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So, you are thinking about getting a piercing. As a unique way to decorate and adorn the human body, piercings are growing in popularity. Plus, there are so many new piercings and jewelry options than ever before.
There are just a few things to consider before getting a new piercing. Having worked in the piercing industry for over three years, I have noticed at least five common confusions about piercings that are worth sharing.
Piercings do not heal overnight. They take months, if not years for certain piercings, before they fully heal from the inside out. After I finish going over healing time with a client, their eyes often widen in surprise at this news.
Patience is a virtue and removing or changing jewelry too soon can prolong healing. It takes time and dedication to achieve piercing goals.
A client should wait before getting pierced if they have plans involving sports, dance, swimming, a family vacation at the beach, an upcoming camping or festival trip, or especially if they have an MRI or surgery scheduled. Most sports and dance coaches, and doctors do not allow piercings and a client will not want to remove their jewelry for at least two whole months while the piercing is still healing.
Also, avoid submerging a fresh piercing. Lakes, rivers, the ocean, hot springs, hot tubs, bathtubs, and pools can harbor bacteria that infect fresh piercings. Camping and festivals are dirty, and dirt in a healing piercing can also lead to infection.
In short, leave the jewelry alone and keep the new piercing dry and clean. Or just wait until after the beach vacation, camping trip, sports or dance season, or surgery.
3. Leave it to the Pros for Sizing
Often a professional piercer will start a client out with a longer post for a stud or a larger diameter for a hoop to leave room for initial inflammation and swelling.
Once that inflammation and swelling goes down and/or the piercing is fully healed, then a client can downsize their jewelry to achieve that most desired snug or fitted look that is commonly found on social media. It will be less likely to catch or snag and more comfortable, too.
Scheduling a wellness check with your piercer, will help ensure proper healing and they can even help change the jewelry so as not to damage the piercing.
Not all piercings are for everybody. Some are anatomy dependent, not everyone is built the same.
For example, the navel piercing is an extremely anatomy dependent piercing. Not everyone possesses the necessary navel shelf for this piercing. (It is not dependent on a client’s weight!)
The industrial is another example of a piercing that is anatomy dependent as it is two piercings connected by one piece of jewelry at the top of the ear.
If pierced without the proper anatomy, then these piercings might migrate or reject.
Do research! Ask questions. Reading this article is a good start to informing oneself, which is more research than most people do.
Before getting a piercing, it is best to research reputable shops. Read reviews and ensure that the desired shop is sanitary, practices safe piercing procedures, and uses implant grade materials.
One helpful resource is safepiercing.org, this website provides a search tool where a client can type in their zip code and they will be able to pull up registered safe piercing studios within the area.
There are many reasons to be patient with getting a new piercing, especially if the jewelry needs to be removed within two months afterwards. This is because these things take more time than expected to heal.
Also, don’t take it personally if a piercer decides against an anatomy-based piercing, there are plenty of other piercings available. Do all the research, your body will thank you for it!
Chelsea Pierce is an aspiring writer with an M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition from Boise State University. In her spare time, she loves to stay active and healthy with new outdoor activities such as snowboarding during the winter season and mountain biking Boise’s foothills in the summertime.