It’s important to keep in mind that every person’s body is different, with a different layout of capillaries (very small blood veins) in their body tissue. One person may have very few or very small capillaries in the area they wish to be pierced, while another may have slightly larger or a greater number of capillaries in the same area of the body. If you are adding a piercing in the same general spot where you have other piercings (for example, you have more than one piercing in your ear), there is a higher chance you will bleed because the body needs to increase blood flow to any area of the body that has been injured. It can take your body several months to two or more years for a wound to completely heal and the body to break down and dispose of the additional capillaries it produced to increase blood flow to the injured area. Getting pierced again in the same general spot as a previous piercing will increase your chances of bleeding during (and after) a piercing service.
These very small blood vessels are unable to be seen with the naked eye. Because a hollow needle is used to puncture the skin and remove a small amount of body tissue from the piercing site, some of these vessels will be damaged during the piercing which can cause the new piercing to bleed.
The second factor that can affect the amount of blood produced during the piercing process is the location of the piercing in relation to the heart. If you are lying down during the piercing, the piercing tends to bleed a bit more as it is on the same plane as the heart. As you elevate the piercing above the heart, the bleeding will begin to slow and come to a stop.
The third factor that can lead to bleeding during a piercing is the presence of blood thinners in the body, primarily that of either medication or alcohol. Any alcohol in your system can cause the piercing to bleed more than usual as well as increase swelling. While we will not pierce you if we suspect you are under the influence, it is best to avoid alcohol consumption within 24 hours of being pierced. We also recommend keeping the use of any blood thinning pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or aspirin) to a minimum both before and after the piercing as it lowers the body’s ability to clot the piercing wound.
The type of tissue being pierced also plays a factor in the amount of blood flow from a fresh piercing. Typically, piercings located in cartilage will bleed more than piercings in soft tissue, like eyebrows. Cartilage does not have its own blood supply, so the tissue surrounding the cartilage helps the initial healing process by providing blood flow to the area. The same principle applies to areas that contain scar tissue.
While there are factors that can increase the risk of bleeding during a piercing, the reality of the matter is, even if you do everything you can to prevent bleeding, there is no way to know for certain whether or not you will bleed during the piercing, or for a few days afterward.