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New Piercings & Swelling

Swelling is the body's way of healing itself and occurs when a flood of white blood cells enter the area in order to fight infection and attack dead cells. A piercing is a wound, so it makes sense that we often see swelling associated with new piercings!

Swelling could pose an issue to you IF your piercer or yourself has done something incorrect.

When you get your piercing, your piercer should pierce you with jewelry that has plenty of extra length to allow for the area to swell. If your piercing starts to swell so much that there is no longer extra room, issues can present themselves quickly and you should go back to your piercer immediately for a longer piece of jewelry.

This is yet another reason why piercing guns are terrible- the butterfly backed earrings that are put in after being pierced do not allow enough room for swelling. Hundreds of people a year experience embedded piercings!

I once saw a post from a very reputable piercer about a girl who was pierced with a gun for her basic lobes, and when they were swollen she did not think anything of it until later on when her lobes started leaking smelly puss and turning colors. She then removed the earrings (or so she thought) and proceeded to let them heal up. Years and years later she visited this reputable piercer only to find out that the butterfly backs of the earrings were STILL IN HER LOBES! Her skin had completely grown over them and this was the reason she had experienced the smelly pus, coloration, and prolonged swelling years ago! The backs had to be surgically removed from her ears. Long story short, butterfly back earrings are NOT a good jewelry choice for healing piercings because they do not offer the room for swelling.

A girl reached out to me on instagram who had the same issue with butterfly backed earrings- the front of her earring had completely been swallowed into her swollen lobe and she had to visit a hospital to get it out!

'Embedded' piercings CAN still happen with a labret. I was in a rush to downsize the length of the top piercing in my triple flat. The piercing was not healed yet, and a few days after the change to a snug labret my aunt hit me in the ear while trying to give me a hug. It swelled up so much, but I didn't think too much of it. A few days later I noticed that the back of my labret was completely covered in skin! My piercing is now taking much longer to heal than it should have.

When you get a piercing, you need to find a piercer that you can closely collaborate with and reach out to at any point to ask any questions about your piercing. It is important to fully understand the reasons behind the proper safety precautions before getting a piercing, and this is the reason that I felt the need to write this blog post. I hope you have found this interesting and noteworthy!

Until next week,

Kourtney 🖤


  • Thanks for the post! Very helpful. I got a new helix piercing and the jewelry, how it says in the post, is extra long. But because of that my hair I always gets stuck in there, which hurts (the piercing itself doesn’t hurt, only if there’s hair stuck in there). Is there anything I can do? I don’t want to wear a ponytail the next weeks. When can I change the jewelry?

  • I lost a few piercings to piercing gun and butterfly backed earrings and it’s such a shame that I had zero knowledge about piercings when I was getting them done. Should I have read this article though, a lot of damage could have been avoided. So thank you for spreading awareness and enlightening us piercing lovers, that was a great read.

    Soff Williams
  • Thank you for a great read! I wanted to know how you feel about a hoop for a new piercing?

  • Thank you so much for the info.. very helpful 😘

    Kimi Muldoon

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