Over the past few years, body art has become popular for lots of people, and it’s hard to walk down the street, go to the mall, or watch TV without seeing someone with a body piercing or a tattoo. Whether it’s ears, lips, nostrils, eyebrows, belly buttons, tongues, or even cheeks, you’ve probably seen piercing – maybe multiple piercing – on many people. You might think body piercing look cool and you’ve thought about getting one. But are they safe? And what should you be aware of if you do decide to get one?


If you’re thinking about getting pierced, do your research first. It is a good idea to find out what risks are involved and how best to protect yourself from infections and other complications. Certain sites on the body can cause more problems than others – infection is a common complication of mouth and nose piercing because of the millions of bacteria that live in those areas. Tongue piercing can damage teeth over time. And tongue, cheek and lip piercing can cause gum problems.

If you have a medical problem such as allergies, diabetes, skin disorders, a condition that affects your immune system, or infections – or if your are pregnant, better ask your doctor if there are any special concerns you should have or precautions you should take beforehand. Also, it’s not a good idea to get a body piercing if you are prone to getting keloids (an overgrowth of scar tissue).


Before you decide to get a body piercing, also do some investigative work about the body piercing shop’s procedures and find out whether they provide a clean and safe environment for their customer. Every shop should have an autoclave (a sterilizing machine) and should keep instruments in sealed packets.