Category: Body Art

Things to Remember When Getting Your Ears Pierced

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The first time you might have had your ears pierced was when you were a baby. Some parents want to have their newborn daughter’s ears pierced before they take her home from the hospital.

Ear piercings are generally safe and easy to do. Knowing what happens during the procedure, the type and position of the piercing, and the time it takes to heal will remove any anxiety about getting a piercing for the first time or getting additional piercings.

1. Do it because you like it
Although getting ear piercings is not as permanent as getting a tattoo, you still need to ask yourself why you want to go through the process in the first place. You’d voluntarily have a hole punched in a part of your body for some reason. Whatever it is, it should be a decision you made yourself and not because of other factors. Children who want their ears pierced should be accompanied by parents, although some shops have an age requirement for the procedure.

2. Learn about everything that’s relevant
Get all the information you need about the procedure, the types of metals and possible skin reactions, the name of reputable shops, and how to clean the metals and keep your ears from getting infected. Experts recommend surgical stainless steel or titanium so that you won’t get any allergic reaction to the metal or infection in the wound. The important thing to look for is a clean and experienced shop.

3. Choose between needle and piercing gun
There are issues regarding sterilization with the use of guns. There aren’t a lot of complaints about it however and the gun itself doesn’t come into contact with the skin. But piercing guns are usually made of plastic and cannot be sterilized like needles. On the other hand, the use of needles seems painful and the procedure takes longer than the piercing gun. The experts however are trained about how to do it. There is testimony that it hurts less and the wound is easier to clean.

4. Learn about the types of ear piercings
Earlobe piercing is the most common type, but there are other piercings you can also look into such as; gauging or stretching, cartilage industrial or scaffold, ear cage, tragus, anti-tragus, conch, rook, snug, daith and helix piercings.

Earlobe and cartilage piercings can be done using a piercing gun. The rest should be done using needles. Each piercing might take time to heal especially when the hole is made through the cartilage.

5. Clean the wound and metal to prevent infection
You’ll be told not to remove the piercings while the hole is still healing. Watch out for infections and reactions by inspecting the ears daily and making sure it’s disinfected. Wash your hands before touching the area to prevent accumulation of dirt and bacteria. Use a cotton ball or pad and a cleaning solution to clean the front and back by dabbing the areas. After a few weeks, you will need to rotate the earrings to keep the shape of the hole.

Ear Piercing 101

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Here are the things you need to know about ear piercing.

Piercing Procedures
You should decide where to place the piercing and the type of metal for the jewelry. Some people are allergic to cobalt and nickel so you should avoid jewelry that have these alloys. Your safest bet are stainless steel, platinum, titanium and 14-carat gold earrings.

There are three types of ear piercing equipment used today. A piercing gun is spring-loaded and is fast and easy. Piercing needles or cannulas have a hollow core and are the favorite tools of piercing shops. Hand-pressured instruments and dermal punchers for cartilage are sometimes used too.

The ears should be cleaned first and a mark drawn to indicate where the piercing should go. Inspect the marked areas before you give the okay signal. Some people rub a numbing ointment as well to lessen the pain. The studs will then be placed using a gun or a needle. Finally, you’ll be given instructions on how to clean the piercings.

Types of Ear Piercings
1. Earlobe piercing is the most common. A hole is created in the center of each lobe. Some people can have two to three holes besides the first piercing.
2. Helix is in the outer rim of the ear. The piercing goes through the cartilage and usually takes months to heal.
3. Gauging, also called stretching, is the procedure that gradually stretches the pierced skin over time. The practice is quite common in some ethnic groups.
4. Cartilage is the upper part of the ear. The piercing can be done by a gun, but it takes longer to heal.
5. Industrial, also called scaffold, is a type of piercing that connects two holes using one jewelry. Two scaffolds in one ear is called an ear cage.

6. Conch is the part of the ear that forms its back. It is shaped like the conch shell. A bigger jewerly is needed for the piercing.
7. Tragus is the cartilage protruding directly in front of the ear canal. The piercing takes time to heal.
8. Anti-tragus is the area above the earlobes. This part of the ear is usually small so a small jewelry is used to pierce the ear.
9. Rook is also a cartilage located above the tragus. Getting a piercing in the area can be painful and will take long to heal.
10. Snug piercing is done on the outer rim of the ear above the anti-tragus.
11. The Daith is located between the ear canal and the rook.

Risk of Infection
It is possible to get infections if the procedure is unsanitary. Some piercing guns also place the earring too snugly on the ears, making it a possible breeding ground for bacteria because it can’t be cleaned while the wound is still healing. Earlobe piercings are usually done using a piercing gun and it’s relatively safe, but you should pick reputable shops that sterilize their equipment.

The first signs of an infection are swelling, redness, itching, drainage and pain. The first few weeks should be critical especially if the pierced area is always in contact with external objects.