.Stages of Wound Healing
A piercing will follow a normal and predictable progression from a new wound to a healed piercing. During this time the flesh tunnel or fistula that was made during the piercing and into which the jewelry was inserted will form, heal and toughen or mature.
The normal stages of healing are; first Inflammation, then epithelialization and angiogenesis and then the maturation stage. These stages are not separate but overlap slightly and may be happening at the same time.
Inflammation is the body's response to harmful stimuli such as damaged cells caused by the piercing. After the initial piercing chemicals are released from the damaged tissue cells triggering the inflammatory response. The body uses inflammation to protect the piercing and initiate the healing process in the tissue. The piercing may be swollen, red and tender. This is all good and normal.
Epitheliazation and Angiogenesis (also known as the proliferative phase)
Epitheliazation is the next step in the healing process. This occurs when the body creates new epithelium (or new skin) after laying down new basal cells. The epithelial cells start to grow from the edges of the piercing inward and eventually grow together and mature completely lining the piercing forming the fistula. You may notice a "scab" growing over the wound during this process. Leave this intact, it protects the piercing.
Angiogenesis is the process in which the growth of new blood vessels occurs from pre-existing blood vessels. These new blood vessels are fragile and this is why new piercings sometimes start to bleed after a seemingly perfect healing experience.
The last phase in the wound healing process is the maturation or remodeling of new skin cells. Usually when this process occurs, the wound will be completely healed, but with a piercing that has jewelry in it, it may take longer than a normal wound to toughen up and may even revert to an earlier stage of healing if traumatized. Some piercings take several months to toughen up and be truly healed. A good sign of a healed piercing is that it is no longer red or tender and no longer has crust forming secretions, The edges will be smooth and not ragged. Because of the nature of piercings, being a hole in your body, there will always be exudate present that is made up of cellular waste and keratin, it protects and lubricates and is malodorous (smells bad).
Since there are so many different types of piercings and many different degrees of trauma involved, the rate in which a piercing heals varies. Appropriate aftercare is extremely important for the body to heal itself naturally. Make sure you are properly caring for your piercing until the wound has completely healed. Keep the piercing clean and protect it from injury. If you have a wound that is not healing properly, consult your piercer first because they can give you advice on what steps are needed in order to speed the healing process.
STAGES OF HEALING
What you need to know about normal wound healing