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Don’t Want a Piercing Anymore? Scars, Healing: What You Need to Know

don't want piercing anymore

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It’s happened to the best of us: acting on impulse, you get a piercing. Later on, you take a look in the mirror and realize you don’t want that nose piercing anymore. Whether it’s simply regret or an improperly placed piercing, there’s many reasons why someone no longer wants their piercing. Understandably, you may be worried about getting an infection or how the scar will look once the hole is closed up. Here’s what you can expect.

Can I Take a Fresh Piercing Out If I Don’t Like It?

The short answer is yes. Continue treating the piercing hole as if it is still healing to avoid infection. This means washing your hands and carefully removing the jewelry (or even better, revisiting your piercer so they can remove your jewelry for you). Piercings that aren’t yet fully healed will usually close up within a few hours/days. Luckily, the younger a piercing is, the less likely it is to create a visible scar.

How To Close a Piercing Hole to Minimize Scarring

Any fully healed piercing will leave a scar. How visible the scar is depends on several factors, including how old the piercing is and what kind of tissue is pierced. However there are a few factors you can control that could minimize scarring.

How long it will take to close up a piercing hole after it is removed depends on how old the piercing is. Typically, even years old piercings will completely close up within a week. Once the piercing is closed, you can apply your favorite lotion to keep the scar moisturized. Several studies have shown that during the scarification process, keeping the area moisturized will lighten the visibility of the scar.

It is also important to keep in mind that time is a scar’s best friend. Even if your scar looks big and scary when it first develops, it will end up lightening up and shrinking as the weeks/months go on.

Cartilage Scars After Removing Jewelry

If you are removing your piercing from cartilage (such as your ear or nostril), you can generally expect a very small scar. When the jewelry is first removed, you will likely have a small scar that appears like a dimple. In a few weeks/months, it’s very likely the scar will heal so it is no longer visible or barely visible. Cartilage piercing holes tend to close faster than tissue piercings and the scars are the fastest to lighten up as well.

Tissue Scars After Removing Jewelry

Removing jewelry from a tissue piercing (lips, eyebrow, navel, etc.) can be somewhat unpredictable in what the appearance of the scar will be. In general, these are all “deep” piercings, which can take a long time to fully close. The longer a piercing takes to close, the longer it will take for the scar to lighten up and minimize. If you are planning on retiring a tissue piercing, you should be prepared to live with a red scar on the site of the old piercing hole for several months.


If you’ve decided you don’t want your piercing anymore, go ahead and take your jewelry out! There is no danger with removing your jewelry as long as you keep the piercing hole clean. You can expect a very small scar if you are removing a cartilage piercing, or a slightly larger scar if retiring a tissue piercing. There are steps you can take to minimize the appearance of scarring, such as moisturizing. Keep in mind that as time goes on, your scars will lighten up and become less visible.