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Do body piercings close up or disappear?

Body piercings never go away completely

Some wonder if piercings, such as ear or nose piercings, ever close up.

I have several ear piercings and a lip piercing. I only use two of of my ear piercings regularly, and while the others have gotten tighter, they haven't closed up completely. My lip piercing has not had a stud in it for a few years and it has sealed from the inside of my mouth, though I can insert the stud from the outside most of the way.

Here are some of the answers people have come up with from around the web:

"Piercings do not close or disappear, but the better you heal them in the first place, the less of a scar you will notice. Quality titanium post jewelry is the first step, 100% disposable sterile equipment is the next and a gentle piercing and healing process will wrap it up with a nice looking result barring any unforseen accidents."

-Brian Skellie, AllExperts

"It's relative to the size, place of the piercing, and how long you've had it. While my nostril piercing closed up within an hour, my eyebrow piercing has been open for the past six months even though I've had no jewelry in it. I've also had my earlobes pierced since I was 6 months old and haven't worn jewelry in them for a few years but they are still open."

-Sierra Ann, Answerbag

"Facial piercings take a long time to close due to the vascular nature of the face. If you have a tongue piercing that has healed, it is not going to close up. Eyebrow piercings are also going to take a long time to close. The exceptions to the rule are lower lip and nostril."

-Barry Chapman, Answerbag

Site Referenced/Additional Information


joe on April 06, 2012:

Ive had a septum piercing keeper in for about 10 years and now want the hole to be closed but it wont. And its embarassing now im in a job that is more formal because I have a hole in my nostril that people can see through and its a lesson to learn - think before you go for a trendy piercing

Abby on March 29, 2012:

What if(for the people who have scars) you re-pierced the hole where it was even though it's closed and just let it heal. There may be a small scar, but no hole.

Jasmine on March 12, 2012:

So basically, my school doesn't know about my ear cartilage piercing, well they dont care either way. But i took a shower and i think it fell out. that happened las t week and my stud was in for 6 weeks and it's already closed up. idk when i get a new pair of studs but does it hurt to re pierce it?

Alexis on March 11, 2012:

My ear ripped all the way through when i was like eight and I'm twelve now and it still hasn't healed their aren't even any signs of it healing. What should i do?):

Rachael on March 04, 2012:

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I really want a nose piercing. I'm 16 now but I know when I'm older I will want to take it out, Is there any way to make a nose piercing heal?

. on February 11, 2012:

I have my belly, conch and a hip dermal. I am studying to be an actress and I am not sure if I want to keep my belly or dermal. I know I can have my dermal removed it is just a little expensive. But if I take out my belly will it heal? I do not really care if it does. I would kind of like it to though other wise it is just this hole. Any thoughts?

Sarah on February 08, 2012:

Im thinking about getting snakebites..... But i was worried about the same prob. I didn't want holes in my face...... I mean, scars i can deal with and they fade away, but holes? No sireee......

sally on February 06, 2012:

Plastic surgeons here charge $600 to close just one ear! Anyone know how to get it done cheaper?

Tammy on January 28, 2012:

Hi, I got my 12 year old daughters ears pierced 3 years ago and she hasn't wore earrings in them for more than 2 years. one ear-hole is downwards and the other ear-hole is in the middle which is OK. I been waiting for them to close so that I can pierce a new hole in the ear but its still open. Can anyone plz help me? can you give me any suggestions or any advise on how to close the ear-holes plz?

Mpage86 on January 25, 2012:

Hi everyone, I got my lower lip pierced back in warly September (11'), and removed the stud a month ago due to an infection. I got it repierced in the same place a week ago, and it feels gine. My question is when can I change the stud? Thank you!

joe on January 13, 2012:

pls help me how can i get my navel pierced cause i love it cause it look sexy.

Kathrine on January 13, 2012:

So i got the medusa piercing about a month ago, i kept the piercing in for 2 weeks and took it out, & it's been out for about 2 weeks now. I have a little hole and i was wondering if it's ever going to fully go away ? specially since i only kept it in for so little time.

Shootforthestars. on January 08, 2012:

what do i do if my piecing closes up over op / while my lip piercing is still in?!

please help S:

Chrissy on January 05, 2012:

I just pierced my lower lip with a sewing pin. It's in the center. If I leave it in overnight and switch to an earring in the morning, will it close up? Itd be a quick switch but I don't want it to /:

ALOM on January 02, 2012:

Thank you! I removed the earing hope it doesn't leave a big mark

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on January 02, 2012:

I think it depends on the person. I feel like most people I know still have the mark even when the hole closes, but maybe if your daughter is young enough it will heal faster and better!

ALOM on January 01, 2012:

Hi had my daughter's ears pierced 3 weeks ago, but they're uneven. I want to remove one and pierce it again in a couple of weeks. Will the original hole close without leaving a scar?

H on December 29, 2011:

I got a monroe over 3 years ago and only had it in for a few months. there is still a tiny hole and just then I pushed some jewellry through it and it went through so easily! will it ever heal up?

Cyndi on December 27, 2011:

I have had my belly button piercing for 2.5 yrs and was just wondering if I could take it out for a few days and it not close up?

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on December 20, 2011:

Mine still hasn't closed and it's been three years since I took it out! And you can still see it

rhiannon on December 15, 2011:

Will the scar on the lower lip be noticeable after it has closed up?

Lou on December 12, 2011:

I got my tongue pierced about 11 years ago and took the piercing out around 5 years ago. When I had it in the bar was to long and the ball would rest back on my tongue. Didn't think much about it when I was younger and had a dimple because of where the ball rested. In the 5 years that it has been out the dimple is still there. I figure by now it wont heal, but have you ever heard of something like this before?

Eric on December 02, 2011:

Seems cool, i havnt found any pictures of people with healed snake bites because i was wondering what the scar would be like after they had closed up after healing and having present for example( 1 year ). but it seems that there is barly a scar noticable after having it closed for some time. if you have a picture plz mail it to . . . it would be appreciated. thank you

Shay on November 27, 2011:

To Yenifer and everyone else inquiring about taking out piercings when you just get them: You need to leave most piercings in for 6 weeks (some longer) or else they will close and/or get infected! After 6 weeks (for most) you can take them out for a few hours and they won't close. But I wouldn't leave them out for days at a time because they might close - mine always did.

Marlena on November 14, 2011:

I have had my lip pierced for about 2mnths now and my nose for 5mnths and i recently got a new job and they don't want any clear retainers in or anything will they close up if i keep them out for atleast 8hours helpp please

Marlena on November 14, 2011:

I have had my lip pierced for about 2mnths now and my nose for 5mnths and i recently got a new job and they don't want any clear retainers in or anything will they close up if i keep them out for atleast 8hours helpp please

alana wilkens on November 11, 2011:

i got my navel peirced 2 months ago, yesterday i had the subject dance and we had to do things that hurt my ring so i took it out. i forgot i had it out i realised towards the end of the day and i took it out at the start. the bottom hole pretty much closed up and the top one hadn't so i thought if i can force it through then i will so i did and it bleed. today it is swollen and bloddy sore it hurts to move and do anything with it. and it hurts when i try to spray the piercing spay. what do i do and i cant get to the place where i pierced it? please help me!

Lady Muck on November 11, 2011:

Jessika, If you take out your monroe after only having had it done for two weeks, even if only for a few hours it will probably close and even if you do manage to force the jewellery back through you will probably irritate the area, which may lead to infection and/or increased scar tissue prodution. It is recommended at least 6weeks for healing a monroe. If you want to keep it, I would try maybe cutting your retainer shorter so it doesn't poke through the skin at the front and telling them there is nothing in there. You can't hide a hole with make up! Good luck. :)

Sukiroshima on November 11, 2011:

I've had many piercings in my time and some close up and others never have. I have taken out nearly all my piercings now. My three navels, my nose, my nipples and all my surface and genital piercings have all closed over and left minimal scarring, but my ears(lobes), septum and tongue have never closed. My snake bite and labret piercings I got done when I was 15, I took them out two years later. I'm now 25 and the holes are only appearing larger as I get older, they have destroyed my lip line and the natural shape of my lower lip. I'm now about to get surgery to (hopefully) correct this disfiguration. I'm also getting my stretched lobes surgically corrected (as a general rule, stretch bigger than 5-8mm and the hole won't shrink smaller than that after removing jewellery,). My advice to any young person thinking of getting especially their face pierced, is to think long and hard about their reasons for wanting it done, it will/may be with you for the rest of your life.

Jessika on November 09, 2011:

I got a monroe done about two weeks ago, and my place of work does not allow clear retainers, (bioplast) which I have been suing, but they are urging me to take it out. Could I take it out for 6-8 hours without it closing? Or, are there any better, less noticeable retainers that I could maybe cover with make up?

Ebzy on November 09, 2011:

Hey i have had a lip piercing on the lower right li for about a month now and i have just managed to get a job and they want me to take it out obviously i dont want to so i was wondering if it would close up within 6-8 hours??

geo on November 04, 2011:

I had my tongue Pierce for 5 month and I took it out for 4 hours and it close up is that normal

Amia on October 31, 2011:

Tongue piercing will close fast. If u stretch ur ears they will chrink but they will not completely go back to normal. Nose piercing and eyebrown percing do close after awhile. Same with angel bites and snake bites and other facial percing

Mel on October 30, 2011:

Im 39 weeks pregnant n took my belly button bar out about 3 months ago I've had it pierced for about 7 years... Will it close?

epic dude on October 25, 2011:

i had a stubborn franulum Piercing my gf didn't like and after 2 years of nothing in it it was still then i packed it with cotton soaked in apple cider vinegar for bout 5 hours and pulled out the cotton and it healed right up hope this is helpful

corrina on October 25, 2011:

im getting my nose pierced and im in cheer so i have to take it out after a day of getting it well it close up after an hour or 2:(

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on October 19, 2011:

JC, I'm like you - I've had my lip piercing for about 4 years, and I had to take it out three years ago, but the piercing hasn't even closed up yet.

JC on October 19, 2011:

I've had my lower lip pierced since i was 16 and I am now 20 I took it out when I was 18 and it is completely closed but I still have the ugly whole there.. So I guys think it. Will ever go away?? Ugh I just hate it:(

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on October 17, 2011:

Mariah, I got my lower lip pierced and I didn't think it was painful.

Mariah on October 16, 2011:

Im planning on getting my lower lip pierced but I'm wondering how bad it will hurt and I want only the truth o and I'm 16.

Bran on October 15, 2011:

I just got and industrial and went to work where people have tong piercings and gauges. They made me take it out. It was only out for about twelve hours and I went to see my piercer who just shook his head because one of my holes had already closed. So now he is making me wait a few weeks before he will pierce it again and he will use some special bar that will flex up into the curve of my ear. But yah only 12 hours!!!!! That was crazy fast.

Yenifer on October 14, 2011:

Im going to get my snake bites tomorrow, but i have to take them of for school. Would they close if i just take them of for 4 hours?

Erin on October 04, 2011:

I took my belly button ring out when I was pregnant 8 years ago. A year or so after my daughter was born I got it pierced again. That one got infected and I took it out. When I tried to put it back in, it was closed but i accidentally put it back in the original with no problem. I took it out 5 years ago. Today, I got curious and wanted to see if a ring would go in and it did with no problem! The same piercing from 12 years ago!! Crazy!!

Shay on October 03, 2011:

Usually you can take piercings out after 6 weeks and they won't close. There are exceptions of course, like the septum piercing, or if you heal abnormally fast. I had snakebites and I took them out 2 years ago. Though the holes are clearly visible, they are closed. I'm wondering if these ugly scars will ever go away. :/ I actually came here because my earlobe has been throbbing and stinging lately. I assume it's infected, but I got it pierced when I was a baby and haven't had jewelry in it for at least 3 years. I wish I had known of all these problems before I put 9 holes in my head - 9 ugly holes that never go away!

sean on September 28, 2011:


i have my eyebrow pierced for three weeks,have an operation tomorrow have to take it out for an hour will it cloes up ?

Sam on September 28, 2011:

Had my belly button pierced about 3 month ago.. Will it close up if I take it out now? Just it's really sore lately and I'm not to keen on it, any ideas?

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on September 22, 2011:

Ouch! Wait for that to reheal!

Bianca on September 21, 2011:

I got my nose pierced three weeks ago, but my idiotic boyfriend ripped it out when we were mucking around... How long should I wait to get it re-pierced? I feel naked without it already!

Lowen on September 20, 2011:


I had my nose pierced November last year. i took the stud out last night cause i have a cold and just remembered about an hour ago that i need to put it back in and now i'm having difficulty. the nose stud was a really thin one so the hole was quite small and now i'm worried that it might have closed up is it possible that it can close in 24 hours??

Renae on September 19, 2011:

I have had my tongue pierced for about 10 months, and my work doesn't want me wearing it when I work anymore, So i am wondering if it would be ok to take it out for 6,7, 8 hours tops. I love my piercing, and I would hate to go through the pain of the new piercing again!

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on September 18, 2011:

Cat, I know when I did sports, I'd have to put tape over piercings if I just got them. An hour might be okay, but if you can, I'd stay keep it in since it's such a new piercing

cat on September 18, 2011:

hi,i had my nose pierced only yesterday,but i do swimming at school so i have a feeling they'll make me take it out or something,will it close up if i take it out for just one hour?!?!?!

Sheila on September 09, 2011:

I got my eyebrow pierced in October of last year. I just recently took my eyebrow ring out last month. However, mine was pierced horizontally rather then vertically. I'm not sure if my holes have closed but there is no scaring what so ever so you can't even tell that I had it pierced.

Claudia on September 07, 2011:

I had one of my nipples pierced for a year and when I took it out it just took a few days to close so I don't have holes in my nipple. Now I want to pierce one of my eyebrows and my ear BUT I don't want to have the holes open later (especially in my face!), when I decide to take it out because of work or, well, just because I will be older, not a teenager anymore. Do any of you still have your eyebrows with the holes open? How long did you have your piercing?

Amy on August 31, 2011:

about 6 years ago I got both sides of my nose pierced. 2 years ago I took both studs out. Just today I decided to see if I could put a stud in them. One of my sides is fully closed but I managed to poke the ring through my right side with a little force. So it's totally a gamble when you decide to take your piercing out if your hole will close over or not. mind you.. I thought both sides were closed for a while until i decided to force it a little so maybe if you think it's closed it might actually not be. my advice .. apply a little force before giving up.

Catherine on August 30, 2011:

I'm curious I've had my tongue done for three gets coming up on four how long approximately would it take to close up ?

Shez on August 30, 2011:

I've got two piercings next to each other in one eyebrow, one about 10 years old the other about 5, I took them out on Saturday as they were sore and swollen with a small infection, I left them out until this morning (Tuesday) and have put them in for the day as I was worried about them closing up. one of them (the one with the main infection I think which also has a thicker guage ring) was a bit of a struggle, but the thinner one just slipped straight through.

Mark on August 29, 2011:

I have my tongue, belly and ear pierced. My belly (3years old) I can leave out for about a week, my tongue, ( 1year and half) I can leave out for a week or so and my ear is the most recent I havn't tried to take it out and leave it out. but in my experience I can leave them out for a week and there fine to go back in, I've not tried any longer than that incase they close up!

Kyle on August 17, 2011:

Ive had my bottom lip pierced for 2 years but haven't had a stud in for 4 months it is still open and i can easily put a stud back in. i'm a little nervous about taking my industriaal out because i am not sure how long it will take to close.

joe on August 07, 2011:

I might get small gages in my ears and im wondering if they will close up over time if I stop wearing them.

Lb on July 30, 2011:

I've had nose pierced for almost 9 years. I've had it out for almost a year and it seems it won't close, I just put a stud back in and there was no problem at all getting it in. I think I'm just going to leave it back in for a while rather then having a hole that looks like a black head on my nose.

Ligxtning on May 03, 2011:

sooo i have my hole lower lip pierced. snake bites and labret. and i got the right side of my lip pierced a while back and it took 6 months before it was healed enough for me to leave it out for a day. but with my labret ive had it for 9 months now and i cant leave it out for more than an hour with out it closing. does anyone know why is that? and i think its pierced incorrectly cuz when we pierced it it bleed so much.. like i spit out three mouth fulls of blood. nd when i restretch it open it hurts more than when i ripped my ears to 00 from 2s. why is that? like the littlest bit of stretching hurts with my labret

B-Rab on April 17, 2011:

Pierced snakebites,lower lip- March '05

Got a good job, removed rings- June '06

Playing around, slipped a ring through the right hole with ease after almost 5 years of no jewelry in it- April '11

Go figure!!!

Emma on August 29, 2010:

I have had a lip pieced for over 10 years now iv just taken it out because it keeps rubbing my teeth does anyone know how long it could take to close up??

Alec on August 02, 2010:

I had my ear pierced yesterday unfortunalty have had to remove cause work doesn not allow it. I did try just a minute ago to see if had closed and i could get stud easily half way through my ear will this be ok to replca eand six o clock or is it best to get re done and leave in.

Skye on July 22, 2010:

Ok I've had my industrial for two months now and I'm in drill team and we have to take them out for u think it will close up within 8 hours?

Alyssa on May 30, 2010:

I was wondering this because I heard they do go away, but I've had my ears pierced since I was 3; stopped wearing earrings around the age of four because I was allergic to them, and now I'm twenty and the hole still hasn't closed up and it gets infected from time to time, even I try to take care of it.

'Skittles.x on May 08, 2010:

i have had my tounge done for about, 7 months now and i take it out but every few minuets i put it in to check cause iye love my piercing and would hate to go threw the pain again XDDDDD

Keisha on April 25, 2010:

I have my eyebrow pierecd for bout a year and a half, now I have a job where i have to take it out for about 8 hours will it close before I get off work? I start my new job tomorrow can somebody let me know please

Lila on April 15, 2010:

cross the "do you guys do nose piercing" question. WTH lols. Please hellppppppp! I really love my nose piercing but my work won't allow it :/

Lila on April 15, 2010:

I just had some questions. Do you guys do nose piercing ? I've had my nose piercing for a year now & I recently started working where they don't allow facial piercings. So I took it out & it's only been out for 2 days - tried putting nose screw back in & got unlucky there. Is it okay to get a clear or invisible tiny stud put in even though my nose hasn't fully closed ? Or should I wait til it's fully closed & get it repierced ?

katelyn on April 14, 2010:

I have had my nose peirced about 11 months now and i have to take it out next week for surgery im scared that it will close up :/ Has this ever happened to any of u or will i be fine...?

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on March 19, 2010:

Great experience! :D Thanks for sharing!

Tom on March 19, 2010:

I'd had my nipple piercing for about a year when I decided to take it out because my girlfriend of the time didn't like it.

A week later I changed my mind - I'd gone through the pain of having it and liked it so thought that she'd have to get used to it!

However it wouldn't go in no matter how hard I tried, so I had to leave it to heal up.

A few months later I split up with the girl anyway so soon afterwards I got it repierced.

That's six years ago now, I have got married since then and my wife likes my nipple ring, so I won't be getting rid of it again too soon.

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on January 24, 2010:

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I think it's good to hear the different experience that everyone has because piercings are so different for everyone.

Shannon on January 23, 2010:

just me, I have the same problem. I'm 16 and when I was 14 my earring ripped out and became a slit. over time I THOUGHT it was repairing itself, but it really wasn't. like you, I saw a plastic surgeon and would have to pay a heavy amount to have it fixed. but unfortunately, it doesn't heal on its own :(

just me on December 12, 2009:

I have had my ears pierced for close to 40 years. One of them now has a slit rather than a hole. The plastic surgeon can fix it for $200, but I'm wondering if it will grow back if I just leave the earring out for a long time. Anybody hae this kind of experience? Thank you.

Kristina on December 09, 2009:

I have(had) my lip pierced and in 6 hours my lip will close up. I have had it over a year

I am still struggling to opening it.

Karen on November 17, 2009:

i ave had my lip pierced and had to take it out 4weeks later i go to put a stud in it and it wont go threw:(:(:(

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on November 14, 2009:

Thank you all for dropping by! Everyone has such different experiences with their piercings... Mine start to heal up pretty soon, although not in days :P

Marie-Anne on November 14, 2009:

If the piercing healed then chances are you will be able to put a needle through the hole. Trying with the same jewelry doesn't really work because you need to restrech the hole again with a needle at first. I just woke up with the need to see if my holes were still open (lower lip, 2 cartilage(ears), eyebrow, and in deed they were all open after having no jewelry in them. But they need to have completely healed for them so stay open.

Now I just need to find my jewelry...

Molly Monstrosity on October 12, 2009:

I had my tongue pierced and I took it out for a few days and it started to close up at the bottom.

rob on October 11, 2009:

if get a stretch over a certain size (im not sure) it wont close up but it depends on the person

Gigi on September 14, 2009:

I don't know what they're talking about with eyebrows. I had mine for 9 months then it was almost tore out while getting my hair cut. I removed it and it was closed within a few days. Same thing with my industrial, only a few days. As long as you keep it clean it can close quickly and you won't grow an abcess from bacteria being trapped. I suppose everyone is different too.

Kat on August 31, 2009:

When I was 8 I stopped wearing earrings after wearing them for a year. One ear was always a problem, but it stayed open. I'm 23 now, so that's 15 years it never healed!

Kay on August 17, 2009:

The same ting happened to me- i had to get mine done again... maybe it's just belly piercing:)

because i got my ears pierced when i was 3, and took them out when i was 10, and just a few days ago i put some earrings in and they were fine(tat's 4 years)

jumbo/ on May 12, 2009:

ive had my belly pierced since 1'st august last year. i took it out last night, and left it out till now, ive' just remembered, and tried putting it in, but it wont go trough. im worried it might have closed up?

twink on February 02, 2009:

Scars will stay. However, I recently wanted to put a rod back in my tongue only to find it had closed up. I can still see the scar on top and bottom but nothing goes through, even a very small gage. I had it for 4 years then spent 2 years without any rod in. The tongue does heal, I'm sure, due to blood flow.

Using the same logic I assumed cartilage piercings would stay open (no blood flow to cartilage) but after 2-3 years of an industrial ear piercing being left "open" I've now found that it will not allow anything through either.

Just posting my findings as they were a surprise for me! I guess I should have put some jewerly in every now and then...

Shawn on April 01, 2008:

I haven't had my eyebrow piercing in for well over 6 years and I just recently put it back in. There was a little resistance and a slight pop halfway through, but it pretty much went through with no problem. If my eyebrow hasn't closed up in 6 years I doubt yous will, As long as it is fully healed before you took it out. The holes will always be visible.

Stacie Naczelnik from Seattle on August 21, 2007:

I think it is different with everyone. I had my ears pierced when I was four, but haven't worn earrings since I was 17--I have scars, but the holes are completely closed. However, I know people who can go years without wearing any, but their holes stay open.

Jason Menayan from San Francisco on August 21, 2007:

Thank you glassvisage! I guess I'll just have to get a simple stud and see if it will go through...but if I encounter any resistance I'm just going to give up!

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