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Body Piercing 101

Mar 13, 2012

Are you thinking of getting your ears pierced? What about other parts of your body? If you're considering it, here's the lowdown on what you need to know to make an informed decision.

How is body piercing done?

A professional inserts a hollow needle through the body part getting pierced. Then a piece of jewelry is placed into the hole.

What can you get pierced?

Earlobes, nostrils and bellybuttons are pierced most often. You could also get your eyebrow, cheek, lip, tongue or other fleshy body parts pierced.

What do you put in a piercing?

The standard earrings are hoops, drops, dangles and studs. Huggy earrings, threaders, ear spikes, barbells, circular barbells, flesh tunnels and plugs are also used, though not as frequently.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t get a piercing?

If you are under 18, some places won’t let you get a piercing without a parent’s consent. If you have a [kwlink 5278]heart condition[/kwlink], diabetes, blood disorder, or other medical condition you may have a higher risk for a serious infection after a piercing, so talk with your doctor to get all of the information about risks before you decide to pierce. If you plan to get your tongue or mouth pierced, get a dental checkup and cleaning first to be sure your teeth and gums are healthy.

If you are allergic to some types of metals, make sure the jewelry you use is made with non-toxic materials like surgical steel, gold, titanium or platinum.

Where should you get it done?

In some places, body piercing must follow strict health and safety guidelines. In other places, you’re not guaranteed a safe environment. Never do it yourself or have a friend pierce you. The shop where you get pierced must:

  • Have sterilizing machine
  • Be a clean environment
  • Require the person doing the piercing to wear fresh disposable gloves
  • Safely throw away used needles and use a clean needle each time

Normal reactions

A normal reaction to a piercing is minor pain and swelling and a little redness. If you get your tongue pierced, you may have to deal with some excessive saliva for a while, and it will take a few days to adjust to eating and talking.

How to care for a piercing

When you pierce any part of your body, you are basically creating a wound. You must properly care for the area and help it heal, keeping it clean, allowing for good air circulation and avoiding bacteria until it heals completely.

Always wash your hands before and after touching the piercing site. Clean the site with soap and water, not alcohol or peroxide, twice a day. Don’t pick at the crust that forms around the piercing site; the crust will come off with soap and water. For a mouth piercing, rinse your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash after eating to keep the site free of bacteria, and avoid kissing while the piercing is healing. If you have really bad breath after a mouth piercing, you may be washing away too much necessary bacteria, in which case rinse your mouth with warm salt water after eating and stick to mouthwash only twice a day. For a face piercing, keep the area free of makeup or powder while it is healing. For body piercings, wearing loose clothing around the area will help it to heal faster and avoid irritation. For nostril piercings, clean the area inside the nostril with a saline spray.

What could go wrong?

If you get your piercing done by a safe, careful person in a clean environment, piercings almost always go well. In some cases, however, you could end up with a minor or major infection, uncontrollable bleeding, scarring, tetanus, skin infections, or pus-filled sacs at the piercing site. If you have increased pain, redness, swelling, an unusual pus-like discharge or see other signs of infection, do not remove the jewelry. See a doctor for immediate treatment to avoid more serious problems.

In some cases, you may be sensitive to the cleaning products you use. The area may become dry, cracked, scaly, irritated, itchy or feel like it’s burning. Change to a more mild cleaning product, use less soap, or rinse more carefully with water.

You may not know that you have a sensitivity to certain types of jewelry. It’s always best to use pure metals like gold, surgical steel or titanium to avoid reactions. If your piercing is itchy, red, irritated or develops a rash, and your jewelry is not made of one of these substances, try switching your jewelry and see if it improves.

For mouth piercings, having metal jewelry in your mouth could cause your gums to get irritated, cause future gum problems and disease, erode your teeth and cause them to chip or crack. Mouth jewelry that becomes unfastened can cause a choking hazard. Since your mouth is constantly filled with bacteria, there is a much higher risk of infection with mouth and lip piercings.

When wearing hoops, hooks, threaders, flesh tunnels or other dangling jewelry, the jewelry can get caught or pulled and the flesh will tear. This requires immediate medical attention and will often require stitches and may cause permanent scarring or other damage.

Have Your Say

Do you think body piercing is only for celebs, or is it cool for teens, too? What’s the most “interesting” place you’d get a piercing?

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

astucieuse331
astucieuse331 posted in Friends:
I've always felt the same way. My one best friend gossiped behind my back, used me, all that girl stuff. She took me for advantage and we had a bunch of fights because of her finding a new friend and completely acting as if I didn't exist, and I told her to give me at least some attention every once in a while if she can't even continue to talk to me daily. And.. I lost her. Well, she lost me. We both lost each other. But then I realized.. it's the people that you least expect to be nice to you you'll find kindness in. Why? Based on personal experience, and I'll tell you the story: For my gym class, me and my peers were supposed to make a group for a dance. This was when my best friend had found a new friend already, and the time at which we had a few fights because of that. Of course, I relied on my best friend to count me in her dance group. At lunchtime, I sat together with my best friend, and we ate our lunches in silence. All of a sudden, I brought up the dance groups and asked her straightforwardly: "Can I join your group?" No reply. "Kelly, can I join your group?" No reply. "I mean, since our class is uneven, I found it fair that there'd be a group of five, you know?" None at all. Kelly ignored me straight off the bat, leaving me speechless. My mind raced with thoughts, and I thought, maybe it's not worth having Kelly as a friend. A few days later, we were playing Dodgeball for gym. I was on Kelly's team, and overheard her talking with her new friends about who to pick for the dance group. One of her friends mentioned me, and Kelly said: "Oh no, we shouldn't pick her because _____ (I don't know what she said then)." I was shocked, but was anticipating it, so when the time came to choose groups, I saw my friend, Luke, ask two girls, Cher and Bridgette, to join their group. Surprisingly, Cher and Bridgette actually accepted him, and so I thought, "Wow, if they accepted Luke, they might accept me aswell!" and so built up the courage to ask them if I could join. Even though Cher and Bridgette were mean to me sometimes, I knew that I had to risk it and see what'd happen. Afterall, rejection is just another opportunity to find a better group. Little did I know, it'd be the best choice of my life. They were so happy, and even thanked me for joining them! I was speechless once more; I never knew that the peers that I thought I would never be friends with would actually be my friends!  So yeah, that's what I learnt, and I never regretted learning that fact. Ever since then, though, I've learnt not to trust people as much as I used to anymore. I learnt that independency is what works for me, what I was meant for in terms of socializing or working. But, other things may work for you. If you still want a friend, you can be independent and wait for the right person. However, if you still want a real friend, you can wait, but still mingle (hang out) with other people! I I'm not going to make fun of you because I know how you've felt, just as I stated in my past problem before. But you can move on from those friends, they're not worth your time and certainly don't deserve you as a friend. Trust me, if it's meant to be, you'll definitely find a true friend. But if it's not, you may become like me, finding happiness in my own way. I want to remind you though-- you don't need someone to stay happy, or keep you company. This may sound silly, but you can even have your own invisible friends! I've had one, but that's very rarely for me. It's not silly though if you see the general idea; usually these friends are made from different dimensions of your personality or just because of will. There's a lot more fish in the sea, though, so I'm sure you'll find a true friend that's meant for you  :) Take care, and I hope you'll find a true friend soon!
reply about 14 hours
ts01
ts01 posted in Friends:
im so sorry you girls feel that way.true friends are there, its just easier to find users because they are more plentiful. dont give up, you will find real friends eventually
reply about 15 hours
lolflowergirl
lolflowergirl posted in Friends:
i feel alone too
reply about 17 hours
kayme123
kayme123 posted in Friends:
i know the feeling. but i got taken off a website instead of my friends. i can assure you they probably feel the same and are missing you, BUT its not worth dwelling over it. friends come and go without any choice in life and trust me, i lost the love of my life and my two of the best friends in the world. The thing is, you have to move on, because they wouldent want you feeling sad over them right? they'd want you to be the happy person you were when you were with them! for starters, i'll be your friend so your not scared to make some new ones. To be honest, i went through the exact same thing as you did and it DOES hurt very bad. But once you find some people that are willing to make you feel better, you know you've chosen the right friends again
reply 1 day
Irene_love
Irene_love posted in Style:
"1.am.3m0" wrote:Hey. Im also turning 15 soon. So dont worry you arent alone hahah. Start dressing for your shape and also find whats comfortable.  Because if you wear something that is uncomfortable you wont be happy and happiness is the best look :) Most of the time I wear jeans with a graphic tshirt or singlet and a cardigan or light jacket. Hoodies are great for winter. And I wear combat boots like doc martins and converse. Hope I helped somehow! :)
reply 1 day

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