A Brief Guide to Downsizing

What does downsizing mean?

You got a new piercing and, when explaining aftercare to you, the piercer mentioned downsizing after a few weeks or months. You’ve had piercings before, but not in a while, and you don’t remember ever being asked to do this in the past. So, what does it mean? What is downsizing?

Getting a downsize involves having the initial jewelry changed to something more fitted. When piercings are fresh, the jewelry used needs to be long enough to accommodate swelling and facilitate healing and cleaning. Once the piercing has gotten settled and established – i.e., there’s little or no residual swelling, fluid, or crust, and there’s visible room on the jewelry – it’s time for a downsize.

When does downsizing happen?

There isn’t really a concrete timeline for downsizing piercings. Not all piercings heal on the same schedule, and not all individuals heal at the same rate. Most piercers recommend returning for a check-up around 3-6 weeks after the initial piercing, sometimes sooner, and they will determine if your piercing is ready to be downsized then.

 Why is downsizing important?

Downsizing is important for the health and longevity of your piercings. Leaving the longer initial jewelry in a piercing can result in the jewelry shifting and moving around, getting caught or snagged, or being slept on. These are all things that can cause irritation or discomfort, migration, and even failure of the piercing.

If you love your piercing and don’t want to risk damaging or losing it, make sure to follow up with your piercer to have it downsized when it’s ready!

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