Body Piercing Myths
1 - Getting pierced with a piercing-gun is safe.
Getting pierced with a piercing-gun is very unhealthy for your body. A piercing-gun inflicts blunt trauma force to the body (sort of like trying to punch a hole through your arm) which increases the chance for infection and an unpleasant healing process. ALL piercings should be performed with a hollow, surgical steel tribevel needle. This will alleviate the problem of "blowout" (having a volcano-like build-up of flesh around the exit hole of you piercing) and decrease chances for infection.
The first such problem is the risk of contracting disease. Most guns have plastic parts which cannot be properly sterilized, giving rise to the possibility of spreading bacterial infections, such as those suffered recently by a group of people in Oregon after getting pierced at a mall, or more serious blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and C.
The second problem has to do with the shape and composition of the jewelry itself and the force applied by it to the earlobe (or any body part), making healing difficult. These guns were first manufactured to tag livestock, and inflict unnecessary blunt trauma to the tissue. The studs used by the guns have clasps which trap bacteria and which, when combined with the too-short post used by the jewelry, compress the tissue. This does not allow for any swelling, makes cleaning the site difficult, and reduces the availability of oxygen to the wound. In addition, the metal used for most of the gunned jewelry is of inferior quality and may inhibit healing by causing contact dermatitis or nickel allergies.
The best and safest option for any piercing, including earlobes, is to patronize a professional body piercer. These individuals have the proper training to perform safe piercings, unlike most physicians, and certainly unlike the poorly trained clerks piercing people in malls. Professional piercers observe proper sterile procedures, use a single-use, sharp needle which does not damage tissue, and good quality body jewelry made specifically for safe and speedy healing.
2 - Getting pierced is extremely painful.
Getting pierced is not nearly as painful as you think. Although pain is relative to the individual, the pain associated with piercing is short-lived. I spent my entire career as a piercer giving my personal guarantee that the drawn out anticipation of pain would be far worse than the swift procedure. I always explain to my clients that they should pinch their arm using moderate strength then, for one second, pinch as hard as possible. Almost every piercing I've performed has been followed by a smile or a laugh ... but this isn't to be mistaken as a claim that piercing is painless.
3 - Getting pierced is not a sterile or safe practice.
There are plenty of sterile and safe professional piercing establishments and piercers. Unfortunately, the few unprofessional assholes out there who don't take their job seriously provide the media with negative (and sometimes scary) stories. If you are interested in finding a high quality place to get pierced, please become familiar with the information on our 'What to Expect' webpage, then visit your local piercing establishment and make sure everything matches up. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any piercing establishment, leave immediately and proceed to another shop ... there's no excuse for weak-ass piercers or piercing shops when there are plenty quality ones to choose from!!
4 - Piercing is evil, demonic, or devilish.
Piercing is not evil, demonic, or devilish. In fact, piercing is one of the oldest rituals performed by the human species. Piercing is a universal experience that can symbolize many different things to many different people. Some more common symbols include royalty, bravery, spirituality, and rite of passage. Any negative conotations associated with piercing stem from western interpretations of biblical passages dissuading people from marking or adorning their body. If you are extremely religious you should consult your religious advisor before decorating your body with art. Otherwise, you should feel proud and excited about expressing yourself through body art.
5 - Piercing is a “fad” or “trend”.
Hell no!! Piercing has been around since back in the day. It has been practiced in nearly every culture all over the world for thousands of years. The reason why some weak-ass journalists call piercing a “fad” or “trend” is either because they don’t get around much (non-ear piercings have officially been in the US since Gauntlet opened shop in the early 70’s) or they are uneducated about the myriad of cultures and societies that inhabit our planet. In my opinion, we are merely experiencing the Western Body Art Renaissance. Now that body art has spread beyond a select few subcultures in the US, our peoples have come to appreciate the beautification and joy that body art offers. Tribalectic is currently embarking on a huge project to provide you with the most comprehensive and accurate information regarding the history of body piercing. For now, keep your eyes on Tribalectic’s Online Magazine for new and archived articles about body piercing and body art.
6 - If I get my navel pierced it may damage my stomach, uterus, or some veins.
Not possible. Your stomach and uterus (if you are female, of course) are well protected by your abdominal muscles. Any half-decent piercer would never pierce your abs (which is impossible when using forceps to clamp the skin). as for veins, the navel is not a vascular area of the body. This is one of the the primary reasons why longer healing periods normally accompany navel piercings. So, there is no reason to fear a punctured stomach, uterus, or vein when getting your navel pierced.
7 - Drinking beer will give you a yeast infection after an oral piercing.
Alcohol of any kind is an irritant, but a yeast infection is more likely to occur when using products like Glyoxide or Peroxyl (which can over oxygenate the back of the tongue).
8 - Half of your face will go numb if an eyebrow is pierced incorrectly.
Nerves tend to "hide" near the bone and under the muscles as protection from minor cuts, burns, etc. An eyebrow piercing should never be so deep that this becomes a concern.
9 - There is a vein in the tounge that if punctured will cause you to bleed to death.
Although there are fairly major vessels in the tongue, bleeding to death is a stretch. However, severe bleeding is a possibility and nothing will stop it as quickly as direct pressure. If bleeding doesn't stop within 5-10 minutes, go to your local emergency room.