Why is My Piercing Still Crusty After a Year?

If you’ve had your piercing for over a year and notice that it is still crusty, you may be wondering why. While crustiness or discharge is common during the initial healing stages of a piercing, it is not normal to experience it after a year. Several factors can contribute to this issue, including poor aftercare, improper jewelry, infections, allergies, or underlying health conditions. Understanding the potential causes can help you address the problem and ensure proper healing for your piercing.

Poor Aftercare

One possible reason for persistent crustiness is inadequate aftercare. Proper hygiene and cleaning techniques are essential during the healing process. If you neglected to clean your piercing regularly or used harsh or inappropriate products, it might not have healed properly. Make sure to follow the aftercare instructions recommended by your piercer, such as using a saline solution or gentle soap, and avoiding touching or rotating the jewelry excessively.

Improper Jewelry

The choice of jewelry can significantly impact the healing process and the occurrence of crustiness. If you are still wearing low-quality or improper jewelry after a year, it might be causing irritation to the piercing. Certain materials, such as nickel or certain plastics, can cause allergic reactions or sensitivity in some individuals. Consider switching to high-quality jewelry made of materials like titanium or surgical steel to minimize irritation and improve healing.


Persistent crustiness may indicate an underlying infection. While infections are more common during the initial healing stages, they can still occur later on. Signs of an infected piercing include excessive redness, swelling, tenderness, and pus-like discharge. If you suspect an infection, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. A healthcare professional can evaluate the situation, provide appropriate treatment, and potentially prescribe antibiotics if necessary.


Some individuals might develop allergies to certain metals or materials over time. If your piercing continues to be crusty after a year, you might be experiencing an allergic reaction to your jewelry. Consider getting an allergy test done to determine if you have any sensitivities. If allergies are confirmed, switching to hypoallergenic jewelry or materials like niobium or gold can help alleviate the symptoms and promote healing.

Underlying Health Conditions

In rare cases, crustiness that persists long after the healing period might be a sign of an underlying health condition. Conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis can affect the skin around the piercing, leading to dryness, flakiness, or crustiness. If you notice these symptoms or suspect an underlying condition, consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

By identifying the potential reasons and addressing them accordingly, you can help your piercing heal and minimize crustiness after a year. Remember, if you are unsure or concerned about the state of your piercing, it is always best to consult with a professional piercer or healthcare provider for guidance.