May 11, 2021

What You Need to Know Before You Get a Body Piercing

Maybe you just saw someone with a fantastic piercing, and you know you want it, or perhaps you are just getting your lobes pierced so you can wear earrings like everyone else.  Or maybe you have been browsing a body jewellery store, and it has brought you inspiration.  People get pierced for all kinds of cosmetic and sometimes significant personal reasons.  It can even be a great component of your self-care.  But there are some things you should consider before you decide on that belly button piercing.

Will it Hurt Too Much? 
Typically, piercings that go through cartilage hurt more and longer than simple flesh piercings.  But pain is an incredibly subjective experience.  Two people can have the same piercings, and their reactions might be completely different.  One person may merely feel some pressure or a pinch, like a vaccination, while another might hurt a lot more.  People who have the best experiences are those who have calmly accepted that there will be some pain.  No pain, no gain, right?  

One trick for managing pain (and anxiety) is to consider going alone to be pierced.  Our immediate instinct as humans is to have someone with us for support.  But in this case, your nervousness can make them nervous, which will make you more anxious.  To avoid this kind of feedback loop, consider getting together with friends after it’s done instead of having them go with you.

How Do I Pick a Piercer?  
The first thing you need to be concerned with is sterility.  A reputable body art shop will provide a sterile everything, including sterilised seating, gloves, jewellery, and piercing needle.  Avoid impulse piercing in the mall, which is typically done with guns that can’t be properly sterilised, and, what’s more, crush the tissue that is being pierced.  

Reading reviews can be very helpful, but don’t be shy about asking pierced people where they got theirs done.  People generally love to talk about their piercings, and recommendations can help you make a great decision.  It is also a good idea to ask a shop or body artist to show you photos of their previous work.  Do the piercings look even and well placed?  Remember, if you are uncomfortable, feel free to back out.  It might be a little embarrassing, but you don’t want a lousy piercing.  The UK’s Association of Professional Piercers has excellent information on picking the perfect piercer for you.

What Should I Expect Afterwards?  
You have created a wound in your body, and you are trying to get it to heal in a way that isn’t entirely natural.  You should expect to feel some discomfort, possibly for several weeks, depending on the piercing, and if it gets irritated.  Initially, the wound will probably bleed a little bit, and it is essential to follow instructions very carefully to prevent crusty build-up, incorrect healing, and even infection.  

You will need to stay out of the water for several weeks to months, depending on the piercing.  Expect to wash carefully, rotate your jewellery, and otherwise care for your piercing for several months.  And if you see any signs of infection, you should see your doctor right away.  Your piercing technician may be able to tell you if they think a piercing is infected, but only your doctor can tell for sure and treat the infection.  The UK’s Association of Professional Piercers also has a great informational page on aftercare.  

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