How Long Does it Take for a Piercing to Close?

Table Of Contents

Piercings have been a popular form of body modification for centuries, with evidence of piercings dating back to ancient civilizations. While piercings are a great way to express oneself and add some flair to one's appearance, they do require proper care and maintenance. One common concern among those with piercings is how long it takes for them to close up if they decide to remove the jewelry. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the healing process of piercings and how long it typically takes for a piercing to close.

Factors Affecting the Healing Process of Piercings

The healing process of a piercing can vary greatly from person to person and depends on several factors. Some of the main factors that affect the healing process of piercings include:

1. Location of the Piercing

The location of the piercing plays a significant role in how quickly it will heal and close up. Areas of the body with higher blood flow, such as the ears and nose, tend to heal faster than areas with lower blood flow, such as the belly button or tongue.

2. Type of Piercing

Different types of piercings have varying healing times. For example, earlobe piercings typically heal faster than cartilage piercings due to the difference in tissue density and blood flow. Similarly, oral piercings, such as tongue or lip piercings, may take longer to heal due to the constant movement and presence of bacteria in the mouth.

3. Quality of Aftercare

Proper aftercare is crucial for the healing process of a piercing. Neglecting to clean the piercing regularly or using harsh products can lead to infections and prolong the healing time. On the other hand, following the recommended aftercare instructions provided by your piercer can help speed up the healing process.

4. Individual Healing Time

Each person's body is unique, and therefore, the healing time for piercings can vary greatly. Factors such as age, overall health, and immune system can all affect how quickly a piercing will heal and close up.

5. Jewelry Type and Size

The type and size of jewelry used in a piercing can also impact the healing process. For example, using a smaller gauge (thickness) of jewelry can help reduce the healing time as it puts less pressure on the piercing hole. Additionally, using high-quality jewelry made from materials like surgical steel or titanium can also aid in the healing process.

How Fast Can an Ear Piercing Close Up?

Now that we have explored the factors that affect the healing process of piercings let's focus on ear piercings specifically. The ears are one of the most popular areas of the body to get pierced, with various types of piercings available, such as earlobe, helix, and tragus piercings. So, how fast can an ear piercing close up if you decide to remove the jewelry? Let's find out.

Earlobe Piercings

Earlobe piercings are the most common type of piercing and typically heal within 6-8 weeks. However, this healing time can vary depending on the individual and aftercare practices. If the piercing is left empty for an extended period, it may start to close up within a few hours. After a few days, the hole may become difficult to re-pierce, and after several months, it may close up completely.

Cartilage Piercings

Cartilage piercings, such as helix or tragus piercings, take longer to heal compared to earlobe piercings. On average, they can take anywhere from 3-12 months to fully heal. However, the healing process can be prolonged if proper aftercare is not followed. These piercings are also more likely to close up quickly if left empty, so it's essential to keep jewelry in them until they are fully healed.

Industrial Piercings

Industrial piercings, which involve two holes connected by a single piece of jewelry, can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to heal. These piercings are more prone to infection and may require more extensive aftercare to ensure proper healing. If the jewelry is removed for an extended period, the piercing may start to close up within a few hours.

Closed Ear Piercing Hole: Can it be Reopened?

If you have had a piercing that has closed up, you may be wondering if it's possible to reopen the hole. The answer is yes; in most cases, it is possible to reopen a closed piercing hole. However, it may not be as simple as just reinserting jewelry into the hole. Here are some things to consider before attempting to reopen a closed piercing hole:

  • How long has the piercing been closed? If it has only been a few days or weeks, it may be easier to reopen compared to a piercing that has been closed for several months.
  • Is there any scar tissue present? Scar tissue can make it more challenging to reopen a piercing hole, and it may require professional assistance.
  • Are you using the correct size and type of jewelry? Using the wrong size or type of jewelry can cause further damage to the piercing hole and make it harder to reopen.

If you are unsure about reopening a closed piercing hole, it's best to consult with a professional piercer who can assess the situation and provide guidance.


1. How long does it take for a belly button piercing to close?

Belly button piercings can take anywhere from 3-12 months to heal, depending on the individual. If the piercing is left empty, it may start to close up within a few hours, and after several months, it may close up completely.

2. Can a piercing close up overnight?

In most cases, piercings will not close up overnight. However, if the piercing is relatively new or has not fully healed, it may start to close up within a few hours of removing the jewelry.

3. Will a piercing always close up if the jewelry is removed?

Not necessarily. Some piercings, such as earlobe piercings, may stay open for an extended period without jewelry. However, this is not recommended as it can lead to complications and make it harder to re-pierce the hole in the future.

4. Can I use alcohol to clean my piercing?

No, alcohol is not recommended for cleaning piercings as it can be too harsh and irritate the skin. It's best to use a saline solution or a gentle soap recommended by your piercer.

5. How long should I wait before changing my piercing jewelry?

It's best to wait until the piercing is fully healed before changing the jewelry. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the type of piercing.

The healing process of piercings can vary greatly depending on several factors, including location, type, aftercare, and individual healing time. Ear piercings, such as earlobe and cartilage piercings, typically heal within a few weeks to several months, while more complex piercings like industrials may take longer. If you decide to remove your piercing jewelry, it's essential to keep an eye on the piercing hole and be aware that it may start to close up if left empty for an extended period. If you are unsure about the healing process of your piercing, it's always best to consult with a professional piercer for guidance.

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