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Teen Health

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Are you thinking about getting an ear or body piercing? Here are some key questions to ask yourself before you get pierced:

  • Do you have your parents' permission? Most places require you to have parental consent if you are under age 18. So be sure to check with your parents before getting pierced.
  • What does your school say? Some schools don't allow students to have facial piercings.
  • Are you looking for a job? Some jobs don't allow employees to have facial piercings. Make sure the piercing is appropriate for your daily life.
  • Are you thinking of donating blood? Some organizations don't accept blood from people who have been pierced within the last year.
  • Are you up to date with your vaccines? It's a good idea to make sure you're vaccinated for diseases such as hepatitis B and tetanus before you get a piercing.


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Is piercing safe?

When done in a clean and professional environment, piercing is usually safe. But if piercing equipment is unclean, there is a risk of getting blood-transmitted diseases. These include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Tetanus
  • HIV

Even in a sterile (germ-free) environment, some common risks of piercing are:

  • Chronic infection
  • Skin allergies
  • Abscesses (pus-filled, painful areas of skin)
  • Inflammation or nerve damage
  • Prolonged bleeding

In general, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor before a piercing if you:

  • Have diabetes
  • Have a heart condition
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Take steroids or blood thinners
  • May be pregnant

Where should I go to get my piercing done?

A sterile environment is the most important thing to consider when deciding where to go to get pierced.

Here are some tips for finding a safe place to get your piercing done:

  • Check with your doctor. Some doctors' offices will do basic ear piercings.
  • Research piercing shops that use safe procedures or are licensed by the state.
  • If you are going to a stand in a mall, make sure employees use a sterile, single-use piercing gun.

NEVER do this:

  • Pierce yourself or have a friend pierce you.
  • Get pierced in a shop that looks unclean, makes you uncomfortable, or doesn't answer all your questions.
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