Piercing Needles VS Piercing Gun - Which is Safer?
Getting a New Piercing
Piercings are very common among people of all ages. Parents get their babies and young children's ears pierced, and you'll find adults getting their first piercing. When it comes to your body, you want to make sure that you choose the safest method that involves less potential risk.
There is risk with any new piercing because you are putting something foreign into the body, but with proper aftercare and initial piercing techniques, you can heal a new piercing with minimal complications. (Note: not all people can successfully heal a piercing even if the piercing techniques are perfect and aftercare methods were solid.)
* Quick Aftercare Tips: Proper aftercare is simple. Don't play with the piercing. Don't mess with the jewelry. Use saline solution or a very diluted sea salt solution (1 teaspoon sea salt per 6 ounces of water). Do not pick off any lymph or crusties; they will come off during cleaning. Clean the piercing twice a day for the first few weeks, and then once a day until fully healed with a soaked cotton swab and use a Q-tip dipped in either solution to wipe away any lymph.
When it comes to the method used for the piercing, the body, it's just as important as the aftercare techniques that follow. Below, you'll find the pros and cons to piercing guns and piercing needles. Read it. Study it. Make the decision that you think is best for your and/or your child.
Remember that you are talking about your body, and when it comes to your body, you don't want to make any bad decisions.
- It's convenient to get your ears pierced while at the mall shopping.
- It's sometimes cheaper to get a piercing at the mall or at a booth versus a qualified piercer.
- Piercing guns cannot be properly sterilized. They come into contact with bodily fluid and a simple swipe of an alcohol swab in-between uses is not enough to sterilize the instrument. Some claim that the instrument never comes into contact with the skin, but the piercer's hands do, and they're touching the potentially contaminated gun and are further contaminating it with your blood. When the blunt stud is forced through your skin, there's no way knowing whether or not particles of blood have been dispersed into the air. A wipe of an alcohol or antiseptic pad is not going to remove all disease-carrying blood particles.
- Mall employees and booth workers generally undergo a whopping two week course on how to use a piercing gun. That's not a lot of time to teach proper techniques about infection control or healing techniques.
- There can be major tissue trauma when a piercing is performed with a gun. The piercing guns hold blunt studs, and when these studs are forced through the tissues, it literally rips the tissue in order to make room for the jewelry.
- The gun pinches the back of the jewelry into place snug, which
doesn't allow any room for the piercing to breath and heal properly.
Because the butterfly backing is going to be put on way too tight, you
will experience increased swelling as the piercing tries to breath;
plus, it will swell naturally with the piercing and trauma, but will
swell worse if it doesn't have room to swell.
- The piercing
guns use blunt studs that have butterfly backs. These can easily harbor
bacteria and gunk, which can infect a new piercing. The studs are
usually made of a low-grade material which cause allergic reaction,
scarring, and infection.
- Mall employees do not know of the securities of using piercing guns on soft tissues like ear lobes, which is why they also typically offer cartilage piercings and noes piercings with the same instruments. Cartilage can easily shatter with the pressure and force of a piercing gun.
- Piercing guns are loud, which can scare younger children more than anything. If the child jumps, the stud can easily get stuck half-way through the tissue, which means it must be removed. The gun will have to be recocked and the stud shot back through the tissue, causing more tenderness, bleeding, and risk of complications.
- The piercing gun is inaccurate, so if
the employee doesn't have it just right, the stud can go through at an
awkward angle or in at a bad placement, which may cause your body to
reject the jewelry.
Most stores in the mall and booths that are certified for piercings, will tell you that when you get your new piercing, you need to turn it a couple of times a day. This may sound like it makes sense, but it reality, all that does is irritates the new piercing and pushes any bacteria into the wound, which will cause infection.
There are many people who never experience any problems when getting piercings with piercing guns at the mall, but do you really want to take that chance?
- Piercing equipment can be properly sterilized in an autoclave that uses high pressured steam to thoroughly sterilize anything that may come into contact with a customer. If something can't be put in the autoclave, they throw it away. Used needles are properly discarded, whereas jewelry and hemostats can be put in the autoclave.
- The needles are one use only, so you don't have risk of someone else's bodily fluids on your needle.
- Professional body piercers have training that lasts much longer than a two week course that studies proper piercing techniques, infection control, and healing practices. They will also learn how the body reacts to new piercings and how to avoid hitting nerves (which will reduce the pain the customer feels when getting a new piercing). They also learn proper sterilization technique.
- There is less pain when piercing needles are used. The needle is hollow and extremely sharp so that it slices through the skin, which pushes the tissues aside to make room for the jewelry. Even though it sounds rough, it's a really quick process.
- The jewelry is design to allow dirt and bacteria to be easily removed. Generally Captive Bead Rings (CBRs) and barbells are used for new piercings; both allow the jewelry to move so that the bacteria doesn't just sit on the new piercing. Plus, their made of metals that are proven to help reduce reaction. Most piercing jewelry is made of a high grade stainless steel or titanium, which gives the the best chance at not developing a reaction or infection during healing.
- Can be an inconvenience to go out of your way to find a reputable tattoo shop that offers piercings.
- Can be more expensive than going to the mall. Plus you have to add a tip into the price that the piercer is going to charge for the piercing.
Piercing Babies and Children
You'll find that children do not have as much of a reaction with having their ears pierced with needles than they do when they have them pierced with the gun. The needle is quick and pretty painless without a loud noise to startle them to jump.
Because the mall isn't going to be licensed to use piercing needles, you want to go to the nearest tattoo studio that will pierce a minor. Just call around first because not all states will allow minors to be pierced even with parent permission. If you live in one of these states, you can contact your doctor, as he may be able to perform the piercing (yes, some doctors will perform ear piercings on babies, young children, and even adults).
If your doctor won't do it, and if he can't recommend someone, you'll have to drive to an area where piercing minors with parent consent is legal or just wait until the child is of age.
If you live in a state that won't pierce minors with parent consent, you can still go to the mall if you feel like you don't have any other options, but then you still have to risk all the above issues with piercing guns.