In today's society, self expression has become a truly experimental art form that's stemmed from many different cultures, beliefs and ages of bodily progression. One of the biggest and longest running form is piercing. Piercings can define a person's ideals, character and even group affiliations and their commitment to being self aware and integrated into a community.
We will be discussing a few topics on the popularity of piercings, the many types available, their meanings, health benefits, personal motivations and aftercare.
As far back as 5,000 years ago, the piercing of ears have been found to have existed. Even the piercing of the nose dates back to 1500 BC. Though there are many types of piercings available today, the ears, nose, tongue, lips and eyebrows have been the most widespread and popular body modification practices to date. There are, however, other piercings such as the navel, nipples, genital and dermal, but that's for another conversation.
For this article we will focus on the ears, nose, tongue and lips.
As mentioned before, the piercing of ears has been dated back to over 5,000 years and has been the most progressive area of body modification overall. The piercing of one's ears has many different meanings throughout time. Everything from showing one's wealth and power, to being placed on slaves whom wished not to be freed in biblical times, though most were to adorn the ears as beauty.
Expanding from the simple lobe, throughout the entire cartilage, stretching of the lobes and even hollowing out portions of the cartilage sections depending on the religious or committed act of doing so. Some people have even received piercings to help fight migraines and body aches by piercing their daith, though it has not been proven to be 100% effective to date.
Here's a list of available piercings one can receive on their ear:
Nose & Septum Piercings
Although new to the western world, nose piercings have long since been around for thousands of years in Africa, India and the Middle East. The nose piercing is the second most popular piercing in the world, right behind the ear.
Piercing of the nose in the West used to be a sign of defiance and rebellion, whereas in places like India shows a symbol of significance, wealth or prestige and a great beauty accessory.
Places to get pierced on the nose include:
Coming in at number 3 of most popular types of piercings is the tongue. Prone to the highest area of infection, this isn't a modification to take lightly.
Here are the most popular types of the tongue to get:
When it comes to piercing the lips (orbicular muscles) there are a multitude of popular piercing styles and options. Though many places in the world have had the style of the labret, found in places like Papua New Guinea and the Amazon basin, the western culture has expanded other types.
Types of globally popular lip piercings:
Where to Get Piercings
When seeking an establishment or artist to do your piercing(s), it's very important to make sure that the location has a good reputation for cleanliness and reviews. Some shops will advertise all kinds of piercing options at low cost in comparison to other places, so be sure to do your research on them before making a commitment. In most cases, places that have lower prices are just trying to get clientele in the door and aren't always looking to provide them with a safe and hazard free environment.
Differences in professional and amateur shops are their handling and care of the shops overall care. If you notice a lack in cleanliness such as overflowing garbage bins, food wrappers around the counters or waiting areas (food and drink must be located in an area away from equipment that is used for sterilization and prepping), dirty and unclean floors, visible stains and smudges on glass tops and counters, damaged piercing tables and chairs (places when bacteria and bugs can hide) and a place that lacks any kind of organization (common sign of poorly cleaned and maintained wellness).
Another thing to take into consideration for your piercing professional is that high rates can mean that they have been in the business for a long time (look for their certifications and licensing -or ask to see- with official seals that show their level of professionalism). Whereas some shops just want to poke some holes in you without having much respect for their craft and results of making money.
Choosing the wrong person to pierce your body can lead to many problems and dangers for your health. Continue reading below for proper aftercare and dangers of piercings and body modifications.
Aftercare & Dangers
It's ALWAYS important to remember the cleaning and proper care of any open and/or exposed holes on your body, is to be highly taken care of with utmost importance to avoid any infections that can lead to many problems. Some of these problems include:
Now that you have a good understanding of the many types of popular piercings available, where to get them and the importance of keeping them clean, you have a step-up from those who aren't as informed. Choose wisely.