Are you considering a new piercing? Whether it concerns your first piercing or you already have some experience, we will inform you about the essential aspects of the process on this page.
You can pierce almost any body part, each with its peculiarities. In this article we will stick to the more general issues, which apply in nearly all situations. We also look at the difference between using a piercing gun versus a piercing needle. Although this subject is specifically about ear piercings, we find it so important to make the differences clear.
Are you looking for specific information? Use the 'Jump To' section to quickly find the right information.
Piercing Gun vs Needle
Piercings are done with a needle. Only earrings or piercings in the part of the earlobe without cartilage can be done with a piercing gun. Never have an ear piercing in your cartilage done with a piercing gun.
What exactly is the difference between the two methods? Piercing with a needle is done by hand. Each needle is new and sterilized. Besides, a piercing needle is hollow inside and razor-sharp. The hollow needle creates the hole after which the piercing jewel is put in place. On the other hand, a piercing gun shoots the piercing bar through the skin at high speed. If performed correctly, special sterilized ear studs are used of which the bar is sharp enough to pass through the skin.
If you are going to have an earring done this way, always make sure that the used earring is new, sterilized, and sharp. Ordinary earrings are not suitable!
Except for Earrings in the Earlobe Without Cartilage!
Does it Hurt to get Pierced?
The short answer; yes it does. This sure doesn't come as a surprise. So let's take a closer look at how long the pain lasts and what you can do yourself to minimize the pain.
You will experience the most severe pain when the needle is pushed through the skin. This is a brief moment where you will have to grin and bear it.
In the following hours you will probably experience a painful throbbing sensation. Don't worry too much about this. This pain intensity decreases rapidly, and with a bit of luck the adrenaline will still rush through your body, which also has a suppressing effect.
Now your body needs time to recover, meaning the healing process begins. The first days won't be pleasant, but the pain should be bearable yet annoying. Aftercare is an important aspect. With proper hygiene you promote the healing process. More about this in the section 'Aftercare for Fresh Piercings'.
Finding the Right Piercing Studio
A vital part of the process is selecting the right piercing studio. You will find a wide range of studios in most cities. Earrings can often also be done at the local jewelry store, but whether that is the best choice is doubtful.
A professional piercing artist has had proper training and, therefore, is certified. Although everyone can follow such a course, many entrepreneurs pierce without having followed such a course. Always ask if the piercing artist of your choice has the appropriate certificate.
Furthermore, there are a few things you can check. Does the business look clean and tidy? Hygiene of the instruments such as the needle and the jewelry is essential. Hence, you may expect the rest of the studio to be spotless.
Also be aware of how you are received. You might have more questions than just whether the artist is certified. How do they deal with all your questions? Do they make you get the feeling you're asking difficult questions, or are any concerns you might have not taken seriously? If so, thanks but no thanks, and continue your search for a suitable studio.
Piercing Studio Checklist
Is the Piercing Artist certified?
Is the Piercing Studio spotless?
How do they deal with your questions?
Picking the Right Jewelry and Material
When you are getting pierced, you cannot use a standard piercing jewel. Initial piercing jewelry differs from standard piercing jewelry. Together with your piercing artist, you select the best piercing type and appropriate sizes.
Fresh piercings are likely to swell during the healing period, especially in the beginning. The bar of the piercing jewel should be longer to provide room in case of such swelling. Also consider getting a simple and lightweight design. This can significantly improve the healing process. Remember that initial piercing jewelry should be sterilized before it is put in.
Initial piercing jewelry must be free of any nickel. Most piercing artists will use titanium jewelry, which is perfect. You can also get a jewel made of 14 Kt. Yellow or Rose gold if preferred. White gold is not suitable, as this may contain Nickel. We recommend using titanium jewelry for your initial piercing. Once healed properly, you can switch to a new piece that no longer requires extra space for swelling. Be aware that 316L surgical steel contains nickel. Only switch to such piercing jewelry once your piercing is fully healed. You can read more about the various materials available in our material guides.
Aftercare for Fresh Piercings
Taking care of your fresh piercing is a vital part of the process. First, make sure to avoid touching your piercing. If you need to touch it, wash your hands thoroughly first.
Keeping your piercing clean is another essential element. Use a saline solution, such as our salt spray, to clean your fresh piercing twice a day. We recommend doing so once in the morning and once in the evening.
After the first two weeks, you can combine regular salt spray usage with our line of products containing tea tree oil. Our healing oil or salt spray with tea tree oil helps fight bacteria and prevent or deal with inflammation. You can find the complete line of products on our piercing aftercare page.
Proper aftercare will improve the overall healing process. Make sure to continue your aftercare routine throughout the healing period. Prevent products containing alcohol while your piercing is still in the healing process. For more information regarding our aftercare products' correct usage, you can find more specific instructions on the product pages.
How long does it take to Heal?
Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to how long it will take for your piercing to heal fully. No one is the same, and many factors contribute to the overall length of the process. If you follow your aftercare routine strictly and don't suffer from any infections, it can take around three months for most piercings. Bear in mind that some piercings, such as cartilage piercings, can take much longer to heal. It may take up to a year in some cases. Your piercing artist can inform you about the average healing period for your specific piercing.
As said before, proper aftercare can significantly improve the length of the healing period. Especially the usage of our line of healing products can help avoid infections, allowing your body to focus on the healing process itself entirely. Did you know that sleep is also crucial for the healing process? While you sleep, the brain triggers the release of hormones that are vital for the healing process.
Replacing the Piercing Jewelry
A major milestone after getting a piercing done is the moment when you can replace the initial jewelry with a beautiful piece you carefully selected. Although tempting for some, we recommend not switching the jewel while your piercing is still sensitive. It is not always necessary to wait until it is fully healed. Consult with your piercing artist to see if you can replace it sooner. Do keep in mind that you still cannot wear any jewelry that contains nickel during the healing period.
Luckily there are enough pieces available made of titanium or 14 kt. gold that you can wear. If all went well, the risk of swellings is over so there no longer the need to get something with an extra-long piercing bar. It is likely that there are various piercing types suitable for your new piercing. Discover the different types and available designs via our shopping guides. You can also find more information regarding the standard or most common sizes for your specific piercing type.