One of my readers has requested that I write a post outlining the risks associated with body piercing.
I also feel this a very important topic which needs to be covered, particularly with the popularity of piercings growing so rapidly in teenagers.
For many people, including my younger self, getting piercing is a spur of the moment decision with very little thought put into it. This needs to change because at the end of the day a piercing is a wound!
Please, anyone who is thinking of getting pierced or know someone who is, read this article first so you know the body piercing health risks. You need to know what you are getting your self into.
Getting a body piercing treated as a big decision!
What Are the Risks of Body Piercing?
There are certain risks you put your body through when you get any piercing done. This is even more true when you self-pierce or get pierced by a non-professional piercer.
The health risks of piercings are as follows:
Infection at site of piercing
The main risk of body piercing is getting a bacterial infection on the skin around the piercing. If left untreated, the infection could spread and turn into an abscess – a build of puss underneath the skin.
This could potentially lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning) which can be fatal. Even if there is no visible abscess, blood poisoning can still occur. This can be fatal!
These risks are slightly higher in oral piercings such as tongue or lip piercings. Make sure to practice good oral hygiene in order to prevent this from happening.
Whenever you get a needle poked through your skin there is always a risk that you strike a blood vessel.
This particularly applies to the tongue. Another good reason to get your piercing done by a certified piercer.
All piercings are going to leave a small mark if you remove them. Although if your piercing gets infected you will be left with a much worse scar than if you look after your piercing and it heals smoothly.
Certain people are prone to getting keloid scars. These people are more likely to get scarring at the site of the piercing. If your skin has a tendency to form keloids, you should be sure to tell your piercer before they perform the piercing.
Hepatitis C or B or HIV
If you are pierced with unclean equipment, you are at risk of contracting a bloodborne virus such as Hepatitis C or B or even HIV.
Even if you are pierced by a professional, you should make sure they autoclave (a form of sterilization) all of their equipment before they pierce you.
Allergic reaction to jewelry
Some people get allergic reactions to certain types of jewelry, usually the lower quality materials.
Steel, including top quality stainless steel, jewelry has been found to contain trace amounts of nickel, a type of metal that many people are sensitive to.
To lower your risk of having an allergic reaction to your jewelry, you should wear titanium, BioPlast/BioFlex, silver or gold jewelry and always avoid steel if you have sensitive skin or are at risk of reacting to nickel for any other reason.
You may have heard the rumour that certain piercings can result in paralysis.
Well, this is partly true in the sense that nerves can get damaged and result in loss of feeling and movement (yes, paralysis) in the respective part of the body which has been pierced.
Again, avoid this problem by making sure your piercer really knows what they are doing!
Another problem which is usually a result of using unsterilised equipment.
Avoid this problem altogether by making sure your piercer sterilizes all their equipment before using it, even if it is fresh out of the pack!
Risks of Specific Piercings
Piercings in or around the mouth are at higher risk of infection than some other piercings as the mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria.
There is also a risk of damage to the teeth, particularly if you wear ill-fitted jewelry.
Tongue piercings may also affect your speech.
Nerves around the genital area can be damaged when pierce, resulting in loss of sexual feeling or pain during sex. You may also experience difficulty and/or pain when urinating.
As you can see, body piercings are risky business which should be taken very seriously.
You can prevent the majority of these problems by simply getting your piercing done by a professional who absolutely knows what they are doing!
You should also follow a strict aftercare routine during the healing period of your piercing.
Be safe and clean about your piercings and you should experience no such problems!
Spread the word on this important topic and share this article with your friends and family!