How Piercings Affect Our Health

April 24, 2017

Piercings are a popular way of expressing one’s personality and they’re usually intended to convey some powerful statements. Back in the 1970s, they were associated with the punk subculture, and they reflected its rebelliousness, while their intention was to shock and stir conservative and firmly established beliefs of the middle class. However, somewhere along the way piercings have gone mainstream, and nowadays they’re not something that turns heads, but there’s still an air of stigmatization around this ancient practice, and it’s frequently frowned upon when it comes to job hunting. Besides potential discrimination, health concerns also bother people who are toying with the idea of getting a piercing.

An overview

This form of body art is gaining popularity, and according to a research study, 14% of people have a piercing. It’s no surprise that earlobe piercings are the most common as they’re, generally speaking, socially acceptable among all age groups. Eyebrow, nostril, tongue, and belly button piercings are also on the top ten list. Many people tend to rush into making a decision about getting a piercing, and that’s something that should be carefully considered, as contrary to popular belief, removing it isn’t that simple. It’s true that you can remove the jewelry, but the piercing itself won’t heal seamlessly. This means that you can expect scars, bumps, depressions, and similar skin irregularities. So, any serious piercing artist will tell you to sleep on it and come back after a few days or even weeks. In order to reduce health risks, you should use only high-quality jewelry, if possible nickel-free, as in certain cases nickel is responsible for contact dermatitis.   

Body piercings health concerns

Some sources estimate that as much as 20% of piercings result in some kind of infection. Luckily, most of them are localized and easily treated. Apart from that, mild swelling, crusting, and redness can occur after the piercing procedure, but with proper care, there are no further complications. However, we shouldn’t forget that piercing is an invasive procedure that, basically, makes a hole in the body, and it’s logical that just like with any other cosmetic or surgical intervention there are more serious health risks. Other medical issues that can occur include hepatitis or severe infections. Of course, such problems are mainly caused by unsanitary conditions, dirty needles or an unsterile environment. Red flags that there’s something wrong with the wound are when a piercing is healing slowly, if it’s painful, or if there’s discharge. Various allergic reactions are also something that can happen, so keeping an eye on your new piercing is a must. The only way to avoid all these side-effects is to choose a reliable and experienced piercer, and the Tattoo Movement body piercing studio from Sydney is the place where you can find highly-skilled artists who will guide you through the whole process, both before and after getting a piercing. What’s crucial is to inform your piercing artist about the following:

  • Any medications that you’ve been taking that might interfere with the piercing procedure, such as blood thinners;
  • Any chronic disease, such as diabetes or heart disease;  
  • An allergy to nickel, or some other metal;
  • Any surgeries that you had in the past few months.

Acupuncture points

Even though many people completely dismiss the idea that acupuncture and acupressure points can, actually, affect their health, these two forms of traditional medicine should also be taken into consideration prior getting a piercing or any other type of body modification. According to acupuncture, certain points (the meridians) on the body are connected with different systems of organs. These points are stimulated in order to improve the health of the corresponding organ. That’s the reason why many acupuncturists claim that a piercing can disrupt the flow of energy. On the other hand, certain cultures encourage piercings as they’re regarded as beneficial, so women in India, for example, have a piercing in their left nostril as it’s believed that it can relieve labor pain. No matter what you think about acupuncture, it would be a good idea to discuss these issues with a piercing expert and make a pros and cons list that will help you make this important decision. There’s also another possibility that should be addressed: is your body anatomically fit for a piercing? So, rushing and making a snap decision, only because you’d like to have a particular spot pierced, isn’t a good idea, as there’s no trial period to see whether you’re comfortable with it or not.  

It’s important to emphasize that body piercing is a comparatively safe practice if it’s conducted by trained professionals. As hygiene is imperative during this procedure, it should be performed only in fully-equipped, reputable parlors, since that’s the most certain way to avoid both potential infections and other health issues, as well as to get a piercing that you’ll be satisfied with.    


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