While body piercings can be a stunning form of self-expression, one must be aware of potential risks. Understanding these risks can make it easier to make informed decisions about whether or not to get a piercing.
A piercing can result in scarring and raised areas due to the excessive growth of scar tissue (keloids). There is a risk of contracting bloodborne diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus, and HIV, if the piercing equipment is contaminated with infected blood.
This blog post will explore three primary risks of body piercings that everyone should know about.
What are 3 Risks to Getting a Body Piercing: Top Facts
While many people find piercings aesthetically pleasing, getting a body piercing is not without risks. We will discuss 3 significant risks associated with getting a body piercing: health, social, and psychological.
Body piercings are not just a cosmetic procedure but a medical one. The puncturing of the skin creates a wound that can lead to various health risks. Here are some of the health risks associated with body piercings:
Body piercings require metal jewelry, which can trigger an allergic reaction in specific individuals. Common types of metal allergies include:
- Nickel allergy: Nickel allergy is the most common metal allergy and can cause redness, itching, and swelling at the piercing site.
- Copper allergy: Symptoms of a copper allergy may include blistering, itching, and redness.
- Gold allergy: Although rare, some individuals can develop a gold allergy, which can cause redness, rash, and itching.
To minimize the risk of an allergic reaction, choosing high-quality jewelry made from metals less likely to cause a reaction, such as titanium or niobium, is essential.
Infections are a common risk associated with body piercing. The following types of infections may occur:
- Bacterial infection: Symptoms may include redness, swelling, and discharge from the piercing site.
- Viral infection: Certain viral infections can be contracted through body piercing, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
To minimize the risk of infection, it is crucial to maintain proper hygiene practices, such as washing your hands before touching your piercing and avoiding swimming or soaking in water for several weeks following the piercing.
Scarring is another potential risk associated with body piercing. The following types of scarring may occur:
- Hypertrophic scarring: This type of scarring can cause raised, thickened areas around the piercing site.
- Keloid scarring: Keloid scars are more severe than hypertrophic scars and can cause significant, raised growths around the piercing site.
To minimize the risk of scarring, choose a reputable piercing studio and follow proper aftercare procedures, such as avoiding touching the piercing unnecessarily and using saline solution to keep the piercing site clean.
It is vital to be aware of its social risks. Employers and society can have biases towards body modifications, negatively impacting personal and professional life.
Perception by Employers
Employers in specific industries with strict dress codes may view body piercings as unprofessional or inappropriate. This can impact an individual's ability to get hired or promoted. The following are some key points to consider:
- Industries such as banking, finance, or law often have conservative dress codes, which may not allow visible body piercings.
- During job interviews, employers may assume an applicant's professionalism based on their appearance.
- It may be possible to conceal it during work hours, depending on the location and type of piercing. This is only sometimes feasible, and employers may find out about the piercing later.
Perception by Society
In addition to potential employer bias, individuals with body piercings may face negative stereotypes and discrimination from society at large. This can create a challenging social environment. Key points to consider include:
- Negative stereotypes surrounding body piercings can include assumptions about an individual's personality, values, or lifestyle.
- Depending on the type and location of the piercing, individuals may face discrimination or harassment in public places such as shopping centers, schools, or religious institutions.
- Studies have shown that people with visible body piercings may be perceived as less attractive or less trustworthy by others, which can impact social relationships and opportunities.
Along with the aesthetic appeal of piercings, some potential psychological risks should be considered before undergoing the piercing process. We will explore three psychological risks individuals should know before getting a body piercing.
Pain During the Piercing Process
When it comes to body piercing, pain is a shared experience. Pain levels can vary depending on the body part being pierced, the type of piercing, and an individual's pain tolerance. Here are some types of pain associated with body piercing and coping mechanisms to alleviate the discomfort:
Types of Pain
- A sharp, burning sensation during the piercing process.
- A throbbing sensation after the piercing.
- Soreness and tenderness around the piercing.
- Deep breathing exercises before and during the piercing process.
- Apply ice to the area before and after the piercing.
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication as directed.
- Distraction techniques include listening to music or focusing on a specific point in the room.
- Topical numbing cream was applied before the piercing.
Piercing pain can be overwhelming, but it is essential to remember that the sensation typically subsides after a few days. If you experience excessive pain or notice signs of infection, seek medical attention immediately.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition where individuals obsess over perceived flaws in their appearance. People with BDD may resort to body piercing to address these imperfections. Here are key facts about BDD and its connection to body piercing.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- BDD affects approximately 1.7% to 2.4% of the general population.
- Individuals with BDD may experience significant distress and impaired functioning.
- BDD is often accompanied by anxiety and depressive disorders.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Piercings
- Individuals with BDD may view piercings as a way to cover up perceived flaws.
- The desire for more piercings or the need to constantly change piercings can become compulsive behaviors.
- The dissatisfaction with a piercing's appearance may lead to more significant distress and body dissatisfaction.
It is essential to differentiate between wanting a piercing as a form of self-expression and using piercings to fix perceived flaws. If you or someone you know exhibits signs of BDD, seek the help of a mental health professional.
Body piercings can be an excellent way to express yourself, but it is essential to be aware of the potential risks associated with this adornment. The main dangers of body piercing are health, social, and psychological. While some risks may be manageable, it's essential to understand them before undergoing the procedure.
Being informed will help make it easier to decide about getting a piercing. Minimizing risks by choosing a reputable piercer and following their aftercare advice can also help keep you healthy and happy with your new body art.