Things to Keep in Mind for a Piercing

Woman with piercings
Photo: Carlos E. Santa Maria/Shutterstock
Getting one's body pierced is considered as a form of art by most practitioners. In modern times it has become more of a rage, the cool thing to do among people from all age groups especially the younger population. While there is nothing wrong with it per se, it's completely your choice of what you want to do with your body.
However it is extremely important to know that piercing is equivalent of a surgical procedure; here you are replacing your body tissue with a piece of metallic jewelry. So risks associated with any common surgical procedure would apply to piercing as well. So here are few important tips to make your piercing experience a happy experience:
Before Piercing
• Do your research, get to know everything that there is to know about piercing, including the dangers associated with piercing (piercing can cause diseases like AIDS, Hepatitis and can cause many other serious medical conditions), precautions to be taken before going for piercing, aftercare, etc. Remember, informed decisions are more often than not the best decisions.
• Choose your body spot where you want to get pierced. Each body is different and so reacts differently to piercing. Talk to the experts about your chosen body spot, seek their advice.
• Find a professional piercing parlor, an experienced professional. As said earlier, piercing is like any common surgical procedure, so the person handling your case needs to be qualified and experienced professional.
• Get yourself up to date with necessary vaccinations in particular the tetanus and hepatitis.
• Think over and consider any social impacts. Many employers do not allow visible piercings.
In the piercing parlor
• Once in the piercing parlor, talk to the professional about any questions you have about piercing. If you have any doubts do not hesitate.
• Make sure that cleanliness and hygiene conditions of the piercing parlor match that of an operation theater.
• Check out the equipment like needles etc to be used for piercing, needle should be new and unused, ask the professional about their hygiene. Are they sterilized, is he wearing sterilized gloves?
• Talk to him about any emergencies that might happen during the procedure. How are you going to handle such situation? Is there a doctor nearby?
• Use only clean and rust free metal for jewelry to be inserted in the piercing. Experts suggest metals like 14 karat gold, titanium; surgical quality steel, as they are totally non toxic.
After the piercing
• Extract all the aftercare information from your piercer. Follow his each and every instruction.
• Maintain complete hygiene and cleanliness in pierced area. Don't use too string cleaning agents.
• Keep the pierced area dry until it has healed. This means to keep it free from sweat, saliva etc, as the body fluids could cause an infection.
• Avoid any make up or other cosmetic products in the pierced area until it has healed completely.
• If you have lip or tongue piercings, then rinse your mouth with an alcohol free antibacterial mouthwash after every time you eat something.
• Keep alert for any signs of infection. Any type of discharge from the piercing, swelling, continued pain or discomfort etc could be some of such symptoms. Seek immediate medical help if you feel that something is wrong.
Body piercing is a way of self expression and has been practiced in different cultures since ancient times. However nothing ought to be done at the cost of your well being, after all it is your own body.