Do Piercings Bleed When You Get Them Done?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 21, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

Yes, piercings sometimes bleed when you get them, but some locations are more likely to bleed than others.

Also, some people’s blood clots quicker than others, which will reduce the amount of time a piercing might bleed for. Unlike tattoos, which bleed every time, some piercings don’t bleed at all; although you should definitely prepare for at least a small amount of blood.

Other Reasons Why Your Piercing Is Bleeding

You’re Knocking It

As the body floods the area with blood cells to fix the piercing invasion, it needs some time to repair. If you bump or knock it consistently, the new cells dislodge, which allows blood to flow out of the area.

Knocking the piercing can be really tricky, especially since new habits haven’t formed yet. Try and be more conscious of the area — you could always stick a note near a mirror where you get dressed to avoid this.

Moving in Your Sleep

Without knowing it, you may move in your sleep more than you realize. Even the slightest movement could dislodge some scabbing and show some blood. To prevent this, consider putting a plaster over your piercing when you go to sleep. Also, try and go to sleep without your piercing being in contact with anything.

Top Tips to Avoid Piercings From Bleeding

Qualified Piercer

Whenever you get a piercing, make sure you visit a qualified and licensed practitioner, as this is one of the best ways to avoid any complications and reduce the risk of infections. Check out their reviews or go somewhere recommended to you by others. Getting a piercing isn’t something you want your best friend to do with a sewing needle, despite what you see in the movies.

Piercing Location

Some areas on the body are more likely to bleed than others. As a general rule, piercings in cartilage — the harder tissue in the back of the ear — will bleed more than soft tissue piercings, such as the belly button or eyebrow. If you’re worried about bleeding, try somewhere a bit more fleshy to start with; earlobes are usually the go-to for a first piercing. 

Cartilage piercings can bleed quite a lot, but this is usually nothing to worry about

Tongue piercings are one of the more risky piercings, and some practitioners may refuse to carry out a tongue piercing due to veins running down the center on the tongue. Even so, the artist may still be able to pierce your tongue on a slant or slightly off-center. 

Avoid Alcohol

Once you’ve found your perfect practitioner and know exactly where you want to be pierced, stay away from alcohol for a couple of days beforehand.

Piercings will bleed more if you have alcohol in your system. This is because alcohol thins the blood, which may be the reason you’ve seen the booze-fuelled holiday piercing horror stories.

Excellent Aftercare 

Aftercare starts as soon as the needle or gun hits the skin. All piercings have the potential to bleed; after all, a hole has been made through the skin, which contains blood vessels.

When caring for a new piercing, don’t be tempted to pick off the crust or scab. In our experience, this is the toughest part for some, as the skin can be seriously itchy as it repairs.

Scabbing is the body’s natural defense mechanism to the trauma and is protecting your piercing from an infection. With this in mind, don’t even turn or wiggle the piercing. Doing so can disrupt the scab and healing and cause the piercing to bleed more.

When looking after your piercing, if you notice any of the following, seek medical advice:

  • Green or yellow puss oozing from the pierced area 
  • Bleeding for more than a couple of minutes
  • Red and heated skin on and around the piercing


All piercings have the potential to bleed but some more so than others — for example, the piercing location, trauma and alcohol in the blood. 

By being aware of the body parts that won’t bleed as much and preparing for the piercing correctly, you’ll reduce the chances of it bleeding. Even if it does bleed, it shouldn’t be heavy bleeding and should stop after a few weeks. Any longer than this, you should get it checked out.

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