First you’ll need to understand the difference between migration and rejection as they are not the same thing.
Piercing Migration – The permanent movement of a piercing from its original position.
Piercing Rejection – The body’s natural process of removing a foreign object causing tissue damage as the body slowly pushes the object toward the surface of the skin.
What Causes A Piercing To Migrate?
There are several different things that can cause a piercing to migrate. A common form of migration is referred to as the “cheesecutter effect”. You will see this in elderly women who have had pierced ears all their lives and now instead of a small hole, they have a long cut shaped piercing from years of pressure on the small opening caused by gravity. To avoid the cheesecutter effect yourself you should wear modern piercing jewelry, which is much more balanced then traditional jewelry and even stretch your ears if you have to. Larger gauge piercings tend not to migrate as much as those with smaller jewelry.
Pressure is also a very common cause of piercing migration especially common in tongue and navel piercings. The constant pressure and position of the jewelry from the mouth or a tight shirt can cause a piercing to migrate. Be sure to keep all your piercings from being exposed to constant pressure. Your skin is quite flexible and jewelry can migrate before you know it.
Be sure to use the proper jewelry for the correct piercing. Improper jewelry selection can cause a piercing to migrate and never return to its natural placement. Be especially selective of eyebrow and navel rings as improperly used jewelry can cause them to grow out starting from the outside moving inward.
Can Piercing Migration Be Reversed?
If your piercing has migrated there is almost no chance of manipulating it back into its original position. If the piercing has migrated to the point you are unhappy with its location or it starts causing discomfort you may have to remove the jewelry and re-pierce it.
Why Does Your Body Reject A Piercing?
Rejection is your body’s way of removing something it deems harmful from the system. More often then not this is caused by the material being inserted into the body. Some people have very sensitive systems that will not accept a certain type of metal.
Certain piercings have a much higher rate of rejection then others. Among the most rejected piercing are surface piercings which can be very sensitive to pressure.
Impact can be a major factor in a healed piercing starting the rejection process without warning. Sudden trauma to the pierced area can cause the body to view your healed piercing as a new wound and try to push out the jewelry just like it would a splinter.
Can Rejection Be Stopped?
Sometimes piercing rejection can be stopped with TLC and plenty of attention, other times you will need to remove the jewelry and let the area heal before attempting to pierce it again.