Know What You Are Getting Into

Most people can recall a friend that is planning on getting a piercing that has little or no experience with the subject. This same amateur piercee usually walks out of the studio with many questions such as “I wonder if I can change the barbell next week for my soccer game?” or “I know the guy just told me to use the soap in his shop, but my mom used peroxide on her ears and they were fine so I’ll do that.” Most of the time situations like these are a result of poor judgment and a product of improper planning. We research the cars we buy before walking onto the lot, so why not take the same consideration when we plan on implanting metal into our bodies as well?

We can start with how to pick the right piercing. If your job is not too keen on visible piercings, do not stroll in Monday morning with an eyebrow or labret. Make sure you put your priorities in order and follow suit. Sometimes the desire to have a certain mod done will outweigh your duty to your employer. In these cases it is important to be aware of what types of retainers and hide-its are available for the healing and overall health of your piercing. These will be discussed later. Bear in mind every piercing will have a different healing time and require more or less care than another. Your lifestyle will ultimately denote what piercings will be suitable to your needs. Ear lobes, septums and genital piercings seem to heal the easiest and with the least amount of attention. Navels, nipples and cartilage are very slow. They take their sweet time and require lots of attention. If you are traveling within a short time frame, then the lengthier of the healers is probably not the best choice at the time. Things to bear in mind are your lifestyle and how that will impede the progress of your piercing. Exercise, sleep, telephone usage, smoking and the like all distract your body from performing its job as a virtual healing machine. Getting pierced is like getting a puppy. You have to be prepared to care for it when it is being bad as well as when it is being good.

Plastic, acrylic and lucite are some of the available materials that can be used as retainers, but they are essentially all garbage, for what its worth. They are ok for short term wear in healed piercings, but even then some people have sensitivities to the low grade, porous materials. If you are looking to use a material as your initial jewelry, make sure to go with quartz, glass, pyrex or other biocompatible materials. These are available in clear or colors which is why they are perfect for making a piercing less noticeable while still being safe to use in a new piercing and appropriate to sterilize using an autoclave. If visibility is not an issue, then remember that not all body jewelry is implant grade. Implant grade stainless steel and titanium are the most common materials. Steel is plain and weighs more than titanium. It can also contain trace amounts of nickel making is less than ideal for very sensitive people. Titanium is light, colorful and not combined with any other metals. This is perfect for people who do not want certain piercings to stretch on their own, or who want something simple but with color or who are looking for something that will not have an adverse reaction in their bodies.

If you ever have any questions please make sure to ask your piercer for their recommendations. They have seen more than they are given credit for and are usually willing to help. It is always best to find a piercer who is well known and has a good reputation, and to not necessarily shop by price. You get what you pay for. Low prices can denote low grade materials, poor sterilization and sanitation processes and possibly lack of training. Go to a studio where you feel comfortable and welcomed. Do not ever be afraid to request a piercer of a different gender for a personal piercing or ask for a second opinion before following through with something. Being satisfied and enjoying your newly altered body are dependent on how much time you as a potential piercee are willing to stake in doing your research.