Piercings have become more common than ever now, but you should not take it lightly. One must understand the risks and know the basic safety precautions as well as aftercare steps before deciding to have body piercing. From lips to ears to bellybuttons, piercings are quite familiar. They also carry some difficulties and result in complications at certain cases. It all depends on where you get it done and how you are caring for it. Being cautioned about the probable issues of piercings will help preventing piercing infection and increase the healing process.
What is piercing & types of piercing infection?
Piercing involves the insertion of jewelry towards an opening made in the ear, lip, nose, tongue, eyebrow or other parts of the body, typically without anesthetics. Though, earlobe piercing is normally less precarious than other body piercings, any kind of piercing would cause a great risk of complications, which include
- Skin infections. It includes redness on the skin, swelling, pain or pus-like discharge, which is possible followed by piercing.
- Allergic reactions. Some types of piercing jewelry, especially pieces that are made of nickel could lead to allergic reactions.
- Oral complications. This is associated with tongue piercing. The jewelry being worn for tongue piercing can crack and chip your teeth and eventually cause damage to your gums. Swelling in the tongue followed by piercing could interfere with swallowing and chewing and even breathing sometimes.
- Other skin issues. Piercing can result in keloids and scars, which is caused due to excessive growth of scar tissue.
- Trauma or Tearing. Jewelry might get caught or even torn out accidentally, eventually calling for stitches or other treatment.
Medication or other necessary treatment might be required when you create an infection, allergic reaction or other skin issues near the piercing area.
Ensure you are ready for piercing
Before getting done with a piercing, you need to give a more thought. Take into account the location of piercing and if you would be able to hide the piercing when necessary, like at workplace.
If you are not sure of piercing or bothered you might regret in the future, wait for quite some time. Do not make yourself to be forced into getting a piercing and also do not get piercing when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
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Focus on safety precautions
To ensure your piercing is made safely, check you ask yourself these questions,
- Who performs you piercing?
Do not attempt piercing yourself or getting it done from an untrained friend to carry out the piercing. Visit a reputable piercing shop that employs only trained and skilled employees. Take into account that licensing standards and regulation requirements differ from state to state. Consider checking your city, state or country health department for details on local regulations and licensing.
- Does your piercer cover his hands with gloves?
Ensure that the piercer washes hands and also wears a clean and fresh pair of disposable gloves for every piercing.
- Does the piercer make use of appropriate equipment?
For getting done with earlobe piercing, piercers normally make use of ear-piercing gun to push an earring quickly through earlobe. For getting done other body piercings, piercers usually push needed through the desired body part and insert a jewelry piece into the hole. Make it certain that the piercer is making use of only sterile and fresh needles.
- Does the piercer use sterilized non-disposable equipment?
Make sure that the piercer utilizes a heat-sterilizing machine for sterilizing all the non-disposable equipment followed by piercing. Supplies and instruments that cannot be sterilized using an autoclave, including tables, sinks and handles, must be disinfected using a bleach solution or commercial disinfectant after every use.
- Does the piercer make use of hypoallergenic jewelry?
Search for piercing jewelry that is made of surgical stainless steel, niobium, titanium or 14-karat or 18-karat gold.
Take proper care of your piercing
The skin surrounding a new piercing would be swollen, become tender and red for some days. The area might even bleed little. Some easy piercing care habits or solutions can reduce symptoms of infections significantly. To treat your current infections, use antibiotic ointments and antiseptic solutions to avail immediate relief. Apply antibiotic cream to the piercing area before reinserting the jewelry. Check with your piercer what to look for and the proper way to care for piercing. For preventing infection and make healing faster, do the following.
- Clean oral piercings using mouthwash
If you got your cheek, lip or tongue pierced, wash it using an antiseptic mouthwash followed by every meal and before going to bed. After getting piercing, make use of soft-bristled toothbrush to get rid of bacterial infection in the mouth. Once the area is healed, remove the piercing jewelry and brush clean it for removing plaque.
When you got your skin pierced, clean the area using water and soap. Ensure washing your hands well before cleaning the piercing spot.
Stay away from hot tubs, pools, lakes and some other water bodies when your piercing is curing
- Avoid playing with your piercing
Never touch your new piercing or try twisting the jewelry unless you clean it. Put your clothing aside from the piercing as well. Friction or excessive rubbing could cause irritation to your skin and make the healing process delayed.
- Allow the jewelry stay in its place
Most piercings get healed in six weeks time; however some would even take more months or further more time to heal. When you wish to maintain the piercing, just allow the jewelry to remain in its place during the healing time as this would keep the hole from getting closed. Once the piercing is healed, you would find a hole or an indentation while removing the jewelry.
If you feel that your piercing would get infected or if you are concerned that your piercing not gets cured properly, visit your doctor. Getting prompt treatment could help preventing the potentially severe issues later.