Tattoos and body piercings are very popular but don’t rush into them without thinking carefully about whether you will still want them in 5, 10 or 50 years! Remember there are other alternative such as henna, temporary tattoos, transfers and other body jewellery.
Also you need to know what the laws on tattoos and body piercings are.
Body piercing is the insertion of jewellery into an opening made in the ear, nose, eyebrow, lip, tongue or other area of the body.
How is it done?
Body piercing is traditionally done without anesthesia to dull the pain. The person doing the piercing either pushes a needle through the body part and then inserts the jewellery through this tract or they use a piercing gun. The guns can be more difficult to sterilise and can more easily damage the skin.
What are the risks?
Anytime the skin is punctured, there is a risk of infection. Specific risks include:
Follow-up care for your piercing depends on the body part pierced.
If you have an oral piercing (tongue or lip), use an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouth rinse for 30 to 60 seconds after meals while your piercing heals. Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush after the piercing to avoid introducing bacteria into your mouth.
If you have a skin piercing (nose, ears, eyebrow, navel), rinse the site in warm water and use a cotton swab to gently remove any crusting. Then apply a dab of a liquid medicated cleanser to the area.
Gently turn the jewellery back and forth to work the cleanser around the opening. Avoid alcohol and peroxide, which can dry the skin. Also avoid ointments, which keep oxygen from reaching the piercing and can leave a sticky residue.
Piercings often heal over — sometimes quickly — once you remove the jewellery that keeps the hole open.