Workplace Etiquette : Body Piercings and the Modern Workplace
Body Piercings in the Workplace
Times have certainly changed and the level of acceptance in the workplace for the expression of our personal style and lifestyle preferences have opened up far more than we have ever encountered. However, most employers still enforce some level of body piercing and modification etiquette. Unless you are blessed with a uber modern corporate culture, such as Google (the company and not the search engine), chances are that there is some level of policy that the human resources department enforces. The good news is that there are multitudes of options when it comes to the new lines of body jewelry that offer discreet retainers and smaller, work friendly jewelry options to help you keep your job while you rock your style.
In this article, we discuss how to harmonize our personal body piercing choice to integrate to the modern workplace so what both your employer and your personal sense of style can coexist harmoniously.
Back when body piercings consisted of body jewelry in clucky surgical steel, workplace piercing etiquette led to many feeling like they had little options other than to manually remove the body piercing. A haggle that led to eventually allowing the piercing to close up and forever be lost.
Thanks to the creative minds of the modern body jewelry designers, body jewelry has become more work friendly than ever before. Dainty new gold body jewelry that are available in super fine gauges are a great alternative for those who have a moderate body piercing policy. Most employers in this category accept tasteful, smaller body jewelry as a perfectly doable negotiation with their employees. Body jewelry is even available in flesh tones for easy blending. Hoops and Rings have been re-invented in super fine gauges and simpler designs to hold space without being completely invisible. Lip and nose piercings can be easily tamed down for the workplace with these finer jewelry options.
The body jewelry industry has really stepped up their game in regards to retainers. For those of you who are not familiar with retainers, they are clear, flexible body jewelry designed to hold space and be discreet. (See our Idea Book below to get a feel for what they look like and how they work)
Retainers can be used in place of traditional jewelry for just about every body piercing and although it can be seen up close, it is the industry standard for body piercing alternatives even for those more finicky corporations. Retainers are easy to insert and remove and the keeping it clean is as simple as soap and water. Be sure not to use alcohol based cleansers for clear retainers, it can compromise the clarity of the material, making it more visible or even damaging the finish. Retainers come in all shapes, sizes and lengths to accommodate most piercings.
The third and final option is to physically remove the body jewlery for the body piercing. The most common piercings that employers tend to be concerned with are facial piercings. The general rule for taking out body jewelry is to wait until the piercing is completely healed. Never remove or change body jewelry from a piercing during the healing period without the assistance of your body piercer. This delays healing, can lead to infection from bacteria introduced by unnecessary handling and can cause scarring, not to mention the loss of the body piercing all together.
How can you tell when your body piercing has healed? Two healing periods occur : the initial healing period and the fully healed period. Although each person varies, the initial healing period usually occurs in 14-28 days from the date of the piercing. During this time, a layer of skin begins to grow around the piercing. In this stage, it is required to cleanse the area daily and rotate the jewelry gently to prevent “sticking”. This stage is not acceptable for retainers or removal.
During the fully healed stage, a keratinized layer of tissue forms around the piercing site, which occurs a bit later. The general rule on how you can tell when this has occurred is when you can move the jewelry and massage the area without tenderness or discomfort of any kind. At this phase, removing the jewelry and switching it out with a clean retainers is suitable. Although you can begin to remove your body jewelry for short periods of time at this phase, we may feel some discomfort and resistance when replacing body jewelry, so be sure to start by removing the jewelry for short periods of time before placing the body jewelry back. If you feel moderate discomfort or even pain, try giving it another 30 days of healing and try again.
Rocking Your Style at Work or Wherever
Expressing our personal style and lifestyle choices is an important part of who we are. While we have come to a time in history where tolerance and acceptance is on the rise, there are still times and places where we may have to be more mindful, such as the workplace when it comes to body modifications.
Luckily, we have many options in keeping our sense of style and professionalism intact with harmony with mirco body jewelry, retainers and temporary removal. Check out our Body Jewelry Idea Book below for the latest in workplace safe body jewelry. Even if your employer is a saint and allows you to go to the moon and back in expressing your personal sense of style, having a backup retainer for weddings, photos, surgeries, diagnostic imaging, and other occasions that would benefit from your discretion.
Retainer Idea Book