Think this is a bad joke? Think again! In this day in age it's not uncommon to see teenagers with piercing all over their body. Essentially most parts of the body can be pierced in one form or another and this dramatically increases the chances of hepatitis, HIV, tetanus, auricular hematoma, cauliflower ear, infections, allergic reactions, bleeding, and damage to nerves or teeth.
Most parents don't understand why their teenagers want to get pierced, but for most teens it's about individuality, fashion and personal freedom. Despite the health warnings, body and ear piercing among teenagers is on the rise! Because of this it's important to let parents and teens know of the potential dangers of un-safe piercing.
For many parents the idea of letting their teenagers get pierced is a scary thing. Parents should consider that piercing is not something that was invented overnight. Many cultures dating back thousands of years have used piercing and tattoos as a symbol of importance, religious beliefs and yes even as decoration. This being said piercing knowledge has come a very long way as well as the proper medical equipment. Parents should do as much research as possible into the available medical equipment before making a decision on teenage piercing. A great way is to do online research or even better yet, talk to other parents who have teenagers with piercing. Chances are they have gone through all the anxiety you may experience and know the answers to many of the questions that are running wild in your mind.
Along with the explosion of ear and body piercing has come research into the many new possibilities of damaging ones ears or jeopardizing ones health. Also new medical equipment has been developed to fight those problems. Scientists at the Center for Disease Control are researching a possible link between piercing and the infectious liver disease of viral hepatitis. Parents and teens should keep in mind that getting pierced with non-sterilized medical equipment can dramatically increase your chances of contracting hepatitis which is much more contagious than HIV (the virus that causes AIDS)! This alone should be enough to scare parents and teenagers and motivate them to become more informed on the subject of piercing and more informed about the proper medical equipment. However there are safe ways to get piercing.
Many doctors and online resources don't recommend doing the piercing yourself. Lack of medical sterilization equipment, proper piercing tools and experience typically lead to infections and / or hepatitis. If you're going to let your teenager get pierced choose wisely. Take them to a reputable piercing shop that uses state-of-the-art medical equipment and do your homework! Most piercing shops will be glad to explain proper sterilization practices with the right medical equipment and ask about the use of medical equipment such sterilizers and autoclaves which are used to effectively sanitize the tools needed for piercing. If you notice that the piercing shop uses a piercing gun to do body piercing go elsewhere. Piercing guns can't be sterilized and drastically increase the chance of infections.
If you want to play it really safe you can purchase a disposable ear piercing kit online. Many online medical equipment stores offer these kits at a very reasonable price. But keep in mind these kits are only for ear piercing, not body piercing. You should also consider letting someone with piercing experience pierce your teenager even with a disposable kit. These kits are very easy to use and are fully disposable thereby drastically reducing the risk of contracting hepatitis and other infections. Keep in mind however, that after your ear piercing is safely done you are not out of danger. Proper maintenance is required after you get your piercing. It's recommended that you wash the area with soap daily and use isopropyl alcohol on both sides of the ear at least twice a day. Another good idea is to use an antibiotic ointment every night for the first week. A triple antibiotic is preferred, but Bacitracin ointment will also work. Most drug stores or supermarkets will carry brand name and generic versions of these ointments.
If you decide to let your teenagers get their ear pierced they should start by wearing only gold earrings first. Some teenagers will find they are allergic to other metals. Once you have your earrings you should rotate them a minimum of twice a day to help prevent scabbing. It's recommended that you don't remove your earrings for at least three to four weeks to provide the skin adequate time to heal. Teenagers should wear their earrings a majority of the time during the first year. As far as body piercing goes most piercing shops will provide a list of needed "care and maintenance procedures" to keep your body piercing from becoming infected.
Allowing a teenager to receive ear and body piercing can be very scary for parents. With all the potential health risks it's easy to see why some parents don't allow their teenagers to get piercing. However it's good to keep in mind that if done appropriately your teenagers will remain in good health and will be allowed to express themselves in a unique way that they so desire.
Short note about the author
Jake Allen is a medical researcher. He specializes in recommending to the public the safest medical equipment to common health problems. You can find his pick for the safest piercing medical supplies at http://claflinequip.com.