When you hit the age of 18, that’s when you’re considered an adult, in the eyes of the law. So what does that mean? That means that you have more freedom and rights than you did when you were 16 but it still means you’re not old enough to drink but, nonetheless, the freedoms you do have are good enough to hold you until you turn 21.
One of the biggest freedoms you have once you turn 18 is that you’re of age to get a piercing. Most tattoo and piercing parlors require their customers to be 18 years old and once teens turn 18, the piercing and tattoo parlor is the first place they want to go. Parents tend to not want their kids to get piercings done and because of this, most teens will wait to get their piercings until they go off to college.
*Sidenote: If you’re a parent with a teen who’s about to go off to college, you might want to add peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and vaseline to your care package of safety items to send to your college student.*
The reason teens tend to get piercings when they go off to college is because it’s one of the first big decisions they can make on their own without their parents telling them not to do it. There really isn’t anything wrong with getting a piercing, parents just worry. But before getting a piercing, there are a few things you need to know about first.
You have to understand that getting a piercing is a major change for your body to undertake. That means that the entire piercing process needs to be handled with care from start to finish. So before you think about lighting the tip of a needle and piercing your ear with it, don’t do it and see a professional, but even in seeing a professional piercer, take these four things into consideration first.
Top 4 Considerations Before Getting a Piercing
1. Figure Out the Type of Piercing You Want and Where You Want It
When it comes to piercings, you have several options to choose from. For example, you can get your bellybutton pierced and tongue pierced… your ear alone has 10 different places to get pierced so before heading to the parlor, you want to already know where you want to get pierced so that you’re not in there saying “ummm…?”
It’s also important to figure out the piercing you want because you want one that’s going to match your personality. As crazy as this may sound, some people tend to think that piercings are for people who wear a lot of black or dress gothic… that’s not the case at all. The truth is that piercings are an art and they make a statement, depending on where it’s located so take the time out to seriously think of the type of piercing you want and where you want it… that’ll determine the type of statement you want to make.
2. Find Out How Long It Will Take Your Piercing to Heal
With it being something as small as a piercing, you’re probably thinking that the healing time won’t take that long… well, the reality is that certain piercings, depending on where it’s located, can actually take a lot longer than you initially thought.
Your ear is one of the locations that take the longest to heal. A piercing in any area of the cartilage of your ear can take six to twelve months to heal. A nipple piercing can take eight to twelve months. So, if you’re not willing to dedicate the necessary time to make sure that your piercing heals properly, you probably need to reconsider getting the piercing altogether.
3. Do You Want the Needle or the Gun?
Deciding whether you want a needle or the gun is dependent on the type of piercing you get. Some people like the gun because it’s quick… with the simple press of a button, your piercing is done. People tend to try and steer clear of the needle at all costs simply because of the word “needle”… it’s a lot scarier than it actually is.
When people hear the word “needle” they always associate it with a painful experience, typically from doctor and dentist visits, and it understandable but what people fail to realize is that the sharper the needle is, the less it will hurt, plus needls just give you a more clean-cut piercing.
With guns, it can be hard to get the right angle… needles are more precise but ultimately, it’s up to the piercer on whether the gun or the needle is the better option for the type of piercing you’re getting,
4. Find Quality Jewelry to Wear
When you get a piercing, regardless of where it’s located, they’re going to pierce you with the standard type of jewelry and you typically need to leave it in there a certain amount of time before being able to switch it out to jewelry that you really like. Just make sure that whatever piece of jewelry you choose, that it’s high-quality body jewelry. This is going to help protect you from allergic reactions and infections.
Take Aftercare Seriously
After your piercing is complete, your piercer is going to give you instructions on how to clean and care for your piercing and tell you how long to care for it. You might be a few months into the healing process and your piercing feels completely healed but the Association of Piercing Professionals states that you still need to care for and clean your piercing for the amount of time your piercer gave you, regardless of if you feel healed before the given healing time.
It’s perfectly normal to experience bleeding, discoloration, and localized swelling after your piercing but with continued aftercare, those symptoms will soon dissipate as your healing continues.