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Is skin growing over your new piercing? Have you noticed that your jewelry appears to be shrinking? You may have an embedded piercing! There’s nothing worse than waking up and discovering your jewelry fell out of your piercing. That is of course, unless it didn’t actually fall out but is trapped inside your skin! While they may sound (and look) scary, embedded piercings are not typically dangerous and can usually be easily popped out by an experienced piercer.
What is an Embedded Piercing?
Embedded piercings are piercings where the skin has grown over part, or all of the jewelry. Fleshy areas such as earlobes and tongues have been known to completely swallow jewelry overnight whereas cartilage piercings generally are more slow and thin layers of skin may grow over the back at a time. A piercing is considered embedded whether it has been completely swallowed, or just part of one of the ends is starting to become grown over.
What Causes an Embedded Piercing?
Embedded piercings are caused by jewelry that is too short. Piercings are most likely to become embedded right after getting the piercing because your piercer underestimated how much room to leave for swelling and gave you jewelry that wasn’t long enough. You may also become embedded right after downsizing your jewelry to too short a size.
While uncommon, it is also possible for jewelry to become embedded due to the jewelry being struck very hard, or if the jewelry is worn in such a way that places an extreme amount of pressure to one side.
Embedded Piercing Treatment
Treatment depends on how embedded your piercing is. For most cases, you will be able to visit your piercer (ASAP), and they can pop the jewelry back out for you. However, if your jewelry is completely swallowed, you will need to seek a doctor’s help. This can sometimes require surgery. Rest assured that this is the vast minority of cases and as long as you seek your piercer as soon as you notice your jewelry is beginning to embed, they will very likely be able to remove it for you.
Can You Save an Embedded Piercing?
If your piercer is able to remove your embedded jewelry, you’ll be able to save your piercing. Right after removing your old jewelry, your piercer will insert a longer piece of jewelry for you and you’ll be all set to continue your healing process. Unfortunately if you did have to resort to surgery, you will likely be unable to save your piercing. After your wound is completely healed, you can get re-pierced (just make sure it’s with longer jewelry!). A piercing that was previously embedded might take a little longer to heal than a regular piercing, but all in all, you won’t notice the difference.
If you notice your piercing becoming embedded it can be scary, but it’s usually not a big problem. Make sure to visit your piercer as soon as possible to avoid surgery. Your piercer will remove the embedded jewelry for you and replace it with longer jewelry. Piercings that were previously embedded will be able to heal just fine with longer jewelry.