Getting a piercing can be a wonderful experience. It can be a magical, spiritual moment for some and an awkward and funny moment for others. Some think it hurts, some enjoy the sensation. A lot of people plan and prepare for their piercings and even more come in on the spur of the moment. All, inevitably, have questions. Below are some of the most commonly asked.
Does It Hurt?
This is, without a doubt, the most common question of all. And the answer is yes. And no. And sometimes.
When it comes to the pain, there are three things you have to keep in mind.
1. Not all piercings feel the same. It’s impossible to say that every piercing hurts or that none of them do, because different parts of your body will feel different being pierced. Some parts are more sensitive than others, so where you get it will make a big difference.
2. Not everyone feels the same amount of pain, or in the same places. It’s always hard for us to tell you if the piercing will hurt you – we can only tell you if it hurt us, or if a lot of clients have given us feedback. Everyone is different, and will react in their own way – I didn’t find my nostril painful at all, but several of my friends did, likewise, I found my microdermal quite uncomfortable while others enjoyed the sensation. Only you know how your body handles being pierced.
3. A piercing is over in seconds. Even if you do find it painful, it’s over before you can even say “ouch”.
How Long Will It Take To Heal?
How long a piercing will take to heal depends on where it is, how you treat it and how quickly you heal. The average is 6-12 weeks, but some can take up to 6 months to be fully healed. Of course, it’s different for everyone, but the general rule is, the less important that body part is, the longer it will take to heal. That means your navel (bellybutton) or ear cartilage will likely take longer to heal than your tongue or lip, because you need a functioning mouth more than you need a healed navel.
How you treat your piercing will make a big difference in healing time, as well. Using saline solution to clean it, rather than alcohols or peroxides, will speed up the healing process significantly; alcohols dry out your skin and kill all the good bacteria (yes, there is such a thing!) that helps you heal as well as the bad bacteria. Keeping it clean is vital – if it’s a facial piercing, make sure your pillow cases and hats are clean as well. Also avoid swimming or getting make-up in your new piercing.
What Are The Risks?
If done in a clean, professional shop, the risks are minimal. It is a shop’s duty to have safe and appropriate tools – it is your job to find that shop. Assuming that you came to see us at I-Kandy, or an equally reputable shop in your city, the main risk is irritation (not infection, as many believe!). This is when the area around the piercing seems angry. It will be red and not feel so great. Generally, irritation is caused by the piercing getting dirty, or being bumped or played with before it’s healed. This doesn’t require you take the piercing out, or go to the doctor – it just demands a little extra love.
Can I Get Something Tiny?
Girls especially appreciate cute and dainty piercings — a tiny bead on a lip stud or a little jewel in a nostril. As much as you may hate it, however, it has to be a little bulky to begin with. The reason for this is that a lot of piercings swell at first – sometimes just a little, and sometimes a lot! That’s why people talk funny after they get their tongue pierced; it’s not because it hurt, it’s because it’s swollen. If you put a tiny bead or really short barbell in your new piercing and it swells up, your skin can literally swallow the jewelry, and you can only imagine how great it feels getting that out! It’s worth having a bulkier piece of jewelry for a couple of weeks to avoid the pain of a too-small piece.
These are just a few of the most commonly asked questions, and another FAQ may follow this one up. These are of course NOT meant to replace speaking with your piercer – take care to not only find a good one, but to listen to the instructions and advice they offer. A professional piercer will happily answer any and all questions you have, and will go over aftercare with you in detail. Hopefully, however, we have at least answered a couple of the more pressing questions on your mind so that you can make an informed decision on whether a piercing is right for you or not.