How Long Does It Usually Take For An Old Piercing Hole To Close?


If you love any kind of body piercings, then you may have indulged in a few different kinds of modifications over the years. For example, you might have opted for something relatively common, like pierced ears, or hopped on a trend that's a little more hardcore, such as a hip piercing. On the other hand, as time passes, you may find that you want to get rid of one or two, or perhaps all, of your piercings in order to embrace a less edgy aesthetic.

There are various reasons why you might want to take out your piercing, according to Freshtrends. That includes the fact that your piercing might have become a nuisance or you don't feel like it still fits your style. You might also have had issues when it comes to your piercing healing properly or fully, as well as problems with the TLC that's required when you first have it done, not to mention keeping it healthy in the long term. Additionally, if you decide that you're ready to get rid of your piercing, you might end up with a scar where the hole once was in your skin.

At the same time, not all piercings will heal in the same way, and there is a range of reasons why it might take different spans of time for the hole to close.

Different piercings don't heal at the same speed

When you've decided to get rid of a piercing, time can be of the essence. That's why the first thing that you'll want to do is remove your jewelry right away, explains New York dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, via Refinery29. "Take out the piercing ASAP, the sooner, the better, and if it is early enough, the hole will simply close," he shares.

Indeed, without the jewelry keeping the hole open, it can begin to close immediately, which will be a relatively simple process for piercings in softer spots, like the belly button and nipples, as opposed to harder areas, like the ears and nose. As for exactly how long it will take to heal, Infinite Body Piercing's Kookie Lynn told Byrdie, "Generally speaking, the older and more established a piercing is, the longer it will take to close and heal." As for actual timespans, holes from piercings that have just been done can heal in a few hours, while the tissue can regrow to fill the hole within six months. Older piercings can take much longer.

Beyond that, Pineapple, a piercer at Shaman Modifications, explained to Refinery29, "A hot compress and a kneading massage will help minimize the appearance of a piercing right away and, with repetition, help close up that hole faster." On the other hand, that might not work for certain kinds of holes which may need a little more time to heal, as well as some professional help.

Some piercing holes require more time and help to close

Not all piercings will close on their own by simply removing your jewelry. For instance, if your piercing hole has torn or has been significantly stretched by a gauge, then it might not be able to heal up on its own no matter how much time you give it. In that case, you can seek out a little help.

When it comes to a torn hole, plastic surgeon Peter W. Henderson, M.D., told Self that it can be closed by having a doctor cut the skin on either side before they then stitch it back together. He explained, "With a complete tear, you have to be careful to get the bottom border lined up to prevent it from notching." To close a hole that's been stretched, dermatologist Cerrene N. Giordano, M.D. pointed out that a punch can be used to get the job done, saying, "It's the same concept as repairing a tear but without using a scalpel or scissor."

Requiring daily care for around a week, according to Giordano, can prevent scabbing, which, in turn, can extend the healing time. Finally, stitches can be taken out around the final day or even after five days if everything goes well. You will likely find that the hole fully closes in a few weeks, while it may take a year for the scar to lighten and fade away into a distant piercing-related memory.

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