Body piercings are great. Not only do they look aesthetically pleasing, but they are also an incredible way to represent your personality and preferences. When it comes to getting a piercing, there are numerous body parts that can serve as a great canvas. However, as good as body piercing is a body modification choice, it’s important to know the implications of a piercing before getting one.

This guide will take you through the risks and safety of body piercings so that you’re prepped before you get one.

Are Piercings Safe?

Piercings are safe when done with sterilized equipment in a clean and sanitized environment by a piercing specialist. However, if the piercing equipment is unclean, then one may run the risk of blood-transmitted diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus, and HIV.

Even in a sterile environment, some people run the risk of skin allergies, chronic infection, inflammation, or prolonged bleeding. It is important to note that this usually happens in rare cases and is largely determined by individual factors.

How Can I Know That My Piercing Shop Is Safe?

Before getting your piercing, it is a good idea to look out for the following to ensure that you have a safe piercing environment:

  • Your piercing specialist washes their hands with germicidal hand wash or soap.
  • Your piercer puts on a fresh pair of disposable gloves.
  • The piercing shop is visibly clean.
  • The piercing shop has a special sterilizing machine known as an autoclave.
  • The piercer uses disposable and sterilized equipment.

Piercing Gun vs. Needle: What’s The Better Choice?

Needles are generally the top choice for piercings. This is mainly because not only are they easier to sterilize than piercing guns, but also because piercing guns cause more damage to skin tissue than needles. Opting for a piercing gun can risk your piercing and increase the chances of delayed healing.

Piercing Safety: The Dos and Don’ts of Piercing Care

Your piercing specialist will provide you with a list of care instructions to follow to keep your piercing safe and promote healing.

Here are some general dos and don’ts of piercing care that you should follow.

Dos of Piercing Care:

  • Make sure to wash your hands properly before cleaning your piercing.
  • Soak and wash your piercing using salt or saline water as it will help cleanse and loosen crusty formations.
  • For tongue and lip piercings, use an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash.
  • Use a topical antibiotic.

Don’ts of Piercing Care:

  • Don’t touch your piercing or piercing jewelry as it can lead to infections and cause delayed healing.
  • Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol-based products to clean your piercing as it can dry out your skin.
  • Avoid using hot tubs or public pools until your piercing heals.
  • Don’t wear tight clothes to avoid piercing snagging.

How to Deal with an Infected Piercing

It is normal to experience some temporary pain or swelling after getting a piercing. However, if the pain continues or intensifies, it could mean that your piercing is infected. You need to be extra careful after an oral piercing as they are most prone to infections due to bacteria in the mouth.

Here are some signs of piercing infection to be wary of:

  • Pain that does not go away
  • Unusual swelling
  • Discharge
  • Prolonged bleeding
  • Excessive redness

If you believe your piercing is at risk due to an infection, don’t touch your jewelry or piercing. Go and visit a doctor immediately.

The Bottom Line

Piercings are quite safe when done by a professional using sterilized equipment in a clean environment. However, it is also important to take some precautions and follow the dos and don’ts of piercing care to ensure the safe and proper healing of your piercing.