Piercings are quite common nowadays; many people have multiple holes in their ears, body-piercing is more ordinary than ever, and facial piercings have come a long way towards shedding the stigma they used to carry. But how do you make sure you find the right piercing parlour to suit your needs?
The first thing to take care of is this: piercing guns are not the way to go. As they punch the earring through your skin and possible your cartilage with great, brute force they cause a lot of trauma to your tissue that will extend the healing process. Needle-piercing may seem more disturbing, but it is better for you and better for your piercing. The needle, which is hollow, removes the flesh from your body and is built to let the piercer replace it with a ring or a stud.
Differently gauged needles also allow you to insert a larger hoop or stud right from the off, although for very large-gauge jewellery (denoted with a lower number, for example a 2 gauge piercing is far bigger than the usual 14 or 16 gauge used for conventional piercings) you will need to go through the process of stretching.
A common misconception is that piercing parlours are only for people who wear leather underpants and tattoo their own eyeballs. Nothing could be further from the truth; while many proper piercing parlours do have some clientele that may fit the bill, they are always open to ‘normal’ people and you may find the staff perfectly friendly. The harsher image is often conveyed by the images of past tattoos which may seem intimidating, but this is no different from a butcher having rabbits in his front window; they are advertising what they do, nothing more.
Sterilisation of the jewellery and needles is very important when it comes to piercing parlours. They will have disposable needles and they should be willing to show you the pre-packaged needle they intend to use with you. Often this will just come into the booth with you and you will be there when they unpack it. The jewellery should be sterilised in an autoclave, which they should also be happy to talk about.
If a piercing parlour seems unwilling to provide you with details as to their sterilisation procedures, run – don’t walk! – right out of there. For all you know, they could be perfectly clean… But by the same token, for all you know they sterilise their jewellery by dipping it in jam. You don’t know, because they won’t tell you – and their reticence in discussing what amounts to your health is a huge red flag. Don’t consider it for any reason; you’re choosing someone to introduce bits of metal into your bloodstream, this is no time to be polite or to cut corners. The same goes for aftercare procedures, which should be discussed prior to the piercing taking place.
Piercings can be a wonderful way to express your individuality, and needle-piercing will be able to provide you with the best results. By bearing these few considerations in mind, you’ll be able to get the piercing you want without messing about with your health.