all the rage these days. You can get your eyebrow or your nose
done. You can have your belly button, tongue or lip pierced. You
can even pierce your ear time and time again. If you’re into
piercing, stay informed about how to take care of your pierced
skin and how to prevent infections. Any time your skin is punctured
there is a risk of infection or getting diseases spread by needle-blood
exposure like AIDS-HIV and hepatitis. The health department does
not necessarily check these shops, so it is very important to find
out what measures the establishment takes with each person to make
sure the equipment used is sterilized.
If you decide to get some part of your body pierced, talk to the
owner of the body art business you want to use. Ask about sanitation
and scope out the joint before you get pierced. Make
sure the place has an “autoclave”—a
heated industrial-strength sterilization system. Also, make sure
the piercer washes his or her hands and wears gloves during the
procedure. If you’re a minor, the owner might ask for a permission
slip from your guardian before piercing you. You probably think
this is a total drag, but it’s also a good sign. That helps
to show you the place is legit, and reminds you to talk to your
parents about the health concerns of piercing.
If you think you want a piercing, here are some things to consider:
- If you pierce a body part that will be covered by clothing,
such as your belly button, rubbing of clothes and sweat may cause
an infection. Really, any piercing can get infected if you don’t
take the necessary precautions.
- After you get pierced, you cannot donate blood for a year.
This is because there is a chance you might contact a blood-borne
illness, like HIV or hepatitis, from dirty or un-sterilized needles
(Dirty needles are a bad idea even if you don't give blood. Remember
the “autoclave” we mentioned
- Tongue piercings are among the riskier types of body piercing
because of some possible complications associated with them.
Soon after you get your tongue pierced, your tongue could swell
for at least a few days. Because of this, you might not be able
to eat solid foods, and you might even talk funny. If you do
not become accustomed to the feel of your tongue ring, your speech
might not return to normal throughout the entire time that you
keep the piercing. This can make it difficult to hide from possibly
disapproving parents! In addition to these annoyances, tongue
piercings can also have some dangerous results because of their closeness
to your airway. One of these dangers might be swallowing and
choking on the jewelry. Also, an infection of the piercing can
cause the tongue to swell, which might block the airway and restrict
breathing. Because bacteria grows quickly in the mouth, infections
can worsen quickly. In extreme cases, dentists warn that infections
of the tongue piercing can cause blood poisoning or toxic shock syndrome,
both of which can be fatal. All of these risks go to show that,
should you decide to get pierced, proper piercing care is extremely
If you decide to get some type of body piercing, it’s important
to know how to care for your body after the piercing is done. After
a piercing, be sure to:
- Clean the area with liquid antibacterial soap daily.
- Soak the area in salt water if you have a “crusty” formation, use sea salt.
- Wash your hands before touching the area.
- Wear clean clothes and change your bed sheets more often to
prevent bacteria from infecting the piercing.
- Avoid wearing makeup on facial piercings.
- If you get a tongue ring, talk to your dentist about special
hygiene options. Use germ-killing mouthwash regularly and make sure the area
is clean at all times. Also check to make sure the ends of the
ring in your tongue are secure at least two times a day so that
you reduce the risk of swallowing or choking on the tongue ring.