a piercing

8 Frequently Asked Questions Before Getting A Piercing

Are you considering having an ear piercing or a body piercing?


Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 25th Feb 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions Before Getting A Piercing

Are you considering having an ear piercing or a body piercing? Also, it is advised that you wait for a few days to months before piercing yourself again. If not, there might be some unwanted consequences such as infections and discomfort. Before you have your ears pierced, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have your parents’ permission? If you are under the age of 18, most places will need parental approval. So, before having your ears pierced, be sure to consult your parents.
  • What does your school say? Some schools prohibit pupils from wearing facial piercings.
  • Are you looking for a job? Some jobs prohibit workers from wearing facial piercings. Make sure the piercing is suitable for your everyday activities.
  • Are you thinking of donating blood? Some organisations refuse to take blood from persons who have had their bodies pierced in the previous year.
  • Are you up to date with your vaccines? Before getting a piercing, make sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations for diseases like hepatitis B and tetanus.

Is piercing safe?

Piercing is typically safe when done in a clean and professional environment. However, if the piercing equipment is dirty, there is a risk of contracting blood-borne infections. These are some of them:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Tetanus
  • HIV

Some typical piercing dangers exist even in a sterile (germ-free) environment:

  • Infection that lasts a long time
  • Allergies to the skin
  • Abscesses (pus-filled, painful areas of skin)
  • Inflammation or injury to the nerves
  • Long-term bleeding

It’s a good idea to see your doctor before getting a piercing if you:

  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Have a cardiac problem?
  • Have a compromised immune system?
  • Are you expecting a child?
  • Take herbal supplements as needed.

Where should I go to get my piercing done?

When determining where to be pierced, the most vital factor to consider is a clean atmosphere.

Here are some suggestions for locating a safe piercing position:

  • Ask your doctor. Basic ear piercings are available at several doctor’s offices.
  • Look for piercing shops that follow safe practices and are state-licensed.
  • If you go to a mall stand, be sure the personnel use a hygienic, single-use piercing gun.

This should never be done:

  • Make a piercing by yourself, or have a buddy do it for you.
  • Get your ears pierced at an unhygienic store, a location that makes you feel uneasy, or doesn’t answer all of your inquiries.

How do I know that my piercing shop is safe and sterile?

Body piercing is illegal in many states, but not all. Always look for these indicators of a safe piercing setting before obtaining your piercing:

  • The piercer uses germicidal soap to clean its hands.
  • The piercer wears new disposable gloves.
  • The store is clean.
  • An autoclave is used in the shop (a particular sterilising machine).
  • The equipment is either disposable or sterilised.
  • The needle is brand new and is discarded after each usage in a designated container.

Should I get pierced with a piercing gun or a needle?

Needles are regarded to be more sanitary and simpler to sterilise than piercing guns. Your piercer should only use a one-time-use piercing gun or one with disinfected disposable cassettes.

Earlobe piercings should only be done using piercing guns. Because they may cause greater harm to skin tissue than needles, they are not recommended.

How long will it take for my piercing to heal?

The length of time it takes for a piercing to heal varies based on the location of the piercing. The following are typical recovery periods for common piercings:

  • Earlobe: 6 to 8 weeks
  • Ear cartilage: 4 months to 1 year
  • Eyebrow: 6 to 8 weeks
  • Nostril: 2 to 4 months
  • Nasal septum: 6 to 8 months
  • Tongue: 4 weeks
  • Lip: 2 to 3 months
  • Belly button: 4 months to 1 year

Jewellery may create cracks in your teeth or receding gums if you have your mouth or lip pierced. Lip and mouth piercings are more likely to get infected.

How can I care for my new piercing?

For cleaning your piercing, your piercer will provide you with precise instructions. For new piercings, here are some basic dos and don’ts:

Do:

  • Before cleaning the piercing, wash your hands.
  • Antibacterial soap or hypochlorous acid may be used to clean the piercing region.
  • Soak the piercing in saltwater for a few minutes. It will be cleansed, and crusty forms will be loosened.
  • Rinse with hypochlorous acid or an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash. (for piercings on the tongue and lips)
  • Apply a topical antibiotic to the affected area.

Don’t:

  • Touch or pick at the piercing. This may cause irritation and infection.
  • Clean the piercing with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. This might cause your skin to dry up and new tissue to break down.
  • While the piercing heals, swim in public pools or hot tubs.
  • During the healing phase, wear makeup (for ear or facial piercings).
  • Dress slenderly (for body piercings).

What happens if my piercing becomes infected?

After a piercing, some temporary discomfort or swelling is to be expected. However, if the discomfort persists, it might indicate an infection.

If you get an oral piercing, be especially cautious. Because of bacteria in the mouth, they are more susceptible to infection. When jewellery comes into contact with your teeth, it may break or chip them.

Keep an eye out for the following indicators of infection:

  • Pain that lasts for more than a day or two
  • Pain or swelling that is unusual
  • The discharge has a yellowish-brown colour and has a foul odour.
  • Long-term bleeding
  • Excessive redness

If you suspect your piercing is infected, do the following steps:

  • Remove the jewellery, but don’t take it out. The hole will seal up, perhaps trapping the infection.
  • For treatment, see your doctor.

What if I am sensitive to metal?

Certain metal jewellery might cause allergic reactions in specific individuals. The following are signs that you could be allergic to your new piercing:

  • Inflammation
  • When the piercing is cleansed, it causes itching or burning.
  • A rash surrounds the piercing.

Use only nontoxic metals to prevent an allergic response, such as:

  • Surgical-grade stainless steel
  • 14-karat gold or 18-karat gold
  • Titanium
  • Niobium
  • Platinum

Sources

  1. https://teens.webmd.com/teen-girls-body-ear-piercing 
  2. TeensHealth from Nemours: “Body Piercing."
  3. Palo Alto Medical Foundation website: “Piercing."
  4. Family Doctor website: “Body Piercing."

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