Body piercings are an awesome way of expressing yourself — they’re less permanent than a tattoo, but more lasting than just wearing an outfit. Piercings can give added flair, edge, or whatever you’re looking for in as subtle or as noticeable of a way as possible. Are you considering taking the plunge and going for a piercing? Than look no further.
Here are some tips to consider before and after getting a piercing:
1. Do I really want it? Don’t do an impulse piercing. Although people always say, “Oh, it feels just like a pinch!”, let’s face it. Piercings can be rough. While the actual process of piercing varies in pain depending on the body part (for example, a nose piercing is way more painful than your earlobe), it’s the aftermath you have to think about. Everyone’s skin sensitivity is different but piercings require care and infections will most likely happen for everyone at some point. You want that stud in your upper cartilage? Make sure you want it enough to deal with the aftercare!
2. Where should I get it done? I was seven years old when I first got my lobes pierced. If my mother dragged me into a piercing and tattoo parlor, I probably would’ve ran away screaming crying. But Claire’s is not the way to go. I went to a family-run jewelry store when I was seven and although they were more professional than a chain like Claire’s, the best option is to go to the doctor for a young a child, and a piercing parlor if you’re older. I got my left cartilage done in February 2011 at Rockstar Body Piercing in Providence, RI. When I walked into the parlor, I asked why they refused to use a gun. They explained to me that using a gun on the cartilage, for example, would be like taking the end of a baseball bat and ramming it full-force into a window. The window doesn’t fall part to pieces, but it cracks and shatters like this. And that’s what happens to your cartilage, ladies. Stick with a needle and someone who’s had professional training.
3. How do I take care of it?
- Do not, I repeat, do not use you rubbing alcohol to clean your piercings. Use sterile saline wound wash, which you can find at your local pharmacy or here. Rubbing alochol is harsh and will likely aggravate the piercing, whereas saline wound wash is the purest way to disinfect.
- If you want to do more than disinfect and also heal your piercing if it’s struggling, than use tea tree oil, which you can also find at a pharmacy or here. This tip was passed down to me by a friend who has an industrial piercing (ouch, right?!) and she claims it works like a charm. When I used it on myself for my infected cartilage piercing, I was shocked. Swelling reduced by at least 70% after the first night and it was healed in a few days time. Put a few drops of it on a q-tip and rub it around the front and the back of the piercing (don’t take the earring out!) and you should be set. It’ll smell very strongly like mint and probably leave a white film over the area, but this stuff is magic, I swear.
- I don’t know why I was ever told to do this, but if your piercer tells you to twist the earring in the new piercing, they’re wrong. Do not twist the earring(s) in your new piercing(s); it is essentially a raw flesh wound. Let it heal! If you go to a parlor, they’re going to use an earring made of surgical steal — not cheap, faux-silver that could get “stuck” in the ear — and, therefore, there’s no need for it to be twisted repeatedly.
4. What else should I do before I go get one? Check out the Association of Professional Piercers for all the information you need to make a thorough decision. Make sure to consult with the piercing parlor over the type of metal they use in their earrings, how they pierce (go for needle, not gun!), and their experience level/ training. Don’t let a person with a huge amount of piercings or tattoos scare you off. This is their job and they’re good at it!
What has your experience been like with piercings, Lovelies?