The lowdown on body piercing
A tongue ring is not so different from an earring
Initially a piercing is a wound, and like any other small puncture it will heal.
As long as the procedure is aseptic – free from bacterial contamination – and the piercee follows directions for good aftercare, punctured tissue in every area will grow back over the wound and become part of a closed system once again.
The area is only susceptible to infection if irritation or pulling causes the area to open again. Catch your nose ring on a coat hook, though, and that could smart.
Piercees be beware of collateral damage
Lip and tongue rings, especially the barbell types, can chip or even break your teeth (no studies yet on what they do to the people you kiss). To prevent damage around the mouth, studs in the lip should be placed in a neutral space along the lower gum line.
Tongue piercings are angled to accommodate the palate on the roof of your mouth and to avoid catching the sublingual web along the bottom. Another way to keep oral jewellry from becoming a tiny dental wrecking ball is to use acrylic rather than metal jewellery .
All that glitters-or itches-is not gold
In a September 2006 study on body art, a doctor at Northwestern University was surprised by the prevalence of metal allergies, especially among women.
A recent study found the most medical complications were with navel piercings
A recent study found the most medical complications were with navel piercings. In the study mentioned above, navel piercings were found more likely than ear, nose, eyebrow, nipple, or genital piercings to pose a medical problem. There can be a lot of friction from shirts, belts and waistbands, especially when you work out. That makes for small breaks in the skin which can lead to infection. It’s also an area with a lot of moisture, so bacteria and fungus collect there.
You can prevent a piercing from closing without jewellery
Piercings will typically close up if no jewellry is worn for an extended time. If you don’t want to wear jewellry but do want to preserve a piercing – like many pregnant women who don’t want to wear a belly ring again until after delivery-an inert, flexible insert made of Tygon (which is like fishing line) or PTFE (Teflon) will prevent the hole from closing up. Consult a professional piercer or a dermatologist.
Aftercare is as important as a clean piercing
According to the Association of Professional Piercers, guidelines and healing times for piercings vary quite a bit depending on where, exactly, you’ve poked a new hole in your body. The association offers downloadable info about caring for a new oral piercing or body piercing.