Piercing is a very complex art that could take years to fully understand and appreciate. This article‘s purpose, then, is to at least make the reader see the need to respect piercing for what it is, the need for safe piercing, and the different kinds of piercing. Piercing is so popular because absolutely every part of the skin can and has been pierced. Although not everything is pierced in the same manner, piercings have been placed though skin, cartilage, muscle, on ears, faces, tongues, genitals, and plain areas of skin.
Piercings are usually measured by gauge, which is numerical scale of dimensions. The smaller the gauge, the larger the piercing hole. After the gauge hits 00 (double zero), it starts being measured in inches. The way these holes can become so large is through slow and safe stretching of the skin, by dermal punching, or by scalpeling. (see article on scalpeling) Dermal punching is done with a hollow needle, and actually removes a piece of skin and/or flesh. Many different types of jewelry can be used in the piercing, but is also dependant on which location the piercing is in.
All medical safety procedures need to be followed when piercing, such as sterilized equipment, a sanitized work area, and a professional piercer who knows what they are doing and are fully trained. It is best to make sure they have a sort of certification, and the sterilization equipment such as an autoclave. Although earlobes have been pierced with safety pins in kitchens across the globe for generations, other parts of the body are much more difficult and can lead to serious complications if done wrong. Make sure to keep your body safe and clean when planning on how you would like to decorate it.
A normal piercing enters one part of the skin, and leaves on the other side, the best example of which is the earlobe. This type can be done for any body part that has two sides, or anything that has a lip or fold of skin. The most popular are ears, lips, genitals, nipples, etc. Another kind of piercing is surface piercing. This is when two holes are made into the skin, and the piercing enters the holes, but does not enter into the muscle or flesh. Instead, the skin and muscle are separated by a piercing tool from one hole to the other. These piercings are done on areas of the body that do not have “sides”, like the neck, or sternum. If one was to pierce the neck like an earlobe, the skin would be pressing against the jewelry and would eventually work the jewelry out of the skin altogether, leaving an unwanted scar. This surface, or topical, piercing allows for movement and pressure without the body wanting to reject the jewelry.
There is also a “permanent” piercing, which consists of a more surgical application, and is considered extreme and even dangerous. This is made by a length of wire, or chain, or rod that is attached to a needle and sewn through a section of skin or even muscle. This is not to be attempted without a doctors approval, as any accident can have permanent nerve, tissue and skin damage.
Each piercing takes a different amount of time to heal, and healing instructions differ by professional. You should be following the healing instructions of your professional piercer, as they have first hand experience with your exact piercing. No matter what, all piercing should be kept perfectly clean while in it’s healing stages, and all precautions should be taken to make sure it is kept from being bumped or pulled. If healed well, your piercing should be an excellent and not permanent addition to your body. Enjoy it, but never play with it. .