So, you want to get a piercing?
Ah, to be a teenager and get your first cool girl piercing… only for it to end up in disaster. Yeah, that happened to my helix piercing, but it managed to survive through the infection. Still, I want more piercings, so it would be great to have a guide on what to look for when getting a piercing. This is your little go-to piercing guide from a customer who has been through a lot when it comes to piercings.
The first thing you want to do is actually put thought into where you want a piercing and how you want to get pierced, two things that I didn’t consider at the age of sixteen, but they are important things I consider now. Here you will find out about popular piercing styles and their locations, the kind of jewellery you should use and the length of time they take to heal. I will show you how to decide on the correct piercing artist for yourself, then you will learn how to care for your new piercings. Let’s begin!
The traditional area to get a piercing. There’s more to pierce on the ear than the standard part of the lobe. You can really decide how you want to accessorise your ear. If you choose a piercing in areas of cartilage, then it will take more time to heal than fleshy areas. The cartilage piercings are also more prone to infection as they have a smaller blood supply to battle bacteria. So, what are the options?
- Lobe Piercings: Standard Lobe and Transverse Lobe.
These are fleshy parts of the ear and the easiest area on the body to pierce. The fleshiness means it heals much quicker than your standard cartilage piercing. You’ve got more blood flow coming to the area to help fight any bacteria that comes to the area.
- Outer Ear Piercings: Snug, Tragus, Auricle, Forward Helix and Industrial.
- Inner Ear Piercings: Orbital, Helix, Rook, Daith, Anti Tragus, Outer Conch.
We all love to look at a good curated ear, which is an ear with various piercings and jewellery, but they work cohesively together. However, there are other places you can consider getting a piercing, such as the rest of your body. They have different healing times and carry the potential risk of rejection or migration. Still, they are really awesome when you get them done right, and from someone who knows what they’re doing.
- Vampire Bite
- Microdermal Implants
There are different areas to choose from. You can opt for surface piercings on the skin. You can also opt for ones that go through your nasal passage or near and on your mouth. If you’re interested in seeing what you’d like to pierce, I suggest getting some false studs or clip-ons to experiment, and that way you’ll have an idea of what you think suits your face.
- Mouth: Lip Rings, Snake Bites, Monroe, Cheek, Labrets and Lowbrets.
- Nose: Nostril, Septum, Bridge, Medusa.
These are very painful. The tongue has many nerve endings and there is a lot of thin connective tissue. You want to be sure before getting this one just on that basis. Regardless, oral piercings can heal very quickly. It usually takes four weeks to heal, given that you don’t smoke. You have four main options, here:
How to Choose a Piercing
You’ve seen the possible options. Which one do you get? You don’t want to end badly by going to the wrong place and the wrong person. You want to take your time and find the piercer that’s right for you and the area on your body you want to get pierced. You should listen to those you trust who have also had piercings in a certain studio and by certain piercing artists. They will recommend you some and urge you to avoid others.
I would start by checking out studios in person. You’ll want to compare them and see which is best for you. I don’t recommend just searching online and thinking that’s the place you want to get pierced. I also don’t recommend going to salons who do body treatments like removing hair or massages or anything of the sort who then say they also pierce. It’s not a good idea. You want to spend your hard-earned money in the right place and save yourself any kind of nasty infection by going to an actual studio. You similarly take a look at that piercing artist’s portfolio. What areas do they frequently work with? How does their placement look? Is everything even?
I don’t want anyone to repeat what I went through. I got off pretty easy given that the woman who owned the salon would casually go from waxing a few clients then coming over to pierce my nose and helix. No, she didn’t wash her hands. She just did it in the middle of the salon floor next to the other women getting their eyebrows threaded and upper lips waxed. So, I’m here to tell you to look out for your safety, and what you need to see to know you’re safe.
The studio needs an autoclave which is used to keep any and all reusable equipment sterilised. They should also be working and clean, both the autoclaves and the equipment, and be aware that it really needs to be maintained and tested for any bacteria.
When you get pierced, the piercer will use a pen to mark your skin, this is so they know where to insert the needle. These pens should be brand new and disposed of once they are finished. The same goes for medical gloves, of course, and you need to make sure they are wearing them the entire time. If their hands are ungloved and they come into contact with the jewellery, piercing equipment or your skin, then it’s a no go.
I almost had to learn the hard way that sometimes a sterile and clean body-piercing approved needle is what you should be pierced with. If you want to get a body piercing, anywhere on your body, don’t go through with it if there’s a piercing gun or squeeze piercer. I wish I knew that any metal equipment should be removed from an autoclave bag with gloved hands in your presence. This includes the jewellery, the needle and the forceps. If it’s out of the pouch before you were there then it’s not safe.
Your piercing artists will give you the aftercare instructions to follow for your specific piercing. These are the suggested aftercare guidelines for body piercings:
- Thoroughly wash your hands before cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
- Use a saline rinse during healing. In certain areas a clean gauze with saline solution is best for some areas that are hard to rinse with saline. A little rinse after will remove residue. If your piercing artist suggests a soap, then don’t use a harsh one, or one with fragrant or triclosan.
- You need to rinse afterwards, and all traces of soap should be removed. Just remember that you don’t need to rotate the jewellery through the piercing.
- When drying it, gently pat it clean with paper products, since cloth towels can hold bacteria or snag the jewellery and cause injury.