Body Piercing Information

The most important thing that you can do when getting a new piercing is to choose the proper piercing artist. Because a piercing is essentially a surgical operation, you must be sure that the person doing the piercing is experienced and accredited as well as clean and Board of Health approved. Cheap prices do not mean much if you become the recipient of a bad piercing given by an inexperienced or unclean piercing artist. Make sure that your piercer has an autoclave to clean his tools and your jewelry. Make sure your piercer uses a clean needle from a sterile package and has thoroughly washed his or her hands and put on surgical gloves. Ask how much experience your piercer has and ask to see their Board of Health certificate. Ask to see their certificate of accredited training (Most piercers learned the art from other people who are not professionally trained...A tattoo shop is not a school). Ask yourself if you would have someone perform surgery on you if they do not have certification of training, experience or cleanliness.  It is a good rule of thumb to chose a studio that is Clean and tidy looking. A shop that does not wash it's floors or care about its image, is not likely to clean its tools properly or worry about your personal image. A professional shop will have it's health board and training certificates displayed in the shop in plain view.

(Did you know that piercer's do not have to have their autoclaves tested on a monthly basis!!! Tattoo shops however must be tested by law on a regular basis to ensure public health) Obviously a tattoo shop is a better choice for piercing than a piercing shop.

There are three basic types of piercings: soft tissue, cartilage, and surface-to-surface. Soft tissue piercings are the most common. They generally span the thickness of the body segment, with the jewelry appearing on opposite sides (e.g., an earlobe). Most heal relatively quickly and easily. Initial piercings are usually done with a ring, but healed piercings can accommodate any form of jewelry. Minimum gauge: head, 20g.; body, 14g.; genitals, 16g. to 8g. depending on piercing. Maximum gauge: None.

Cartilage piercings include the nose and the ear above the lobe. While the skin over the piercing may close if the jewelry is removed, the hole in the cartilage remains. Septum piercings are not actually located in the cartilage, but through a small area of skin between the front and back cartilage sections. Septums are usually done with a retainer which fits inside the nose. Other cartilage piercings use a ring initially. Minimum gauge: nostril, ear, 20g.; septum 14g. Maximum: depends on piercing. Cartilage does not stretch.

Surface-to-surface piercings are generally located on the same plane, such as the throat. They require extra care and longer healing, often a year or more. They are the most likely piercings to "heal out" (be rejected by the body), although repeated piercings improve the chances of success. Most surface piercings allow a choice of a ring or bar. Minimum gauge: head, 20g.; others 16-14g. Maximum: depends on location and piercing, but usually 14-10g.

There are as many reasons to get piercings as there are people. Some find body jewelry particularly attractive in its own right. Traditional piercings and styles may reconnect or reinforce an individual with his ethnic roots. Others use piercings to make a statement about themselves and their attitude towards society's conservative rules, or to indicate membership in a particular group. For many people, body piercings are used to celebrate or mark a special moment in their lives, such as a birthday, the birth or death of someone important to them, or the beginning or end of a stage of life.Whatever the reason, body adornment has a long and colorful history. Modern society is only now rediscovering the beauty and joy of piercings. As a result of this new interest, unique forms of piercing have been added to the traditional ones. The one drawback to this increased interest is that people desiring piercings cannot always find a trained, experienced piercer. For your safety and health, always ask about your intended piercer's training, methods, and sterile procedures. Never allow anyone to use an ear-piercing gun on you not even to pierce your ears. It is far better to wait for that desired piercing until you can find someone you can trust to use the proper equipment, procedures, and jewelry, than to suffer the effects of a poor piercing.

Seek medical help if:

1.The jewelry is pulled out (splitting the skin).

2.The piercing gets infected and doesn't clear up within a few days of proper care.

3.A nostril or septum piercing becomes infected. (nose infections can be very serious or even fatal.)

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