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A Guide To Downsizing Your Jewelry

downsizing jewelry

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A Guide To Downsizing Your Jewelry

With some piercings, you will be pierced with an extra long piece of jewelry to accommodate for swelling. When the swelling goes down however, you are left with a piece of jewelry that is much too long and can continue to hinder the healing process because it will get excessively bumped or slide around too much. This process of visiting your piercer during the healing process to get swapped out for a shorter piece of jewelry is called downsizing.

The Purpose of Downsizing

The purpose of downsizing is to keep the jewelry from moving, wiggling and poking during the healing process. Without downsizing, your piercing could migrate. Downsizing your jewelry means removing the jewelry that is causing a problem and getting a shorter one that won’t jut out or slide around in your healing spot. This my mean losing the jewelry that you really like, but in order to keep your piercing healthy and healing the correct way, you must take the step of downsizing your jewelry.

How to Downsize

Most piercers will tell you not to take the jewelry out when the swelling is at it’s worst. They advise against this because it can leave you with scarring. When you get pierced, your piercer will tell you when you need to come in and get downsized again. If you’ve forgotten, then you can always call and ask, but in general it is 6-8 weeks after the initial piercing. Because you are still healing during this time, do not attempt to downsize on your own. Always go in to the piercer. They have the tools and steady hand necessary for swapping your jewelry without bumping your piercing and causing further complications.

When to Downsize

There is no specific time frame when you can start downsizing your jewelry. Time frames will be different per person and per piercing. You should always discuss any type of change with your piercer. Over time, you will want to decrease the length of your jewelry so that it doesn’t get bumped, slide around too much, and makes your daily activities much easier. Make sure to visit your piercer during your healing process to make any adjustments that you want.

When You Should Not Downsize

For the most part, downsizing is only needed when the piercing goes through cartilage. This is because cartilage may swell much more than other places, so your piercer will use an extra long piece of jewelry there. You should always double check with your piercer to ask about downsizing, because it can greatly hinder your healing process as well as cause your piercing to heal crooked!

What to Expect When Downsizing

While the process of downsizing your jewelry is easy, it’s important to understand that it’s a pretty delicate procedure. The piercer will measure each piece of jewelry before hand so that they can ensure it is the right size for you. If the piercer decides that you are ready for downsizing, they will switch your jewelry for you. Bear in mind that your piercing is still incredibly sensitive during this time, so the downsizing process can sometimes hurt nearly as much as the original piercing. When downsizing your jewelry, you are taking your time to ensure that the piercer gives you the perfect piercing for your body. The process of downsizing can take anywhere from ten to twenty minutes depending on your body.


Downsizing is a vital part of the healing process. Not only does it speed up how quickly you heal, it can also prevent your piercing from healing crooked. Downsizing will prevent the amount of pain you have while healing by mitigating the amount of piercing bumps you will get. Make sure to always go to a piercer to get downsized and do not attempt to downsize on your own.