How to Protect Your Piercings as an Athlete

Trained female body

How to Protect Your Piercings as an Athlete

Piercings have become increasingly popular and significantly more accepted then they ever were before. While they are somewhat customary in the workplace these days, they’re not always allowed out on the field. If you take part in sport activities or working out and are looking to get a new piercing, it’s important to know a little about healing and the special care that you’ll have to put into your new adornment.

Healing Time

After receiving your new piercing, your piercer will go over all aftercare instructions with you. They will go in detail about how long you want to keep the original piece of jewelry in and how long it can potentially take to heal. Each piercing heals a little bit differently and healing times vary greatly. During this healing period, the skin and tissue around the piercing is an open wound and will be particularly susceptible to infections caused by touching the area with dirty hands. It’s extremely important to keep a vigilant aftercare routine, especially if you work out regularly or play rigorous sports.

You can purchase any of our aftercare products on our online shop.

After getting a new piercing, the jewelry must stay in place for an extended period of time. You want to leave the original jewelry in any cartilage or navel piercings for a minimum of six months after the date of getting the piercing. Most oral piercings you can change in as little as six weeks. It is recommended that you wait to get your piercings done until you will have ample time between events to allow your body to heal.

Removing Jewelry

In almost every case, the best practice is to completely remove your body jewelry before participating in any sport. Even if you don’t believe your jewelry will get caught on clothing or sporting equipment, even simple stretches and rapid body movements can cause the hole to tear unexpectedly or prolong the healing.

After the suggested healing time, we do not recommend leaving jewelry out for any period of time. Sometimes it can take a year or longer before you can leave jewelry out for longer than a few minutes without the piercing shrinking or even closing. In the event that you have to remove the jewelry for a game or other sporting event, we sell clear plastic pieces of jewelry called ‘retainers’ or ‘spacers’. They make the piercing almost impossible to see and they are meant to be worn in a healed piercing as they are porous and can harbor bacteria. You can purchase a retainer from our online shop, or pick one up at one of our store locations. An Almost Famous Body Piercer would be happy to replace your initial jewelry with a fitted retainer. Whether you’re changing your jewelry for the first or fifteenth time, we offer free change-outs when you purchase jewelry with us and charge a small fee if you’re bringing the jewelry in.


Some athletes with new body piercings use tape to cover the jewelry during sporting events. While this tactic does remove some risk, it is not always a good solution.athletes and piercings male Tape does prevent earrings and other jewelry from getting caught on clothing and equipment by providing a smooth surface. However, some types of body jewelry cannot be adequately taped without affecting your range of movement and the adhesive from the tape can irritate the piercing wound.

If you’re looking for a safe alternative to taping, we sell ‘Cover-It! Bandages’ at any of our store locations. They can be worn over most piercings and are especially helpful if you participate in any water sports. The pack includes gauze sponges and dressing that creates a waterproof barrier to protect your piercings while they’re in the healing phase.


Athletes recognize their body’s natural tendency to sweat during sporting events. In addition, dirt and other bacteria on shared sports equipment will be on your hands and body, exposing you to potential for infection.

Ultimately, the best practice for athletes is to always remove body jewelry before playing any sport. Talk to your piercing professional beforehand so that you can plan the timing of your piercing when you will have adequate down time for healing. Once healing is complete, it recommended that you switch out your jewelry for a retainer while playing sports or a shorter piece of jewelry if necessary. It is also important to maintain a high standard of hygiene when handling the pierced area.

Almost Famous Body Piercing

If you have more questions about protecting your piercings, changing your jewelry, or playing sports with a new piercing, please contact Almost Famous Body Piercing. We would be happy to hear from you and to answer any questions you may have.

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