There are normal complications and there are reasons why you wouldn't be able to get one done.
Those who have a piercing know that it doesn’t always come out okay in the first try. You have to wait for your skin to heal, keep it meticulously clean, and yet sometimes the body will still reject it. After all, getting a piercing means perforating the skin and not everyone has the same healing process. I remember I once went with my friend when he got his nipples pierced. It was super quick and he said it wasn’t as painful as he thought it would be. But the complications came after. He could barely tolerate the pain that came with wearing a simple shirt. He later on told me that he worried it would get infected since he started noticing a different color tonality in the area. "It's getting purplish." Eventually, he went and got it checked and an expert recommended antibiotics. Later on he had accomplished a pair of healed piercings.
Just like my friend, many of us can present complications when attempting to get a piercing. If you are thinking about getting one and are looking at possible worst case scenarios, I got you covered. On the other hand, if one and the following symptoms are causing you lots of pain, swelling, or an infection, the best solution would be getting an expert to check it for you. That being said, here are five risks that might come from getting a piercing.
According to the Association for Professional Piercers (AAP), it is normal to experience some bleeding, swelling, tenderness, itching, or bruising. They also say it is normal to see some discoloration and a secretion of a white or yellowish fluid, which is not pus. There are risks, like in everything, that come with piecing your body but you won't know how your skin reacts until you get one done. If you're skeptical, but still want to get one, I'll suggest starting with something simple, like the ear lobe since it takes 6 to 8 weeks to heal (that's a fast healing time compared to others).
Infections come when bacteria enters an open wound. These can be caused by many things like touching your piercing constantly, not enough air in between the jewel and the wound, or infected and unsterile instruments used to pierce. Although they are not life threatening at first, it's best to have a doctor check it out to stop the infection from spreading any further and causing bigger problems. If you got you tongue or lip piercing infected, this can bring complications when eating, chewing, or swallowing. Other high-risk infections that come from unsanitary and unsterile techniques of phony-looking shops, are spreading diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, and other blood infections. The key is finding a clean and licensed shop and cleaning the pierced area as recommended.
Splitting or Tearing
After getting your pierce done, you will be advised to avoid extreme exercises and rubbing the pierced area. This can cause your piercing not to only fall apart but it can tear your skin apart causing scars and malformations on your body.
Improvising or exchanging your piercing constantly can cause you body to reject it. This is referred to as using the wrong jewelry on the area pierced. This can cause swelling and pain if the jewel is too large because it can cut the blood circulation and if it’s too thin or heavy, your body just might push it out. An alternative risk would be the jewel piece ending up trapped inside the healed skin.
As said before, no everyone heals in the same period of time. But if you have been diagnosed with either diabetes, hemophilia, an autoimmune disorder, heart disease, or any other medical conditions that slows down your healing process, you might have to consider passing on the piercing since this will likely not heal soon, always consult your doctor.
Last, the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) recommends not to get a piercing in the areas where you have skin irritation, lesions, rashes, lamps, moles, or lots of freckles. Although saving money sounds tempting, remember that nothing is more important than trusting your body to a professional. You can always find more tips on the APP’s website.
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