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Body Piercing

By Super Admin

"Doc, I got my belly button pierced at C. Street and now its got infected, I'm afraid!"

"Doc , I got my ear pierced at my local jeweller, now its paining and scar is growing!"

Very common complaints that one see's in consultation room's. Is it avoidable? Is it necessary? Is it just a fad that youngster's get into? Well, not really..!

Body piercing has been in vogue in our culture from times immemorial. So also the case in many other civilizations across the ancient world as a way of beautifying the body.

But now it has moved to a different level with people becoming more adventurous and wanting to make a statement. It may be done alone as in most of the cases or in some cases as a part of a whole body modification process which is the other extreme.

Piercings can be done in different areas of the body depending on the personal preferences. The most common in India being the ears, nose and navel. The more adventurous go onto to the lips, cheeks, eyebrows and even genitals.

Though a very simple procedure in terms if it being done, there are lots of things that can go wrong if not done properly by properly trained professionals. It has to be done by people well versed with the anatomy of the part, versed with sterility techniques and after care.

From the point of view of the person undergoing the piercing, some points to remember. Know what you want , understand the healing time for the piercing, take care of it as advised, don't neglect any problems that you might have with it and don't remove or change the jewelry until it has completely healed.

Healing time after a body piercing varies according to the pierced area. Ranges from 6-8 weeks in the ear or eyebrow to a year in the navel and ear cartilage. In this too, there is the initial healing phase which lasts for a week or so where the body forms a lining to cover the raw area, but it takes the specified amount of time for it to heal completely. This healing period will be explained by the surgeon performing the procedure.

Though it is a simple procedure certain problems can occur, which should be kept in mind before undergoing the procedure. The common ones being infection ,non healing and Keloids. Care should be taken to have it done from properly trained personnel to prevent infection. Secondly till the healing is complete do not change over to normal jewlery.

Keloids are scar tissue that continues to form even after the healing process and some areas and some people are very prone to form keloids. As of now there is no effective way to cure Keloids, they can only be controlled.

Points to remember :

  1. Read about the procedure and assure yourself that you want it. Remember that once done it's going to be there for life if not the jewelry, at least the scar.
  2. Always go to a qualified professional or a surgeon. Most importantly if the centre looks unhealthy or dirty...Walk right out.
  3. Allow the piercing to heal properly before you change the ornament.
  4. Clean the piercing regularly as advised and dont neglect any signs of infection or pus
  5. "Spin" the ornament (turning the jewelry to allow the ointment to reach all areas of the piercing) as advised regualrly.
  6. Look for jewelry where the gems are mechanically set into the metal rather than glued. Glued jewelry cannot be sterilised

Remember you can rush yourself and the surgeon but you cannot rush your body to heal! So, give it proper time according to the area.

Daily Care Routine

  • Do not touch your piercing unless you are cleaning it.
  • While healing, your piercing will need to be cleaned once daily.
  • Cleaning more often than this will harm your piercing.
  • You will need to use an antibacterial soap (e.g. Dettol Liquid Soap).
  1. your hands with antibacterial soap and wet the piercing with luke warm water.
  2. Put a few drops of antibacterial soap on the piercing and work them into a lather with a cotton bud (ear bud).
  3. Try to loosen any crusted discharge and tease it off the jewelry and your skin with the cotton bud.
  4. Leave the antibacterial soap on the piercing for a few minutes while moving the jewelry back and forth( spin), allowing the disinfectant to penetrate the piercing.
  5. Rinse with water and air dry thoroughly. Do not dry with a towel, which may get entagled and pull on the jewelry and may also carry bacteria.

So the best way to have a beautiful body acessory is to be educated about the procedure, knowing what you want, taking care to get it done by qualified professionals, using proper medical grade jewelry and not neglecting any problems that may arise.

By keeping in mind all the necessary points in mind you will be able to make that statement, look sexy, look different and at the same time keeping your body safe.

Story first published: Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 12:10 [IST]
Read more about: body piercing body care