Q&A: Why Do My Body Piercings Stink?!

woman with piercing

I personally love body adornment. I have 14 piercings, so I know all too well the downfalls of of having piercings and how much maintenance they can need at times. What’s gross is that even after years of having the piercing, if a little extra care isn’t taken, you may begin to notice that your holes SMELL! And it doesn’t matter how pretty or exotic the body jewelry is, that smell is putrid!

Don’t be alarmed though; it is completely normal for this to happen over time. It is your body’s way of letting you know you need to give it some extra attention. The smell comes from a build up of dead skin cells, oil and dirt. According to Maria Tash, piercing spa owner and professional, “Cleaning the piercing tunnel occasionally with antibacterial soap also cleans off any skin cells that can collect in the jewelry and create odor.”

I’ve had some of my piercings for over a decade and from time to time some of them will get itchy, raw and irritated. I noticed that even after the piercing has healed the skin can be very reactive to certain materials. My ear piercings are especially sensitive, but who can afford to only wear real jewelry all the time? I often have to clean my piercings with antibacterial soap and keep earrings out of my ears for a few days just to give them a break.