What are the risks of body piercing?
The most serious risks are infections, allergic reactions, bleeding, and damage to nerves or teeth. Infections may be caused by hepatitis, HIV, tetanus, bacteria, and yeast. If the piercer washes his/her hands and uses gloves and sterile equipment and you take good care of your piercing, the risk of infection is lowered (but still exists).
Did you know that:
- You CAN get and/or spread a serious infection (including HIV), if the piercing equipment hasn't been sterilized properly
- Infections caused by bacteria getting into the puncture of the piercing may also happen later, even after the piercing has healed
- If the studio uses a piercing "gun" to do body piercings, LEAVE! Piercing guns cannot be sterilized and should NOT be used for body piercing
Another cause of problems from piercings is using wrong kind of jewelry for the area pierced. If the jewelry is too small, it can actually cut off the blood supply to the tissue, causing swelling and pain. If the jewelry is either too thin or too heavy, or if you are allergic to the metal, your body may reject the jewelry. This means that your body reacts against the jewelry because it is a "foreign object".
Know the risks before you have your body pierced:
- Bacterial infection (where you had the piercing)
- Excessive (a lot of) bleeding
- Allergic reactions (to certain kinds of jewelry)
- Damage to nerves (for example, you may lose feeling at the area that gets pierced)
- Keloids (thick scarring at the piercing site)
- Dental damage (swelling and infection of the tongue, chipped/broken teeth, choking on loose jewelry)