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Piercing

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 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.
  • Avoid mall stands or places that use unsterile piercing guns.

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.

How do I know that my piercing shop is safe and sterile?

Many states regulate body piercing, but not all. Before getting your piercing, you should always check for these signs of a safe piercing environment:

  • The piercer washes his or her hands with germicidal soap.
  • The piercer wears fresh disposable gloves.
  • The shop is clean.
  • The shop uses an autoclave (a special sterilizing machine).
  • The equipment is sterilized or disposable.
  • The needle is new and disposed of in a special container after use.

Should I get pierced with a piercing gun or a needle?

Needles are generally considered cleaner and easier to sterilize than piercing guns. Your piercer should only use a piercing gun that is for one-time use or has sterilized disposable cassettes.

Piercing guns should only be used on earlobe piercings. That's because they can cause more damage to the skin tissue than needles. 

WebMD Medical Reference

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