Piercing Guns: The Hidden Dangers Behind The Quick Fix

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When we think about getting our piercings done, the first thing that comes to our mind is with which tool. The use of piercing guns has been a topic of debate for a long time among professionals and individuals who love to have piercings. However, the thought of needles can trigger anxiety and fear, making the piercing process seem daunting. In these situations, piercings with guns may seem more convenient. However, there are essential considerations to be aware of before opting for this method, especially when it comes to the safety and effectiveness of the procedure.

What are Piercing Guns?

Piercing guns are handheld devices used to pierce the skin and insert jewellery, typically in areas such as earlobes. They consist of a plastic or metal body with a spring-loaded mechanism and a hollow needle at the front. The process begins by loading the jewellery into the piercing gun, usually a stud or a hoop. The piercer then aligns the gun with the desired location on the body and applies pressure to the trigger. This releases the spring-loaded mechanism, causing the needle to rapidly puncture the skin and push the jewellery through the newly created hole.

The Association of Professional Piercers Weighs In

The Association of Professional Piercers (APP) takes a firm stance against the use of piercing guns, mentioning severe concerns about safety and hygiene because of their inability to be properly sterilised and their use of low-quality jewellery, which pose significant risks to recipients’ health. According to the APP, only sterile disposable equipment and medically safe materials should be used for body piercing procedures.  Furthermore, the Association considers any procedure involving non-sterile equipment or inappropriate jewellery unsafe and unacceptable.

The Truth about Piercing Guns:

Piercing guns, often used in mall kiosks and accessory stores, are a popular but controversial method for earlobe and other body piercings. While they may seem convenient and less intimidating than needles, they pose several risks that are important to understand:

The Risks of Contamination and Infection

One of the most alarming risks associated with piercing guns is the potential for contamination and infection. Unlike professional piercing equipment, which undergoes rigorous sterilisation procedures, piercing guns often come into direct contact with the blood and body fluids of previous clients. This can lead to the transmission of bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis and HIV, posing a severe public health threat. Additionally, the design of piercing guns makes them challenging to clean correctly, further increasing the risk of infection during the healing process.

Blunt Force Trauma:

Unlike piercing needles, which create a clean incision, piercing guns use blunt force to push the jewellery through the skin. For some individuals, piercings done with a piercing gun never fully heal due to the significant tissue damage caused by blunt force trauma and the use of low-quality jewellery. As a result, these individuals often experience ongoing struggles with pain and irritation, even when wearing low-quality piercing studs for short periods. The constant irritation can lead to the piercing channel shrinking over time, making it difficult to insert jewellery. This creates a cycle of discomfort and frustration, particularly for those with extreme metal allergies. Ultimately, piercings done with a piercing gun can result in long-term issues and complications that require careful management and attention. It can cause unnecessary trauma to the tissue and increase the risk of complications that are as follows:

  • It can cause pain and swelling 
  • Risk of auricular chondrites can occur, which is a severe disfigurement
  • It can cause needle stick-type injury if the earring stud is stuck into the client’s ear.
  • It can lead to excessive scarring.

Poor Jewellery Design

The jewellery used with piercing guns is often of poor quality and inappropriate for long-term wear. It has been seen the earrings used in a piercing gun don’t have a sharp end that is not as sharp as a body piercing needle, which makes it difficult to heal. Moreover, the earrings they used have butterfly backs, which is problematic because it is highly recommended to wear earrings with straight posts or jewellery with flat backs. The reason for not using butterfly back earrings for your initial piercings is that they can easily trap bacteria and make it hard to clean that area, leading to embedding, infection, and allergic reactions, further exacerbating the risks associated with piercing guns.

The Importance of Education and Advocacy

Generally, everyone who has been into piercing knows the danger of using piercing guns, but still, they dare to use them often without any proper training or supervision. So, it becomes crucial to make consumers aware of the risks associated with piercing guns and to advocate for safer alternatives. By supporting professional piercers who adhere to strict safety standards and using sterile disposable equipment, individuals can help ensure a safer and more enjoyable piercing experience.

While the ease of piercing guns may be tempting for those with needle phobias, it’s essential to prioritize safety and quality when it comes to body piercings. Professional needle piercing performed by a trained and experienced piercer offers a safer, more hygienic, and ultimately more satisfying piercing experience. So, before you opt for the quick fix of a piercing gun, consider the long-term implications and choose the path that prioritizes your health and well-being. Remember, when it comes to piercings, safety should always come first.

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