Can I remove my piercing myself during healing, irritation and / or inflammation?
During healing it is important not to remove the jewelry. Removal of the jewelry is not without risks and it is best to leave that to your piercer. There can be several reasons why you think that the jewelry should be removed from the piercing, such as irritation, inflammation or you no longer want the piercing itself. In all cases, it is important to go to your piercer and discuss the reason why you want to remove the piercing. Often there is a lot to do about your complaints and you can keep the piercing. If you still want to remove the jewelry, you can of course have it removed (provided it is not infected) but it is important that this is done hygienically, otherwise you run the risk of inflammation in the piercing during removal.
In case of inflammation it is imperative not to remove the jewellery yourself. The jewelry keeps the wound open so that pus can drain from the wound. When you remove a piece of jewelry when the piercing is infected, there is a chance that you will trap the inflammation which in the worst case can lead to an abscess. Furthermore, inflammation is caused by microorganisms that have infested the wound and are causing symptoms. These are not removed by removing the jewelry. Removing the jewelry will therefore not cause inflammation to go away. If you have an inflammation in your piercing, contact a doctor and always follow his / her advice. Often the inflammation can be remedied and you can keep your piercing.
If the piercing is irritated it’s important to find the reason for that irritation. Your piercer will ask you a number of questions to determine the possible cause. Often a piercing calms down quickly when the cause of the irritation is found and removed. See “I have a bump on my piercing” in the FAQ for tips on what you can do about irritated piercings. These tips work just as well with irritations as with bumps.
Taking the jewelry out to clean it is not a good idea and often results in an irritated or infected piercing. Doing this will keep the wound open longer and you may introduce dirt and bacteria into the wound. You also run the risk that you will not get the jewelry in it anymore. The piercing will quickly close again and you might lose your piercing. leave your piercing alone as much as possible during healing. There is nothing to be gained from removing the jewellery and only leads to problems. Look at “aftercare body piercings” for tips for your healing piercing or contact your piercer for a check-up. In any cases: don’t touch your piercing!