A piercing actually means a piece of pierced skin with jewelry in it. Many parts of the body can be pierced, for instance ears, nose, lips, nipples and genitals. Sometimes not only the skin has been pierced but the cartilage as well.
If a piercing has not been performed professionally, you run the risk of damaged tissue that could lead to desensitized, or loss of function of nerves. Or to an infection, abcess, allergic reaction, scartissue and the rejection of the jewelry. A piercing usually is a deep wound that needs time to heal. Depending on the spot, quality of the jewelry, general health, physical condition and of course the way you have been pierced, healing times are between 2-50 weeks. If a piercing is performed in a professional way, and is treated with care, healing will usually be without any trouble.
Piercing has been practiced in many different countries of the world. In South America, the original tribe people have pierced and stretched ears, noses, lips. In Indonesia they have hugely stretched ears, the Eskimos had pierced noses and lips. In India they still pierce their tongue and cheeks on festivals, in Africa, they have pierced ears, noses, lips. Genital piercings originated probably out of a ritual or religious device of sexual control and there was not anything pleasureable about it but very painful. Only in the West, this type of body decoration has not been popular for up to 40 years ago (!), except maybe for some fetish-scenes, where more pleasurable functions for private piercings were being discovered. And for the rest a pierced earlobe, which was generally seen as primitive or suspicious!Fortunately, people began to take more interest in themselves and their bodies and the way they looked and started thinking about how to change their appearance, and how they wanted to look That is, clothing, hairstyle, make up, jewelry, shoes or any accessory and if that is still not you, maybe get pierced or tattooed.
Besides the good look of it, a piercing can have an additional function, namely that it can feel nice and can give an extra sensation to the part of the body that has been pierced. Like a tongue piercing does, and a nipple piercing will. And genital piercings of course are mostly performed for the extra stimulans.
For some piercings, you will have to downsize your jewelry, because the part that is pierced may swell up the first few days. So you start with something bigger or larger in size. You cannot start with jewelry which is more heavy or has pointed ends or sticks out in a way that it will not get the rest it needs to heal. Only after your piercing has healed, you can change it with a different type of jewelry. Some piercings you have to pay attention to not to take out too long before they will close. Even after it has healed and you`ve had it for a longer time. Do not take the jewelry out before it has healed!!
Choosing the piercer
Since piercing has become so popular, it became a booming business usually in combination with tattooing. In the beginning, there were only few piercing shops (and still are actually) and most of the time, piercing was being performed by tattooists in their tattoo shop, sometimes because it meant fast and easy extra money. These people were not always that well informed on piercing (because their main thing was tattooing and probably piercing didn’t look that difficult) and nowadays still teach their piercers the same bad piercing habits, without taking it serious enough. Usually a shop who does tattooing and piercing, have the same level of quality, because the image has to correspond. So if there’s serious tattooing going on, usually piercing will be serious too. And reverse.
Try to avoid the overexcited fresh piercer who just did the “2-day course how to learn piercing” who cannot act appropriately. It will take months before a piercing-trainee starts realizing what they are really doing and what to think of and what to do. There are so many piercings possible nowadays with each their own healing and wearing-process. This takes a long time to know about and a piecer will have to learn about hygiene, cross-contamination, materials, skin allergy, nerve-system, and so on.
The best way to become a professional piercer is by asking a professional piercer if he/she wants to train you, if you can have a look at it for many times, for many months, try to do the set-up, how to pick the right jewelry and get pierced yourself as much as possible, so you know how it feels, what you can do better, how to mark it the best to avoid rejection and how to size to jewelry, not too small because of swelling and not too big so it will move too much.
An experienced piercer should have a perfect eye for marking and choosing the right shape of jewelry and right material. And while doing the piercing, taking all neccessary precautions into consideration with care.Have a look in different shops. Ask for a possible photobook.
There is a tendency just to ask about prices and compare it with only that. This doesnt make sense; which one do you choose now? Cheap and low quality or expensive and high quality? Have a look at the jewelry displayed, try to catch a customer who just got pierced in the same place and ask the person if you can have a look at it. Piercers themselves can tell you a lot about the ways they work; do they have nice and clean and healed piercings themselves? Are their hands clean? Do they wash their hands before touching something? Do they take other people`s jewelry in their bare hands or with a towel or gloves? How long have they been piercing?
Piercing at streetfairs, markets, festivals etc not ok (piercing guns, dirty environment, low quality jewelry. And customers are too young, usually drunk and not clean) So-called guns for ear piercings have been forbidden by the Amsterdam health service. That is very good because a gun like that cannot be cleaned properly and cannot be sterilized at all. Furthermore it’s tricky for focusing and piercing cartilage with it can cause splinters or cracks in the cartilage and can traumatize the skin!
1012 KS, Amsterdam
Sometimes it can be busy at the shop and we'd like to take enough time for everybody. If you want to get pierced, try to arrive before 18:00 hrs, to avoid any disappointments.
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