Kiddos getting their ears pierced... When? Where? What? How? And important read for parents considering letting their kids get their earlobes pierced.
Claire's, Walmart, aunt Paula's kitchen with her old 'piercing kit' she needs to go grab from the basement... I don't think I can cringe enough. I'll just jump into it.
Let's start with training/apprenticeships. Places like the ones I've listed are performing 'piercings' by people who have no actual training. At all. No training on how to PROPERLY perform ANY piercings. No bloodborne pathogen training. No first aid training. No contamination control training. They literally start at work one day and pick up a (horrid) piercing gun and have at it. Which will transition me into the next aspect.
The evil piercing gun. There is no way to properly sterilize those things. They are made of plastic and cannot be autoclaved and sterilized. Wiping them down with rubbing alcohol is what they do. Rubbing alcohol is not even close to any form of sterilization. Please don't think it's anywhere near it. Those guns LITERALLY force the blunt ear stud through the tissue. It's brutal. (Do you want your kiddo going thru extra trauma? I don't imagine so). So now we are piercing violently by someone with no training with something that cannot be properly sterilized. See where I'm going with this?
Next let's talk about the make-up of the jewelry. They use generic terms like "surgical steel" which is what tools are made out of and trick people into thinking it's something better because "well it says surgical right on it". Surgical sucks. What you are looking for is IMPLANT GRADE stainless steel/titanium/niobium and solid gold. Would you want your kid (or yourself or loved one) getting decorated with a made-up loose term like "surgical steel" or would you rather have them get pierced with the same metal used in PACEMAKERS? Pacemakers!!!
And as far as age is concerned, please let your child decide if they want them or not. I know it sounds fun to decorate your kid, but before they can decide, it's only fun for you, at their expense. Your kid is a real life human being too and their vote on this subject is the one that matters. Don't force them to go thru it if they don't want it.
People who use the statement "I got pierced at Claire's and it healed up", you're looking at it wrong. You got it done there and it healed up 'IN SPITE OF' those issues. I hope this got thru to some of you. Even if it changed the mind of 1 person, it was worth the 7 minutes it took for me to write this. Thank you for taking the time to read this .
Please take your children to a REPUTABLE studio where they can get decorated in a safe and friendly environment with jewelry that is great inside the tissue. And be sure to check out portfolios and find out about their technique, how they sterilize and the quality of jewelry they offer. Not all studios carry the same high standards. You and your loved ones DESERVE high quality and high quality only.
You've decided that you are going to go in and get that piercing that you've been dreaming about having forever. Or maybe it's a spur of the moment thing and the time is right. Either is fine and dandy. I know a lot of people get anxious and nervous before getting a piercing done, and that is completely understandable. But it is much less needed than you would think.
After I finish doing a piercing, one of the first things I ask is "was it as bad as you imagined it would be"? Almost every single time, the answer is along the lines of "not even close". Another thing that I tell people who are clearly nervous is this- "Think of it this way, if it really is as bad as you're imagining, there would be one person that got this piercing done and they would have told all their friends and family to never consider doing something as crazy as that".
The truth is, body piercings should be very bearable. They should be quick. The piercing part should be the fastest part of the entire experience. I tell my clients to take a nice deep breath in and then to exhale. By the time that one exhale is out, the piercing part is done. Then just transfer the jewelry in and put any ends or beads in their places.
You should be comfortable with your piercer. If the piercer that you are considering is rude or inappropriate or makes you feel uncomfortable, turn around and leave. Your comfort should be their #1 priority. You are the guest. You should be treated like a respected guest. Also, be sure to look at portfolios of their work and read reviews and listen to educated word of mouth. Make sure the studio is clean. Ask about the quality of jewelry they use. Ask questions about how they sterilize their jewelry and any tools/needles. Ask as many questions as you want. There are no stupid questions. If any red flags flash in your brain, reconsider who is about to pierce you.
Before coming in for a piercing, I do recommend that the client gets a good nights rest the night before. I recommend staying hydrated (before and after the piercing). I also recommend eating a small meal within a few hours of coming in. Don't over do it tho, just a healthy portion. Also keep in mind that alcohol thins the blood and if you hit the town the night before, you will more than likely bleed more. (on the note of alcohol, never come into a studio under the influence. you will be turned away)
When the time of the piercing comes, take nice and slow deep breaths. Don't panic. All that breathing fast will do is make you light headed. Panicking isn't going to make anything feel any better. Remember, its a deep breath and then you're done with the part you're fearing.
Come in with a positive attitude. If you are in the hands of a reputable professional, the entire visit should be a positive one. Body piercing is a fun and exciting way to express yourself. Embrace it. :)
A lot of this information will hold true for tattoos as well. I hope you all found this informative and I hope it helps ease the nervous minds.
For a body piercing to heal properly, it is up to both the piercer and the client to make it happen.
Example 1) - Piercer performs a solid piercing in a clean environment using high quality and properly sterilized jewelry and tools/needles etc. The client is given proper aftercare. Everyone is happy and another happy client with a beautiful piercing walks out the door. A week or two or six go by and the client has returned with an extremely sore and irritated piercing. The client decided that it would be best to soak their new piercing in peroxide a few times a day (big no-no). Then decided to wipe the fresh piercing time and time again with that bathroom towel (those towels harbor bacteria and are not clean and are nothing but rough on the piercing. Again, another big no-no). The client didn't follow the aftercare that was recommended by the reputable body piercer that does this for a living and spends endless hours keeping up with industry standards.
Example 2) Now lets put the shoe on the other foot. Flip everything around. The piercing was performed by a less than reputable 'piercer' that didn't seem to carry a high standard of cleanliness while performing the piercing. When asked what the jewelry was made of, the 'piercer' said "stainless steel" and that was about it (stainless steel says nothing about the quality of the metal. Its an umbrella term that simply sounds fancy to the public that don't know better). Everything seems a little off but the client honestly doesn't know any better. They get their new piercing and pay and head out the door. The client wasn't given any aftercare information and they end up calling the reputable studio for aftercare advice (why aren't they calling the place they got it pierced? I don't know. It's just part of the story!). They are recommended to use a sterile saline spray twice a day. Once in the morning, once at night and ideally after showering, to make sure shampoos and conditioners and body washes are rinsed away from the piercing area. A week or two or 6 go by and the piercing is sore and irritated. They have taken all the proper advice but the piercing is at a funky angle and the jewelry is subpar and the jewelry length was not nearly long enough to accommodate for swelling. It's now embedded in the tissue.
Example one shows the client not listening to the reputable piercer and deciding they know better and aftercare cant matter that much (it can and does). Example two shows a piercer that isn't doing his job. Period.
As professional body piercers, it is our job to make sure everything is on the up and up for our clients. Shortcuts are never an option. Your safety and happiness and health should ALWAYS come first. It is our job to offer you the very best we can and to stay current on everything industry related. As a client, it is your job to take what we say to heart. Listen to the aftercare. Follow the aftercare. It is your job to go to a studio with a great reputation and answers ALL your questions.
We can offer you safe and professional piercing in a safe/clean environment using the highest quality jewelry available on the planet. That's our job. When you walk out the door, it is now your job to follow the aftercare we have given you. And at this point, you're not on your own. It is always our job to help you troubleshoot anything that comes up and offer you professional advice.
A successful body piercing really is teamwork. ;)