What is a piercing?
A piercing is a piercing done in the body with a needle. Next, a piece of jewelry is placed inside the hole. The most common parts of the body pierced are the ears, nostrils, and belly button. Oral piercings include lip, cheek, and tongue piercings.
When the hole has healed, some people choose to widen it to be able to wear certain types of jewelry, such as earrings and badges. Hole widening should be done in gradual increments to reduce the chances of hole damage and scar formation.
What should I know about it?
If you are thinking of getting a piercing, first find out well by doing your research. If you are under the age of 18, in some places you will not be allowed to get a piercing without your parents' consent, and there are other places that require a parent to be present during the piercing. In some states, minors are not allowed to get piercings.
Before getting a piercing, make sure you keep your vaccination schedule up to date (especially regarding the hepatitis B and tetanus vaccines). If you have any medical problems (such as congenital heart disease, allergies, diabetes, a weakened immune system, or a bleeding problem), talk to your doctor before getting a piercing. If you plan to get a tongue or mouth piercing, make sure your teeth and gums are healthy.
Also, if you tend to have keloids (excessive growth of scar tissue), you should not get piercings.
Although piercings tend to have a good social acceptance, some piercings could be an impediment to finding a job or advancing in your professional career.
How can I get a piercing with safety guarantees?
Piercings are regulated in some states, and not in others. If you decide to get a piercing, do some research on the procedures of the establishments that do them and find out if they offer a clean and safe environment to their clients.
Each establishment should have an autoclave (sterilization equipment) and should keep the instruments in sealed packages until they are used. Ask and make sure that the person doing the piercing:
- is a licensed professional
- he washes his hands before starting the procedure
- wear new, disposable gloves (like those used in doctor’s offices)
- uses disposable needles and sterile instruments
- use a piercing gun that has been sterilized or is disposable
The establishment should follow proper procedures in the handling and disposal of waste (such as needles or gauze containing blood).
Before getting a piercing, be sure to find out if you are allergic to any metals. Choose jewelry (including clasps and button and earring backs) made from metals that are less likely to cause allergic reactions, such as the following:
- surgical stainless steel
- solid gold (not gold plated or gold plated)
If you think that the place is not clean enough, if they do not answer your questions or if you feel uncomfortable for some other reason, go to another establishment to get a piercing.
What happens while you get a piercing?
Here’s what to expect when you get a piercing:
- The person doing the piercing should wash their hands with antibacterial soap and water, and wear new, clean gloves.
- The area you want to get pierced (except the tongue) is cleaned with rubbing alcohol or another antiseptic.
- You should see that the person who is doing the piercing removes the needles and equipment from sterile containers.
- Next, he will pierce your skin with a very sharp, disposable needle.
- The piece of jewelry, which will have been previously sterilized, will be placed in the hole.
- Your piercer will dispose of the needle in a special container so there is no chance that the needle or blood will come into contact with another person.
- He will then give you instructions on how to care for your new piercing and what to do if a problem arises.
What are the risks of getting a piercing?
It is normal to have slight swelling and some discomfort in the pierced area. The swelling tends to be greater in piercings made on the tongue. If you pierce yourself, get it done by a friend, or get it done in a place that is not clean, serious problems can arise. Make sure the piercing is done by a professional in a clean and safe environment.
But even if you follow all these tips, there can be problems. The most common problems related to piercings are the following:
- scars and keloids
- allergic reaction to the piece of jewelry used
Infections can range from mild skin or cartilage conditions, associated with redness, swelling, tenderness, and pus, to more serious infections, such as toxic shock syndrome , blood infections, tetanus , and hepatitis . Cracked or chipped teeth can be a problem with oral piercings. Tongue swelling and jewelry in the mouth can block air passage, which can cause serious breathing problems. There is a possibility that a piece of jewelry that is placed in the nose will be swallowed or inhaled and end up in the lungs.
Depending on the part of the body that has been pierced, the healing process can take from several weeks to several months. If you do get a piercing, be sure to take good care of it, do not touch it or pick it, keep the area very clean, washing it with water and mild soap (not with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide). Always wash your hands before touching your piercing. If you have a piercing in your mouth, use a bactericidal mouthwash that does not contain alcohol or another oral cleanser that your doctor or pharmacist recommends.
Call your doctor immediately if you have bleeding, increased pain, or any signs of infection.