Body piercings have become all the rage in the recent years more than ever, so if you are looking to get your first piercing or need a refresher for an addition, be sure to dive into these tips to help plan for your body piercing experience.
Body piercing novice or junkie, a few basic steps for preparation combined with common sense can ensure the success of your body piercing by helping you make an informed decision for this very important procedure.
Choose the piercing you want with firm decision. Knowing exactly what you want then finding the piercer best suited for it is the best way to go. Not all piercers perform all piercings, so be sure to decide what you want first, then find the expert for it, especially when it comes to genital or nipple piercings, surface piercings and other less common piercings.
Get proper sleep. You may be feeling antsy from all of the anticipation but it is important to allow your body to get the rest it requires to be at its best. Be sure to grab a hearty meal at least 4-5 hours prior to your appointment. Sometimes nerves have a tendency to upset the stomach, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to digest your last meal. You can make adjustments to your meal schedule to accommodate your appointment, however, try not to skip meals as an empty stomach can have you feeling faint and make you more susceptible to fainting.
Drink alcohol or take numbing medications prior to your appointment. While taking a few Advil to help with inflammation is one thing, showing up sloshed and smelling of alcohol to “numb” the pain will probably get you kicked out.
Don’t bring your entire circle of close friends. Although it is tempting to have your 5 best friends go with you, don’t. Choose one friend for moral support and to hold you hand. Body Piercing shops often are limited in space and over crowding your body piercer’s working space is not ideal for best working conditions.
Do Your Research
Locating the body piercing business in your area that is the best suited person to handle your body piercing can require a little research. Although you may impulsively feel as if you should go do it now at the most convenient location or whoever is open, resist the urge and do your research.
Even if you get a personal recommendation from a friend or colleague, be sure to do check out their credentials before your take the recommendation to heart.
Some things to look for prior to your appointment are as follows:
- Visit their website and portfolio – finding out the complete list of services and business hours your chosen piercer performs will save you the disappointment of walking into a shop with high hopes, only to find out that piercer is not there or does not perform the particular type of piercing you want.
- Mind Your Timing : Many body piercers work under the same roof as tattoo artists, so it is a good idea to know when your piercer’s shift begins. Make an appointment for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours into their shift. This helps to ensure that your piercer is fresh for the day but so fresh that they have not had their coffee or time to set up their stations. Going at the end of a long day for your piercer is never a good idea- even the best piercer is human and will feel the affects of fatigue after a 12 hour shift.
- Yelp it out : Yes, Yelp it. It is true that there are people the leave unproductive rants on Yelp but it is also true that there are productive, helpful reviews by honest people. No matter who recommended your body piercer, never go a piercer that a ton of negative reviews about cleanliness and other alarming issues…after all, they can’t all be rantings. One thing to keep in consideration for negative reviews: be sure the review tells details about what was not good in terms of facts- if the reviews is based on pain of the piercing (duh, it’s gonna cause some level of discomfort) and the swelling following the first week, it is quite normal and it is possible that the reviewers’ expectation of the discomfort and healing process was misguided. By the way, keep this part in mind for later; if you love your piercing, be sure to come back to Yelp and leave an honest, endorsing review for your piercer.
- Gather evidence : Evidence of Success, that is. And I mean this in two distinct ways: 1. Make sure your body piercer has photos or testimonials of completely HEALED body piercings. This is what is considered a successful body piercing. It doesn’t matter how good a piercing looks when it is freshly pierced since swelling and healing are after the fact and none of it matters if everyone that was pierced had issues healing either due to technique, cleanliness, etc. 2. Find evidence of your ideal success. Screenshot or cut out images of piercings that are your ideal success. Piercings are not all the same- if there is a particular look that you want, bring this visual representation for you piercer so they can see your ideal vision.
Some key things to look for during your appointment :
- Be sure to speak clearly about what it that you want to achieve. Be specific. Don’t just tell your piercer what type of piercing you want; do let them know if you plan on wearing a specific piece of jewelry or have desire look you are going for.
- Cleanliness. Take a look around. Does it look like a dump or clean enough to eat naked sushi? All equipment, not just the piercing needle, should be clean and freshly packed in a medical grade autoclave bag. The bag should look a bit warped from being exposed to extreme heat during the sterilization process. The indication markers on most bags turn from blue to brown when sterilized properly.
- Be sure to soothe yourself if you feel a strong wave of anxiety come over you. Take deep breathes and assure yourself that all will be well.
- Listen to the post piercing instructions. Each piercer has their own proven method of recovery so don’t just assume you know what to do based on prior piercings or research. If you do not understand something, be sure to ask! No question is stupid.
- Keep it clean. Although you piercer will provide you with specific instructions, the general rule of thumb for all wound healing is that the cleaner you keep it, the faster it will heal. You can purchase cleansers specific for piercings with your piercer or order it online in advance. (See our Idea Book below for convenient piercing cleaners)
Getting a body piercing, your first or your tenth, is one of the most exciting, heart pounding pleasures of the free world. Do your research and plan ahead to ensure you get the most our of your experience as well as obtain a beautiful, healthy, long lasting piercing of your choice.
With so many qualified body piercers available, you can choose the one that is best suited for you. Once you heal completely, the options in body jewelry to dress up your new piercing is almost infinite. Have fun, be safe and always be you.