There was a time when the only reason to get bodies pierced was to wear a wider range of jewelry. However, these days getting body piercings done in other parts of the body, such as the naval, eyebrows, tongues, and even genitals are a craze among the masses. Piercing has become a part of a personal, cultural, and artistic expression..
Such piercings are safe if done by trained professionals. However, as many as 20% of all piercings in various parts of the body catch infections according to statistics maintained by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Bacterial infections occur most often at the site of piercing and the complications that occur include skin tearing, allergic reactions, and scarring.
Tips to have safe body piercings:
Researchers have identified the main health hazards that piercings bring about. Here are few ways to combat them and have a safe body piercing:
1. Know your infection risk:
People who already have an infection or an open wound stand a greater risk of a health hazard developing from a piercing. It will be wise to refrain from getting pierced until you regain your health. The risk of catching an infection gets higher when the job is carried out by a novice or a poorly trained piercer. Matters get even worse if the equipment used is not sterilized and clean or the working environment is dirty.
2. Beware of medical issues:
If you already have a medical condition such as uncontrolled diabetes of any other condition that has affected the immunity of your body, it is recommended not to get piercing done since you stand a higher chance of infection in such a bodily condition.
3. Factor in lifestyle.
The kind of lifestyle that you lead daily hugely determines the kind of piercing that you may or may not get done. For example a nose ring may appear chic when you are in your early 20s but it may not be acceptable in some of the workplaces that you get a job in when you are in your late 20s or 30s. If your lifestyle requires you to remove the piercings frequently or conceal them from your family or boss, you risk increasing chances of an infection. Besides, it also increases the chances of prolonging the healing time. You may also injure your skin if you play a sport that requires bodily contact with the pierced area,
4. Recognize healing tendencies.
Different people react differently to piercings as far as healing tendencies are concerned. Some people have a tendency to develop keloids or raised and thick scars. For all those who have a tendency to form keloids, body piercing is a bad idea. Among all the different piercings, nipple, genital, and navel piercing heal the slowest.
5. Consider your anatomy.
Take a note of your anatomy and try to identify places that are suitable for piercings and ones that are not. Not all bodies have a similar feasibility in terms of places that can be pierced. For instance, tongues with a small frenum are not good for getting pierced.
6. Find a trained professional.
Professionals who have trained in body piercings are the best people to look out for while getting a piercing done. Most of them are done in piercing shops and tattoo parlors while earlobe, nose, and tragus piercings may be done at jewelry stores as well. The advantage of getting piercing done by a professional is that they know the physiology of the human body from the point of view of piercing and they also use sterilized tools.
7. Share your health history.
A piercing professional will certainly ask you for your medical history and you need to be truthful about the details. It is recommended that you tell all your medical conditions such as allergies, heart disease, asthma, diabetes etc to the piercer. Do remember to disclose any medications that you are on. For those of you who are on regular Aspirin doses, it is recommended that you discontinue the medicine at least a week before getting the piercing done. All non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs shall be discontinued a day before getting pierced and shall not be resumed till seven days after piercing.
8. Ensure proper materials are used.
To avoid catching an infection, insert only nickel-free rings, pins, and studs. If the jewelry is of poor quality or if it is too thin, it might get displaced from its initial position or may even be rejected by the body.
9. Follow care instructions.
Make sure you take proper care of the inevitable wound that the piercing causes. Ask the professional how long will the wound take to heal and also educate yourself on the side effects of the piercing. This will help you know what to expect so that you can take steps to minimize them.
Complications and Infections arising out of body piercings:
Complications do occur but are seldom serious and very rarely are they life threatening. They have been found to occur in 17-35 percent of all piercings. Most of them arise due to lack of experience of the piercer or improper hygiene maintained by him or her. Another cause of an infection is lack of proper care by the person being pierced. Remember that each body site has potential risks of catching an infection and it takes an experienced eye to judge whether a particular site is fit for piercing or not. Most common of all issues that crop up are bleeding, swelling and slow healing.
Do not forget that “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” It is you who has to take a judicious decision whether to go for body piercings or not. While a correctly placed metal can increase your appeal manifold, a piercing that goes wrong can cause much damage to both your outward appearance and self confidence. With these 9 tips on safe body piercing, you are certain to have a safe body piercing should you wish to get it done on you.