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Body art - Getting pierced

The thought of getting your first body art can be very exciting..till the thought of a severe infection crawls up in your head. We’re just messing; if done by a professional there is nothing much to worry about - be it a tattoo, a piercing, or open heart surgery. Whatever you choose to make a permanent part of your body, can be an extension of your character (or the lack of it), or anything that you consider important or special. Plus, piercings are just awesome. But unfortunately, they can just as easily signify a very bad choice made on a whim. So, don’t choose to get this done under the influence. Anything that starts with, “Hey, I’m trashed. Let me get something weird done to my body.” cannot end well. Remember, forehead tattoos and cheek piercings are not socially accepted yet.

The broad chests and burly biceps of sailors, soldiers, bikers and rockstars were once the only flesh adorned with body art, but no more. Today, all kinds of body art are in, and not just for men or the young. Tattoos and body piercings have existed for thousands of years. They are either displayed as an artistic expression of the self as they are now or, more commonly, as a way for tribal peoples to denote social status, express some religious significance and denote one's marital status.

nose piercing

Body piercing has evolved in a similar fashion, with various piercing styles considered acceptable by different cultures. As little as thirty years ago in the US, for example, pierced noses, lips, nipples and privates (ouch!) were unheard of and would have been absolutely shocking to most people. Today all of these have become commonplace. All these kinds of piercings are fairly common today

We all know how tattooing is done, and piercing isn't too different, except only one needle is used. The jewellery is inserted in the back of the needle and pushed through with it. When the needle is removed, the jewellery remains in place. In case you’re already changing your mind about getting pierced after reading this, remember, the pain-sensitive bros can always get a topical anaesthetic to make things a little easier.

eyebrow-piercing

If you’re considering getting pierced, we reckon you read the following points, very carefully.

There’s a risk of infection: This is inevitable, if the artist is poorly trained and working in an unsterile environment, using unclean equipment or if the wound doesn't heal properly. Infection can be avoided if proper safety precautions are taken. So do your research well.

Be aware of medical issues: If you have health problems, such as poorly controlled diabetes or other conditions that weaken your immune system, your chances of infection are higher.

Recognize healing tendencies: People prone to scarring need to be careful. Healing time varies depending on the site pierced, with navels, nipples, and areas below the belt being the slowest places to heal.

Find a trained professional: Most body piercings are done in tattoo and piercing parlours; earlobe piercings may be done in jewellery stores. Choose a qualified practitioner who has a good understanding of the physiology and anatomy of the body part to be pierced. Don’t do it yourself.

Ensure proper materials are used: Nickel-free rings, pins, and studs should be used to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and infections. Jewellery that's too small, thin or of poor quality can move from its initial placement, known as migration, or can be rejected by the body. Ensure that sterilized tools are used and that safety precautions are strictly followed.

Follow care instructions: Understand how long the wound typically takes to heal and do your homework well on how to keep it clean. Understand the possible side effects of piercing, such as pain or swelling, and effective ways to minimize them.

Getting any form of body art for the first (or second or tenth) time is always an exciting experience. But remember to get it done only from a trustworthy and reputed place. So if you made the decision, go ahead get pierced and welcome to the club!