By Elizabeth Dubos
Disclaimer: I am not a professional piercer. I currently have 10+ piercings and these experiences are my own.
Are you thinking about getting your first piercing? Or your next piercing but it’s been a while, so you don’t remember what to do or what to expect? Here is a list of questions and answers to help you on your piercing journey.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: Everybody has different pain tolerances, so it’s hard to say how much pain you will feel. To help with the fear of pain, ask your piercer to down a quick 1...2...3... countdown for you. After the countdown you will feel a sharp pinch. The “bad” part is over! Now the piercer will quickly put in the jewelry for you and clean it up for you. Yes, there is a chance you will bleed a bit. When I got my lobe pierced, I did not bleed at all, but when I got my daith pierced, it did bleed a bit. I highly recommend getting your lobe pierced first, because in my experience it was the least amount of pain. Cartilage piercings hurt more because this area does not get much blood flow and takes longer to heal. That’s why you want to ensure you’re cleaning your piercings as much as possible.
Q: How long until my piercing is healed?
A: Healing times vary for different parts of the body. For example, a lobe piercing might take 6-8 weeks to heal, but cartilage piercings can take 6-12 months to heals. I bruise and scar easily, so this was an indicator that my piercings would take longer to heal. My cartilage piercings took quite a bit of time to heal. For instance, my industrial piercing took 1 year to heal. An industrial piercing is when you have a jewelry piece called a barbell going at an angle through your cartilage.
Q: Are there medical benefits for piercings?
A: Yes! I got a daith piercing to help with my anxiety and migraines. I got my daith pierced in February and have noticed a reduction in migraines. Instead of getting them daily, I get them 2-3 times a week. The following information is from Healthline. “A daith piercing is located in the innermost fold of your ear. Some people believe that this piercing can help ease anxiety-related migraines and other symptoms. Your ear is home to several of the pressure points that acupuncturists and other holistic health practitioners stimulate to alleviate headaches. These pressure points target the vagus nerve. This is the longest of the 10 nerves extending from the bottom of your brain into the rest of your body. In theory, getting a daith piercing will place constant pressure on your vagus nerve.”
Article Link: https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/daith-piercing-for-anxiety#how-it-works
Q: Where should I get pierced?
A: Anyplace you would like! It’s your body and temple. However, I highly recommend checking with your place of employment or school to see what they will allow before getting pierced. Don’t waste the money on a piercing if the company does not allow it. Also, if you’re under 18 don’t go behind your parents back to get a piercing. Discuss the positives of getting a piercing with them, so they will agree to sign the waiver. Yes, if you’re under 18 your parents will need to sign a waiver in order for you to get pierced. If your parents say no, then just wait. Getting a piercing is not worth getting in trouble with your parents.
Q: Where should I get my piercing done?
A: Please go to a professional piercer! I know they may seem scary up front, but I promise they are kind, lovely, knowledgeable and professional people. I first got my lobe piercing done at Piercing Pagoda in the mall and it became infected. Then, I did some research and found a local piercing shop. Boy, I was nervous stepping into a piercing stop at 13-years-old. I had nothing to fear as I was warmly welcomed and received help. Turns out I was allergic to the jewelry from the mall piercer and needed it to be changed. Ever this experience I always go back to a piercing shop.
Q: What is the healing process like?
A: After you get your piercing done your piercer will give you a piece of paper with healing/cleaning instructions. Every piercing has different cleaning instructions, so here are the basics. The number one rule is DON’T TOUCH IT as it can lead to infection. When you do touch your piercing make sure you wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap. I would recommend Dial soap as it was affordable and can be found in the drugstore. Next, you DO NOT need to rotate your jewelry because skin does not adhere to metal. Do not use Bactine, Neosporin, alcohol or peroxide as this delays healing. One of my biggest recommendations would be to purchase and use H2 Ocean. It has all-natural ingredients, safe for all skin types, gluten-free, has enzymatic sea salt solutions natural to your body and it’s really easy to use. I have been using H2 Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray for 6 years and it has helped prevent infections. Here is a link to purchase this product:
Additionally, I would recommend cleaning your piercing 4 times a day with H2 Ocean for 8 weeks. This routine has helped prevent keloids and infection. Please don’t get lazy with your after-care routine around 6 weeks because it will lead to an infection.
Q: What should I expect after I get pierced?
A: Your piercing will be red due to inflammation. It will be sore and if it hurts you can apply some ice to help reduce the redness. Make sure to follow the after-care instructions that your piercer provides you.
Q: I think my piercing is infected, what should I do?
A: The typical signs of a piercing being infected is redness, swelling, tenderness, and crusting. If you’re unsure if it’s infected, then go see your piercer. Don’t be afraid that they’re going to judge you. They are there to help you! They can offer the best advice on how to get ahead of the infection. Also, please be honest with your piercer; If you haven’t been keeping up with the aftercare tell them! It’s best that they know what you’ve been doing, so they can make the best recommendation for you.
Q: I have a bump growing near my piercing, what should I do?
A: If you notice a bump near your jewelry, there’s a good chance it’s keloid. A keloid is scar tissue growing around the jewelry. Keloids form when you’ve gotten lazy with your piercing aftercare. Don’t worry you don’t need to run right to the piercer. For about a week use the H2 Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray 6 times a day to see if it makes a difference. If it does not change after a week then go, see your piercer. Keloids can take months to go away, so do not give up.
I wish you the best of luck on your piercing journey! If you more questions please comment below.
Edited by Emily Chance