Throughout history much has been written about tattoos, which are designs on the skin made with needles and colored ink, and body piercing, which is the practice of puncturing a part of the human body to create an opening in which jewelry may be worn. Naturally there are many opinions why people will wear tattoos and have body piercing. People often have preconceived, negative opinions when they see someone with tattoos and body piercings. Many people claim they get tattoos as a means of self-reflection of their identity, life goals, and interests. Since tattoos and piercing are so popular, this must be true. The purpose of this article is not to encourage or condemn tattoos and body piercings. The purpose is to explain what tattooing and body piercing are, explain the dangers, and express the necessity to carefully evaluate the choice to get a tattoo or piercing.
Tattoos are designs on the skin made with needles and colored ink. Permanent makeup is a type of tattoo. The word tattoo comes from a Tahitian word which means ‘to mark’ and it dates back to 3300 BC. Tattoos were found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies that date back to about 2000 BC.
Body piercing is the practice of puncturing a part of the human body to create an opening in which jewelry may be worn. One can have body piercing almost anywhere on the body. The history of body piercing is obscured by a lack of scholarly reference and because of popular misinformation; however, evidence exists to show it has been practiced since ancient times, in various forms and by both sexes, throughout the world.
There is a difference between body decoration and self-mutilation. Experts agree that cutting is not piercing and is a sign of serious psychological problems
Tattoos are often permanent and piercing can leave scars. Tattoos and piercing are hard and expensive to undo.
Because there are several concerns about tattoos during pregnancy, it’s probably best to wait until after delivery.
Laws in some states prohibit children from receiving tattoos and piercing because children don’t have the experience and ability to evaluate the dangers. Laws require minors to have a parent’s permission to get a tattoo. However, some adolescents get tattoos from friends or amateurs who use makeshift tools like pens and paper clips with little or any sanitary precautions. This is extremely dangerous. You should only get a tattoo from a licensed tattoo artist who takes appropriate safety precautions.
Long-term negative consequences can be related to large, excessive, and objectionable tattoos and multiple piercing.
Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS are two of many diseases that may be passed along by a dirty needle. Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection. HIV/AIDS is a life-threatening disease that prevents your body from fighting off other infections.
Every piercing offers risks such as bacterial infections, damage to nerves, excessive bleeding, and allergic reactions to particular jewelry. Some scars go beyond the original wound and other scars spread to the margins of the wound and no further.
Ear piercing is very common and is unlikely to cause infection if done properly. One should avoid removing ear rings during the first four weeks of healing. Ear rings should be worn most of the time during the first year or the holes can easily close up.
Tongue piercing recovery requires time and patience to avoid problems. One needs to use a non-alcohol mouthwash three times a day and use ice during the approximately three weeks healing process to reduce swelling. Tongue piercing can be risky for some people. One study reported that tongue rings can cause gum recession. This can result in required root canal or other oral surgeries. The rings can result in chipped teeth
Belly button piercing became popular after the early 1970s and is most common with women, but many men have this piercing also. The minimum healing time is normally six months, but a year is not uncommon.
Nipple piercing is common for both men and women. People have many reasons for nipple piercing. Men and women relate that the procedure increases sensations and others relate that it decreases sensations. The healing time varies from four months to over a year. Scars or post-piercing nipple development is common and the risks should be understood before nipple piercing. The nipple can be expected to grow in response to the piercing and jewelry stimulation. This is most common in undeveloped small female nipples and male nipples. This nipple growth can be very nice or it can be very unattractive.
Nose piercing dates back to about 1500 BC. The most common nose piercing is in the nostril, although placement in the septum or bridge of the nose is not uncommon. Nose piercing takes two months to a year of tender care to heal.
Holes from piercing usually close up if you no longer wear the jewelry.
The Association of Professional Piercers is a California-based, international non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of vital health and safety information about body piercing to piercers.
If you decide to get a tattoo or body piercing, make sure you go to a licensed facility and take time to discuss the safety procedures with the artists working at the shop or tattoo parlor.