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Risks in Body Piercing
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Body piercing is an invasive procedure and is not without risks. Piercing does not cause any kind of health risk if proper care is taken while healing. When properly performed, these risks can be minimized. A competent piercer will give you an aftercare guide. One should follow it religiously, but if a particular disinfectant irritates you, avoid using it. If you have any problems call your piercer and take his advice or consult your doctor.
If taken proper care then piercing does not really cause any risks but still you should be aware of a few minor risks, which are as follows:
If you are going for tongue piercing then initially you will have to bear lot of swelling and pain. It might also affect your taste buds for a few days.
Nipple piercing may burrow through some of the milk-producing ducts and cause infection or problems if a woman wishes to breast-feed an infant later in her life.
Navel piercing becomes infected easily because tight-fitting clothes do not allow enough air to circulate and allow moisture to collect around the piercing site.
Nose piercing should be taken special care from infections since it can be very deadly if it gets infected.
The risks of piercings include:
Allergic reaction to ingredients of products used to clean the new piercing, or of ancillary products used in proximity to the piercing (e.g., soap, hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, antibacterial products, anticeptic medicines, makeup,hairspray, swimming pool chlorine, etc.). This risk can be minimized by cleaning the piercing as recommended by a professional body piercer (different piercers will have differing recommendations), by not contaminating the fresh piercing with irritating products, and by not swimming in chlorinated water.
A nipple piercing 4 months after removing the jewelry, will most likely cause an allergic reaction to the metal used.
Allergic reaction to the metal in the piercing jewelry, particularly nickel. This risk can be minimized by using high quality jewelry manufactured from surgical stainless steel or similar inert metals.
Bacterial infection, particularly from Staphylococcus aureus. However, this risk is greatly reduced when the piercing is performed by a professional body piercer using best practice piercing techniques, and when appropriate steps are taken during the aftercare period to avoid infection. Blunt force piercing, such as that associated with the use of ear piercing instruments, increases the chance of a bacterial infections. For that reason, among others, piercing guns should never be used to pierce any part of the body other than earlobes.
Parasitic and protozoan infections may occur by swimming in lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans during the healing period. The best way to reduce this risk is to avoid swimming in these locations.
Excess scar tissue, which can be caused by improper piercing, cleansing, and stretching. This may result in loss of sensation and difficulty piercing and stretching that area of skin in the future.
Keloid formation can sometimes occur, particularly among people who are pre-disposed to this condition through heredity.
Trauma to a fresh piercing, usually associated with unintended entanglement of the piercing jewelry with another object. This risk is always present, but can be reduced by using jewelry appropriate for the piercing, and covering or taping over jewelry during sports activities. Also, larger gauge piercings will tend to resist tearing better than smaller gauge piercings.
Viral infection, particularly from Hepititis B, Hepititis C and HIV. However, it is important to note that although hepatitis has been transmitted through the practices of ear piercing, body piercing, and tattooing, there has not yet been a case of HIV transmission associated with these procedures. As with bacterial infections, the risk of viral infection is minimized when proper piercing techniques are used, particularly by the use of autoclaved disposable piercing needles and the autoclaving of jewelry prior to installation.
Erosion of gums (in lip and tongue piercings). In some cases, gum bleeding can be induced. In extreme cases, teeth may fall out if there isn`t enough gum to hold them in place.
One can choose a piercer by visiting the several piercers and checking out the work area. The work area should be kept in a clean and sanitary condition and it should have proper lighting. If they refuse to discuss cleanliness and infection control, one should go somewhere else. Check if all the instruments used for piercing are properly sterilised. The piercer parlour should have an autoclave - a heat sterilization machine used to sterilize equipment between customers. Also check if the piercer uses proper gloves and keeps them on all the time.