Myths About Piercings

Piercings carry a stigma with them and sometimes the stigma causes people to hold back in expressing themselves for fear of what their peers or family will think and say. Quite a few people see body piercings as unprofessional, irresponsible, slutty, and trashy. Some of these judgments can harm you emotionally, physically, or harm your ability to get a professional job.

Advocates of body piercing find the art to be decorative and not necessarily a political statement. For some, piercings are expressions of individual creativity.

I am a professional, hardworking, and responsible person with piercings, like many of my friends, family, and older co-workers who have piercings. Piercings actually require dedication, as they need special care every day while they are healing.

However, piercings do hold a health risk. The risk of infection for piercings can be as high as 20 percent but when you take the correct precautions your risk of infection or complications will be low. The most common side effect of a new piercing is slight bleeding and “crusties,” which are normal. The “crusties” are made of dried dead cells and plasma, which indicate that your piercing is healing.

The precautions for new piercings are:

  1. Finding a reputable piercer (I suggest an Association of Professional Piercers member, with a clean shop and sterile tools.
  2. Ask questions about the jewelry being used.
  3. Clean the wound well with a sterile saline solution 2 or 3 times a day, nothing else.
  4. Clean your hands well before touching the jewelry, and do not move it often.
  5. Do not let other people touch the jewelry.
  6. Do not change the jewelry until the minimum healing time has passed.

While piercings take hard work to keep safe, and a visible piercing in an uncommon location can mean people may judge you, I see them as a great way to express yourself and accentuate your features.

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