www.whyville.net Nov 14, 2007 Weekly Issue

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Last week, the article "What are you Doing to Your Body" by Eric5675 had some valuable advice, but it is with this reader's opinion that it had far too much of an bias against piercings. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get, or being pierced.

I'd like to share my advice with you, as an "extreme" piercee or even maybe even "[looking] kinda creepy" person. This advice comes from experience, pamphlets they handed me, and a thing I like to call common sense.

First off . . . piercings are not forever, tattoos are, but piercings are not. You can always take them out, and sometimes your body will try and force them out. Especially facial and surface piercings, they can migrate and be rejected. That means in short, like a transplant, your body may not accept what you have done and will refuse to have it. Unlike a transplant however, your skin will push the piercing out, resulting in scars or even irreversible damage.

The leading cause of rejection is infection. That doesn't mean when you get infected to just take it out, in fact that's the worst thing you can do. It is possible for a piercing that is infected that you remove the jewelry from to heal over and trap the infect inside. When you get an infection, its best to treat it with what either your piercer recommended or your family doctor. I am not a doctor but I find that Polysporin or Bactine works the best.

There are some piercings you need to be a certain age for. My advice - don't go around your parent's backs and do it anyways without permission; whether you are of age or not. Secondly, let's talk about rules here.

There are laws that parlours need to abide by, and one of them is checking for proper identification to verify your age and proper permission from your parents. Others include sterilization practises, training, and medical training . . . there are a lot of rules for places like that to operate under. It is very easy to contract nasty diseases such as HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis, or any number of diseases transferred through bodily fluid or blood transfusion. Also, unclean tools will leave you with an infection, guaranteed. You should ask questions, ask to see the health inspection certificate, ask how long they have been practicing, and *always* go to a generally clean, well light place that is reputable either through your friends or online searches. My take on places that don't check for ID, what else are they not doing that they should be?

Also, make sure they use needles and not a gun. A gun causes more stress to the surface resulting in damaged tissue that will heal with lumps, known as keloids. You will get those from a needle sometimes anyways, but generally not so much. Also, a needle is not reusable where a gun is. The safest and cleanest pierce is with a needle.

You might want something done and your parents say no. There is a good reason for that. You won't agree, and that's understandable. But be an adult and talk to them, maybe you can work out a compromise. If they say not until you are 18, then don't do it. There is no better way to lose a parent's trust than to go behind their back. They will find out, and they will get mad.

My parent's rule for me personally was, "You can have as many ear piercings as you would like, but nothing else until you are 18. When you are 18, you have to pay for it yourself." I didn't understand as a teenager why I had to wait. I think it had to do with not being rash, and the fact I am from a small town where employment is based on who you know, and how you look.

Never fear though, having piercings does not mean you cannot get a job. The times, they are a changin' to quote Bob Dylan. There are several places where one with lots of jewelry could work, such as record stores, trendy clothing boutiques (like Hot Topic, West 49, Detox), a lot of fast food chains, and other places. Just ask if it is going to be a problem, and again, respect them. Sometimes the clientele is not a crowd that is generally accepting of the jewelry. You can however, purchase clear and skin toned retainers from many places and wear those to work instead. You can't even see them hardly!

I can tell you two horror stories. Ready? First one. When I turned 18, I was gung-ho to go get my first facial piercing. I wanted the bridge of my nose done, known as a Bridge. I had wanted this since I was 15. I called around, checked online, had to wait TWO MONTHES after my birthday to get it, and I was not pleased about that. So, when the time came that I was actually going to get it done, the place I wanted to go didn't do them since it was a "dangerous" piercing. I guess the threat of poking me in the eye or something . . . I don't know. So the only other place nearby I was skeptical about . . . I knew they didn't ID people. My friend got a couple "inappropriate" piercings there when she was only 16, and by law she needed to be 18 . . . so. I went there because they were the only place to do it. They didn't ID me, charged me 85 dollars (15 dollars more than a place farther away) and since I was so thrilled to be actually doing it (not to mention scared) I didn't care. I had an infection in my face, for about 5 months. I couldn't shake it. It got so bad my mother said I had two weeks to fix that, or we were going to the doctor and I *had* to take it out. I don't know how I fixed it, but it's never been infected since. It's two years old now; and people are surprised I still have it. It should have tried to grow out by now.

Second horror story is of bad decisions. Last winter, my friend and I were watching movies and exercising our new found age of majority. We decided it would be an awesome idea for her to pierce my lip. Haha . . . no. Not only did we do it in her bathroom and drop the needle several times, we were in no sound mind to be doing anything that required heavy eye hand co-ordination. As a result, I have a lovely kinda crooked keloided lipring. It was also infected for a few weeks. DONT LET ANYONE BUT A PROFESSIONAL PIERCE YOU. Especially facial and surface piercings. Something could have gone terribly wrong, all because I was not using COMMON SENSE.

In case you were wondering what exactly I have pierced, I have my ears done a couple times and stretched, I have my bridge, medusa (middle of your top lip) and a lip ring. I had snakebites, but one side got caught on the faucet when I was drinking from it and got ripped out. Eww and Oww. Anyways, I can't make anyone listen to me . . . but I hope you do take some of it with you when you leave this article, and I hope that whatever you do, you use common sense. Stupid decisions, leave you feeling stupid for ages to come.

Lata Daze


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