Body Piercing Problems (cont.)
Do what you can to help prevent problems. Think about the following guidelines and information before making your decision to pierce a part of your body.
- Get a tetanus shot before your body piercing if you have not had one in the past 10 years.
- Choose an experienced person to do the body piercing. Ask the person doing the piercing how he or she cleans the equipment and what safety standards he or she follows. Sterile gloves, sterilized equipment, and appropriate jewelry should be used. A fresh pair of gloves should be used for each procedure. Make sure that the operator washes his or her hands before putting on the gloves. Ask the operator to change his or her gloves if he or she answers the telephone or does anything else during your procedure.
- Check the studio to see if it looks clean.
- To prevent problems with metal allergies, use appropriate jewelry. Only buy jewelry that is surgical steel (300-grade), 14- or 18-karat gold, niobium, titanium, or approved acrylic products. Avoid jewelry made of other metals, particularly nickel. Many people develop an allergy to nickel.
- Do not allow a person doing a body pierce to use an earlobe "gun" on any part of your body. These guns can cause serious injury to other body tissues. The gun handle cannot be fully sterilized and may come in contact with your skin if used on other parts of your body.
- Consider the social or emotional risk of having a body piercing. Many people make negative value judgments about people with body piercings.
- To protect others from disease, tell the person doing the body pierce if you have had hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV. If you have hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV, make sure any jewelry you use is sterilized before it is used and is not shared with anyone else.
- Check with your city or county health department to find out whether there have been any complaints about the studio you are thinking of using.