If you've made it here, odds are you have a crooked piercing. Maybe your navel piercing healed crooked and you need a little help. Maybe your nipple piercings are crooked and you're wondering if there's anything you can do about it... Either way, a piercing should be a source of joy, not stress!
Unfortunately, if you have a piercing that has been completely healed and it's still crooked... There's no magical answer to fix your piercing. We don't want to lie to you! On the bright side, we do have some advice on how to handle a crooked piercing - skip down a few sections if you think you fall into this category.
For those with a fresh piercing that's looking a bit askew, there are some things to keep in mind before you start worrying about your piercing's symmetry.
With that being said, there are some things to keep in mind if you think you have a crooked piercing:
If your piercing is fresh (as in, was done within the last month or so), for most piercings, you are still in the very early stages of healing. Keep in mind that a piercing is literally a puncture wound. A needle was pushed through the tissue of your body, causing trauma that your body now needs to heal.
A new piercing shouldn't look crooked when you leave the piercing shop. A good piercer will line up your piercing by making a small, purple dot on your skin to mark the piercing's location. They will then pierce your anatomy using their measurements as a guideline. When you leave the studio, you should see your piercing as it will appear once it heals - straight, centered, and exactly how you approved it.
Over the next upcoming days/weeks, however, you may experience some swelling, which may temporarily alter the way your piercing looks.
Are you swollen?
Have you ever been hit in the face before? Whether you were wrestling with your dog; got nailed by a soccer ball; or got punched in the face (we hope this isn't the case!), a swift blow to the mouth will result in a fat lip. A small impact can cause significant swelling... so imagine what a puncture wound will do to your anatomy.
Even though the piercing may have looked perfect when you left the shop, as your body starts healing, you may experience some swelling around the piercing site. This may make your piercing LOOK like it's crooked, but this is actually an extremely common issue. As your swelling subsides, your piercing should go back to its original position.
Give yourself one (1) to two (2) weeks to get back to normal, but remember, everybody's body is different! It may take longer for your body to recover, or you may not experience any swelling at all.
How to Help With Swelling
1.) LITHA - LITHA is an acronym - it stands for LEAVE IT THE HECK ALONE. Touching; poking; prodding; messing-with; moving; changing; or otherwise stressing your piercing out is a sure-fire way to develop complications with your new mod. Do your best not to touch your piercing AT ALL except when it comes to basic hygiene.
2.) Keep it Clean - it's important to keep a good hygiene routine when it comes to your new piercing. Let the warm water of a shower gently run over your piercing, but be sure to avoid any beauty products (including makeup, soap, shampoo, or conditioner) from getting on it. Once a day, spray your piercing with a sterile saline solution or wound wash - that's all you need!
3.) Anti-Inflammatories - this is true for any injury, but an anti-inflammatory like aspirin or ibuprofen can take the edge off of your pain and reduce the severity of your swelling. Make sure you only take this medication to counteract swelling (as opposed to preemptively taking a dose), as they can actually delay the healing process.
What if my piercing is still crooked?
If you've gone through the entire healing process and you've still got a crooked mod, there are only a few options left... First, you can learn to live with your crooked piercing - sometimes they are quirky and cute, adding a little personality to your body!
Being pierced incorrectly might not be the only culprit - it could be that you damaged the inside of your piercing during your healing time... You may have even had (or currently have) an infection that is altering the inside of your piercing site... Regardless of the reason, only a pro piercer should diagnose the damage done to your piercing.
In most crooked cases, you'll most likely need to be re-pierced.
Can I get re-pierced?
Leave this decision up to your professional piercer. They will take a look at your current piercing and diagnose it's current status. Taking into account current positioning, scar tissue, and your personal anatomy, they'll be able to tell if you're a good candidate for a new piercing or not.
First and foremost, before you get re-pierced, you'll need to remove the crooked piercing and let it heal up completely. Giving your body the opportunity to heal itself is integral to the success of your new piercing, as scar tissue or fistulas from your old piercing may influence your new piercing significantly.
While you're healing, be sure to practice good aftercare and treat your body right... You'll be re-pierced in no time!