Let’s face it, life can be tough for all of us at times, and sadly and as morbid as it sounds, it simply isn’t going to change. We all have tough times now and then, yet unfortunately some people have especially difficult and testing times, which may push them to their absolute limits. Stress for example, is a very real condition which affects us negatively in a variety of different ways. Whilst it can be said that some people handle stress better than others, it will still affect us all in one way or another. For some people, stress may be the result of having a particularly hard time at work – a hectic shift, a difficult boss, over-demanding customers etc, whilst others may experience stress as a result of personal and/or financial reasons. As far as piercings are concerned, you may not think that stress can really have any effect on piercings at all, because stress is psychological, and piercings are physical, but in actual fact, stress can have a number of knock on effects relating to piercings, including the fact that it can severely affect the healing process. If you’re suffering with stress lately, and have either just had a new piercing, or are perhaps thinking of having a new piercing in the near future, here’s a look at some of the main ways in which stress can affect your piercings.
First off, what are the common side effects of stress? – Before we go any further, it’s important that we identify some of the most common side effects of stress. Stress can affect us mentally in a number of different ways, as it can contribute towards a variety of other mental health issues including anxiety, irritability, mood swings, irrational behavior, and depression. As well as affecting our mental health however I.E our brains, stress also causes a number of physical side effects on our bodies as well. For example, when we’re stressed, our bodies secrete stress hormones and chemicals such as cortisol, which can cause spots, it can slow our metabolism – causing us to gain weight and suffer from a lack of energy, plus it can affect our sleeping patterns, making it much harder for us to sleep, which in itself is extremely dangerous and detrimental to our health. We also can suffer from stress headaches, migraines, stomach cramps, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, tense muscles, and irregular blood sugar levels which could eventually lead to diabetes. It also affects people’s behavior however, because when stressed, people tend to make poor dietary and lifestyle choices such as: drinking excessively, smoking, eating junk food, not exercising enough, and perhaps even drug use.
How can stress induced behavior affect your piercings? – This leads us onto how exactly stress induced negative behavior can affect your piercings, or even potential piercings too for that matter. Remember, a piercing is basically an open wound, and like all other open wounds in requires several things in order for it to heal. These are:
- Care and attention
- A healthy immune system
- Plenty of rest
- Plenty of natural goodness to increase the healing process
For these reasons, if you have recently had a new piercing, it’s vital that you follow a healthy and balanced diet, that you get plenty of rest, that you take special care of your piercing, and that you stay away of negative influences such as cigarettes, drugs, excessive alcohol, and large quantities of unhealthy junk food. If you find yourself making poor dietary and lifestyle choices, and becoming stressed and run down, you’ll find your piercing simply won’t heal properly.
Alcohol consumption – When stressed, most people find themselves reaching for a glass of wine or a cold beer after a difficult day in the office, and whilst one drink per day certainly isn’t the end of the world, most people go overboard and think they can drink their troubles away. This obviously doesn’t work and it will affect your piercings negatively in the process. Alcohol suppresses the immune system and thins the blood, which slows down the healing process. Also, as the blood is thinned, as new piercings do tend to bleed, you may find them bleeding profusely.
Loss of sleep – When stressed, people often lose sleep, which is very detrimental for the healing process as it too slows down the immune system, meaning our bodies will struggle to repair the piercing wound, which basically means it will not heal properly.
Smoking – Cigarettes are extremely bad for you anyway, but as far as piercings go, the nicotine and chemicals they contain will slow the healing process. The smoke will also dry out your skin, which makes the open piercing and surrounding area more susceptible to infections.