A piercing is a fresh open wound. Bleeding, swelling, and tenderness are all normal over the first few days. As the wound begins to heal, the body forms new basal cells – the foundation layer of the epidermis.
This stage routinely weeks or months because this process must take place around the jewelry present in the wound. Your body produces cells to heal and strengthen the wound, and contracts, during which the edges of the wound usually pull together but is impeded by the jewelry. This is the stage when “crusties” regularly form.
These cells grow together and thicken, and finally they completely line the wound, mergin from end to end across the piercing, creating a sealed channel. By the end of this phase, initial healing is complete.
During this phase, the collagen becomes more organized. For a piercing, it takes months to years for the cells that have lined the interior of the channel – essentially, scar tissue – to strengthen and stabilize after the fistula has formed from end to end. Piercings commonly go through a series of cycles between the second and third stages.
When there is no tenderness, no secretions forming a crust, and no discoloration. The openings look smooth and sealed, no raw or ragged. If there is sebum present in your piercing, this is a good indication that your piercing has passed through the initial healing and entered the final stage, maturation.