Piercings and travelling are famous for being a bad combination. Whether you’re getting a piercing abroad or going travelling just after you’ve got a new piercing, you may face some issues.
This is what we’ll be discussing today. One of my readers bought up this topic recently and I feel that this may be of benefit to some of you guys.
I am going to go over the main issues which may crop up if you do decide to get a piercing overseas and how to prevent them to some degree. I am also going to cover the issue of caring for a new piercing whilst you are overseas.
Generally speaking, I would advise you against getting a piercing abroad. The health and safety standards of some countries around the world are not quite as high as our own.
Why is Getting a Piercing Abroad so Risky?
Getting a piercing in a foreign country can be risky business.
Whenever you get a piercing, you are deliberately making an open wound in your skin. Obviously this comes with risks, which vary slightly from piercing to piercing. Read about the many risks of a poorly executed piercing here. The chances of something going wrong with your piercing is multiplied if you get it done abroad, so take extra care!
What is it That Makes Overseas Piercings so Risky:
- The language barrier will make it difficult to communicate with your piercer. You will need to be able to tell them what piercing you want and will most likely want to ask a few questions concerning aftercare or jewelry.
- Overseas piercing studios may not be required to meet the hygiene and/or health & safety standards that we’re used to in our piercing studios. This is due to the fact that each country has different laws around piercings.
- Piercers may not be required to have the same certifications as in the UK and USA.
- Use of unsterilised equipment. This could result in the spread of bloodborne pathogens.
How to be Safe About Overseas Piercings
If you’ve settled on the idea of getting a piercing whilst your on your travels (great souvenir from your holiday that will be with you at all times!), there are certain measures you can take to ensure that you do not regret your decision.
Top Tips for Getting Pierced Safely Overseas:
Tip #1: Research Piercers and Studios
First and foremost, always research the piercer you intend to go to. Get online and find a directory for all the piercers around the area you will be travelling to. See what their reputation is like.
Check your piercer has all the necessary qualifications. Many countries do not require piercers to have these certifications by law, so you have to be vigilant about this.
Tip #2: Look Around and Assess the Hygiene of the Studio
Have a quick look around the piercing studio. Make sure the studio is clean, of course.
You should also ask to see the autoclave. The ultimate method of sterilizing equipment and jewelry is autoclaving it – this is done by the machine. Most piercing studios in the UK and the USA will own one and foreign studios should too.
Your piercer should sterilize all jewelry and equipment before it is used, even if it is fresh out of it’s pack! If the studio does not have an autoclave you should avoid getting pierced there, as there is no way they will be able to effectively sterilize the equipment.
Tip#3: Find a Piercer Where a Language Barrier Won’t Get in the Way
you would be better off finding a piercer who speaks some English. Failing that, try and learn some of their language! You only need to learn piercing related phrases. There are certain questions you should always ask your piercer on your first time in their studio. You will need to tell them what piercing you want and ask them about aftercare. You should also ask them a few questions about themself and their experience in piercings and certifications.
Tip #4: Check Out the Piercer’s Portfolio
Ask to see the piercers portfolio. More specifically ask to see some examples of the piercing you plan on getting. You need to see proof that they’ve actually done this piercing before – you don’t want to be their human guinea pig do you?
Bonus Tip: If you have a smart phone and internet access, download a language translator!
Caring for Your Piercing Whilst Travelling
I know of many people who have had bad experiences with travelling after getting a new piercing. Many of these people ended up losing their piercing unfortunately. The reason for this is that gets infected and they’re unsure how to deal with this problem away from home.
I’m just going to get straight to the point and tell you the best way to care for your piercing and prevent infection whilst you are overseas.
Keep in mind: New piercings should be cleansed twice daily for the entire healing period.
Here we go:
- Avoid using foreign tap water to cleanse your piercing. Carry a bottle of mineral water or spring water on you everywhere you go.
- You should always make sure you have some kind of aftercare solution to clean your piercing with. You could simply carry a pot of sea salt and some pure water on you but I would suggest you buy yourself a piercing aftercare solution such as the EasyPiercing Care Kit.
- Be careful not to let sunscreen get on your piercing or jewelry.
- Carry paper towels and cotton pads on you everywhere.
- Carry anti-bacterial handwash with you and never touch your piercing with unclean hands!
What I’m basically trying to say is, if you do decide to go ahead and get a piercing while you are on holiday, take extra care and really follow these tips I have given you.
Piercings really do make for one of the best souvenirs you can get if you’re into that kind of thing. Having a constant reminder of your wonderful holiday attached to your body at all times is wonderful! It can trigger many happy memories and good feelings.
I hope this article will be of use to you!
If you have had any experiences with getting a piercing abroad, tell me about it in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!