It's time to bust some of the most common body piercing myths! Even though body piercing has been around for a long time, myths still surface. Often spread through the internet and word-of-mouth, let's shatter some of these piercing myths.
1. Dermal piercings must be surgically removed. False.
Surface piercings are a unique type of body piercing. Involving the creation of a "pocket" in the skin to house the jewelry itself, there is no exit point like a traditional piercing. A skilled body piercer creates the pocket and then inserts the base of the dermal jewelry. The end result is a gemstone, flat disc or design that looks like it is floating on top of your skin. This type of body piercing cannot be removed by simply taking the jewelry out yourself, although the gem top easily unscrews. To remove a dermal piercing, a qualified and skilled body piercing can simply remove the base with the same method used to insert it. Unskilled piercers and medical professionals who are untrained and uneducated in dermal removal and insertion often spread this myth. Dermal piercings do not need to be surgically removed.
2. Twisting and moving your jewelry is helpful for healing and keeps your jewelry from getting stuck. False.
Twisting and moving your jewelry does not help it heal. In fact it can aggravate a new piercing. Pulling or twisting your jewelry when it has buildup on it can pull bacteria into the piercing channel and increase the risk of irritation and infection. Moving your jewelry around also disturbs the healing process by disrupting the skin around it from healing. The best thing to do is to clean your jewelry well with a wet Q tip after the shower to remove the buildup. Only then should you touch your jewelry with clean hands to make sure all ends are tight and all bodily fluids are removed.
3. Eyebrow piercings cause facial paralysis. False.
Eyebrow and tragus piercings do not go deep enough to affect the nerves. If this were the case, someone could pinch these areas hard enough and cause a response.
4. Cartilage piercings only take a few months to heal. False.
Cartilage piercings are notoriously long healers. They can take betwen 6 to 9 months to heal completely. Two or more cartilage piercings performed at the same time will take longer than 9 months to heal, as your body has to heal more than one at the same time. You might find that they'll heal according to which one was pierced first. So the first piercing might heal up the quickest versus the third one pierced. However, additional issues like snagging them or trauma can and will delay healing. After about 2 months or more you may not feel like they are healing, but they are. The outside of your cartilage piercing may look healed but the inner channel will still be healing up.
5. Short tongues can't be pierced. False.
Not everyone can have a long tongue and luckily if you have a short tongue, you can still get a tongue piercing. Your piercer will be able to determine proper placement even if your tongue is on the shorter side. It requires a bit more skill to pierce, but it is possible and can be a fun piercing to have if performed properly.
6. Piercing guns are an acceptable method of piercing. False.
Piercing guns cannot be properly sanitized. Talk about an infection and Blood Borne Pathogen nightmare! On top of that hazard, the jewelry used is sharp at the end, but not as sharp as a hollow needle. Piercing guns use blunt force to shove a sharpened earring into your ear. Yikes! The length and clasp on the back also are often not long enough to allow enough room for swelling, dooming your piercing from the start. Just say no to piercing guns. Visit a professional body piercing studio for your earlobe piercings.
7. Clean your piercing with alcohol and peroxide. False.
Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are drying and can cause damage to the delicate tissues you're trying to heal. Avoid using anything other than what is suggested for piercing aftercare. Applying alcohol and peroxide to healing piercings will only lead to issues and delayed healing. Clean your piercings with warm water and small bit of fragrance free soap. Use a preservative free saline solution provided by your piercing studio.
8. Nipple piercings affect breast feeding.
While it is a common myth, nipple piercings do not affect breast feeding negatively unless you keep your jewelry in during a feeding. In some cases, the extra holes have been suggested to increase lactation flow. However, this is unproven but many of our clients have reported this as being helpful. It is not advised to get your nipples pierced during breastfeeding due to the risk of infection. If you have healed nipple piercings and you are breastfeeding, the best thing to do is to remove your jewelry when breast feeding. Clean your nipple and jewelry well before removing and inserting to keep the area clean and healthy.
9. Getting pierced is an invitation to infection. False.
Piercings do require proper aftercare to prevent the possibility of infection. In most cases, improper aftercare is the number one cause of infection. Your piercing studio should take all steps necessary to eliminate any chances of infection. These methods include proper cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing of body jewelry and all instruments used in the procedure. Proper hand washing and glove changing also reduces the risk of contamination. Our body piercers here at Siren Body Jewelry Tattoo and Piercing in Coeur d'Alene Idaho undergo regular, extensive cross-contamination training, BBP training and cleaning, disinfecting and sterilization methods.
10. Piercing is too painful. False.
While there is some level of discomfort in all body piercing procedures, it is nothing you can't handle. The number one question asked before a piercing is, "Will it hurt?" The answer to this question is highly subjective as every person has their own pain tolerance levels and all piercings have their own levels of discomfort. The best this to do is to go to a professional body piercer who will coach you through the procedure with ease. Often times after the piercing is performed, our clients remark as to how it wasn't as bad as they thought. It's our favorite part of the job. Helping people through the piercing process.
11. Numbing helps the piercing procedure. False
Topical numbing creams have no place in the piercing room. Their use will not decrease or eliminate pressure or discomfort. Avoid any piercing shop that says they numb the area first. Proper body piercers will not encourage numbing creams or topical anesthetics for body piercing procedures.
12. Piercings always affect X rays. False.
While many clinics and hospitals ask you to remove body jewelry prior to X rays, they do not directly affect X rays. Medical implants, pins and body jewelry will shop up in the X ray clearly. The only issue they might have with jewelry in is a possible obstruction of view for a very small injury. It is a standard practice for mammograms for jewelry removal due to the way they measure the center of the nipple. In that case, removal is wise and necessary.
13. MRI machines rip out piercings. False.
MRI's are very powerful machines but they do not rip out body jewelry. High quality body jewelry will not be magnetically reactive. However, some discomfort may occur due to the metal warming up during the procedure.