Where to Get Your Body Piercing
The ear is the most basic site. The soft lobes are the easiest spot on the ear to pierce, and the process is the least painful. The top of the ears, where there is more cartilage, is more difficult and thus more painful—expect a crunch when the needle goes through, and don't be grossed out! Healing times vary, of course; ear lobes usually take about 6-8 weeks to heal, but cartilage piercings can take anywhere from 4 months to 1 year to heal. My cartilage piercings took about a year.
The bacteria in your nose can cause infections, but I rarely hear of an infected nose piercing because these are usually left alone for the most part. Nose piercings can take 2-4 months to heal. Changing in jewelry in a nose piercing can be really annoying to change out.
Eyebrow piercings are tricky because they can be disturbed easily when you sleep. Makeup can also irritate the piercing. There is the risk of migration, in which the piercing shifts and moves over time. Piercings in this area can take 6-8 weeks to heal. Barbells, curved barbells, and captive bead rings are worn in the eyebrow.
Navel piercings are more likely to become infected because of irritation from tight clothing. A pierced area needs air to heal. These usually take 4-12 months to heal. My friend says it's annoying to clean and sterilize belly button piercings when they're healing; she would have to take a cup of cleaning fluid and hold it to the piercing to cleanse it.
Usually, the belly button is pierced with a barbell, which is worn until the piercing has fully healed. Once it has healed, however, most kinds of ring or bar jewelry can be worn in a navel piercing. A wide variety of decorative jewelry is available for navel: simple navel barbells, navel barbells with dangling pendants, and navel barbells with attached belly chains.
Lip and Cheek
Piercings in the lip and cheek are a bit more prone to infection, but my lip didn't get infected and I played with the piercing a lot. It's supposed to take 2-3 months to heal, but I remember mine healing fairly quickly. I had to use mouthwash throughout the healing process. Gum damage is possible. Basically, the ADA (American Dental Association) is against any oral piercing. Rings and studs are generally worn in the lip, while cheeks usually have studs.
Tongue piercings swell a lot at first but heal fairly quickly (around 4 weeks) if the right type of jewelry is used. Infections can occur because of the bacteria from your mouth. Mouthwash is recommended during the healing process. Your teeth can get damaged from the piercing rubbing and hitting them so much, which wears down the enamel. Gum damage is also possible. Again, the ADA advises against getting an oral piercing. Tongue piercings are most often pierced with straight barbell-style jewelry.
Nipple piercings can damage some of the milk-producing glands in a young woman's breasts. This can cause infections or problems later if the woman decides to breast-feed her baby. These piercings take 3-6 months to heal, and it may take longer if tighter clothing slows the healing process.
Ouch! Nerve damage is an issue with genitalia piercings. People are advised to abstain from sexual intercourse during the healing process. Blood loss is actually a risk with these piercings. Female genitalia takes about 4-10 weeks to heal while male genitalia takes about 4 weeks to 6 months.
- Body Piercing Types
Information on various body piercing types and what jewellery is suited for each piercing.
- Piercing Quiz - What Piercing Should I Get?
Have you wondered, "What should I get pierced?" If you want to know what piercing you should get, take the Piercing Quiz! Find out what piercing you are.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.