When you get a piercing, your skin — your body’s largest organ — may accept the initial trauma and the presence of jewelry or it may reject the jewelry you have placed through the skin. When rejection occurs, your body perceives the jewelry as a foreign object and a variety of skin changes will occur as your body tries to push the jewelry out. Health problems can occur during and after rejection including infection, allergic reaction, inflammation, and scarring or pitting of the tissue. As a result, it is extremely important to know the signs of when your body is rejecting a piercing.
Watch out for changes in the skins thickness above the jewelry. Signs of rejection include thinning and tightness of the skin on top of the jewelry.
Look for changes in the color of your skin and the piercing holes. Continued or increased inflammation indicated by pink or red areas over time may indicate rejection. This may also indicate an infection or an allergic reaction.
Check the holes where your skin was pierced. Signs of rejection include holes that have widened or have moved closer together. You may see stretch marks or scarring indicating that that the jewelry has migrated.
References and ResourcesBodyJewelleryShop.com: Common Body Piercing Problems
California State University, Long Beach: Health Resource Center: Body Piercing
Tribalectic Magazine: Body Piercing Frequently Asked Questions