It's true: augmented reality (AR) technology has been shaping the landscape of today’s beauty and fashion scene. One platform that banks on this trend is video-sharing app TikTok. Aside from the usual perks provided by the platform to its users, it’s also encouraging a style trend that started off digitally but had people wanting to bring it to life: adventurous piercings.
Now, you might be thinking that piercings are quite typical and there’s nothing wrong whether people are trying them out virtually or in reality. But the piercing filter on TikTok has sparked the Piercing Roulette challenge, where the filter would randomly suggest a piercing placement to the user and the person has to actually get it. It may sound cool and all, but people are reportedly doing it without any professional help. Yikes!
Before you start calling us killjoys, let's be clear that we’re not here to stop you from trying the trend. We just want you to take a teensy bit of caution. So here's the 411 on what you need to know before getting a new piercing.
Ask for your doctor’s advice prior to getting a piercing
While getting a piercing can be fun and spontaneous, getting the advice of your doctor prior to the procedure should also be a priority. Factors such as your blood sugar, blood pressure and pain tolerance actually play a big role in the process. The body has different — sometimes unexpected — ways of reacting to pain and dealing with healing. Since piercing is initially a punctured wound, knowing how your body will react to it is a must.
Get pierced by an expert
If you’re thinking that it’s as easy as poking a balloon, let us be the ones to burst your bubble (pun intended). The chances of getting an infection when piercing yourself or having someone inexperienced do it is high. You might even end up spending more for getting treated than going to a professional piercer. There are many licensed tattoo parlours across the region — who use sterile tools (important!) — that offer the service. There are also jewellery shops found in malls that can do it for you such as Unisilver or Silverworks in the Philippines, Goldheart or Stellar in Singapore, and Attic Jewelry in Malaysia.
Different piercing placements = different initial pain levels
For first-timers and repeaters alike, pain tolerance varies significantly. Where you're getting pierced informs this, too. Loose skin or body parts that don't have cartilages like your ear lobes, navel or tongue hurt less. Your septum or the upper and inner part of your ears are more sensitive so do expect more pain if you're getting piercings there.
Check your skin's sensitivity
Does your skin tend to get easily irritated under normal circumstances? It's best to stick to hypoallergenic studs then. Some people still tend to develop extra pain and irritation no matter how clean the piercing process was or how high-quality the rings/studs used are. It's important to know if your skin is more sensitive than others so your piercing and healing process goes smoothly.
The area needs extra — but not too much — care days after piercing
The best thing about getting pierced by a professional is that you get to ask all the after-care questions you can and get reliable answers. Each body part has a specific way to clean and care for post-piercing. Take your specialist’s advice to heart. The golden rule, though, is to not move your piercing while it's still healing. A nudge here and there might cause swelling, bleeding or other negative after-effects. Should this happen, consult a doctor right away.
Yes, piercing-holes heal but in varied rates
Got a piercing you regret? Don’t worry. They tend to heal. Non-cartilage piercings tend to heal faster than others. Piercings that also don't have earrings for a long while tend to become smaller (and sometimes close up completely) compared to holes that have jewellery.
Overall, similar to other fashion or beauty decision, getting a new piercing is an exciting prospect. But you still have to practice caution. Get pierced (or not), but do it safely.
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