Do Piercings Itch While Healing?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 21, 2019
    Last Updated: November 28, 2020

Yes, piercings can in fact itch when the healing process is underway. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the itching is a good sign as it denotes that the healing is progressing in a healthy and natural way. The extent of the itch greatly varies from one individual to another.

No one considers getting a piercing to be a painless process. The discomfort, though, is only momentary, and most piercings heal perfectly well unless you’re hypersensitive to certain materials.

Is the Itching Normal?

You may have noticed that your piercing has started to scab or even swell after a day or two. This means that your body has registered the wound and is healing the area. The connective tissue from your epidermis begins to move towards the exposed region and slowly envelops the pierced skin cells.

This gradual but noticeable movement of connective tissue is perceived by the body as an itch. Although a minor itch is a perfectly normal feeling after your piercing, what isn’t normal is severe itchiness, a rash or swelling. If these occur, your body is rejecting the piercing.

If these symptoms subside in a day or two then you have nothing to worry about. If the swelling persists, however, it means that you have to employ a completely different course of action altogether.

Cure for the Itch

Try these methods to stop your piercing from itching and preventing it from getting worse:

Experiment With Jewelry

The materials involved in your piercing can be a major factor whether you’ll end up itching your piercing.

If you’re presented with a choice, make sure you always opt for these non-toxic variants. They can be pricier but are worth it:

  • Gold
  • Surgical steel
  • Titanium

If you find yourself itching excessively, you could be reacting to the metal. Head back to the piercer to see if they can change the stock jewelry for one of a different metal.

Keep the Area Clean

A perfectly normal wound can rapidly convert into an infection if you don’t maintain a certain level of cleanliness. It’s extremely important to clean the piercing at least twice a day to ensure that bacteria doesn’t settle.

Avoid touching the jewelry and skin or even using your hands to clean the wound, as your hands contain a crazy amount of bacteria, too.

If you have to handle the wound, try using a fresh pair of gloves, and be sure to clean up any blood that may have dried around the site after the procedure was performed. 

To clean your wound, it’s preferable to use a saline solution, which can be created by mixing 2 teaspoons of salt in a glass of water. If you can’t do this, use a mild, unscented soap as an alternative. Make sure you thoroughly dry the wound after cleaning it.

Oxygenate the Wound

Make sure that the wound has enough exposure to oxygen for the first four weeks, and that it isn’t subject to moisture.

If your piercing is covered with clothes, make sure that you wear light and breathable fabrics for a few days until the wound heals. The best example of a fabric perfect for this situation would be plain ol’ cotton. Let the wound breathe, and you’ll be fine!

Another threat of wearing restrictive clothes is that they can tug on your piercing and possibly even dislodge it over time. Wearing roomy clothes will help prevent this unfortunate accident.

Moisturize Regularly

Moisturizing with a high-quality product at least twice a day can help solve your itchy piercing, as the dryness of your skin is tackled by the heavenly serum.

Make sure you moisturize once you’ve cleaned and dried the piercing — this will also help your wound heal well over time by not locking in dirt, bacteria and excess moisture.

A Piercing Summary 

A new piercing can be itchy and even smelly — have you heard of ear cheese? — but most fans of this rebellious activity will tell you that it’s worth the effort. The itching is just a normal reaction to a puncture in your skin and your body is doing what it does best — healing you quickly and efficiently.

An abnormal itch, however, can arise if you aren’t taking good care of your new piercing. If you use the right jewelry, keep your wound clean, and tend to it as advised, you should certainly avoid this eventuality.