How Long Should A Piercing Be Swollen?

Although piercings are a popular form of body modification, they require commitment and aftercare during the healing process. While swelling is a natural part of this process, it may be concerning when it persists for a while. It may also be difficult to know when swelling becomes a problem. So, how long should a piercing be swollen? And when should you seek treatment for an infected piercing?

The time and amount of swelling can depend on the person and the piercing’s location. It’s common for swelling to last up to two weeks after a piercing. Swelling that persists for more than two weeks may indicate an infection, and you should consult your piercer or a doctor.

If you’ve recently been pierced and want to know how long it should be swollen, don’t panic! We’ve got everything you need to know, including ways to reduce uncomfortable swelling.

How Long After Piercing Should Swelling Go Down?

The amount of swelling around a piercing can vary depending on its location. Most swelling lasts around a week or two, depending on the type of pierced tissue. After getting pierced, it’s normal for the area to be red, sore, and swollen. So swelling directly after a piercing is nothing to worry about. However, it might be infected if the swelling persists for longer than two weeks.

The healing time of piercings may be affected by your body’s natural healing times. Some people’s piercing may only need five days for the swelling to come down, while others take ten days for the same piercing. You can also expect swelling during the healing process as the body increases the blood flow to the site. The healing process can last from a month to even a year.

Everybody’s body is different, and swelling is different for everybody too. Not only can the swelling time differ from person to person, but the amount can also differ. However, as long as the swelling is not red and hot, it is not likely to be infected and is merely the body trying to heal.

Although swelling times vary for different people, it shouldn’t last more than two weeks. If the swelling has persisted for more than two weeks or becomes hot and extremely painful, you may need to consult your piercer or a doctor.

It is possible the piercing has become infected, and your piercer may be able to provide you with information on how to treat it. They may also remove the piercing and refer you to a doctor. Alternatively, a medical professional can tell you whether it’s infected and may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection.

How To Reduce Swelling From A Piercing

Piercings can cause the tissue around them to swell and become red. During the healing stage, swelling can also happen. This is usually just the body trying to increase blood flow to the area to aid the healing process.

Even though it isn’t necessarily bad, swelling can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Luckily there are ways to reduce the swelling to pierced areas to make it easier on you while the piercing is healing. There are several ways to reduce swelling and discomfort while your piercing is still in the healing stages.

Placing A Warm Compress Over The Piercing

While your piercing is swollen and red, it’s probably quite painful. A good tip for reducing the swelling is to place a warm compress over the piercing. This should help to reduce some swelling.

After a piercing, swelling can happen immediately and last for up to two weeks. It may also flare up at some point during the healing process. But if it isn’t warm to the touch, it may not be a cause for concern.

The compress’s heat also helps increase blood flow to the area and dilate blood vessels. This allows blood to flow faster through the area, which helps to stimulate healing.

Using A Cold Compress or Ice Pack

The swelling is caused by the body drawing blood to the area to aid in healing. An ice pack or cold compress can help to reduce swelling and discomfort around piercings. Once the pain is gone, you can remove it, and the swelling should start to subside over the next few minutes.

An ice pack causes the blood vessels to constrict and decreases blood circulation to the area. Once the blood can no longer flow as easily to the area, the swelling should go down. Be careful not to keep the ice pack in place for too long, as this can cause more pain and discomfort.

Take An Anti-Inflammatory

Another option for reducing persistent swelling around a piercing is to take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. This will help to do two things. It will relieve some of the pain caused by the swelling and block the body’s chemicals that cause swelling and inflammation, allowing the swelling to go down.

Be careful when doing this, and make sure not to take too many as that can be dangerous. If you‘re unsure, it’s best to consult a doctor for a professional opinion.

Clean The Piercing With Saline Solution

Cleaning piercings is essential to fight off infections. Infections can cause swelling, redness, pain, and yellow discharge. They can also lead to serious medical problems if not treated properly. Touching the piercing with dirty hands can cause an infection, so washing your hands before touching the area anything is important.

Use a store-bought saline solution or a homemade mixture of salt and water to clean your piercing. Do not take the piercing out. Rather, clean the piercing and the surrounding skin. Then, pat it dry with a paper towel and wash your hands. Your piercer may provide a saline solution to clean your piercing at home or tell you where to get it.


Piercings typically cause swelling for up to two weeks, though this can vary depending on the person and the site. Swelling lasting more than two weeks may be an indication of an infection. Swelling can also be uncomfortable. However, it’s possible to reduce it with either a warm or cold compress, an anti-inflammatory, or simply by cleaning it.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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