Body Piercing: If You Change Your Mind, Does the Skin Grow Back?


Body Piercing & Your Skin

Body piercing  involves making small punctures in various parts of the body so that jewelry can be worn. Body piercing is a type of body modification with a long, rich history. In fact, nose piercing is documented as far back as 1500 B.C., while the oldest mummified remains ever discovered reveal that ear piercing dates back as far as 5,000 years.

Today, you can pierce many different parts of the body. However, it is important to choose the right piercing location to stay safe and minimize the risk of infection or the spread of disease.  It’s a good idea to ask what training the piercer has had.

Training should include:

  • Basic training by the Red Cross on blood borne pathogens
  • Training in sterilization, cross contamination and infection
  • The disinfecting process
  • At least 6 months to a year supervised training in all kinds of piercing

These questions are important in order to help you take care of your piercings and prevent complications.

Types of Body Piercing

The types of piercing you choose will depend on how visible you want the piercing to be and the look you trying to achieve.

Both men and women can have body parts pierced, and some of the most common piercings include:

Some piercings take longer than others to heal. For example, nipple and naval piercings are commonly described as having the longest healing time of any piercings on the body.

Getting Your Body Pierced Safely

No matter what part of the body you choose to have pierced, safety must be your most important priority.  You should never try to pierce any body part on your own. The equipment you use may not be properly sanitized, and you could experience serious complications. Instead, look for a qualified professional in a piercing shop that follows all safety recommendations.

You want to ask questions and observe the practices in the piercing shop to ensure that:

  • The shop is clean
  • The person who is doing the piercing washes his or her hands with germicidal soap before touching clients
  • The person who is doing the piercing wears disposable gloves to prevent infection
  • The instruments used to perform the piercings are either sterilized or discarded after each use
  • A piercing gun is not used. These guns are not considered to be sterile.
  • The needle used in performing the piercing is brand new and has never been used
  • Used needles are disposed of in special sealed containers
  • All biological waste products, including gauze with blood on it, are disposed of in a safe manner
  • The metal used in the jewelry is non-toxic, such as titanium, platinum, 14-karat or 18-karat gold, surgical steal, or niobium

Even with proper safety precautions, it is still advisable to be up-to-date on immunizations, especially shots for hepatitis B and tetanus, before you have any body part pierced.

After the piercing, be sure to follow care instructions and to clean the area thoroughly to avoid infection. If you notice signs of redness, swelling or pus, or if you experience pain at the piercing site, you should seek immediate medical attention to ensure that you have not developed complications associated with the body piercing.

Additional Resources



Print Friendly, PDF & Email