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Facial piercings have been very popular throughout the years and throughout history, including both primitive and modern cultures. Tribes once used body modifications as a rite of passage. They preformed various brandings, scarrings, and piercings.
Tribes pierced the lips of women before marriage, and stretched the piercing to mark the times. They pierced the cheeks of tribe members, and wore bars connecting the piercings.
Nose piercings began 4,000 years ago in Middle East as they were thought to make childbirth easier due to the placement of the female reproductive organs. Rebekah, in Genesis was, even, given the gift of a nose ring. In many cases, in history, facial piercings were the mark of higher rank in society.
Today, we still see these piercings amongst our culture, as well as many other facial piercings. Facial piercings, as well as other body piercings serve as a mere aesthetic purpose.
Piercers of today, do not fall for historic guidelines, but instead, the thinking is rather "if it protrudes, it can be pierced." If you are thinking about getting some facial piercing, you need to think about healing, as it takes greater care in healing a facial piercing, as for the most part, the face is a flat surface. Plus, the face has several vital areas to which blood travels, so you want to watch healing and infections, as well as rejection and migration.
Because modern society is not like the tribes who practiced face piercings, you will want to consider many things if you decide to get a facial piercing. Consider your job, as most jobs will not allow facial piercings; consider what happens if it gets infected and you have a scar on your face; and consider every possible disadvantage before you get the piercing.
Various Facial Piercing Placements
Labret- Placed below the lip. Usually centered in the face, but can be off-center as well.
Vertical labret- Pierced vertically through the center of the lip.
Lip- Pierced directly below the lip. Can be centered or off centered. Usually worn with a CBR.
Monroe- Placed to appear as a birthmark, it is usually on the upper lip diagonal the nose. Named after the famous Marilyn Monroe.
Cheeks- Two piercings on either side of the face, to resemble dimples
Septum- Also known as an Earl; piercing directly through the septum of the nose. Usually worn with a CBR or horseshoe.
Nose- Jewelry is placed through the nostrils on either or both sides of the nose. Can be worn with a small CBR or nose screws.
Eyebrow- Piercing can be horizontal, but usually vertical. It's placed on the eyebrow.
Bridge- Pierced through the top of the nose between the eyes.
Healing facial piercings
Healing facial piercings is similar to healing other body piercings. You should use a saline solution or a mild sea salt solution, which consists of 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 6 ounces of water.
Clean the piercing itself, as well as around it with the saline or sea salt solution at least twice a day.
Soak a cotton ball or Q-Tip to clean the piercing. Do not use a towel.
You should, also, clean the piercing daily when in the shower. Gently rub a mild soap on and around the piercing. Push the jewelry in and out of the piercing, letting the soap clean the inside as well as the outside. Rinse the piercing thoroughly, as you do NOT want to have soap left on the piercing to dry. This will severely irritate the piercing, raising rejection rates and causing them to soar.
Do NOT fiddle with the piercing any other time than when cleaning it. Playing with the jewelry will cause irritation and possible migration.
Although the healing time for the different facial piercings will vary according to each person and each person's body. Healing time is, also, affected by your conscious effort to clean and take care of the piercing.
On average, the following piercings heal at an average rate of:
- Nostril (Nose)- 6 weeks to 6 months
- Septum- 8 weeks to 6 months
- Eyebrow- 6 weeks to 6 months
- Bridge- 10 weeks to 12 months
- Labret- 6 to 8 weeks
- Lip- 6 to 8 weeks
- Cheeks- 6 weeks to 6 months
Piercings of the mouth can also be considered facial piercings. These piercings include the tongue, tongue web (frowny), and upper web (smiley).
Mouth piercings are, actually, a very old piercing, dating back to the Aztec and Mayan cultures. Although, there is not any evidence of the people keeping permanent rings, or jewelry, through the piercings, the pictures show priests piercing tongues and drawing blood from the holes.
Mouth piercings are easy to heal as the saliva in our mouths carry strong bacteria that heal wounds quickly. But, even still you need to practice safe piercing aftercare.
To heal a mouth piercing, you can gurgle with an alcohol free antiseptic mouthwash. Healing time it usually 4-6 weeks.
Jobs and Piercings
When you decide to get a piercing, much less one that is visible, you need to think of everything.
If you are currently employed, how will your employer feel about your new lip piercing or tongue piercing?
If you are employed, but looking for a job. Having a visible piercing may inhibit your ability at finding a job.
In many cases, businesses will not hire people with visible facial or mouth piercings. In other cases, the piercings must be removed when on the job. In this case, are you willing to take out your piercing?
You shouldn't remove the jewelry unless the piercing is healed. How will you be able to put in a retainer if it's not recommended to even remove the jewelry the piercing was pierced with?
Sometimes, you can find a job with a visible facial piercing. You just have to be looking in the right spot and hope that it's a job that you enjoy. Because is a piercing really worth not being able to work?
I'm not saying not to get a visible piercing. You just need to think about how it will affect your employment and life before deciding to get it.
Pictures can be found at flickr.com.