Guide to a Healthy Piercing Experience

After eating an ice cream cone, juniorJennifer Williams entered Jinx

Proof (one of DC's highly ranked tattooand piercing parlors) at around 4:30

p.m.  Figuring that having a littleextra sugar in her system might prevent

her from passing out, she felt as if she wasfinally ready.  She was going to get her nipplespierced.

Williams describes her experience in detail."Wendy, the employee, got her supplies and asked which nippleI wanted done," Williams said.  "Then she tookthis swab and cleaned off the area, marked the nipple on both sidesand asked me to check things out in the mirror to make sureeverything was in line." It was.

Williams goes on to tell how Wendy took theneedle, and tells Williams to count to three. As the needle goesin, much to Williams's surprise she didn't feel anypain. "In goes the needle and it wasn't bad,"Williams said. "I'm not swearing or anything, barely anyflinching at all."  However, once the needle exited,that was a different story.

"When the needle went in, the pain waslikened to that of a shot; you work yourself up about it, but thenit's nothing," Williams said.  "Then the needlecame out on the other side and JESUS CHRIST!!! It was one of theworst pains I've ever felt in mylife."

Williams experience parallels that of manyothers. Incidents across the board tell stories of pain, fear, andanxiety. "When I first got my nipple pierced, it hurt like am@*%^& f*&%#$, senior legal communications major CynereDodson said. "I mean I didn't even want to wear at-shirt."

He tells of his nipple piercing experience asa spur-of-the-moment decision." I really didn't plan ongetting my nipple pierced ahead of time." Dodson said. "I was at a tattoo parlor and the man suggested that myTattoo would look really tight with my nipple pierced.  So Idecided to do it."

However when it comes to suggesting thatother males get piercing, Dodson says he wouldn't doit.  "I definitely would not suggest it to anyoneespecially since it's painful and serves no purpose,"he said. "Mine is only meant to compliment my tattoo. Men who get their nipple pierced are freaks because they'reeither fixated on either the piercing feeling or the fact that yournipples are extremely sensitiveafter."

Williams disagrees with Dodson. "Thecommon misconception that I find most people have about nipplepiercing is that anyone who has a nipple piercing is a "freak," soto speak." Williams said. "This is why most people areshocked to find out I have one, since I am definitely not a"freak.""

In fact Williams proudly declares herself asa 20 year old virgin.

Williams accredits her wants for piercing toancient Egyptian society. Considering herself a Back woman withhigh levels of both intellect and respect, she wanted to representherself in the way gods and others of high standing did in theancient society, by getting their nipples pierced.

Others who have yet to make that leap wanttheir piercing for other


"I liked piercing for aestheticreasons...I think that can look very nice at times...more so on menthough" senior biology major Cicely Toomer said. "Ithink for me they look sexy but since that's one of the mostpainful piercing, they're low on my list of wanted piercing.Plus I heard they get infected easily," sheadded

Toomer precaution was right.  The mostcommon difficulty with nipple piercing is the after careprocedures. During the cleaning procedure a mild liquidantimicrobial/ germicidal medicated soap such as Provon or Satinand water should be used. Inferior alternatives include productssuch as Almay Clearly Natural, Hypocare, NutriBiotic; or othermild, fragrance-and-color-free liquid antibacterial soap. These products should possibly be diluted with distilled or bottledwater depending on the strength of the solution. Regardless ofthese instructions, individuals get their nipple piercing infectedregularly.

 Both Dodson and Williams have had toget their nipples pierced twice and both were on account ofinfections. "I got my nipples pierced 2 times because thefirst one got infected," Dodson said.  "Actually Ithink the man did the piercing too deep and went behind my nippleinto my muscle."

They both indicate that bleeding, bruising,discoloration and/or swelling from the piercing is notuncommon.  Any break in the skin, including a new piercing canbleed or bruise. These are not indications of any complications,just of natural body functions.

Body piercings need to be cleaned once ortwice daily, every day, for the entire initial healing time. And as for Williams she feels if the person isn't readyto accept for the pro's and cons, they shouldn't getthe piercing.

"If someone isn't willing to deal withkeeping a piercing clean, or has a problem keeping his or her handsaway from the piercing sight, then no, don't get a piercing,"she said. "Furthermore, if someone is getting a piercingwithout being knowledgeable about what they are about to do, thenthey don't need to get one."

What does Williams mean by beingknowledgeable of the


She means the person should know about theprocedure and the anatomy of their body.

For example, many time pierces go too deep,and into the customer's areole.

  When a piercer does this, he isactually going into the person's muscle and possiblypreventing the future mother from breast feeding. This, claims theAssociation of Professional Pierces (APP), is one of the ways amother can be prevented from breast feeding.

To ensure your piercing will have the minimalcomplications, each person should prepare a checklist ofquestions:

•     See theirautoclave (sterilizer) and spore tests.

•     Does the shopreuse needles?

•     Does thestudio seem clean?

•     Ask yourfriends where they got pierced.

•     Are theypiercing with ear piercing guns?

•     Ask questionsof the staff and the piercer.

•     Check thestudio's jewelry selection.

•     Do they havean aftercare sheet?

•     Does thestudio have a license to operate?

•     Check to seethe studio's age requirements.

•     See thepiercing rooms and set-up?

•     Is the studiorecognized by the APP?


These questions will help you to have abetter piercing experience.