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  • Writer's pictureAmber Piercings

Downsizing? What's all this fuss about size?

What is downsizing and should I do it?

Downsizing is the process of shortening jewelry from initial piercing length to a better fit. Piercings are initially performed with longer jewelry to accommodate swelling, healing, and cleaning. Once the piercing has started healing and the swelling is decreasing, and it's producing less discharge, downsizing to a shorter bar is essential. The longer bar is prone to getting wrapped in hair, caught by hairbrushes, clothing, or other random things, and bumped and slept on. The longer bar also starts to sag as the swelling decreases. All of this can cause those unsightly irritation bumps, as well as migration and a crooked piercing, along with other issues. It’s important to downsize to avoid these issues. It's VERY important to visit your pierced for the downsizing to ensure properly fitting and sterile jewelry is used.

When am I ready for a downsize?

You are ready when your piercing is no longer swollen, which can be anywhere from 2-3 weeks up to a few months.Your jewelry will start to move freely and feel loose and start sticking out more. There's less discharge or ''crusties''. All of that points to being ready for a downsize but your best way to know for sure is to see your piercer for a check up.

What if I don't downsize?

Honestly, maybe nothing. Some piercings will heal fine with too long jewelry in it. But many do not. Many end up with bumps, hypertrophic scarring, migration, crooked healing, or even rejection. It's always best to downsize to avoid the risk. You went through the pain and spent the money to get the piercing, protect it by following proper aftercare, which includes downsizing!

How do you downsize my jewelry?

It's very simple! We find the size needed to fit snugly in your piercing and we sterilize it, then we gently remove your initial jewelry and replace the bar with a shorter one. If you chose a beautiful piece or jewelry that you love for your initial piercing you will keep the same top and just get a shorter bar for it so that it fits better. It's a very gentle, quick and usually painless procedure that only takes a few minutes. You take your initial longer jewelry home with you too.

When can I downsize?

It depends on the piercing you have and how you heal. For instance, many oral piercings are usually ready much faster than cartilage piercings, and nipple piercings take what seems like forever. Your piercer will give you guidelines for your particular piercing but typically it's about 2 weeks for an oral piercing, and 4-6weeks after most other piercings. And if you aren't quite ready to downsize a checkup by your piercer at that point is never a bad idea! They can let you know how healing is looking and when they think you will be ready to downsize.

Do all piercings need to be downsized?

No, not all. Many piercings are variable, meaning they may need it or they may not, such as industrials, navels, and nipples, often they can go either way, depending on your anatomy, starter jewelry size, and other factors. Most other piercings will need to be downsized. Oral piercings especially need it to avoid tooth and gum damage and cartilage piercings are very prone to healing issues if not downsized.

Downsizing is one of the most crucial steps in aftercare and is so important to a successfully healed piercing!

If you think you are ready to downsize you can make a Downsizing Appointment using the Book Now button!

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