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5 reasons home piercings cause health issues

At-home piercings often lack these crucial elements, increasing the risk of infection
Photo credit: / shurkin_son-2

Body piercings have become increasingly popular, with many people expressing themselves through various placements and jewelry. While professional piercing studios offer a (relatively) safe experience, attempting a piercing at home can be dangerous and lead to a host of health complications.

Improper Techniques and Equipment

Professional piercers undergo training to understand sterile techniques, proper placement, and the anatomy of the pierced area. At-home piercings often lack these crucial elements, increasing the risk of infection.

  • Unsterilized Tools: Improvised tools like needles or safety pins used for home piercings will likely need to be more sterile. These instruments can harbor bacteria that can enter the wound during the piercing, leading to infections like abscesses (pus-filled pockets) or cellulitis (skin infection).

  • Incorrect Placement: Professional piercers understand the precise anatomy of different body areas and know where to place the piercing to avoid hitting nerves or blood vessels. An improperly placed piercing can damage nerves, blood vessels, or even organs, leading to pain, bleeding, and severe health issues.

Increased Risk of Infection

Even with sterilized tools, home piercings are more prone to infection due to the environment and aftercare practices.

  • Contaminated Environment: Homes generally harbor more bacteria than professional piercing studios, which maintain strict hygiene protocols. Performing a piercing in an unsterile environment increases the risk of bacteria entering the fresh wound.

  • Improper Aftercare: Professional piercers provide specific instructions on cleaning and caring for a new piercing. Without proper aftercare, the wound is more susceptible to infection, which can delay healing and cause complications.

Allergic Reactions

Jewelry used in piercings can sometimes trigger allergic reactions. This risk is heightened with home piercings as the quality and material of the jewelry might not be suitable for long-term wear in a piercing.

  • Nickel Allergies: Many inexpensive jewelry pieces contain nickel, a common allergen. An allergic reaction to nickel in piercings can cause itching, redness, swelling, and even pus formation.

  • Improper Material: Professional piercers typically use implant-grade titanium or surgical steel for initial piercings as these materials are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions. Improper materials used in home piercings can increase the risk of allergic reactions.

Scarring and Keloids

Improper piercing techniques, infections, and allergic reactions can all contribute to scarring around the piercing site. In some cases, keloids may develop. These are raised scar tissues that can extend beyond the original wound size.

  • Trauma to the Tissue: Rough piercing techniques or improper jewelry can traumatize the tissue, increasing the risk of scarring.

  • Infection and Inflammation: Infections and inflammation during healing can also disrupt the healing process and lead to scar formation.

Keloids are more common in individuals with a family history of keloid formation, but any piercing gone wrong can trigger keloid development.

The Importance of Seeking Professional Help

While body piercings can be a great way to express yourself, it’s crucial to prioritize your health and safety. Professional piercers offer a significantly safer and more comfortable experience.

  • Trained Professionals: Professional piercers have the knowledge, experience, and training to perform piercings safely and correctly.

  • Sterile Environment: Reputable piercing studios maintain strict hygiene protocols to minimize the risk of infection.

  • High-Quality Jewelry: Professional piercers use implant-grade jewelry that is less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions.

  • Aftercare Guidance: Experienced piercers provide clear instructions on properly caring for your new piercing to promote healing and minimize complications.

While the initial cost of a professional piercing may seem higher, it’s an investment in your health and well-being. Avoiding the potential health risks associated with home piercings saves you money in the long run, as you won’t have to treat infections or correct improper placements.


Body piercings can be a beautiful and personal form of self-expression. However, it’s essential to understand the risks associated with home piercings and the benefits of seeking professional help. A qualified piercer can ensure a safe and comfortable experience that minimizes the risk of health complications and allows you to enjoy your new piercing for years.

This story was created using AI technology.

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