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Surviving a Body Piercing

Updated on February 12, 2009

Wanting to get a body piercing, but are afraid to go through with it? Maybe you're having second thoughts about getting your belly button pierced, because you've heard how painful it is? Perhaps you're scared of getting your nose pierced because you've heard about the threat of hurting your facial nerve that runs close to that area? Here are some encouraging thoughts to consider.

Step 1:

Go to a tattoo/piercing establishment that you've heard good things about from other people. If you haven't heard anything from anyone else, you could call the establishment and talk to someone knowledgeable about the procedure.

Step 2:

Call ahead for pricing, so you'll know exactly how much to bring with you and what forms of payment they accept. In most places, it may also be encouraged to tip your piercer or tattooer.

Step 3:

Show up with plenty of time on your hands. You don't want to be in a hurry or else you might not think to ask the right questions or get the right information.

Step 4:

Look over all the rings, studs, nose screws, barbells, or whatever device you're getting. Ask about all the different types of metals they offer, and the pros & cons of each. Most places nowadays offer jewelry made from all sorts of materials, from surgical, stainless steel, to bone, stone, crystal, or titanium. Some of these materials may be more expensive than others, so make sure you ask about the differences in prices. You may even want to ask for a description of how your body may react to having this certain material inside your skin, especially when healing.

Step 5:

Show up knowing exactly where on your body you want the hole & the jewelry. Don't let the person talk you into something that you're not ready for or wasn't expecting. Unless they can provide reasonable-sounding medical reasons why you should or shouldn't get something pierced exactly where you want it; write them off and continue with your original plan. And make sure the person piercing you sounds like they have some experience or qualifications (at the very least). It is OKAY to ask them about their level of experience or what certifications they hold. The more educated and knowledgeable someone is, the better!

Step 6:

Probably most importantly, make sure the person STERILIZES THE TOOLS & JEWELRY right in front of you. You need to physically watch them sterilize all needles, jewelry, and tools. Most places require this for safety's sake, but you need to make sure you actually see it being sterilized. And most places will open up a one-time-use-only needle from a sealed, sterilized packet in front of you as well. This is good! Make sure the place is clean and that the person has washed their hands and is wearing gloves. If the establishment or person does not meet your cleanliness standards; LEAVE and go elsewhere!


  • It is okay to ask questions, even if you're afraid of sounding silly. After all, this is YOUR body, not theirs. You have a right to know everything.
  • Make sure the piercer opens up the sterile needle in front of you, and make sure they have washed their hands & are wearing gloves.
  • If the piercer puts the marker dot on your body to let you know where the hole is going to be, and you don't like it, SPEAK UP and GET IT CHANGED. Don't be afraid to have the person make it right. You're paying them, after all.
  • The establishment should give you a piece of paper with care & healing instructions, and should talk you through all of them and ask if you have any questions about anything. LISTEN & ASK!
  • If an establishment or piercer gives you a strange vibe, looks dirty, or just weirds you out, then you should leave the establishment or at least ask for a different piercer. Trust your instincts.
  • When it comes to facial piercings, some risk is involved, because facial nerves run below the skin on your face. If these nerves are injured during a piercing procedure, sometimes there is slight numbness for awhile, and then everything goes back to normal and the feeling returns. But sometimes a nerve is injured for good and the feeling never comes back. This is fairly rare, though. If this concerns you, by all means discuss it with your doctor and the piercer.


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    • relawshe profile image

      Rachel L 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Chris Eddy111,

      Hello, and thanks for the positive comment! I have 11 piercings in my ears (just got my ears pierced again last weekend), my bellybutton is pierced, and I got my nose pierced at the end of last September, the day after my wedding! We were on our way down to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for our honeymoon and we stopped and I got my nose pierced! It was my husband's wedding present to me.

      I also have a tattoo on my lower back of a Christian fish with flowers & vines around it.

      And yeah, my eyes watered quite a bit as well when I got my nose pierced. :)

    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Good advice. I got my nose pierced and that was an oucher. When that needle went into my nose my eyes began to water as if I was crying. I went with friends and we all did it. It's good when you have company. Where are your piercings?