Health Care and Body Piercings

Your Best Health Care: Health Care and Body Piercings

Health Care and Body Piercings

The
popularity of getting various body parts pierced has been growing over the past
few years, but the concept is as old as humanity itself going back to ancient
times. Ever since mankind figured out that it could poke a hole through some
physical part of the body, piercings have been seen as a statement of
individuality and fashion.
People
from many different cultures have pierced their bodies for centuries. If you
look in a history book, you will find that Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans
decorated their bodies with piercings and tattoos. Many pierced their bodies to
show their importance in a group, or because they thought it protected them
from evil. Today, we know much more about the risks of body piercing. Body
piercing is a serious decision. Before you decide to get a piercing, ask your
parents, trusted adults, and friends what they think. More information is
available at this site: http://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/08/07/body-piercing/
.
In recent
modern times the art of body piercing has grown to include more and more unique
piercing placements and designs. There are now dozens of piercing styles used
on the face, chest, back and other parts of the body. This website shows
the various types of body piercings and how to manage and care for them: http://www.almostfamouspiercing.com/body-piercings/
.
According
to KidsHealth, a body piercing is exactly that — a
piercing or puncture made in your body by a needle. After that, a piece of
jewelry is inserted into the puncture. The most popular pierced body parts seem
to be the ears, the nostrils, and the belly button. Other areas of the body can
be pierced but may only be for adults and not children or teens.
If the
person performing the piercing provides a safe, clean, and professional
environment, this is what you should expect from getting a body part pierced:
·        
The
area you’ve chosen to be pierced (except for the tongue) is cleaned with a
germicidal soap (a soap that kills disease-causing bacteria and
microorganisms).
·        
Your
skin is then punctured with a very sharp, clean needle.
·        
The
piece of jewelry, which has already been sterilized, is attached to the area.
·        
The
person performing the piercing disposes of the needle in a special container so
that there is no risk of the needle or blood touching someone else.
·        
The
pierced area is cleaned.
·        
The
person performing the piercing checks and adjusts the jewelry.
·        
The
person performing the piercing gives you instructions on how to make sure your
new piercing heals correctly and what to do if there is a problem.
The
piercing disrupts the protective barrier that normally prevents bacteria from
entering, according to US News & World Report, and in the worst-case
scenario, a staph infection on the skin or inside the nose develops. People who
have had major surgery, diabetes or HIV are at a higher risk of infection.
Plus, people who have undergone nose surgery should wait at least six months
before considering a nose piercing, while those prone to sinus infections
should probably not do it at all.
The body
treats jewelry in the body like a foreign object, so a little bit of swelling,
numbness, redness or tenderness is common. To stave off a potential infection,
piercers recommend you clean the piercing site with warm salt water as well as
an antimicrobial soap. You should also maintain a hygienic environment, so use
paper products to pat dry your piercing as opposed to towels, which harbor
bacteria. For the same reason, you should change your bedding regularly and
wear clean clothes.
Also, keep
yourself healthy. Even though your piercing might seem as harmless as a
splinter, it’s a permanent fixture your body is taking in, so you should boost
your immune system by eating a good diet and getting plenty of rest –
especially during the first few months following your piercing. If an infection
does develop, you can most likely use a topical antibiotic to treat it. More
details on this subject are located at this site: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/10/28/how-to-care-for-body-piercings
.
Additionally,
according to the AAFP, American Association of Family Physicians,
the trend of body piercing at sites other than the
earlobe has grown in popularity in the past decade. The tongue, lips, nose,
eyebrows, nipples, navel, and genitals may be pierced. Complications of body
piercing include local and systemic infections, poor cosmesis, and foreign body
rejection. Swelling and tooth fracture are common problems after tongue
piercing.
Minor infections, allergic
contact dermatitis, keloid formation, and traumatic tearing may occur after
piercing of the earlobe. “High” ear piercing through the ear cartilage is
associated with more serious infections and disfigurement. Fluoroquinolone
antibiotics are advised for treatment of auricular perichondritis because of
their antipseudomonal activity. Many complications from piercing are
body-site–specific or related to the piercing technique used.
Navel, nipple, and genital
piercings often have prolonged healing times. Family physicians should be
prepared to address complications of body piercing and provide accurate
information to patients. More information on the hazards of body piercings is
located here: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/1115/p2029.html
.
There are also location-specific risks with body piercings,
according to HealthLine. A tongue piercing can cause damage to your teeth and
cause you to have difficulty speaking. Additionally, if your tongue swells
after getting the piercing, swelling can block your airway making it harder to
breathe. A genital piercing can cause painful sex and urination. The risk of
complications is higher if you have other medical conditions like:
·        
Diabetes.
·        
Allergies, especially if you’ve ever had a reaction that
caused breaking out in red bumps, swelling of the throat, or difficulty
breathing.
·        
Skin disorders, such as eczema or psoriasis.
·        
A weak immune system.
Making a decision about the location of the piercing on
the body, according to the California State University Long Beach, should be
based on the following questions to ask yourself:
·        
Why am I doing this?
·        
What does it mean to me?
·        
How will I feel if people see my piercing?
·        
How long am I willing to wait for it to heal? Healing
times vary depending on the body location.
·        
How much am I willing to spend on a quality piercing?
Remember that good piercings are not cheap and cheap piercings are not good!
So if you still want to get a piercing, you have to make
some important choices. First, choose your piercer carefully by getting
recommendations from friends and other people you trust. Look at the piercers
portfolios and watch them work. Meet with the piercer before you decide to find
out if you like their work, their personality, price and professionalism. Find
out if the piercer has been properly trained and uses hygienic procedures. A
piercer should NEVER use a gun for piercing!
Here are some questions to ask the piercer before making
the decision:
·        
Does the piercer wear gloves?
·        
Does the piercer use sterile, non-disposable equipment?
·        
Does the piercer remove needles from the packaging in front
of the client?
·        
Does the piercer sterilize the station between clients?
·        
Are they recognized by the Association for Professional
Piercers (APP)?
·        
Do they have a permit from the local Health Department to
operate?
The APP is the industry standard for piercers. They set
the standards for piercing studios and abide by all cleanliness guidelines and
federal regulations. If the salon has an APP license, then you can have a
greater level of confidence about hygienic practices.. However, it is
important to note that the APP license expires. You should also look to see if
the studio has a permit from the public health department. A significant amount
of additional information about body piercing that you should strongly consider
is available at this website: http://web.csulb.edu/divisions/students/hrc/health_topics/BodyPiercing.htm
.

Body
piercings, although considered by many to be fashionable or personal taste, can
have associated risks beyond the nature of the piercing itself, and your health
care could be put at risk if there are complications. Before you take the
plunge to poke a hole in anything that really doesn’t need it, familiarize
yourself with the pros and cons of body piercing. Talk with your doctor if you
have any particular physical or medical issues that may be compromised if you
get this procedure done anywhere on your body. It’s always safe to be prepared
and knowledgeable.

Until next time.

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