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Steph Simpson

We all know just how popular body piercings are, and how popular they have been for hundreds of years. However, nowadays body piercings are primarily intended to be used as fashion accessories, whereas in the past they were mainly used for cultural and traditional purposes. When we think of body piercings, we generally tend to think of ear piercings as they are indeed the most common form of piercing. As well as ear piercings however, body piercings in general are becoming much more common, with people choosing to have their eyebrows pierced, their noses, their cheeks, their nipples, and much more besides. If there’s one thing we can all agree on however, it’s that body piercings hurt, some more than others, depending on which part of the body you’re choosing to get pierced. What you may not have considered however, is the fact that in actual fact, how you get your piercing done can also play a huge role in not only how painful the piercing process actually is, but also how the piercing heals, and whether or not you’re likely to reject the piercing at a later date. Generally speaking there are two methods of getting piercings done: with piercing guns, or with sterile needles. Here we’ll be comparing the two methods and looking at which, if any, is the most effective, safest, and beneficial.

Piercing guns – Piercing guns are by far the most common devices used for body piercings, and are most commonly found in high street stores and malls. Though they’re very common, and dare we say it, very popular as well, research suggests that piercing experts would ideally like to see piercing guns banned, in favor of sterile piercing needles instead. Piercing guns are basically just as the name implies, guns which are used for piercing parts of the body. Don’t worry, piercing guns don’t actually shoot you, they instead simply apply pressure and pierce holes in the body when the trigger is depressed. However, there are some concerns with piercing guns, particularly in regards to sterilization. As you know, with new piercings, sterilization is essential, as even the tiniest traces of bacteria or other contaminants can lead to painful and uncomfortable infections in the open wounds. Piercing guns are made from plastic, which basically means that they can’t be sterilized within an autoclave. They instead need to be wiped manually with anti-septic wipes, which is all well and good, but if the piercer misses a spot, or if they rush, there’s no guarantee that the device will be fully sterile.

Other issues with guns – On top of sterilization concerns, many experts in the field also argue that piercing guns can actually cause more damage when being used. As the gun forces studs through the skin, it literally rips the skin to allow the jewelry to be forced through. Then, the back of the jewelry is pinched firmly against the skin, which prevents the wound from breathing properly. As it can’t breathe effectively, it can’t heal effectively either. So, not only are you more at risk of infection, you’re also more at risk of suffering tissue trauma, and from an inefficiently healed piercing. Of course there are many people who have perfectly healthy piercings as a result of piercing guns, but the statistics all point to the fact that with guns, you are more at risk.

So, Needles are better? – In a word, yes. Typical department store piercers who use guns will do just two weeks worth of training on average. A professional piercer however, who uses professional needles and equipment, will train for several years, mastering the art of piercing with needles, as well as so much more besides. Many people are worried about having their bodies pierced via needles as they’re worried it will hurt when in reality, needle piercings are much less painful than gun piercings, which literally force blunt metal studs through your skin. The needles are extremely sharp yet hollow inside, allowing them to safely force tissue to the side as it slices through the skin, allowing plenty of space for the metal jewelry to be placed. The extreme sharpness of the needle means that, as it slices with such precision, the piercing process is almost entirely pain-free. Needles are also able to be fully sterilized in a quick and easy manner, which means that cross-contamination and infection risks are at near zero.