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Tips Before Piercing Your Body

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by Egyptian Doctor, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    Practicing medicine in:

    1- Be aware of medical issues: If you have health problems, such as poorly controlled diabetes or other conditions that weaken your immune system, your chances of infection are higher and piercing is riskier.

    2- Know your infection risk: If you currently have an infection or an open wound, it's a good idea to put off the piercing until you are healthy. Risk of infection is higher - especially if the piercer is poorly trained and working in an unsterile environment or using unclean equipment or if the wound doesn't heal properly.

    3- Recognize healing tendencies: Some people may be prone to scarring that may be raised, or thick, and form what are called keloids. Piercing may not be a good idea for keloid-formers. Healing times vary depending on the site pierced, with navels, nipples, and genitals among the slowest to heal.

    4- Factor in lifestyle: A nose ring when you're 20 may look cool, but it may not be so hip or accepted at 30 in some workplaces. If you're planning to remove piercings frequently to conceal them at work or from your family, this may increase your chances of infection. It may also lengthen healing time of newly pierced skin. If you play a contact sport and your piercings are in an area where they might rip or the jewelry can snag on clothing, this may injure the skin.

    5- Consider your anatomy: Not all skin surfaces are well designed for a desired piercing. For example, a belly button with a distinct ridge is easiest for a navel piercing. Tongues with a short frenum (the fold on the bottom of the tongue), not good candidates.

    6- Find a trained professional: Most body piercings are done in tattoo and piercing parlors; earlobe piercings may be done in jewelry or departments stores. Qualified practitioners have a good understanding of the physiology and anatomy of the body part to be pierced. They should also use sterilized tools and follow safety precautions for dealing with blood and controlling infections.

    7- Share your health history: Piercing professionals should obtain a medical history, including allergies, heart disease, diabetes, and asthma so your health risks are known. Medications taken should be discussed. To limit bleeding, it's recommended to avoid aspirin for a week before piercing and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen) for at least a day before getting pierced and for seven days afterward.

    8- Ensure proper materials are used: Nickel-free rings, pins, and studs should be inserted to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and infections. Jewelry that's too small or thin or of poor quality can move from its initial placement, known as migration, or be rejected by the body.

    9- Follow care instructions: Find out how long the wound typically takes to heal and how to keep it clean afterward. Know the possible side effects from the piercing, such as pain or swelling, and what to do to minimize them.

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