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Body Piercing: Dangerous Decoration?

Thursday, 03 September 2009

body piercingWe love to decorate our bodies, some with cosmetics, some with clothes, while others go further, making their bodies attractive (or the opposite of attractive, different strokes for different folks, as they say) with body piercing and tattoos. However, we won't judge and discuss what is good and what is bad. Instead, we will tell you more about safety rules and tips for those who decided to decorate their bodies with piercing, and dwell on the implications of various types of body piercing.

Body piercing is a surgical procedure (rather than cosmetic one, as many believe), which is piercing of the skin surface for implanting jewelry in the area. The most common (and safe) type of piercing is earlobe piercing. However, this piercing variation is rather common, therefore, now young people get every part of their body pierced, and you can observe more and more people sporting naval rings and nose rings. If you have decided to follow this significant trend and to pierce any part of your body, you need to know a lot. For example, there are restrictions which could prevent you from getting body piercing. Unfortunately, in many parlors they do not even ask about your health problems and conditions, to say nothing of rejecting customer's request, so we recommend you to pay attention to these counter-indications to body piercing, which would save you a lot of pain and discomfort in the future.

So, body piercing may not be the best idea, if:

1. You're under 18, and your parents do not approve of your idea and have not given their permission;

2. You're suffering from a chronic condition at the moment.

3. You have fever and poor blood coagulability, or have allergic reactions to metal jewelry or drugs of lidocaine group (they're frequently used as anesthesia during some types of painful piercing procedures). Moreover, in this case body piercing is strongly discommended.

If you do not have counter-indications, and already are on your way to piercing salon, please, remember your rights and obligations of the piercing professional.

Anyone who is planning to get body piercing has the right to demand strict hygiene and cleanness of the piercing professional, an expect him or her to use only sterile disposable needles, which must be destroyed immediately after the procedure, to choose the jewelry, which has the proper size and is made of safe material. Moreover, the design of the jewelry should promote speedy healing of the wound, etc.

But even if you think it is totally unnecessary, at least remember the most important thing: piercing gun should never be used by the piercing professional, because it's very dangerous, even if used for earlobe piercing!

The point is that, first, the guns are made of plastic, and are therefore cannot be subject to heat or chemical sterilization, as they will simply melt during the process, while cleaning them with alcohol solution or other antiseptic preparations does not kill pathogenic bacteria. Blood of one customer may be left in the aerosol particles and spread by piercing gun, which results in the infection and contamination with deadly viruses.

Second, piercing guns do not pierce but rather force ear studs through the skin (unlike in a needle piercing, guns puncture your skin by blunt force). They cannot be made as sharp as special piercing needle (triple laser sharpening) since ear studs are made of soft metal. The result of such procedures is extraction of internal tissues in the puncture area, which leads to scarring and aides infection.

Third, ear piercing studs fully close the puncture on both sides, which prevents proper after-care. Due to its super-clinging backing, the stud cannot perfectly fit in the puncture, which leads to severe irritation and ingrowth of the stud into skin tissue. Most ear studs, even those with non-toxic gold plating, have very thin short rods which can easily rip, tear and migrate in your ear. Also, because the bar is too short, it cannot accommodate swelling which is natural body's reaction to trauma.

If you read these recommendations and understood what you need to pay attention to in the first place, let us now dwell on the piercing types, where and how the procedure is performed and how to take proper care of your body piercing to ensure quick healing.

Earlobe Piercing

Absolutely any kind of jewelry can be used for primary standard earlobe piercing, including rings, horseshoes, tunnels, etc. Ordinary navel rings look amazing in the earlobes. The healing time for body piercing depends on the type of piercing chosen, as some parts of the body heal very soon. For example, earlobe piercing heals quickly, in almost two months time and you are ready for jewelry. Problems and complications are usually rare, so are rejections.

There is a terrible myth that if you pierce earlobe you can hurt some vital point, and slowly (or immediately) go blind, deaf or numb. In fact, about 150 points are found on the ear surface by affecting which one can stimulate functioning of all body organs. They are scattered on the outer and inner surface of the ear auricle, forming specific zones, which can be affected in order to stimulate the organ systems (eyes, digestive tract, respiratory organs, and others). Contrary to popular belief, piercing of earlobe in the point which is responsible for sight will not make you go blind, but will help to improve your sight.

Ear piercing in these vital points can only result in elimination of the corresponding active zone and thereby in inability to «control» individual body organs. Therefore, the disastrous consequences (like losing sight and hearing) of earlobe piercing are complete and utter nonsense.

Eyebrow Piercing

Barbells, curved barbells or bead rings are types of jewelry best suited for piercing of this type. Their shape and thickness (1.0mm x 10-12 mm) are best for formation of a seat in the eyebrows. Usually, eyebrow piercing will take approximately 6 - 8 weeks to heal (just like earlobe piercing), unless, of course, you begin to touch, turn or otherwise twiddle with your eyebrow jewelry. As you might know, eyebrows are highly veined, and the slightest injury will lead to the rupture of tissues, profuse bleeding, and infection. The jewelry will have to be removed in order to clean and disinfect the wound. Repeat piercing can be done only when the rupture is completely healed. You cannot have two punctures at a time, because tissues tighten during the healing process, and the seats interfere with each other.

Nose Piercing

Optionally, studs and barbells are most common jewelry types used for nose piercing. Their size varies from 1.0mm x 6mm to 1.0mm x 8mm. They are traditionally made of titanium or 14-carat gold. Nose-rings and captive bead rings of 1.0mm x 10mm/12mm can also be used for this type of piercing. Nose piercing is one of the most common varieties of piercing after earlobe piercing, and it seldom results in infection or inflammation. Rejection is also very rare.

Tongue Piercing

Straight titanium barbells measuring 1.6mm x 18mm/20mm are most frequently used for primary tongue piercing. Rings measuring 1.6mm x 14mm/16mm can only be placed into the healed puncture.

Please, keep in mind that immediately after the procedure you cannot drink alcohol, smoke, eat for 4 hours and be very careful throughout the healing period. You must monitor your diet, limit alcohol consumption, and refrain from smoking. You can eat yogurt and other dairy products, as well as cereals, pastries, fruit (except citrus) and other «gentle» food. You cannot have hot, salty, spicy foods; drink «colored» drinks (coffee, juices), as your tongue may take their color. Alcohol is absolutely prohibited because its consumption will lead to the destruction of the protective film and dissolve the newly formed tissue and the wound will open again.

After every meal or beverage you should brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with a sea salt solution or antiseptic solutions containing chlorhexidine, for example, Perideks, Periogard, Lizoplak, Stomatidine. Make sure to brush the barbell and the area around the puncture and rinse thoroughly.

Lip Piercing

In this case, you should use titanium or plastic barbells measuring 1.6mm x 8mm/10mm. You can also use small rings measuring 1.6mm x 12mm/14mm. The aftercare is the same as for tongue piercing: you should not drink or smoke. And no kisses! Beauty requires sacrifice, you know.

Navel Piercing

Whatever you might say, various rings, pendants or large jewelry with jagged edges (flower-shaped, for example) cannot be used for primary navel piercing. There has been a special standard established for navel barbells (also called «bananabells» or «bananabars»). The standard bananabell is 1.6mm thick and 9.5mm or 11.1mm long. If you're pregnant and you already have navel piercing, it is recommended to change the jewelry to flexible teflon bananabar. If you're a regular visitor of sunrooms, you should cover the puncture with a sticker when taking tanning session.

The advantage of this type of piercing is that if you are not satisfied with the puncture, you can immediately make repeat puncture without any risks or disastrous consequences. However, if you have sported navel jewelry before, then repeat piercing of the navel is possible only after the complete healing of the old puncture.

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chelsea hollinger   |2009-10-02 14:03:21
i am 17 and i got my first piercing when i was 16 and it didnt get infected or inflamed every piercing has a high risk of getting infected if you dont take care of it properly!
casey hopkins   |2010-04-14 00:01:52
well i hear tattoos can spread hepatitis b,c and syphilis just from an un-sterile needle! so im scared to get a tatoo should i still get one or not?
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