How To Survive Your First Piercing
Read this and be sure to get the first one right
March 17, 2021
Getting started with piercings can be daunting, and sometimes downright scary, but for most of those who start, it becomes a lifelong passion and a major part of their appearance and lifestyle.
Here is your guide to make sure you know what your first steps are. This guide is aimed at those of you who just started out, but of course can also be a reference for you if you’ve had your first one years ago!
Why Get a Piercing?
Piercings are popular methods of body modification for a number of reasons. For one thing, piercings lack the permanence that tattooing and branding have. You have the freedom to keep them for as long as you want.
Additionally, piercings are highly customizable because you can mix and match different pieces of jewellery for the same spot to go with your outfit or mood. You could go for the classic gold or silver stud on some days and opt for something bejewelled on other days. Or maybe, you prefer piercings with a plain black or anodized finish.
Our tips for a great first time
Before you start letting your mind run and daydreaming about jewellery, it’s best to step back and think a few things through before you go in to get a piercing. There are a few things you need to keep in mind before you start blinging out your body.
Always Go to a (Great) Professional
While it can seem tempting to try and pierce yourself to save costs, you incur a higher chance of infection and an unsuccessful piercing. When you go to a reputable professional, you are guaranteed that the procedure will be safe, the pain will be minimal and your individual needs will be recognized.
A body piercer worth his or her salt has gone through rigorous training and apprenticeship to become qualified and reputable at their craft. It pays off to choose one who might be a bit more pricey but knows what they are doing. If you have multiple options, shop around, and select the one you are most comfortable with. If there are not many options nearby, check out the offerings the next town over, or even make a weekend out of it, if the drive is too far away.
Make sure to take a look at the portfolio of your body piercer on social media before the visit and at the shop as well. Choose someone who specializes in the kinds of piercings that you’re planning to get, and it also helps to get referrals from friends who’ve already had good experiences. Most importantly, you should choose a shop that’s clean, well maintained and you feel comfortable in.
Don’t be shy to ask questions, before and after the procedure. Only follow through if they are happy to answer them!
On Guns And Needles
This is an important point, so it gets its own section: First off, Guns are a no-no! Good piercers go for the needle because it is more accurate and sanitary. Piercing guns, on the other hand, can’t be thoroughly cleaned and simply force the sharp end of jewellery into the skin.
This often results in a lumpier piercing because no skin is removed, it's merely pushed to the side. On the other hand, hollowed needles remove some skin to make ample room for a piercing that will feel and heal better.
Make sure the needle is sterile. Ideally, it should be from a freshly opened package or at least taken from the autoclave. Insist that your piercer wears gloves. Run away if they won’t.
Come In Prepared
Make sure you’ve eaten a decent meal and gotten enough sleep before you go in for your session. Don’t party too long or too hard the night before. While the piercing process can be quick, it’s easier to endure pain when you’re well-rested and full.
Go to your session with an open mind. The body piercer is the artist and your body is their canvas. While they do know how to make certain piercings look good on anybody, they can also recognize when your individual anatomy doesn't suit the piercing you want. Be ready to compromise and listen to your piercer's advice.
Cheatsheet! Tips for your first visit to the piercer (and each on after that)!
- It will hurt (a little) and it might bleed. That's ok and completely normal. Your piercer will know how to handle it, try to stay as cool as possible. Think beautiful thoughts.
- Tell your piercer that it's your first one and you are nervous if you want. It helps!
- Bring a few sweets too help you if you get dizzy.
- If you are feeling sick, don't go! Wait until you are better. If you are taking any medication, make sure to mention it to your piercer.
- Wear comfy clothes which will not put pressure on the new piercing. Bring a hairband for ear piercings.
- If you don't 100% agree with where the piercer has marked you, ask them to remark it.
- You might get asked for ID, parental confirmation etc. Don't forget them!
- You can bring a friend, but ONLY if they are cool as a cucumber. You don't want anyone there making you more nervous.
Follow Through With the Aftercare
Remember that you need to do your part to make sure your piercings heal correctly and beautifully. Never touch your new piercing without washing or disinfecting your hands first to keep possible contaminations to a minimum.
Make sure to clean the area of the piercing more than once a day - the frequency will depend on the type of piercing you get. You can gently clean around the area with a mild soap or use a sterile wound wash saline if you have a more awkwardly placed piercing.
Be careful not to move or twist the jewellery beyond what’s reasonably possible too. You got your piercing to be looked at and admired, not played with. This means that you should avoid sleeping on your side in the 1-2 weeks after your piercing session. You can use airline pillows for this. You made an investment by getting this piercing, keeping skin trauma to a minimum is one way to take care of it so it can heal beautifully.
Be Aware of Healing Times and Watch Out for Infections
The healing time greatly depends on the kind of ear piercing you decide to get. A simple earlobe piercing can be fully healed within 6 weeks while a helix or industrial piercing can take as long as 1 year to fully heal. To be on the safe side, it’s best to wait around a year before removing or changing out the jewellery of your piercings.
During this time, it’s also important to watch out for infections. It’s normal for your skin to get irritated whenever you get a new piercing, this is a normal response to a foreign object going through the skin. If your piercing is red, swollen, and has a thick discharge that smells awful, it’s likely infected and you should seek medical assistance right away.
Let Us Help You Decide
Getting your first piercing can be a daunting experience, especially when you have deeper reasons for doing so. However, by remembering these tips, your piercing session and healing process can be as smooth as possible. After all, some people liken piercings to chips. You can never just have one!
Check out our recommendations at Crazy Factory for popular piercings below:
This has been THE classic since we can remember and the very first piercing many of us got. Most people will choose a glitzy curved barbell for their bee-bee, but you can also opt for a piercing ring or spiral - it's all up to you!
There’s a reason why these are so popular. The placement is beautiful and you can have as many as you want. Get creative with these beauties, or find loads more here
Fancy a more understated piercing? Tragus piercings will be great for you! Make a subtle statement with our picks.
Channel an aura of tough confidence by going for an industrial piercing. We have cool designs that deviate from your usual straight bar piercing:
How To Survive Your First Piercing
Originally published on March 17, 2021