomes a more logical choice.

Incorrect Jewellery

Several factors can lead to wrong jewellery choices for your piercing:

Material Mismatch: If your piercing was initially done with anything other than ASTM F-136 titanium, problems can arise. Different materials may trigger allergic reactions or hinder the healing process.

Wrong Jewellery Type: Certain piercings require specific jewellery types for optimal comfort and healing. For instance, using straight jewellery in a daith piercing or circular jewellery in a conch or helix may lead to discomfort and complications.

Externally Threaded Jewellery: If externally threaded jewellery is used, it can cause irritation and make subsequent jewellery changes challenging. Internally threaded or threadless jewellery is generally recommended for initial piercings.


When faced with an infected piercing, many people instinctively remove the jewellery. However, this action can lead to unintended consequences. Here’s why it’s generally not recommended:

Surface Closure: Removing the jewellery while an infection is still present can cause the piercing to close at the surface. It means the external hole where the jewellery was situated heals over, trapping the condition within the body.

Pockets of Infection: When the piercing closes at the surface, it creates pockets of infection beneath the skin with no means of escape. It can lead to the condition becoming more severe, causing abscesses or even spreading to nearby tissues.

Delayed Healing: Removing the jewellery prematurely can hinder the body’s healing process. Jewellery allows for drainage and ventilation, which can help the body fight off the infection more effectively.


Dealing with a piercing infection can be challenging, but removing the jewellery prematurely is not the solution. Instead, seek medical attention promptly and follow the guidance of your healthcare provider. Leaving the jewellery in place allows for proper drainage and ventilation, aiding healing. Patience is critical, and once the infection is completely cleared, you can explore removing the jewellery or replacing it with a new one if you wish to continue your piercing journey.

 Retiring a piercing is always a tough decision, even more so when the piercing is still in the healing process. Sometimes, however, you’re left with no alternative but to remove it. It’s crucial to distinguish between what can be saved and what is a lost cause. But keep hope! After a few weeks to months, you’ll be completely healed and ready to try again. Hopefully, armed with new knowledge and better luck, your next piercing will succeed. Happy piercing!

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