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Piercing or the act of creating a hole in the specific part of one’s body has been considered art by many. It is popular among teenagers as well as in older age brackets. But then as artistic as it may seem, piercings are considered hazardous. 31% of those who had body piercing in the US have encountered complications.

Piercings and some statistics

Outside of the common earlobe piercings, there are other parts of the body that gets holed up as well. For women, the navel, nose, ear (upper ear part), nipple, eyebrow lip and genitals are those that gets the most attentions from piercing shops. The Navel consists of the 33% of the overall piercings for women.

Men may have a different ranking for that. They have the nipple, eyebrow, ear, tongue, nose, lip and genitals as parts of their bodies pierced. The nipple has the highest percentage which got the 18% overall.

Some piercings though may be safe but some may not. In the US, an overall .9% of those who got piercings are required to be hospitalized of which, as I’ve mentioned above, 31% have been affected with complications.

Statistics, risks and complications

The Washington post, in it infographics in 2006 has pointed out several things that you have to pay for when you decide to go and be pierced. Here it is in summary.

  • Ear Cartilage. The ear cartilage aside from the ear lobes pierced is fairly common among people you may be meeting in the streets. Its healing time may last from 4 months to 1 year depending on your healing capacity, your capability to adapt to wounds and your piercer. Its complication involves poor healing as well as influx of bacteria resulting to infection.
  • Earlobes. Ear lobe piercings are fairly common. It also heals nicely and fat. But then if you may use the wrong material and the wrong earrings, you may find yourself facing some allergic reaction as well as infection.
  • Eyebrow. Eyebrow takes lesser time to heal as compared to the ear cartilage. For 6 to 8 weeks you can fully recover. But if not, you may be having some infection. Infection then would lead to scarring. Scarring is ugly especially if it is prominent in the face, so some opts for some surgery before worse comes to worst.
  • Nostril. Some culture though has it accepted very well, but for some its kin of new and novel. Nostril piercing can heal up to 4 months. But then some complications such as infection and swallowing of the jewelry are common as well as aspiration. Some swelling, localized one can be encountered too.
  • Septum. Septum is that area that separates the hole of your nostrils. Some bad cases of septum infection from piercings are tissue death and swelling filled with blood. It gets 6 to 8 months to heal.
  • Lip. More often, an n unprofessional execution of piercing at this part of your face may result to gum damage. It may take 2 to 3 months to heal and localized swelling should be expected.
  • Tongue. Tongue piercings are common too. But then it may cause your tooth fracture as well as gum damage. Tongue piercings may take 4 weeks to heal at most. Some worse cases of its complication I nerve and salivary glands damage, speech impediment as well as swelling.
  • Nipple. Nipple piercing usually heals at 6 months max. But then if you are unlucky enough you may encounter some abscess and infection from it. Breast feeding impairment is also experienced by mothers who had the piercing.
  • Navel. Navel piercings are deemed sexy by many. But healing time of 1 year isn’t sexy, that would be too hassling. The prolonged healing may be due to the clothing irritation as well as infection. Sometimes scarring is also expected from this.
  • Female genital. It may heal for 4 to 6 weeks but your risk of suffering from allergic reactions is high. If you had this one, you may be compromising condoms and diaphragms.
  • Male genitilia. Compared to the female genitalia, males may take longer to heal; it can reach up to 6 months. Its common infection may be a result from friction irritation and may result to more serious problem such as urinary problems and penal engorgement.

Causes of piercing complications

  1. Mishandling. The piercer may not be that expert and hasn’t hit the right part of the skin.
  2. Dirty materials. This can stem from the dirty environment, dirty clothes you are wearing, exposure to bacteria and other harmful elements. The materials used by the one who do the piercing are also a big cause of complications.
  3. Incompatible jewelry. Sometimes some jewelry may be calling on some allergic reaction. You may not be good with silvers or fake ones.
  4. Contact with foreign bodes. You may bath in dirty pools, have it contacting surfaces. This will lead to serious infection.
  5. You have medical conditions not diagnosed. Diabetes is major cause of some wounds not to heal. This is prolonging your healing and may even cause it not to heal.

The related complications may even come to worse. Some worst case scenario includes keloids, chronitis, cartilage destruction, torn earlobes, hepatitis, endocarditis and brains abscesses can be expected too.

Some remedy

Though this is not the remedy, it is mainly to lessen the blow; you may opt to have it healed first and then try to keep it safe for some time. When it affected your physical appearance greatly, you cannot to seek a cosmetic surgeons and have a cosmetic surgery.

But before it leads to worse, simple cleaning of the pierced part is very easy. Clean your piercings often. Do not let it contact some dirty surfaces. Don’t touch it barehanded without washing hands and let it heal nicely before trying to replace jewelries.

Remember that prevention of the risk and complication is better than healing it later. So thinking of getting pierced? Think twice, or thrice!


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