There is a lot more involved with performing a successful body piercing than most people realize. This invasive proceedure is much more involved than simply sticking a needle through the skin and inserting jewelry.

Sterilization
Soaking in an item in alcohol or bleach does not sterilize. To achieve proper sterilization you must use an autoclave.These machines can be very expensive, but they do the job. Autoclaves like anything else can break or malfunction, so it must be tested for accuracy at least once a month. This is called spore testing.

If you are under the assumption that if you use a new needle and jewelry it is safe, you are seriously mistaken.New needles and jewelry are a must, but need to be autoclaved before use.

Cross Contamination
Even if you buy a sterilized needle and piece of jewelry,there is lots of room to contaminate them once the sterile pouches have been opened.This can be tricky. A professional, knowledgeable piercer knows how to keep a piercing clean. A dirty piercing can cause a huge variety of illnesses and diseases, some of which can be life threatening. Some dideases such as Hepatitis C can take years to show any symtoms but when it does it can be fatal. Piercings done by a properly trained piercer do not pose any threat of disease. A piercing professional uses a spore tested autoclave, universal precautions and aseptic techniques to insure your safety.

Infections
Infections in a healing piercing is always a possibility. If germs get into the piercing while it is healing you can get an infection. If you are pierced by a professional they will glady help you with any problems you encouter during the healing process.

Jewelry
Proper jewelry size, style and metal are very important. You should never wear earrings in a body piercing. Your piercer will know what jewelry is right for your piercing.

The Needle
A proper piercing needle is hollow, allowing for the removal of a tiny piece of tissue so the jewelry can sit in the hole comfortably. A solid needle just spreads the tissue and holds the jewelry to tightly, not allowing for proper circulation that is so important for proper healing. Piercing needles are razor sharp, which makes for less discomfort. A sewing needle is considerably less sharp, not only hurting more to push through, but can also cause tissue damage.
The needle gauge should match the gauge of the piece of jewelry you have selected (with some exceptions that your piercer will know about). If your needle is too thin your jewelry will not fit. If the needle is too thick you will get bleeding.

Placement
Where you place your piercing is very important. If you pierce too deep you will take longer to heal and increase the chance of infection. If your pierce to shallow it can result in migration.This is when the jewelry slowly grows out toward the surface, it is being rejected by your body. You will lose the piercing and be left with a nasty scar. It is also important to know anatomy as well.It's no good to pierce a vein!

Aftercare
Caring for your piercing in the wrong way will greatly increase your chances of infection or irritation. It is important to how often to clean your piercing and what aftercare products to use. This varies for different body parts. Often people think that they have an infection when actually they are irritating the piercing by using the wrong products, cleaning their piercing the wrong way, handling the piercing etc.

An ethical piercer will insist you have a parents consent if you are under 18 years old. If you are under 18 and wish to get pierced, talk to your parents and present factual information. Give your parents time to make a decision and honor their decision either way. If they say yes, seek out a professional. If they say no, wait til you're 18 and look for the professional. It's not worth the risk of scarring, infection, pain, illness, disease and possibly your life by doing it yourself.

©Rose Pulda of Miraculous Creations. Used by the goodness, grace and permission of the very same.

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