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Piercing Bleeding After Changing Jewelry Causes

close up view of tattooed hand

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It’s not too uncommon for piercings to bleed a little bit when they are changed out. As long as the healing stage was completed, it’s not very dangerous either. If your piercing wasn’t fully healed, changing the jewelry only delays the healing process. Along with the bleeding and pain, you’ll also likely get a nasty irritation bump that will last a few weeks. Keep in mind that even in fully healed piercings, bleeding means there is a small opening and all openings have a small chance of becoming infected. Over the next few days, keep a careful eye on your piercing and head to the doctor if you start to show any symptoms.

Why Does Your Piercing Bleed After Changing It?

The main reason your piercing may bleed after changing the jewelry is because your old jewelry had a crusty stuck to it and it cut your piercing as it was being removed. Before changing your jewelry you should always do a sea salt soak to try and remove any crusties that could be stuck to your jewelry. Your piercing may also bleed just because you were too rough when changing the jewelry. It can be tricky for inexperienced people to try, so remember that you can always visit your piercer for help swapping your jewelry.

What To Do When Your Piercing Bleeds

If your piercing bleeds, you should return to treating it like a fresh piercing for a few weeks. This means avoid touching it and bumping it. Whether the blood is still fresh or dried, you should only attempt to remove it by running it under water. Do not pick at the blood or attempt to wipe it off another way as this will only further irritate your piercing. You may also want to use a sea salt soak/spray as desired to assist with the healing. Aside from that, monitor your piercing for signs of infection for a few weeks. If you do begin to show signs of infection, visit a doctor as soon as possible.

Why Does Your Piercing Hurt After Changing The Jewelry?

If your piercing didn’t bleed and only hurts after changing the jewelry, you’re in a much better place. As long as your piercing was fully healed, the lack of blood likely means there were no cuts created while the jewelry was swapped out and you won’t need to monitor for signs of infection. It’s common for piercings to hurt after having the jewelry changed because often it is a rough swap where the piercing is bumped a jostled a lot. Just go a few days being extra gentle with your piercing and it will return to normal.


While common and usually not dangerous, if your piercing bleeds from having the jewelry swapped out, you will need to treat it like a healing piercing and monitor for signs of infection. You should only swap your jewelry if your piercing is fully healed because this drastically lowers the amount of time your piercing needs to go back to normal. If you need want help swapping your jewelry, your piercer will have a much steadier hand and can usually do it for you pain-free.