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Body Piercing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

For a long time, piercings were mostly associated with women wearing jewelry in their ears. Nowadays, lots of different people are getting lots of different parts of their bodies pierced. This includes piercings in their nose, eyebrow, ear, tongue, and even genitals. Today, body piercing has become a form of self-expression.
teenage girl with lip piercing

Piercing definition 

Piercing is done using a sharp instrument to create a hole where a person can wear jewelry. It is considered a mild form of body modification. Throughout history, piercing has been an artistic practice of self-expression, much like tattoos. 

While many people get body piercings as a form of self-expression, there are other reasons why it is widely popular. Throughout history, people have pierced their body for religious reasons, aesthetic values, and sexual gratification. 

Statistics show that more and more people are looking for new body piercing ideas. Teens make up the largest percentage of people who get their bodies pierced. 

woman with different types of piercings

Types of piercings 

Now that we have an idea about the history and definition of piercing, we’ll move to the different types of piercings. Did you know that for the ear alone, there are as many as 16 types of piercing choices? Let’s get into the basics first. 

  • Ear piercing is the most common type of piercing. While most of us are probably familiar with the standard lobe piercing for earrings, there are as many as 16 kinds of designs to choose from, all for the ear.
  • Oral and facial piercings concentrate on the face and tongue. These include piercings of the eyebrows, cheeks, tongue, nostrils, eyelids, and lips. 
  • Lip piercings include around 15 varieties such as Madonna piercings, angel bites, snake bites, and many more. They all center on the lips and mouth area. 
  • Surface piercings are commonly done on the chest but can also be found in any part of the skin, including the neck. As the name suggests, surface piercings are done on the surface of the skin. Nipple piercings are also very common nowadays. 
  • Navel piercings pierce the skin surrounding the navel, with the jewelry sitting in (or near) the belly button. 
  • Genital piercings, as the name suggests, are piercings in the genital region. You’d be surprised to know how many choices you have if you decide to get a genital piercing. 

How to get a piercing 

If you’re under 18, make sure to talk to your parents before you get your body piercing done. It’s also a good idea to consider your school’s policy around piercings.

Get your piercings done by a professional. Don’t try this at home! It won’t take long to research professional shops that offer safe procedures. A piercing isn’t a complicated procedure, but an expert piercing professional will make sure it’s done safely. 

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Infected piercings and other risks

Much like tattoos, body piercings also come with risks. If you’re not careful about choosing who will do the piercing or if you haven’t considered your own body and health, you could be faced with risks such as the following:

  • When you get piercings done in the mouth or tongue area, common symptoms are swelling and pain. You could also experience discomfort while eating and chewing. 
  • Allergic reactions are possible depending on the composition of the jewelry that you’re using. 
  • Piercing infections can occur if the piercing tools used aren’t sterile or bacteria is introduced in the wound before the piercing has a chance to heal. This can cause swelling, pus, and redness. This is particularly common with genital piercings. 
  • Bloodborne diseases are also a risk to consider before trying body piercing. If the piercing is done by an amateur, non-sterile equipment could expose you to hepatitis B or C, tetanus, or even HIV
  • Muscle tearing or trauma is another risk that increases if your body piercing isn’t done by a professional. Sensitive muscles can tear, leading to more serious problems. 
doctor using sterile piercing earrings to avoid piercing infections

Body piercing allergies

Allergies are probably one of the most common problems people face after deciding to get a body piercing. A professional will make sure to ask you about your medical history before proceeding, but it’s still good to be aware of what can go wrong. Nickel is a common allergen, causing contact dermatitis, so opt for jewelry made from something safer. 

Unique piercing ideas 

If you’re ready for your body piercing, pick something that uniquely represents you. Make sure you’re getting a piercing because you want one, not because your friends want you to. Take the time to do your research and choose the design that you love the most. 

Piercing is a unique way to express yourself. Before undergoing the procedure, familiarize yourself with the options, process, and risks. Piercing, if done carelessly, can pose health issues, infections, and other problems. Choose a professional you trust who will make sure that the tools are sterile and safe. 

https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/health-risks-of-piercings/

https://teens.webmd.com/teen-girls-body-ear-piercing#1

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20120217/9-tips-before-getting-your-body-pierced

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/piercings/art-20047317

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/body-piercing/

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