Piercing FAQs

1. I want to get a body piercing. How much will it cost?
The cost of a body piercing varies depending on several factors, including where you’re located, how close to a major city you are, and what kind of piercing you’re having done. Generally, the more difficult the piercing, the higher the cost. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for as well, so don’t depend entirely upon cost to choose your piercer. If a piercer is charging significantly under the market cost in our area, he may be cutting corners in areas he shouldn’t, such as sterilization and other safety procedures.

2. Does it hurt?
In simple terms, yes. Does it hurt much? Most people will tell you, “No, not really.” It’s usually more like a pinching or popping sensation than anything. The sensation of pain is relative—some people feel it more than others. The adrenalin rush of the piercing usually means the pain in minimal.

After the initial pain when the needle goes through the piercing, you may feel some dull pain or an aching sensation for a few hours, which can be relieved with an over the counter pain reliever. One piercing that does hurt a bit more than others is the tongue piercing, which will swell and be sensitive for a few days. Ice chips and popsicles will help soothe the pain of this kind of new piercing.

3. How long does it take a body piercing to heal?
Answer: See our After Care Information

4. How can I tell if a piercing is infected, or it’s just normal healing stuff?
All body piercings will have some drainage during the first several days. This is because you have basically given your body a puncture wound, and your body will bleed for a while, and then have drainage of some fluids as it heals. These fluids are actually good for you, as they keep the area moist and clean and will wash away some of the dirt and germs that might otherwise stay in the area.

Bleeding should stop within a few hours or the first day and be only small amounts. Often it will look watery. Drainage will be mostly a clear, watery discharge, although it can sometimes be somewhat white in color. The drainage will form “crusties” around the jewelry that can be washed off with warm, soapy water when you clean your piercing each day.

A piercing is infected when the discharge is either green or yellow. Also, if the area becomes swollen or inflamed again after the initial swelling has subsided. Any time you see green or yellow pus or discharge; you should see a doctor and get appropriate medical treatment. It won’t necessarily mean you have to remove your piercing; you may simply have to take a course of antibiotics. If the area becomes red and inflamed with red streaks radiating out from the area, see a doctor right away.

5. What should I look for in a good body piercing studio?
A good body piercing studio must first and foremost be clean, clean, and clean! The most common cause of infection is piercings is simple exposure to germs, so look for a piercing studio that is very strict about its cleanliness and sterilization procedures. They should have a separate room where nothing else is done but piercings.

They should always have an operational autoclave, which is a wet steam sterilization unit that is to be used to clean and sterilize all tools and equipment used during piercing. They should also pierce only with single-use, disposable needles that are pre-wrapped. Ask them if this is what they use, and insist that the needles not be opened until they are actually ready to do your piercing so that you can confirm they are sterile-wrapped.

Look for experience and qualifications. Have all the piercers been through an apprenticeship program? If so, for how long did they train and where? Also make sure they are licensed to operate a piercing studio by their state’s department of health. In most states this is now mandatory. Also check the date to make sure it isn’t expired.

6. What should I clean my piercing with?
Answer: See our After Care Information

7. What causes migration? Is it the same as rejection?
Rejection is a more severe form of migration. Migration is when a body piercing begins to move through the flesh because the body is trying to force it out of the skin and get rid of it. In some cases, the body only partially succeeds, and the piercing “migrates” so that it ends up being crooked or misaligned.

When the body completely forces a piercing out of the body, it is called a “rejection,” because the body has completely rejected the piece of jewelry, basically “spitting it out.” This is because any piercing jewelry is a foreign object that the body sees as an invader to be gotten rid of, especially if the piercing is poorly done so that the jewelry aggravates the skin tissues.

8. What if I want to become a professional piercer?
Behave responsibly. Visit a few piercing studios that you know are top quality and ask about internship programs and other options. You should also take courses in first aid, blood borne pathogens and other illnesses that are commonly transmitted by needles. Many of these courses are offered through community colleges or local hospital extensions. The most important thing is to be fully trained and completely experienced in all manner of piercing before setting yourself up as a piercer on your own—both for your own legal protection and the legal protection and the safety and well-being of those who come to you for body piercing.