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Quick answers for piercing emergencies

When we have piercings there are a range of things that can happen that might make you wish you had a Piercer in your pocket. Below are a few tips and some info that might make those times a little less stressful for you:

My Jewellery Fell Out – the biggest risk here is if the piercing is relatively fresh (<3 months).  If it is – then you need to see your Piercer as soon as possible – and I don’t mean “Oh I’ll do it over the weekend when I have more time”. The sooner (within 24 hours) you can get to your Piercer, the more likely we will be able to save your piercing! Otherwise, the good news is at least you may still have some of your jewellery if you want to get it redone.

If you lost the jewellery when it fell out or you can’t get your jewellery back in, putting anything (e.g. an earring) through the hole will help to retain it until you can get to your Piercer.

There are no hard and fast rules with this but two general thoughts are:

  • The older a piercing is – the longer it will stay open without jewellery in it.
  • If you take jewellery out of a piercing that is younger than 12 months, there is a real risk of it closing.


The Ball Came Off – if this happens – and you still have the ball – try to screw it back on. Remember – “Right is Tight and Left is Loose”. Sometimes a friend is helpful here if you have difficulty working on the piercing yourself.

If you lost the ball, it is important to try and keep the bar in the piercing. Things you can use short term to help are – a piece of clean pencil eraser, Blutac or chewing gum (as a last resort). Balls are more secure on internally threaded jewellery, but either way – Remember to check the ends regularly.

The Bead Came Out – this can happen – particularly with cheap jewellery – and the most important thing here is to try and keep the gap on the outside  of the piercing until you can see your Piercer. If the gap ends up on the inside, the piercing may heal into it and can be very painful to fix. Again – using something like Blutac in the gap can help short term.

Your Piercing Has a Hard Knock or Tear – once you finish swearing – soak the piercing in a warm, mild salt water solution – 1/4-Tsp Salt/250mls Water – and keep an eye on it for the next few days. If it continues to feel sore, keep up the salt water twice a day until it feels better. If you notice a bump begin to form, please see your Piercer as soon as possible. These bumps are much easier to treat when they are fresh!

My Body is Swallowing My JewellerySEE A PIERCER NOW – this may not necessarily be the same person who did your piercing – if you feel they may not have been a smart choice.  Some piercings require longer jewellery to begin with – like oral piercings – and other piercings have a very direct relationship between the piercing width and the jewellery size. It is important to have the jewellery changed BEFORE your body eats it completely – this can be fixed but it’s not fun for most folk!

I Swallowed a Ball – bummer! Not too much to panic about here. It will usually work its way through your digestive system without a problem. If it was gold it might be worth the search, but if not – just buy a new one.

My Jewellery Went Down the Drain – the best way to prevent this is with drain guards on your shower, bath, and bathroom sinks – now she tells me! However, if this happens, turn off the running water. The jewellery might be in the S bend or drain. S bends are easier to work with, but shower and bath drains can often be accessed by removing the grill that covers them. If the jewellery was expensive, it might be worth calling a plumber.

I Dropped My Jewellery and Can’t Find It – empty your vacuum cleaner bag, and then vac over the room you think the ball is in. You will usually hear it when it goes up the pipe.

I Took My Jewellery Out to Clean it and Can’t Get it Back in – it is not necessary to “clean” your body jewellery in the majority of cases – noses, navels, nipples etc. Cleaning the piercing is all you need to do. But – if this happens, see the notes above, and get in to see your Piercer as soon as you can.

The Gem Fell Out of My Jewellery – this is common in cheaper gemset pieces. The stones are only glued – not set. Not much you can do except try and glue it back in. Probably better to replace it. Piercing HQ gems are set and guaranteed, so if this happens to one of our pieces, please bring it back and we will replace it

My Piercing is Sore All of a Sudden – if a healed piercing starts to play up it could be for many reasons. One of the common ones is that you are sick or stressed. Our piercings are a part of our body, so if something is wrong, they will often show it. Mild salt water soaking until you get better will assist the piercing through this time. If it doesn’t improve as you do – please see your Piercer.

I am sure there are many situations I have forgotten as I write this post, but I hope what I have included is helpful to you when -or IF – something goes wrong.

Piercing HQ is more than willing to help you if you have a piercing problem – even if we didn’t do your piercing. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything we can do.