These days, body piercing is a very popular trend among the youth. It is one of the popular types of body modification. It involves creating a puncture or opening in a body part in order to wear jewelry. The art of body piercing has been practiced for centuries for different purposes such as spirituality, religion, conformism, eroticism, subcultural identification or fashion.
Body piercing is performed on various body parts including ears, nose, lips, tongue, cheeks, eyebrows, nipple, navel and even genital organs. Ear and nose piercing are the most common and popular types of body piercing. Body piercing is performed by different methods such as standard needle method, indwelling cannula method, dermal punching, piercing gun and using internally threaded jewelry. Body piercing gives you a trendy, appealing look. However, it can give rise to a number of health problems.
Risks Involved in Body Piercing
Nowadays, body piercing is more frequently practiced throughout the world. If you are planning for the body piercing, then you should know about the risks of body piercing such as infection, nerve damage, allergic reaction, cross-contamination, keloids, dental risks, etc.
Healing: Body piercing is an invasive procedure and leaves a wound at the piercing site. The time to heal each type of piercing varies. Ear piercing generally heals within 3-4 months. It takes about 1-2 months to heal navel or tongue piercing. About 2-3 months are required to cure nose piercing.
If proper care is not taken during the piercing procedure, or aftercare is neglected, then the healing period may extend. There may be irritation or infection at the piercing site. There may be excessive bleeding during the procedure. This risk can be minimized by getting a piercing from a skilled professional.
Allergies: Some people are sensitive to certain metals and develop allergic reactions. A 14-karat gold stud causes a greater risk of allergy, as it contains a large amount of nickel. A nickel allergy is very common and can occur at any age. It typically appears as a dry, crusty, itchy, red skin rash along with watery blisters. It can be cured using a topical steroid cream.
The piercings made from non-allergic metals such as non-reactive surgical stainless steel, titanium or niobium are preferable. The risk of allergy can be reduced by using high quality jewelry.
Infections: Bacterial infection at the piercing site is one of the major dangers of body piercing. There may be redness, swelling and pus formation around the piercing site. Infection by Staphylococcus aureus is more common. It results from unhygienic piercing technique or lack of good aftercare. There may be formation of cysts, which, if left untreated, may result into septicaemia (blood poisoning), or toxic shock syndrome. This condition can be very severe and fatal.
Transmission of Diseases: Transmission of hazardous diseases is the most serious risk of body piercing. If the piercing equipment are not properly sterilized, then there may be transmission of some life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus and HIV. To avoid this risk, you should go to a professional piercer and confirm that the equipment are sterilized.
Affecting the Function: Piercing in the genital area can affect their normal functions. It causes pain during urination process and sexual intercourse. If you don't take proper care of genital piercing, it can cause infections and severe complications.
Risk from Swimming: This means going for swimming in rivers, lakes, oceans or streams during the healing period. It can increase the risk of protozoan and parasite infections.
Nerve Damage: If piercing is not carefully placed, then it can damage the nerve and kill the surrounding tissues. In case of oral piercing, there are chances of wearing of tooth enamel, chipped teeth and damage to the gums.
Keloid Formation: There may be formation of keloids, which are hard knots of scar tissues. They are developed at the base of a piercing. Excess scar tissues result from improper piercing, stretching the piercing and not cleansing it properly.
Even though body piercing makes you look extremely trendy, the dangers that are likely to occur cannot be ignored under any circumstances.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.