Managing Your Piercings When Traveling to Different Climates

Managing Your Piercings

Tips for healed and healing piercings while you’re on the road

There are many reasons why someone would get a piercing – be it a cultural practice or purely an aesthetic one, it looks great.

It is common knowledge that when you pierce any part of your body, you need to make sure that it heals properly, but what is not as widely known is that fully healed piercings can also get irritable and uncomfortable.

That being said, when you are planning on taking a trip to different places, even if it is just to a different state, you will be faced with a climate shift, and that can make a difference to your healing process, and also affect the condition of your existing piercings.

In this article, we will look at how different seasons and the conditions that come with them can affect your piercings, and how to best navigate taking care of them.

Why does climate affect piercings?

Piercings are pieces of jewelry inserted through our skin and cartilage, and because weather and different climate conditions affect our skin – we need to be aware of how it can affect piercings as well. As people, our skin sweats, some have oilier skin while others have drier skin. This can be amplified by the weather. If you have to change up your piercings, if they are semi-healed, or relatively freshly pierced then climate can play a role.

For healing purposes specifically, climate can directly affect the process. It needs to be looked at from the lens of wound healing. The rate at which a wound heals is affected by the environment you are environments. Dry, moist, wet climates all affect the healing of wounds.

Handling fresh piercings in different climates

Naturally, fresh piercings are affected more by the weather, as they are undergoing the healing process. In colder climates, piercings that are healing will take longer due to the body’s slower regeneration time. Also while healing does not affect the immune system, it won’t be a good idea to have a piercing healing in winter if you are fighting flu infections. Not only will it be added pain and discomfort to deal with, but also a nose piercing, in particular, may feel like a hindrance.

In summer climates, humid conditions can cause an inflammatory response at first, but afterward, it will be smooth sailing for the healing process. Humid conditions are also better for minimal scar formation with respect to the piercing.

Also in warmer climates, you need to be cautious of excessive sweating as it can cause irritation for the healing process.

Handling healed piercings in different climates

Just because a piercing is healed, does not mean that won’t be affected by the different climate conditions. You need to be able to manage the piercings appropriately so that it won’t get irritable or get damaged.

Navigating winter-like climates

  • Winter-like conditions bring about dryness, wind chafing, and a lack of humidity. These conditions can irritate healed piercings, so you need to make sure to moisturize them with hypoallergenic and fragrance-free creams. Also, make sure to stay hydrated, as it will aid with the process.
  • In winter especially, you need to be mindful of how you dress, as you don’t want your piercings to get caught in your beanies, scarves, or any other piercings. Not only will it be uncomfortable, it may even cause you to pull in and cause bleeding.
  • Oral and facial piercings experience more sensitivity during harsher colds, the metal can contract and expand in these conditions causing discomfort.
  • Remember to shield piercings to prevent trauma from occurring at the piercing site. Use protective gear when engaging in winter sports.
  • For people with stretched ear lobes, this area of the ear will feel more colder, due to poor blood circulation. In colder climates, it would be best to avoid metal for your gauges. Eyelets and tunnels are also not a great idea, however, you can choose from a variety of plugs made from materials like wood, acrylic, or horn instead.

Navigating summer-like climates

There are not as many concerns, as one would in winter, however, there are a few crucial ones to be aware of:

  • Use sunscreen, as sunburn can irritate healed piercings.
  • Use proper equipment to protect the skin when performing summer sports – like skateboarding or surfing.
  • Be sure to prioritize cleaning healed piercings and jewelry, as people sweat more during these conditions.
  • Make sure that your piercing is fully healed before it makes contact with pool water, the ocean, tanning spray, sunscreen, and even hairspray.


If you have recently got a piercing, or even if you’ve had a few for several years, the different climates can have an effect on them. These climate conditions can not only affect the healing process but cause irritation to fully healed ones as well. This is important information that you need to consider, especially if you are going on holiday to areas with different climates so that you can be prepared and make sure your piercing stays healthy for more years to come.

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Peter is a digital nomad who largely writes from Asia, Europe, and South America. Always following the "vibe," he sets up shop in hostels and AirBNB's and continues to entertain us with wild stories from life abroad. Ask him anything in our community forum.

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