Once the initial excitement regarding your piercing has passed, you have only one thing on your mind: when can you change the piercing. As tempting as it can be to make a move now, it is important to know the right time to make the switch.
Here you can discover what time period is best as well as everything else you need to know about changing your cartilage piercing:
How Long Should You Wait Before Changing Your Cartilage Piercing?
You can change your piercing around 3 to 6 months after you have got your piercing done, although this can vary from person to person. This is usually enough time for the piercing to fully heal and to reduce the risk of infection or other side effects.
How Do You Know If Your Cartilage Piercing is Healed?
It is best to wait until your cartilage piercing is fully healed before you attempt to change the jewelry. As mentioned, it can take up to 6 months for the piercing to heal completely. In some cases, though, the healing period may be as long as 12 months.
It can be difficult to know when the area is fully healed. This is because this type of piercing heals from the inside out. Thus, the piercing may look completely fine, but the healing process may still be taking place.
Some signs that your piercing has healed is that the piercing and the area surrounding it looks normal. This means that there is no redness or swelling, and you may not notice any discharge or fluid either.
Even if the piercing looks fine, though, it is important to wait at least 3 months before attempting to change the jewelry. And, you know your body best. If you are slow to heal, in general, wait 6 months to a year before switching out the piercing jewelry.
What Happens If You Change Your Cartilage Piercing Too Early?
In this case, it pays to wait. Changing your cartilage piercing before the recommended time can have many different side effects.
To begin with, you will interrupt the healing process. This means it can take even longer for your piercing to heal. At the same time, you are also increasing the risk of internal infections and an allergic reaction.
This can lead to bumps at the site of the piercing. Some bumps can take weeks or months – they can be rather large, uncomfortable, and unsightly. It is not something that you want to deal with.
If the area gets infected, you may need to take antibiotics to get rid of it. It is even possible that you may have to remove the piercing completely and allow the hole to close.
You should also be mindful that if you change the piercing too early, there is a chance that the hole may close before you have the time to insert the new jewelry. In this case, you will have to wait for the hole to heal before attempting another piercing.
Should You Change Your Cartilage Piercing If There is a Bump?
If after the healing period you have a bump on or near the site of your piercing, go see your piercer or a doctor. They will tell you if it is safe to take the piercing out.
In most instances, you may to wait until the bump is gone before you can change the piercing. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a treatment plan. Even if the bump is gone following treatment, check with your doctor that it is safe to change the cartilage piercing.
Can You Make Your Cartilage Piercing Heal Faster?
Your piercing is going to heal in its own time. Fortunately, you can ensure that the healing process proceeds as quickly as possible.
The main thing here is to follow the aftercare instructions provided to you by your piercer. This may involve cleaning the piercing out with saline solution a couple of times a day. Make sure to do this for as long as you have been instructed to.
As much as possible, avoid touching or irritating the piercing. Be careful when washing or brushing your hair and avoid this area. If you are a side sleeper, sleep on the opposite side of the piercing.
Avoid wearing beanies or other accessories that can rub against the piercing. If you have long hair, you may want to keep it out of the way until the piercing is healed.
Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t twist the jewelry. This only serves to interrupt the healing process. Instead, leave it alone.
The Right Way to Change a Cartilage Piercing
Even if your cartilage piercing is fully healed, it is important to follow proper procedures when changing your cartilage piercing.
If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions, it is best to stick to jewelry that is made from silver, gold, or titanium. This will not irritate the piercing or the surrounding skin.
If you will be changing the piercing yourself, you may want to try a stud as it is the easiest to work with. Sit in front of a mirror so that you can clearly see what you are doing.
Have someone else try to get a hoop through. Make sure that the hands of you and your helper are completely clean. Clean the jewelry as well before inserting it.
If you feel any pain or resistance when changing the jewelry, make sure to stop immediately. This could mean that the piercing isn’t fully healed or you are pushing the jewelry in the wrong direction.
Slowly remove the jewelry and try again, paying careful attention to where the jewelry is going. If you still experience issues, it is best to head to your piercer right away. They should be able to help you.
When Is It Safe to Change Your Cartilage Piercing?
You should wait for at least 3 to 6 months before changing your cartilage piercing, although the waiting period may be longer if the healing process isn’t complete – trying to change the piercing before this can lead to pain, infection, and bumps on your skin.