Piercing consists of piercing areas of the body in order to adorn them with jewelry. If practiced and cared for improperly it can present some risks
- How they are treated
- How to prevent risks
Piercing, also called body piercing, is a technique that consists in piercing certain areas of the skin, in order to adorn them with jewelry made of steel or other materials. The definition is given by the word piercing itself which derives from the verb to pierce, whose translation from English is precisely to pierce. Holes can be made in various parts of the body such as the ear, nose, navel; these are superficial holes that involve the skin and, in some cases, the cartilage tissue and which are usually performed with sterile needles, more rarely with “guns” to shoot earrings, which are little used today compared to the past. Like tattoos, piercings are a way to “decorate” your body. In some cultures, piercings and tattoos not only have an aesthetic value but above all represent spiritual symbols or symbols of belonging to a community, tribe or religious belief. Although it is a minimally invasive and almost not painful surgery, even piercings can present some risks, especially if poorly performed or not treated properly.
There are different types of piercings that can be distinguished from each other based on the way they are performed, the jewel chosen and the area of the body. The most accurate and hygienic method of piercing is the one that involves the use of sterile needles used by professional piercers. The use of the gun shooting earrings, once widely used and still used today in some jewelers and pharmacies, does not allow the same precision of needle piercing, applies thick earrings with a rear butterfly that presses excessively on the area of the hole and it is less hygienic than the needle, unless it is a disposable gun. The use of the needle, on the other hand, is safer and allows you to insert jewels of the right size for the hole; if well done and well cared for, needle piercing presents less risk. The types of piercings also include microdermal piercings or anchor piercings, which are applied by anchoring a plate under the skin to which a jewel is attached, usually a titanium ball or a diamond.
As for the area to be pierced, piercings are commonly performed on the lobes or in other areas of the ear, for example in the tragus – the small triangular protrusion of the external pavilion – or in the upper ear area as in the case of the helix piercing. Other areas of the body that can be punctured are the nose, both at the level of the nostril and the nasal septum; in the case in which the pierced part is the nostril we speak of our piercing, while the piercing to the nasal septum is called septum piercing when it is performed at the base of the nose between the nostrils and bridge piercing when the pierced area is that between the eyebrows. Piercings can also be performed in various points of the eyebrow arch (cheeks, cheekbones, lips and areas around the lips, tongue and navel). Piercings of the nipples and of the male and female genital organs are also very common. Based on the area where the piercing is carried out, the type of jewel to be applied is decided, which can be a diamond, a ring, a bar, generally in metal – gold, steel, titanium – but also in other materials, such as stone or bone.
How they are treated
Piercings heal quickly and, if well cared for, are unlikely to cause problems. However, if the piercing is not treated properly, the hole can become infected and the infection can lead to having to remove the jewelry, as well as causing pain. Immediately after having done a piercing and in the following days it is therefore necessary to treat the pierced area adequately, following the instructions provided by the piercer. In general, the piercing area should be rinsed twice a day with a saline solution and dried with a sterile gauze, without removing the jewel. The piercing should not be handled except during cleansing and always with clean hands. During the first few days, the hole may appear red and slightly swollen, crusts may be seen, and discomfort, slight pain and itching may be felt. If these symptoms do not improve within three to four days or even worsen, it is a good idea to have the piercing checked by your doctor, especially if thick, whitish or yellowish secretions appear.
How to prevent risks
Piercings can lead to bacterial or viral infections, allergic reactions and inflammation that can leave scars. Most of the risks of piercings are easily preventable by respecting the hygiene rules, so it is good to turn to serious and reliable professionals and take care of the piercing properly at home, after having performed it. It is then obviously necessary to communicate to the piercer any known allergies, for example allergy to nickel and to pay attention in case of chronic diseases such as diabetes or immune system deficiency, which can make it difficult for piercings to heal.