Body piercing is an art that can be traced to various ancient traditions. Though its modern form has become more safe, certain precautions are essential.
A Kabbalah symbol on Britney’s neck might sound appealing enough to the modern primitives. A 21st century fashion trend, as we see, these body arts bear their roots in the ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt, Rome, even the 16th century India.
For them body arts determined their sense of belonging to their community and also protected them from evil manifestations.
Apart from the nose and ear piercing, tongue piercing, naval piercing, snake bites and gauged ears are few exotic piercings one may opt for. An even more adventurous as one may put it so, would be the genital piercing.
Despite the appealing looks and various erotic, or even religious and sub cultural identifications these body piercings have adverse impacts.
The abnormal puncturing of the skin causes allergies, infections, nerve damage, keloids and cross contamination etc. The most common kind of infection is that of Staphylococcus aureus which results in swelling, redness and pus formation at the site of damage. Even certain TTDs (Transfusion-Transmitted-diseases) are caused due to suck punctures such as:
Viral Infections: Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D,AIDS(Acquired immune deficiency syndrome), cutaneous infections, Vaccinia.
Bacterial Infections: Streptococcus pyogenes causing impetigo, septicemia.
Fungal Infections: Sporotrix schenkii transmitting sporotrichosis, Saksenaea vasiformis transmitting zygomycosis.
Lack of good aftercare or unhygienic piercing also leads to such consequences. Thus body piercing should be done by skilled professionals. Moreover, sterilized piercing equipment is a primary and basic requirement. For instance the nickel content of gold studs might cause dry, crusty, itchy, red skin rash with watery blisters. Thus as a remedy, one should use non-allergic metals like titanium, non- reactive surgical stainless steel or nobium.
The tattoos are industrial organic pigments with highly microbiological and impurity load which are punctured into the skin. Even body piercing is an invasive procedure which is not devoid of any damages. The contemporary piercing procedure usually involves the usage of a sharp needle or scalpel for the removal of the tissue. The healing time depends on the kind of piercing.
- Ear piercings heal within 3-4 months.
- Nose piercings take 2-3 months.
- Ear cartilages heal in 4-12 months.
- Eye brows take 3-4 months.
- Nostrils take 2-4 months.
- Nasal Septum takes 6-8 months.
- Nasal bridge takes 2-3 months.
- Tongue takes 1 month.
- Lip takes 2-3 months.
- Nipple takes 3-6 months.
- Navel takes 4-12 months.
The reason for difference in time of healing is due to:
- Varied tissues in different areas and
- The pressure applied on the pierced area during sleeping time.
Different body piercings have different after effects. For instance:
- Tongue piercings damage the taste buds a lot initially, but heal comparatively faster if the right kind of jewelry is used.
- In some cases nipple piercing numbs the sensation at the piercing site and can destroy the milk producing glands in a female which might pose problems if the woman decides to breast-feed her baby.
- Tight fitting clothes can infect piercing sites in the navel in the similar way.
- Patients with heart diseases, medically termed as endocartitis, should avoid piercings as much as possible. The immune system is weaker in such cases and hence once their skin gets breached they stand greater chances of being attacked by germs from outside.
- Piercing of eye brows causes sagging of the skin due to the damage caused to the nerve and not just the vein of the skin.
- Oral piercing causes damage to the gum, wearing of the tooth enamel and chipping of the tooth, also numbness of the gums.
Varied as it might be the diversity of tattoos and piercings are considered by some as a part of the modern lifestyle or relationship or even as one might put it as social play. For gay men body piercing is considered as a symbol of self identification. For some it is considered as a means of non-conformity while for others it a style statement.
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