Piercing: Is it Safe?
By Juliana Day
piercing is a contentious issue among many people.
Whether you are a parent watching your kids
come home with holes in places that would shock
their grandparents, or whether you are that
20-something young mom who couldn't resist a
tiny little ring in your bellybutton, you probably
have an opinion on body piercing.
I think of body piercing, I think of my cute
young cousin who dyed her blond hair jet black
and inserted a nose ring, lip ring, and some
other ring in her ear that stretches out her
adults view body piercing as an expression of
rebellion among teens. Others acknowledge it
as a harmless way for teens to assert their
of Body Piercing
piercing has been around for thousands of years.
The earliest known body piercings were depicted
on stone carvings found in Iraq in the 9th Century
B.C. and in China as early as 2000 B.C.
Mayans and the Aztecs believed they would get
closer to the gods through tongue piercing.
Egyptians used naval piercing to mark the rite
of passage from child to adult. The Romans considered
nipple piercing as symbolic of virility, strength
and manhood. And the Victorians were known to
pierce body parts to denote their royal status.
is even a recorded body piercing in the Bible,
in Genesis 24:22, when Rebekah (Isaac's intended
wife) received the gift of a shanf, or a nose-ring.
the darker side, body piercing has been used
historically to mark criminals, slaves and spies.
and Safety Guidelines
All body piercings, including ears,
take a minimum of 6 weeks to heal.
The maximum amount of time (if there
is no infection) is 3 to 4 months
for a navel piercing. This is due
to the location of the piercing and
the chafing of clothing.
If you are considering a piercing,
use an experienced shop. Hepatitis is
spreading rapidly in Australia due to
unhygienic practices in body piercing.
Hepatitis and HIV are transferable when
proper sterilization techniques are
If you are piercing areas other then
ears, different metals are required.
Platinum, 18 or 24K gold and stainless
steel are choices that are acceptable
for different areas of the body. A professional
shop will provide you with information
on required metals. Also, the metal
must be cut slightly wider for areas
below the neck to prevent the metal
You must always be conscious of factors
that may cause infection, such as perspiration,
dirt and germs. Infections are very
painful and can cause puss, swelling
and bleeding in the infected area. The
piercing may even have to be removed
your views on body piercing, it is important
to be informed and to weigh the risks. As for
me, I think I'll stick to temporary tattoos
to display my wild side.