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Body Piercing: Nine Things to Think About Before Getting One

"Piercings throughout history have often been done as a status symbol"
By: Raissa Claire R. FalguiBody Piercing: Nine Things to Think About Before Getting One

Nowadays, piercings are more of a fashion trend. Piercing the earlobes is quite usual, especially in Philippine culture, and is low-risk. But what if getting a piercing in the eyebrow, navel, tongue, or other body parts? Here are some points to remember when preparing to get a body piercing.

1. Piercing is not advisable for those with certain diseases.

People with certain health issues such as diabetes or immune disorders should avoid getting body piercing. This is according to a review by dermatologists from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology as mentioned on WebMD. There is a higher risk of infection for such people.

2. There is a possibility of adverse skin reactions.

The Mayo Clinic warns against various complications that may occur in your skin right after a piercing. Allergies may occur, especially if the jewelry used has nickel. TeensHealth recommends that you check that the jewelry used is made of the following safe metals:

· surgical steel

· solid 14-karat or 18-karat gold

· niobium

· titanium

· platinum

The newly-pierced area is naturally prone to infection. It must be kept clean and be properly treated while healing. Skin at the site of the piercing can also be damaged anytime if the jewelry in the piercing gets snagged on something and torn off. Sometimes scars or keloids may develop in the pierced area as well.

3. The part where you’re pierced can pose problems.

Earlobe piercing is generally safe. The same cannot be said for all piercings. The Mayo Clinic notes that tongue piercing can be especially problematic. The swelling in the early days of such a piercing can make it hard to chew, swallow, or even breathe. The piece of jewelry inserted may cause injury to your gums and teeth. Piercings in the nose and mouth, TeensHealth observes, are extra prone to infection due to more bacteria in these parts of the body.

4. Yes, it will hurt.

Definitely you will experience some pain during and after the process. There is more pain involved with more sensitive body parts, particularly the nipples and genitals, as pointed out on The Human Touch of Chemistry website. The use of local anesthesia is an option, of course.

5. Consider whether a piercing is appropriate for your lifestyle.

If your piercing is in a spot that is not so easy to conceal, and you think that people close to you will disapprove of it, don’t think you can simply remove the jewelry whenever you’re around them. The dermatologists’ review referred to on WebMD cautions that frequently removing the jewelry from your piercing, especially when it is newly done, can increase the risk of infection and lengthen the healing process.

6. The job must be done by a professional.

Do not DIY. A body piercing can’t be done by just anyone. You must have it done by a professional with proper equipment. “If the equipment used to do the piercing is contaminated with infected blood, you can contract various blood borne diseases — including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus and HIV,” warns the Mayo Clinic. Therefore, you must be sure to have your piercing done in a clean, professional setting.

7. You should select the body piercing outfit with care.

Observe the shop and its procedures before you decide to have your piercing done there. While laws have been proposed to regulate body piercing outfits in the Philippines, the bills are yet pending. As they are not officially regulated, you will have to do your own inspection to check whether proper health practices are observed by the establishment/shop where you will have your procedure done.

8. Make sure that your risk of infection is low.

Mayo Clinic advises against getting a piercing while you have an existing infection or unhealed wound. It’s also a good idea, according to TeensHealth, to see to it that your vaccinations for tetanus and hepatitis B are up to date, and if you want to be pierced in an oral site you should be sure you have no tooth or gum problems.

9. Know that you have other options.

If you just want to wear jewelry on various parts of the body, you don’t necessarily need a piercing. Jewelry designer Adrienne Warber points out that there are many types of jewelry now that capture the pierced look without you having to get a piercing. Most of these clip on. They may also be held with an adhesive.

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