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You are here Home > Beauty and Grooming > Articles
  RISKS OF BODY PIERCING - by Editor
Body piercing is a rage all over the world. However, it involves a lot of possible risks. Read on to know more.


Body piercing may sound like a new-age art but the truth is that we have been practicing it for centuries. Have you ever realised that even your earring hole is a form of body piercing? It is the most common form of body piercing practised. In India, women routinely pierce their nostrils too. Instances of body piercing have been found in the Bible as well as in Egyptian Mummies.

Body piercing is the piercing of a body part in order to wear jewellery in the opening created. Does that sound crazy? For millions of teenagers and even older people, it is the biggest fashion accessory. People may undergo piercing for a number of reasons. While the most popular reason is aesthetics, sometimes people may pierce for religious, cultural, or sexual reasons. Unusual piercing locations include eyebrows, tongue, lips, nipples, neck, and genital regions. While these may appeal to youngsters, the reception from parents is less than approving. If you are planning to go for it, ensure that you are aware of the risks and possible complications.


Healing

A piercing is nothing but a small wound. Go to a registered body piercer so that the procedure you opt for is aseptic, that is, free from bacterial contamination. Many states in the US have government recognized registered practitioners. Follow the directions for after-care meticulously. Very soon, you will find the punctured tissue growing back and becoming part of the closed system. An eyebrow piercing will take about four to six weeks to heal while a neck piercing can take up to twelve months. Piercing your ear lobes means a healing period of 6 to 8 weeks.

Infections or irritation can occur only if the area opens due to some reason. For example, if you catch a nose ring on a coat hook, there can be problems galore.


Allergies

Quite a few body piercing enthusiasts may be allergic to piercing. A study on body art by Dr. Anne Laumann of North-western University found that women may be more allergic to body piercing. One in four women may display an allergic reaction to metal jewellery. The quality of the metal is of great importance. With a 14-karat gold stud, there is a greater chance of infection due to the amount of nickel in it. The risks may be minimised with pure 24-karat gold. Swollen and itchy, red skin are the primary signs of an allergy. Your doctor will suggest a topical steroid cream for it.


Closure

A common concern with people is how to prevent the opening from closing in case they do not wish to wear a ring in it regularly. For example, if you are pregnant, it is advisable not to wear a belly ring. However, you may wish to preserve the hole, it is definitely possible to do so. An inert, flexible insert made of Tygon is used for the purpose. Tygon is flexible plastic tubing that looks like a fishing line. Another option is PTFE or Teflon. A professional piercing artist or a dermatologist can do it for you.


Unusual Piercings


Oral piercing

If done improperly, there is every chance of your teeth chipping or breaking due to lip and tongue rings. Ask for studs in the lip to be placed in a neutral space along the lower gum line. This will prevent damage around the mouth area. Tongue piercing needs to be angled such that they do not catch in the palate on the roof of your mouth or the sublingual web along the bottom. Acrylic rather than metal jewellery is considered safest for the mouth region. This is because metal can easily chip teeth and cause injuries.

According to the Association of Professional Piercers, when properly performed, an oral piercing procedure will last only for a few seconds and involve no bloodshed or swelling. People with oral piercings are advised not to share plates and other eating utensils. Though the mouth is exposed to a variety of germs, the saliva has several antimicrobial factors that can easily defend you against these pathogens. However, if you go to an unsafe clinic or you default on your aftercare, there can be severe complications. Pain and bleeding, infections, dental and heart problems, injury due to swallowing the jewellery, drooling, and bad breath are some of the risks. The American Dental Association is against oral piercing and deems it a public health hazard. Some gruesome photographs only intensify the debate.


Navel Piercing

Studies have found that navel piercing is the most susceptible to infections. Surprisingly, even nipple and genital piercings are found to be safer. The irritation from clothing may pose a medical problem. Shirt materials, belts, waistbands, and buttons can create friction with the jewellery during movement. This is particularly aggravated during physical exertion. Small breaks occur in the skin, leading to infection. Another disadvantage with navel piercing is that moisture can easily collect in the area, which provides a hotbed for bacteria and fungus.


Have you considered body piercing? Do you think it can make you look more attractive? Are you aware of the complications? Do you think it is safe to do it? To share your views, experiences and tips with us, click here.

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Name: Jane
City:   simi
Comments:   In reply to the person above. I ca´nt say but is there pus coming out? if so and it is green or yellow and it is sore to the touch it is likely infected but if there is only a little amount of white pus and it is not very sore and red it is generaly normal for new piercings. The most important thing is to keep the piercings clean and wearing the apropriate guage, shape and matertial. The best metal jewelry to wear is stainless steel or a high quality gold but don´t put in silver jewelry as it tends to irritate and also never use cheap metals like nickle aspscially in those special places...=)
Name: steve
City:   Anaheim
Comments:   When it comes to cleaning your piercing, you don´t want to move the jewelry. The more movement on the piercing the more it can get irritated. Also, you should be pierced with either Medical Implant Grade Surgical Steel, Medical Implant Grade Titanium, or 18K Nickelfree Gold jewelry only for the initial piercing. Any other jewelry will cause your tissue to get irritated and can lead to rejection or scar tissue around the piercing. I get pierced at Tommy T´s Body Piercing in Huntington Beach and Tommy uses only the highest quality jewelry.
Name: Jessie
City:   london
Comments:   hi ...i had my navel piercing done twice...but both times it got rejected..there is now a horrible scars and can no longer flaunt my stomach....i was wondering if you could give me some remedies to reduce the scarring..(the scar is darkim asian and its swollen its just a scar) or if i should get it re pierced??? need your help
Name: Jessie
City:   london
Comments:   hi ...i had my navel piercing done twice...but both times it got rejected..there is now a horrible scars and can no longer flaunt my stomach....i was wondering if you could give me some remedies to reduce the scarring..(the scar is darkim asian and its swollen its just a scar) or if i should get it re pierced??? need your help
Name: Chelsey
City:   New York
Comments:   I had my navel pierced about 9 months ago. Everything had gone fine until about the 5th or 6th month the skin around the belly button ring started getting extremely thin, it had not been infected, the skin had become so thin that the ring would get caught on my shirt causing the skin to become very red even purpleish. I then decided that there was nothing i could do so I removed the belly button ring and let it close, figuring they pierced it wrong and i could get it redone. well i now have a giant purple scar where the ring was, and scar tissue has built up. is there anything i can use to reduce the purpleness of this scar? It´s very embaressing. I reallyyy need help?
Name: kim
City:   new jersey
Comments:   i got my belly button pierced a week ago. around the third day it became swollen to the point my bar doesnt show. no pus comes out though. it is sore when it is touched but otherwise it isnt . what´s wrong?
Name: Dane
City:   Cincy
Comments:   Chelsey , i had the same thing happen to me, its called rejection and they probably didnt pierce it deep enough. Mine pushed itself out thru the front and caused my bellybutton to rip in 2. i went to the doctor, got meds & soon it healed but with a scar. i waited a year& got it redone and its fine now :) it will hurt more if u get it redone bc of scar tissue though.
Name: maddison
City:   vancouver
Comments:   i got my bellybutton pierced a week ago. it was perfectly fine (no pain!!) until about 2 days ago when it started to get really red on the top hole. it´s kind of sore now, mostly on the top hole. it´s very red and i dunno what to do. is this normal? google is not helping me, and i´m very worried. i clean it twice a day and do seasalt soaks. what else can i do?
Name: Rose
City:   Indra Nagar
Comments:   What To post
Name: Breanna
City:   San Rafael
Comments:   yea i got my belly pierced in july ´08. It was going well i was using saline solution but then i got the lil bubble on the bottom hole and freaked. i got it changed around december janurary and the lady said it was slightly infected and to continue cleaning it daily, which i did. then the bubble stayed and some pus came out and littke bleeding. Then recently the bubble slowly went down and it seems like it reversed back in between the middle of the balls of the barbell. now it´s swollen and i just soaked it with warm sea salt water for about 20 minutes and a lot of pus and blood came out and its shrinking. it has a hole that busted on the middle of the swollen bump and blood is still leaking. i think i will continue to soak and use the emu oil and solution im using.
Name: Sydney
City:   Chicago
Comments:   In reply to Maddison, the same thing is happening to mine. I got mine pierced a week ago and its all red and puffy on the top and the top hole looks like its swallowing the top jewel. IDK what to do and Im kind of scared.
Name: Abbiiii
City:   England
Comments:   i had my belly pierced the top hole is red if i push the bar a small amount of yellowy pus comes out ive had it done a week now and its just starting to scab over is it normall heelp
Name: Jessica
City:   Buxton
Comments:   I had my belly button pierced but took it out because of rejection.I recently had it repierced and there is a purplish scar in between the top and bottom. is that normal? are there any home remedies I can use to make it disappear?
Name: nicole
City:   new york
Comments:   okay, for those of you who have scars on their navels where the piercing build up scar tissue or might have rejected the best thing you can do is GO TO A DERMATOLOGIST they are skin doctors an will help, it helped me for when i had two scar tissues one on my hip an one on my navel now i repierce my navel but at a professional place an it is healing very well, an if you recently had your navel pierced an it looks red around is because there is too much movement with your clothing against that area.
Name: buy cheap oem software
City:   New York
Comments:   AerGqR Hi! Everyone who reads this blog Happy Reconciliation and Accord..!
Name: cheapoair promo code
City:   New York
Comments:   Honestly, not bad news!....
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City:   New York
Comments:   Yeah� I read and I understand that I do not understand anything what it is about:DD
Name: Cherry Hill NJ personal traine
City:   New York
Comments:   Cool:) I would say say it exploded my brain..!!


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