Why downsizing your jewellery is important

Once you have been in for your new piercing with our piercers, they cover a lot of things when it comes down to healing your new piercing. They talk about aftercare and the importance of choosing quality jewellery. Something that often gets forgotten by clients is the step of downsizing your jewellery. This is critical to the overall healing of your piercing.

You are often invited back for a ‘check-up’, at this point we can see how your piercing is healing, if we can help you fix any issues that may have arisen, and all importantly change your jewellery to something shorter if its needed.

Just for this piece, I’m going to mainly talk about cartilage piercings as this is the issue I most frequently see with our clients when I’m offering advice over the desk.

IMG_6090Most cartilage piercings at first require jewellery that is slightly longer in length, or wider in diameter to allow for the swelling that usually arises. Yes, this length may be slightly irritating, its a necessary evil to prevent jewellery from embedding into the tissue.


That jewellery looks rather long yes, but we took that straight after the piercing took place. 2 or 3 weeks later the flat back of that labret was flush against the tragus tissue.

We have established that longer jewellery is needed, but overly long jewellery can cause problems as well. It is more likely to get caught on clothing, hair or snagged, causing the piercing become to be irritated and upset, thus making the already lengthy healing time of cartilage even longer. This is another reason why its important to see a reputable piercer.

With many cartilage piercings, longer jewellery being left in too long can cause the piercing to migrate. (A shift in the piercing channel which makes the piercing wonky)

The two that first come to mind are helix piercings, and one of our most popular piercings, the forward helix piercing.

The bump on this Infected-cartilage-piercing-bumppiercing is not an infection or a keloid. Its a bump caused by irritation which has been likely caused from the angle the piercing is now on. The angle places pressure on the piercing channel.

The reasons these shifts in angles occur are usually; sleeping on the piercing at night and catching it frequently. All these things become more of an issue with jewellery that is too long, that has been left in too long.

After all this being said, when can you actually come to change your jewellery to something that is a good, snug fit?

This is where it starts to vary from each client/piercing to the other.

Some people are ready sooner than others, we give the most ‘average’ figure for our check up invitation. Usually after 2-3 months this is adequate time to change a helix piercing. Don’t leave it longer, this leaves a window of opportunity open where you are more likely to catch your piercing and then go through all the swelling again and delaying your downsize. Don’t forget, most cartilage piercings take around a year to heal, so after this change, its really important you leave it in until it has fully healed!

This is why frequent check ups with us are essential to make sure you’re not wasting your time and money on a quality piercing with quality jewellery, only to have it heal wonky or worst case scenario even migrate through the skin.

You will of course have to pay for your shorter jewellery, getting a piercing is a project. It takes time and a little dedication towards its healing and care. Aesthetically pleasing piercings are worth a little bit of hard work. Good piercings ain’t cheap, and cheap piercings ain’t good!

I feel better for sharing this with you 🙂