Most new piercings are done with a barbell or a captive bead ring, which is a ring connected at both ends by a metal ball. When put in place by a professional piercer, the jewellery may feel very tight and difficult to remove. This is why it is important to avoid changing your body jewellery until the piercing has fully healed, as pulling on a fresh wound may cause it to become irritated or infected.
Once your new piercing has fully healed, you may then think about changing your body jewellery. Before touching the jewellery, it is important that your hands have been washed and the area is clean. If the piercer recommended a specific cleansing solution, cleanse the area with that solution before removing the jewellery. If you have had your mouth or lip pierced, wash the mouth with the mouthwash given by the piercer before changing your body jewellery to prevent infection.
While changing your body jewellery, it is important to first unscrew any captive metal balls. Barbells are easy to remove as long as it is done with a firm hand. If the piercing was done with a captive bead ring, move the ring so that the bead is easily accessible. Hold the ring firmly, while loosening the small bead. The ring may have to be stretched slightly to loosen the bead so that it can be popped out of place. With the bead gone, slide the ring until the open area meets the skin; the ring should be able to slide right off. However, if while changing your body jewellery, the ring is still too tight it may be wise to wait for it to loosen or seek help from your piercer.
The next step to changing your body jewellery is to place a new ring, barbell or other item into the open hole. If using a barbell, gently slide the barbell into the piercing and then screw the additional ball into place. If using a captive bead ring, remove the bead from the ring and slide it into the piercing. If the ring does not go in easily, twist the ring slightly so that the ends are further apart. Next put the bead in place, with each end of the ring meeting the indentations in the small bead; then tighten the ring until the jewellery is secure.
Of course, some piercings are much easier to replace, such as earrings which should be removed, replaced and fastened at the back.
Once you are done changing your body jewellery, be sure to disinfect the area and avoid touching the new jewellery until it is perfectly comfortable to do so.