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Maybe you’ve fallen out of love with a piercing, want to make room for a new one, or are concerned about taking out the jewelry for too long. Regardless of the reason, you want to know, “how long will it take for my piercing to close?”

Several factors can influence how long it takes a piercing to close. For one, the longer the piercing has been in, the longer it (usually) takes to close. For another, the larger the gauge of the piercing, the longer it takes to close. But in the end, the most important factor is the location and type of piercing.

We take a look at how long it takes a piercing to close for some of the most common piercings:

  • Lobe
  • Helix
  • Nostril
  • Conch
  • Tragus
  • Nipple
  • Navel

Stretched Piercing Jewellery

How Long Does It Take A Lobe Piercing To Close?

Within the first six months of having a lobe piercing, it closes rapidly. The exact time varies between different bodies. But, during the healing phase, most lobe piercings will close within 24 hours without jewelry. Once healed, the lobe closes slowly.

In the earlobe, fistulas can form easily. A fistula, in this instance, is an abnormal connection between blood vessels. The formation of this fistula means your body has adapted to having the piercing. As a result, it will often stop trying to close the hole.

Often, once you have a lobe piercing for three to four years, the lobe piercing may never fully close on its own.

How Long Does A Helix Piercing Take To Close?

Like a lobe, helix piercings can take as long as six months to fully heal. During this period, the hole can close up quickly if the jewelry is removed. Removing jewelry from an unhealed piercing can also cause complications and irritation – leave it in, even if it’s uncomfortable or infected.

After having a helix piercing for a couple of years it will take a long time for the piercing to close. Many people remove it for up to a week at a time. The first time you remove the jewelry for an extended period you may want to check periodically to ensure the hole is not closing. This can make reinsertion uncomfortable or impossible.

The reason the helix is slow to close once healed is that there is limited blood flow to this area. Higher blood flow would stimulate the healing process.

How Long Do Nostril Piercings Take To Close?

The inside hole of a nostril piercing can close quickly. The inside of your nostril has a mucous lining that can close a hole quickly. The inside hole of a new nostril piercing can close within a day. The outside hole, on the other hand, takes significantly longer.

The outside of the nose is dryer and has no protective lining. In some cases, the hole will stay open for years, even though the inside hole closed long before. The external hole of the nostril piercing is not too noticeable, usually, it ends up resembling an enlarged pore.

How Long Does It Take A Conch Piercing To Close?

As with many cartilage piercings, when you get a conch piercing the hole itself is usually permanent once fully healed. However, the skin can heal over the hole. When this happens, you can still feel where you had the piercing with your fingers, but it may not be visible.

This piercing has the potential to close up quickly, especially when it is newer. Some people cannot keep jewelry out for a day, others can go weeks or even a month without it closing. In part, this variance is due to people’s’ bodies having different healing capabilities.

The other aspect is that conch piercings have a wide variation in how long they take to fully heal. For most people, the conch takes six months to a year to completely heal. But, for some, it can take as long as two years. With a piercing that can take a year longer to heal than usually expected, it’s easy for someone to have the piercing close up once they would have expected the piercing to already be healed.

How Long Do Tragus Piercings Take To Close Up?

As with the conch piercing, the tragus piercing hole itself doesn’t close once fully healed. Instead, the skin simply closes over the hole. Within the first 6 months, this piercing can close in a matter of hours. After a year, it can take days or even weeks to close.

If you’ve had the tragus piercing for three or four years the hole will generally close slowly, and may never fully close. However, this won’t be immediately obvious as the skin will almost close, only be noticeable upon close inspection. Fortunately, this makes it easy if you do one day want to reopen the piercing.

How Long Does It Take A Nipple Piercing To Close?

Nipple piercings are one of the fastest piercing to close. When they’re new, they can close in minutes. Even after a few years, nipple piercings can close inside of a week without jewelry. For some, the hole can stay open for years on its own, although this is rare.

Although it is a myth that you can’t breastfeed with a nipple piercing, we still recommend you remove the jewelry during breastfeeding sessions. This is because the jewelry itself can present a potential choking hazard. Provided your piercing is fully healed, it will usually stay open during breastfeeding sessions.

Some people choose to remove the nipple piercing until the baby has outgrown breastfeeding, instead of having to remove and replace before and after each feeding. Over this period, most nipple piercings will close.

How Long Does A Navel Piercing Take To Close?

Navel piercings are surface piercings. As a rule, surface piercings tend to close quickly. However, individual experience varies greatly with belly button piercings.

While a fresh belly button piercing or Anti-Eyebrow piercing closes quickly, after a couple of years some people find it closes within a few weeks. For others, it never closes, instead, the hole simply gets smaller but remains visible.

Can You Save A Closed Piercing?

Sometimes a piercing closes unexpectedly. Maybe your friends had a similar piercing that they could leave without jewelry for weeks and be fine, but yours closed in a few days. It happens, after all, everyone’s body chemistry is different. Fortunately, your piercing may be salvageable.

If your piercing closes and you want to reopen it, visit your piercer. Often the skin doesn’t fully close over the hole, so there’s no need to re-pierce. Instead, the piercer can reopen the piercing using a taper and some vaseline.

If the skin does completely close, your piercing shop can advise you on whether you can pierce the area again or need to leave more time for further healing first.

If you want to save a piercing that has closed up, schedule an appointment with one of our professional piercers today.