It is normal to want to change out of your initial jewelry as quickly as possible. Initial body jewelry is usually overly large, uncomfortable (especially for tongue piercings), and plain-looking. Although initial jewelry may be irritating in it’s lack of sexiness, these characteristics are necessary to allow for swelling and proper healing. Initial piercing jewelry used by professional piercers should always be sterile and come in a sterile pouch with color-changing indicator, as opposed to fancier body jewelry (shown) that is designed to be worn after you are completely healed. The reason it is a bad idea to rush into something fancier is because the metals found in fancier designs (rhodium, gold, silver, etc.) can cause an allergic reaction if worn before healing is complete, leading to longer healing times or rejection.
So how do you know when it’s okay to make the change? As a general rule, when you are able to move the jewelry easily (and there is no longer any noticeable swelling or profound redness to the area) it is safe. However, it is important to continue with any aftercare regimen you were given by your body piercer for the full duration of time indicated. If you have any questions or are unsure if you have healed enough to safely make the change, contact your body-piercer before changing out.