When we talk about the “cheesewire effect” in piercing, we mean that wearing too tight and thin jewellery can slowly move through your skin over time.That happens because the jewellery doesn’t fit properly. Avoiding this by choosing the right jewellery to prevent any issues with your piercings is essential.
What Causes Cheesewire-Effect in Piercings?
The cheesewire effect occurs when the jewellery you wear in a piercing is too tight and thin, putting excessive pressure on the surrounding tissue. That is most common in piercings like nostrils and conches, especially when people prefer very snug and delicate rings. When these rings are too small for the piercing area, they can cut through the tissue over time because of the pressure and movement, especially in the case of nostril piercings, which naturally shift as we talk, emote, and breathe. It might seem like the jewellery fits well when your nose is at rest, but it doesn’t allow for the natural movement of the nostril, leading to problems.
A thin, tight hoop in a piercing is like a wire cutting through cheese – it pushes through the tissue. The same can happen over time with earlobe piercings when you wear either too large or too heavy jewellery. Our skin is firm but has its limits. You might wonder how people can wear heavy earweights without issues. The key is the thickness of the part you put through the piercing hole. If all that weight is on a tiny 22g wire, it can cut through the tissue. But when the weight is spread out over a larger surface, like that of an ear weight with a broader wearable area, the pressure is more evenly distributed, and more tissue supports it all around. This distribution of weight and pressure makes it safe for the ear to handle the weight.
In some cases, the movement of the jewellery through the tissue can be halted or stabilized when it reaches a position where there’s less tension. That can also happen if you switch to more suitable-sized or lighter jewellery or allow the piercing to shrink and heal without any jewellery. However, only some are fortunate; sometimes, the piercing can entirely escape the body. Whether this is detected and addressed early or allowed to happen, it can result in significant scars that many people find unappealing.
How To Prevent Cheesewire Effect?
You can easily avoid the cheesewire effect by wearing jewellery that correctly fits your body. That is why it’s crucial to have a professional piercer help you choose the right jewellery. They can measure your piercing, recommend the correct size, and even try different pieces to find the perfect fit for you. Piercers can also suggest styles that work well with your body. Opting for jewellery at least 18g in thickness is a great way to prevent this issue. While some people prefer 20g and 22g jewellery, these sizes are skinny and increase the risk of the cheesewire effect. Jewellery that’s 18g is more stable, and while it’s not entirely foolproof, it’s much less likely to cause this problem than 20g and 22g jewellery.
The right jewellery should fit comfortably without being too tight, allowing the pierced area to move naturally during daily activities. The ideal fit depends on a person’s anatomy, lifestyle, and requirements. Jewellery thickness, known as a gauge, should also provide stability, but the appropriate gauge varies depending on the piercing, anatomy, and lifestyle. For these reasons, consulting with an experienced piercer for proper sizing and fitting is highly recommended. They can assess your needs and explain the advantages and disadvantages of different sizes and fits based on your piercing placement. This is why piercers often stress the importance of an in-person fitting unless you know the size you need when ordering jewellery. Ordering a piece that’s too small or thin can easily lead to the cheesewire effect and migration in a few days.
The cheesewire effect is a regrettable consequence of wearing improper jewellery, leading to lasting scars, harmed piercings, and various issues. It’s never worth risking actual harm for a single piece of jewellery. It’s essential to make informed choices about what you put in your piercings, ensure proper sizing, and seek assistance from a piercer when uncertain.
Piercers are trained to select jewellery that is safe and stable in size. That is how we prevent issues like the cheesewire effect. If you ever sense that a piece of jewellery feels too tight or causes irritation, tenderness, or damage to your piercing, don’t hesitate to contact a piercer promptly. Be vigilant and mindful about the jewellery you wear,and pay attention to your body’s signals if something doesn’t feel right or seems ill-fitted. Stay safe, and best wishes for a smooth healing process!