How to Care for Your Piercings in Winter

  • Written By Dan Hunter on March 22, 2023
    Last Updated: April 7, 2023

As temperatures drop and the air becomes drier, it’s important to take extra care of your piercings to prevent discomfort and infection. Cold weather and winter clothing can create a challenging environment for piercings, but with a few simple precautions and adjustments to your piercing care routine, you can keep your piercings healthy and comfortable all winter long.

How Does Cold Weather Affect Piercings?

Cold weather can have several effects on piercings, both new and healed. Some common ways in which cold weather may affect piercings include:

  1. Contraction of metal: Cold weather can cause the metal in your piercing jewelry to contract, which may result in discomfort or pressure on the piercing site.
  2. Slower healing process: Low temperatures can slow down blood circulation, which may result in a slower healing process for new piercings. The body’s immune system may also be less efficient in cold weather, making it harder to fight off potential infections.
  3. Dry skin: Cold weather often leads to dry skin, which can make the area around your piercing more prone to irritation, itching, or even cracking. This can be particularly problematic for new piercings that are still healing.
  4. Sensitivity: Cold weather can make your skin and nerves more sensitive, causing discomfort around the piercing site.
  5. Swelling: In some cases, exposure to cold temperatures can cause blood vessels to constrict, leading to swelling around the piercing site. This is more likely to occur in new piercings or if you have a predisposition to swelling.

Winter Care Tips

Moisturize Your Skin

In cold weather, the air is dry, and the skin is more prone to becoming dehydrated. This can be particularly problematic for piercings, which need moisture to heal properly. To keep your piercings healthy, make sure to moisturize your skin regularly, especially around the piercing site. Choose a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer, and avoid applying it directly to the piercing site.

Protect Your Piercings

Winter clothing can be abrasive, which can irritate your piercings and slow down the healing process. To prevent this, you should avoid tight-fitting clothing, such as turtlenecks or scarves, that may rub against the piercing. Instead, opt for loose-fitting, breathable clothing that won’t cause unnecessary friction.

Clean Your Piercings

In addition to protecting your piercings from friction, it’s essential to maintain good hygiene to prevent infection. Clean your piercings regularly with a saline solution or a mild soap and warm water. Avoid using harsh or scented products that may irritate the skin.

Avoid Touching Your Piercings

In cold weather, it’s natural to want to touch your piercings to check if they’re still there or adjust them if they feel uncomfortable. However, this can introduce bacteria and irritants to the piercing site, which can lead to infection or delay the healing process. To prevent this, avoid touching your piercings with dirty hands, and only handle them when necessary.

Stay Healthy

Your body needs to be healthy to heal properly, so it’s important to take care of yourself during the winter months. This includes eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. All of these factors can affect your body’s ability to heal and maintain healthy piercings.

How to Deal with Common Issues Such as Dry Skin, Cracking, and Chapping around the Piercing Site

Cold weather can cause skin to become dry and irritated, which can affect the healing process of your piercing. To combat this, you should apply a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to the skin around your piercing several times a day. You should also avoid using harsh soaps or cleansers on the piercing site, as these can further dry out the skin. If you notice any cracking or chapping around the piercing site, you can apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or a healing ointment to the area to help soothe and protect the skin.

The Effects of Indoor Heating on Piercings and How to Counteract Them

Indoor heating can cause the air in your home to become dry, which can lead to irritation and discomfort around your piercing.

To counteract the effects of indoor heating, you can use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home. This will help to prevent dryness and irritation around your piercing. You can also try placing a small dish of water near your heating vents to help add moisture to the air.

In addition, you should avoid sitting directly in front of heating vents or radiators, as this can cause the skin around your piercing to become dry and uncomfortable.

How to Adjust Your Piercing Jewelry to Accommodate Swelling Caused by Cold Weather or Changes in Barometric Pressure

Cold weather and changes in barometric pressure can cause your piercing to swell, which can be uncomfortable or even painful. To help alleviate this, you can adjust your piercing jewelry to accommodate the swelling. 

For example, you can switch to a longer post or a larger gauge size to allow for more room as the piercing heals. You should also avoid wearing tight clothing or accessories that may put pressure on the piercing, as this can exacerbate the swelling.

If the swelling is severe or lasts for an extended period of time, you should consult with your piercer or a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying issues.

Should You Avoid Getting a Piercing in Winter?

It is not necessary to avoid getting a piercing in winter, but it is important to take extra care of the piercing during this time. Cold weather and winter clothing can create a challenging environment for piercings, but with proper care, you can keep your piercing healthy and comfortable.

If you plan to get a piercing in the winter, make sure to take the necessary precautions, such as avoiding tight-fitting clothing, moisturizing your skin, and maintaining good hygiene. It’s also important to follow the aftercare instructions given by your piercer and to be aware of any signs of infection or complications. 

Ultimately, the decision to get a piercing in winter should be based on your personal preferences and lifestyle, as long as you are prepared to take extra care of the piercing during the cold weather months.


Winter weather and cold temperatures can create challenges for piercing care, but with a few simple adjustments to your routine, you can keep your piercings healthy and comfortable.

By moisturizing your skin, protecting your piercings from friction, cleaning them regularly, avoiding touching them, and staying healthy, you can enjoy your piercings all winter long without any complications.

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