Piercing is a body modification procedure which involves opening up a small area of the skin so that a variety of forms of jewellery can protrude from the opening. A cosmetic practice that has been around for hundreds of years, this procedure of piercing is usually quick and simple, and is enacted purely for aesthetic enhancement purposes and/or to provide people with a particular type of image. The simplicity of the act means that non-medical professionals are able to perform piercings provided they are licensed to do so. Usually the process is carried out with a special piercing gun which is designed to create a tiny hole in the skin, but other professional piercers will use a sterilised, hollow needle instead.
The most common area of the body that people tend to get pierced is the earlobe, although other popular choices include the nose, eyebrows, nipples, lip, and tongue. Whilst a gun is often used for the ears, most other types are carried out by using a sterilised needle which is squeezed through the skin to make a clean and clear opening. Aside from certain areas of the face, another popular piercing site is the belly button - a process which requires the piercer to enter a curved bar through the tiny hole, and then screwing on some balls or bells for added decorative effect. No matter what type of piercings a person is looking to receive, these areas will always be thoroughly cleaned with antiseptic solution by the piercer first in order to create a hygienic patch of skin that is safe for puncturing.
There are no official age limitations or restrictions when it comes getting your body pierced. That said, it is inadvisable to take newborn babies for a procedure as bodies are extremely small, and it is always best to wait until they have grown into a relatively mature age before going ahead with the process so that the piercing site is large enough. The process itself is not painful, although patients will experience a slight, brief prick when the needle is first inserted or gun is fired.
The after-effects of piercing vary depending on which body site has been worked on. According to safepiercing.org, it is necessary to soak the pierced part of the body in saline solution a couple of times a day for 5-10 minutes at a time, whilst ensuring to keep the area clean and dry. Occasionally, complications can arise after getting a specific part of the body pierced, which may cause a degree of discomfort and will require a re-piercing procedure. Read outlines of the kind of symptoms and warning signs that anyone ought to look out for, which include swelling at the site of injection, wounds refusing to heal, and any form of leakage, here.