How to Close a Piercing Hole and Minimize Scarring

When the novelty of a new piercing wears off and you no long want an extra hole in your body, the natural thing to do is take out the jewelry and let the piercing hole close. There are a few simple steps you can take to minimize scarring and help the puncture heal quickly.

First, be aware of limitations in letting a piercing hole close. For example, earlobe piercings may never completely close. Even after several years, you may still have a tiny hole or small depression on your earlobe. Any kind of gauged piercing will require reconstructive surgery, since large holes do not shrink on their own. Eyebrow piercings, however, do close completely.

The first step in closing a hole is to let the piercing heal completely before you removing the rings, studs or other jewelry. You should not attempt to close a fresh piercing. If you take the rings out before the piercing has healed, then you could develop infection from trapped pus.

Once the piercing is healed, start the closure process by removing all the jewelry from the holes.

Wash the pierced area every day with mild soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly to remove residue and prevent soap scum from building up in the hole. Then, use your thumb and forefinger to gently squeeze out any gunk left in the hole. The more ooze you remove, the faster the hole will heal. Don't squeeze so hard that it hurts.

Avoid using gels, creams, moisturizer, or liquid makeup near the piercing hole.

If after one to two months you do not get any gunk when you squeeze the hole, you are close to closure. When a piercing has completely closed, there should be no redness either. If you are unsure whether the hole is closed, ask a medical doctor. Do not attempt to poke jewelry into your hold to test for closure, as this may re-open the piercing.

Once you have determined that the hole is closed, apply anti-scarring gel to the area daily for at least a month. If you get a reaction, stop using the gel and go back to soap and water. Keep your entire body healthy by drinking plenty of water and taking a multi-vitamin. This helps your skin repair itself.

Keep in mind that some piercings may take longer than one or two months to close, but most should close within a year. If your piercing is taking a long time to close, check with your doctor to make sure you do not have an infection. You may also have scar tissue developing beneath the skin that your doctor can investigate.

© Had2Know 2010