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Body Jewelry FAQ

Body Jewelry FAQ

Don’t ever get any part of your body pierced unless you are sure it is in a safe and sterile environment. Many piercers open their sterilized needles right in front of you so there’s no question. If they are unwilling to prove that they are using sterile equipment, leave immediately. There are so many dangers of non-sterile piercing including Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C or other viral and bacterial infections.

1. What kind of tool will be used to pierce my skin?

There are two popular ways to pierce the body. One, commonly used in chain stores, malls and small time hair salons, is the piercing gun. It is criticized because it is said to produce a “volcano” around the piercing. This is when tough tissue builds up around the piercing due to the “blast” with which the gun pierces. It is also criticized because it doesn’t use a needle, but rather a sharp and pointed starter earring. These guns are almost exclusively used on ear lobes.

The other method is a hollow surgical needle that slices through the skin and makes room for the body jewelry. The description may seem gruesome, but it reportedly hurts no more than the gun. In addition, the needle suffers less criticism because those who use it have extensive training. The surgical needles are prepared and packaged so they will be sterile and tend to have a less traumatic effect on the piercing site.

2. If I have a nose ring, will I still be able to blow my nose? What will happen if I get a cold?

You will still be able to blow your nose. You may experience some soreness or tenderness at first but it is still possible. It will probably take a little while to get used to and it may be uncomfortable at first, but after awhile you’ll barely notice a difference.

When you have a cold, you will likely blow your nose more often which could result in soreness and tenderness on the entire nose, not just around the piercing. If it is bothersome, consider taking out the metal ring and replacing it temporarily with a flexible retainer stud. It is also recommended that you remove and clean your nose ring during and after a cold to prevent bacteria and viral buildup.

3. I’ve heard that if I get a facial piercing, half of my face could go numb. Is this true?

You should NEVER experience numbness due to nerve damage because a piercing should not ever be that deep. If you go to licensed piercer, they will be trained and they will know how to pierce your skin, face and elsewhere, safely. Remember, however, that you will probably sign a liability waiver before you’re pierced. Read this thoroughly to be sure you understand any risks and dangers involved with your specific piercing.

4. I know that tongues have a lot of blood in them, will I loose too much blood if I get my tongue pierced?

Once again, this should NEVER happen. A trained piercer will examine the vein structure of your tongue and he or she will also know where it is safe to pierce. One benefit of all this blood in the tongue is that it tends to heal faster after a piercing. It is considered normal to bleed a little, after all, you are puncturing your body. But if the amount of blood loss concerns you, immediately consult with your piercer or with a medical professional.

5. What is the healing time for my new piercing?

Healing times vary greatly from piercing to piercing. Below are simply approximations and you should ask your piercer for specific details.

Tongue: 4 to 6 weeks
Ear Lobes: 6 to 8 weeks
Ear Cartilage: 4 to 14 months
Eyebrow: 6 to 8 weeks
Lip: 3 to 4 months
Nose: 3 to 6 months
Navel: 6 to 12 months

6. What things should I avoid doing when I get a new piercing?

You should treat your new piercing like a fresh wound because that’s essentially what it is. Make sure that your new piercing is always properly cleaned and cared for and be very gentle around the piercing site during your daily activities. It is recommended that you avoid contact sports or rough housing to prevent any tearing or infection of your piercing.

7. If I take my ring out, will my piercing close right away?

That depends. Some piercings take longer to close than others. For example, a tongue ring hole may close in a matter of hours but your ear lobes could stay open for years. If you are concerned that your hole will close, invest in a piercing retainer. These are often clear, plastic, rings used to hold open the hole, but draw less attention than regular jewelry.

8. Should I “spin” or “twist” my piercing several times a day?

This is a very debated question with two valuable points of view. The “yes” group says that this is important because it can cut down on scabbing and will loosen any “crust” or “pus” that forms around the hole. The “no” group says that this will tear any of the new tissue that forms or it will drag bacteria into the hole, causing infection. If you decide to twist or spin your piercing, do so after a hot shower when the skin around the piercing is loose and soft because this will make it easier and less painful.

9. Should I use alcohol to clean my piercing? What about Neosporin?

No! Never ever use alcohol or Neosporin to clean you piercing. Alcohol will dry out the skin and cause it to crack and peel. Neosporin will trap dirt and bacteria and easily cause infection. The only way you should clean your piercing is with warm water and antibacterial soap or seasalt. Consult your piercer for more details.

10. There are so many names for the different piercings; what’s what?

labret: a piercing centered below the lip and above the chin.
tragus: a piercing that goes through the small tab of tissue that is connected to the side of the face and slightly blocks part of the ear canal.
daith: a piercing through the inner ear cartilage.
helix: a piercing through the outer ear cartilage ridge.
conch: a piercing through the main shell of the ear.
rook: a piercing through the cartilage fold above the conch.
monroe: a top lip piercing to the left or right of the nose.