The National Piercing Day is just around the corner on May 16th. The festivity promotes body modification and piercing as well as the culture and history behind the practices. Ear and nose piercings are the oldest forms of body modification that date back to biblical times. They are widespread among many cultures and nations. The oldest earrings date back to 2500 BC on a mummified body. Many societies adopted various forms of piercing. The Ancient Romans and Indians were very fond of the nipple and genital piercings. At the same time, African tribes were the first people to practice lip and tongue piercings. Although it may seem weird to some people, it’s a common occurrence in many places of the world.
Piercings are cool, let’s face it – they were cool almost 5000 years ago, and they’re still cool nowadays. People get pierced for many reasons: tradition, commemoration, pop-culture, fetishes, etc. However, the main reason is to look more aesthetic. A nicely placed piercing can highlight one’s sexuality and body features. Undoubtedly, a lovely piece of jewelry can sparkle up the admiration of the viewers. No matter the reason, getting a piercing is a personal experience that can open new perspectives about life, love, and spirituality. It’s a remarkable journey that will surely make you grow as an individual.
Safety, hygiene, and protocol
The most important thing, nonetheless, is to get pierced by a professional to avoid difficulties. A paper writing service conducted a study on college students in the US and found that 17% of pierced people suffered complications. Most of the issues were related to tissue trauma and infections. These types of problems can be easily avoided by practicing adequate hygiene and aftercare protocols.
Licensed piercing shops are the best bet to avoid health troubles and get proper education on how to take care of your piercings. You should never pierce yourself or let an untrained friend do it for you. DIY piercings can lead to serious bleeding, nerve damage, and severe infections. Make a wise decision and invest in hiring a certified professional.
The Monroe piercing
Also called the Madonna piercing or the Crayfish, this lip piercing type derives its name from Marilyn Monroe. The famous actress had a natural beauty spot on her cheek’s left side, just above the lip. The Monroe piercing is similar but usually worn on the right side and closer to the upper lip. The healing period is between 6 to 12 weeks.
This type of piercing generally uses a 14, 16, or an 18-gauge labret-barbell. A labret-barbell is a piece of classic piercing jewelry made from a straight bar with a round bead on each end. At least one of the beads is unscrewable. The other bead may be fixed via epoxy resin or welding. They’re named this way because they resemble a weightlifting barbell.
The length of the barbell is typically replaced with a shorter one after healing. Rarely, the lip can sometimes swell after the piercing, but scarring is almost non-existent. To avoid infection and other issues, facial and oral aftercare is paramount. Although the lip area heals quickly, the incisions can be somewhat painful. The upper portion of the lips contains an extensive nerve system and the superior labial artery. Another potential problem consists of the back-bead rubbing against the teeth and gums, resulting in tooth damage or gum recession. People that experience similar problems can try softer labret-studs made from plastic or more delicate materials.
A Monroe piercing on both sides of the upper lip is called Angel Bites. Furthermore, the anti-version of Angel Bites would be the Snake Bites worn on either side of the bottom lip.
The Rook piercing
Professional piercer Erik Dakota invented and popularized the rook piercing and named it after his name’s short version. The rook piercing is an incision of the antihelix part of the ear. The healing time is relatively long: 6 months until primary healing and 12 to 18 months for complete healing.
This versatile type of piercing can bear most jewelry types, but the most common ones are CBRs (captive bead rings) and curved barbells. Initially, many professionals recommend a curved barbell because it’s less curved than a CBR, reducing stress on the healing fistula. Most individuals choose smaller rings and shorter barbells due to the confined space of the area. Commonly, people need help in removing and reinserting jewelry due to the cramped nature of the site and the difficulty of seeing it.
Not everybody has the proper ear anatomy to tolerate such a cartilage piercing. People with undefined ridges in this area are discouraged from getting the piercing done. Complications usually consist of persistent soreness, migration, and rarely, rejection. Although some of the issues may result from poor aftercare, they often result from a lousy incision or inadequate anatomy. Rejection rarely occurs, and it’s usually because of poor placement or trauma to the piercing during healing. However, the area is rather hidden, and it’s less prone to accidental snags.
Due to the area’s cartilaginous nature, warm water with sea salt may be the best cleaning method. Soft antimicrobial soap is also suitable. It’s essential to avoid alcohol, peroxide, and potent anti-pathogenic substances as they dry and seal off the incision.
The Navel piercing
Also known as the belly button or umbilical dip piercing, the Navel piercing is a classic one. It refers to a piercing located in or around the navel area. In ancient times, this type of piercing meant courage and manliness. The Pharaohs of Egypt believed that the Navel piercing would help them transition into the afterlife. However, even if men were the first wearers, today, this piercing is associated with feminine beauty. The piercing is linked to fitness and well-defined abdominal muscles. For this type of piercing, the healing time is around 6 to 12 months.
The actual Navel can only be pierced if there’s an “outie” anatomy, indicating that the belly button protrudes. Contrarily, an “innie” anatomy means that the surrounding skin must be pierced in one or more locations. Typically, the most common area of incision is the upper navel rim.
Pop culture popularized the Navel piercing through artists such as Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Miley Cyrus, and even Slash, the male guitarist from Guns N’ Roses. Of course, belly dancing movies have also contributed to the propagation of the style.
There are many types of navel jewelry. However, barbells are the most common. Professionals recommend wearing a 14-gauge curved barbell until the site has completely healed. After, the wearer can choose from various options and styles such as dangling pendants, belly Huggies, flexible Teflon-based jewelry, captives, etc.
The health risks are fairly minimal. Nonetheless, infections may arise if the area isn’t regularly cleaned. A new naval piercing takes up to a year to fully heal. The jewel can’t be taken out during this time, which leaves it prone to bacterial infections. Some people experience scarring because the wound rarely heals to match the surrounding skin tone.
The National Piercing Day on May 16th is a celebration of piercings, tattoos, body modifications, and the culture encircling these ancient practices. The Monroe, Rook, and Navel piercings are indeed some of the best-looking adornments out there. They’re great starters for newbies wanting to get their first piercings or veterans looking to celebrate the festivity by adding another jewel to their bodies. In any case, it’s vital to go to a professional piercer to avoid health complications. More so, correct hygiene is fundamental for a stress-free experience. If you want to look and feel perfect, never skim on safety!