Jewellery can be worn in a hole in the skin that is created by puncturing or cutting the skin, this is one way to drastically change a person’s appearance. Piercing can be a noun used to describe the actual hole the jewellery is worn in, or as a verb to describe the act of putting the hole in the skin. The history of body piercing is not very complete, and misinformation is very common, but it actually can be proven that both men and women have been practicing this form of body modification throughout the world since ancient times.
The most popular piercings have always been nose piercing and ear piercing, which is evident in graves and historical records. There have been mummified remains found that are 5,000 years old that are wearing earrings, so it is obvious this practice is not new. Even as long ago as 1500 B.C.E. people were getting their noses pierced. Some other cultures, such as the tribal cultures of Africa and America, have been known to also regularly get tongue and lip piercings. Many people think that nipple and genital piercing is a new fad, but these nipple piercings were described in Ancient Rome and in the Ancient India ca they discussed genital piercings. Piercings even took place in 320 to 550 C.E. Since World War II piercings have been steadily gaining popularity, in the 1970’s subcultures began to be more impressed with piercings in places other than the ears and by the 1990’s the practice of getting piercings in other places has become very common.
People have many different reasons for getting body piercings. Some people like the way they look, some use it as a way to express themselves, some to rebel against their culture and some even think it increases sexual pleasure. Youth getting piercings still remains a taboo subject in most areas. Most employers, schools, and even some religious groups restrict their membership depending on what type of piercings people have. Controversy is never enough to stop some people, as is the case with body piercing; some people have been recorded by the Guinness World Records as having hundreds and even thousands of body piercings.
Tools have been developed specially for the art of body piercing, and are supposed to make the practice safer than it had been. Yet, as with any invasive procedure, there are still risks that people take when getting a body piercing, careful aftercare and sanitary procedures have helped cut the risks but it is still possible to get excessive scarring, infection, allergic reaction, and unanticipated physical injuries. Depending on where a piercing is placed, and how well it is taken care of, healing time may vary as long as two years for a navel piercing and as low as a month for genital piercing.