A Guide to Downsizing Piercing Jewelry- The Village Ink Tattoo Shop


A lot of people that get new piercings don’t realize that it’s not always a one and done deal. Certain piercings swell more than others, meaning your professional piercer has to initially use a larger piece of jewelry. Once the piercing heals and the swelling goes down though, you may find that the jewelry is too large or lose. When a piercing isn’t the right size it can lead to complications. Downsizing is a critical part of aftercare. Not every piercing needs to be downsized later on but be sure to ask your piercer about it.


Here is a handy guide to which piercings need to be downsized, when it should happen, and why it’s important.


Nostril Piercings

Downsizing isn’t always necessary for nostril piercings and is more of an optional thing. After about 2-3 months, if you find that the jewelry is bothering you it could be because it’s too big. Sometimes once the piercing has healed the jewelry may hit your septum or sag below the nostril. There isn’t anything dangerous about this; it’s mostly a comfort and aesthetic thing.


Oral Piercings

It’s critical to downsize oral piercings such as lip and tongue piercings. About 2-3 weeks after getting pierced you should return to get a smaller piercing. Too large jewelry in the mouth can cause it to rub up against your teeth or gum, risking damage. Too long lip piercings also have a risk of getting caught, which can be unpleasant. This is why piercers recommend you downsize as soon as possible.


Flat, Conch, and Helix Piercings

With these types of ear piercings, downsizing is very important. About 2-3 months after you get pierced, your piercer should ask you to come back to get a smaller piercing. It’s important to do so because the ear can have pressure put on it when you sleep, which can change the angle of the piercing if it’s too long. This is called migration. Over time this can cause it to look wonky and crooked, and make it difficult to change later on.


Rook, Daith, and Tragus Piercings

When it comes to these types of ear piercings, downsizing is more optional and depends on the situation. After about 2-3 months, if you notice a piercing is too long it may be worth getting something smaller. Migration isn’t as big of an issue, but too large jewelry may make it hard to wear earphones or just feel uncomfortable.


Navel Piercings

For belly button piercings, downsizing depends on the individual’s body. Everyone has different shaped belly buttons, so it really depends. You can usually tell about 2-3 months whether you should downsize or not. If your jewelry is sticking out when you sit or stand, you might want something shorter. Ideally, a belly button piercing should rest nicely no matter what position you’re in.


Final Thoughts

Knowing whether or not you should downsize can be tricky. Most professional piercers will bring it up when piercing, but it’s a good idea to ask. Downsizing can be critical for certain piercings and is important for aftercare and proper healing. If you’re unsure if you should downsize or not feel free to contact us!

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