The History of Body Piercing
Body jewellery dates back a long time. Many people associate piercing and body jewellery with current times because it has become widely accepted among people of all ages and walks of life. While body jewellery is very popular right now, the idea of piercing ones body and decorating it with various types of jewellery is nothing new.
In fact, experts believe that body jewellery and the associated piercing dates back more than 2,000 years! Body jewellery and piercing is even mentioned in the Bible where nomadic tribes were known for their jewellery made out of various materials such as bone and even wood.
While body jewellery is mainly a fashion statement today, there are reasons that people wear it in some cultures. For instance, piercings and wearing jewellery for roman warriors, was a sign of strength, and in other cultures body jewellery is a sign of beauty and even fertility. Each culture has its own reason for the piercing and wearing of body jewellery.
While body jewellery has been embraced by some cultures it has also been condemned by others. In fact, the practice of piercing and wearing of body jewellery was considered illegal in many areas. But, it didn't stay that way for too long before people began wearing it again to make a fashion statement, to do something different with their body, or even just achieve a certain social status.
Today people all over the world are piercing their bodies and there is a varying amount of acceptance of this practice. In most cultures today this is done as a fashion statement, to express oneself, or even for intensified sexual experience. Body piercing and the wearing of body jewellery is more common than ever and there are many different parts of the body that are pierced as well as different materials from which body jewellery is manufactured.
Body Piercing Types
As you probably know, there are many different body piercing types. If you go to any gathering of people and you look around you’ll likely see many different piercings. For some people body piercing is a matter of belief while other people see this as a way to accessorize or express themselves. Body piercing is a beautiful form of expression because it can be done so many different ways.
One of the most common body piercing types is the ear. The ear can be pierced through the lobe as well as through the folds of cartilage that are found toward the top of the ear. There are helix piercings, conch piercings, daith, tragus, and rook piercings. Some of these are very understated while others are much more visible. Studs, barbells, captive bead rings, and plugs are commonly worn in ear piercings.
The belly button, or navel, is also a very common piercing. This is a piercing that goes through the skin at the top or bottom of the navel. Barbells, banana rings, and captive bead rings are commonly worn in these piercings.
The face is also commonly pierced. The nose usually involves the piercing of the septum or the outer nostril area and is usually fitted with nose rings, nose studs, or screws. When the septum is pierced it is usually fitted with a barbell, tusks, bone, or captive bead ring.
The lips and eyebrow are also commonly pierced and fitted with barbells or captive bead rings.
Other common areas to pierce are the nipples and genitalia in addition to surface piercings. These piercings are often fitted with barbells of all shapes and sizes as well as captive bead rings.
Different piercings will call for different body jewellery to be used to achieve the desired look.
As you can see, there are a lot of different piercing types. Just about any area of the body can be pierced, although each person will respond differently to a piercing. Many people are doing unique things with piercings today, going beyond the usual and creating art with their bodies via body jewellery.
Ear Piercing types
The ears are the most commonly pierced body part. While many people have their ears pierced, not everyone has them pierced the same way. You can be a real individual when you have your ears pierced from the location of the piercing to the jewellery that you decide to wear in the piercing. There are many different ways in which the ear can be pierced. If you have not thought beyond getting your ear lobes pierced you may be surprised at all of the different ways in which you can pierce the ear.
Ear lobe piercings are probably the most common. This is the piercing of the ear lobe and can be done more than once in each ear lobe. Many different types of jewellery can be worn in these piercings. Studs are quite common, as well as hoops, dangles, and even captive bead rings. Some people also wear barbells and even space retainers.
While some people start out with just a simple ear piercing, they often decide to stretch their piercing to wear plugs, bones, and even tusks in the ear lobe. So many different things can be done with the ear lobe piercing, making it the popular piercing that it has always been and will continue to be well into the future.
Helix piercings are also very common. A helix piercing is the piercing of the cartilage of the upper ear. Helix piercings are sometimes known as industrial piercings, but an industrial piercing is actually two helix piercings in this cartilage in which the same piece of jewellery goes through both piercings. Many people have one helix piercing and then decide after some time that they like the piercing so much they would like another, and this is when they turn it into an industrial piercing. When choosing an industrial piercing most people choose to run a long barbell between the two piercings or even a spiralling barbell for a cool effect.
A conch piercing is also very common as it is the piercing of the cartilage of the outer ear. There is an inner and outer conch piercing. The outer conch piercing is located at the flat part of the top of the outer ear. The inner conch piercing is located at the centre ear cartilage adjacent to the ear canal. Generally a barbell or a captive bead ring is worn in the piercing.
The daith piercing is also a type of ear piercing. This is the piercing of the small tab of cartilage closest to the face. This piercing is usually fitted with a captive bead ring, although some individuals choose to wear a barbell in the piercing. The gauge is usually quite small due to the small space in which the jewellery must pass! Some people say a daith piercing helps reduce the incidence of migraine headaches.
The tragus piercing is yet another ear piercing, although not quite as common due to it being known as one of the most painful piercings. The piercing is done through the cartilage that is directly in front of the ear canal. This type of piercing is usually fitted with a small barbell or a captive bead ring. The gauge of the jewellery is usually quite small due to the small space in which the piercing must pass.
The rook piercing is another ear piercing that is more uncommon. Another very painful place to pierce, the rook is a piercing that passes through the antihelix of the ear. The reason that this piercing is usually so painful is because there is a relatively large amount of cartilage that the needle has to pass through to complete the piercing. A captive bead ring or small barbell is often worn in this piercing. Migration will usually occur in the rook piercing, although it usually will settle into place after a few weeks.
Dermal punches are a bit different than piercings. The punches allow for larger gauge holes to be punched in the surface of the ear. If you don’t want to have to wait to stretch your ear lobe you may want to consider a dermal punch. This is larger than is done with a piercing needle. There is more blood with dermal punching, but is not as painful as one might assume it would be.
Facial Piercing Types
Facial piercings are becoming more and more common all the time. While they were once something that was only seen in certain cultures, today facial piercings are worn by people from all different cultures and walks of life. There are many different types of facial piercings, probably more than most people even realize.
First and foremost is the centre and off centre labret piercings. The labret piercing is the piercing of the lip, or the labrum. This is a piercing that is usually done in the lower lip and can be right in the centre or off centre. In some people it is better to do the labret piercing off centre to be sure that it does not hit any nerves, although most people are able to choose where they want the labret piercing based purely on personal preference. The centre and off centre labret piercing is usually fitted with labret stud.
A vertical labret is a bit different than a centre or off centre. Instead of going through the lip itself like the centre or off centre piercing, the vertical labret goes through the lip in a vertical manner starting at the lip. This is not as common as a centre or off centre labret but is usually also fitted with a labret stud, although some people wear a barbell, which is not good for the teeth and gums.
Snake bites are a type of labret, except that there are two of them and they are both off centre, on the left and right so it looks like snake fangs. These can be done lower or higher on the lip, depending on personal preference and anatomy. Snake bites are usually fitted with labret studs although some people wear a larger captive bead ring in the snake bites.
The lowbret is yet another type of labret, except, like the name would indicate it is very low on the bottom lip. Instead of being located closer to the lip it is done as far down toward the chin as possible. This is a relatively rare piercing as most people choose the centre or off centre labret. The lowbret is usually adorned with a barbell or labret stud. The labret stud is preferred as it will not cause irritation to the teeth and gums.
The Monroe is a different type of facial piercing as this occurs on the top lip instead of the bottom. The idea is that the piercing looks like a beauty mark off to the side of the upper lip. This is much like a labret; it is just done way off centre to look like a beauty mark. This is usually fitted with a barbell or labret stud so that irritation is not caused by the barbell rubbing against the teeth and gums.
The Medusa always makes an interesting looking piercing. The Medusa is much like a labret, except it is done in the centre of the upper lip right below the septum. This is often worn by people who also have a labret, but not always. The Medusa is usually fitted with a short barbell or labret stud so it does not rub against the teeth and gums.
There is a variation of the Medusa known as the jestrum. The jestrum involves piercing vertically through the lip using a curved barbell. Many people like this look as it will allow both beads of the barbell to be visible.
Eyebrow piercing is quite common and involves the piercing of the skin of the eyebrow. This can be done vertically or horizontally depending on personal preference. The eyebrow piercing is usually fitted with a barbell, although some people like to wear a curved barbell or even a captive bead ring. The vertical eyebrow piercing is more common than the horizontal eyebrow piercing, although both have become very prevalent in the last decade.
The anti-eyebrow piercing is another unique piercing option. It is a piercing that is placed above the cheek bone but below the eyebrow. The anti-eyebrow can be placed horizontally or vertically, depending on personal preference. The anti-eyebrow is a surface piercing, although this is a piercing that if it is well taken care of can be worn long term. The anti-eyebrow piercing is known my many names such as tears, teardrops, or even upper cheek piercing. A barbell is usually worn in this piercing.
Piercing of the cheeks is also a common piercing, with the most common actually going through the facial tissue into the oral cavity. Generally cheek piercings are done in pairs with one on either side of the face. Many times these piercings are called dimples, appearing on the cheek looking like dimples. Cheek piercings are usually fitted with flat backed labret studs, which are a type of barbell that has a flat back that will keep the jewellery from irritating the teeth and gums.
Oral Piercing Types
Oral piercings are very common in people of all ages and from all walks of life. While oral piercings were once thought of as rebellious or even a bit odd, this is no longer the case. With many different oral piercings to choose from, many people are choosing to express themselves through oral piercings.
Tongue piercing is a very popular oral piercing today. The piercing of the tongue involves actually passing the jewellery through the tongue. This is usually done on the midline of the tongue about ¾ of an inch back from the tip of the tongue. The piercing is usually done on an angle so that the jewellery will slide back away from the teeth when the mouth is closed. There are some people who have more than one piercing in the midline of their tongue, although this is not an option for all people if their tongue is not long enough. The tongue piercing is usually fitted with a barbell.
Tongue web piercings, also known as a tongue frenulum piercing, is the piercing of the webbing that is found under the tongue. These are actually simpler than the piercing of the tongue and they will heal relatively quickly, although they have a high rate of rejection. Not everyone can have this piercing done as there needs to be enough webbing for the jewellery to pass through. Both captive bead rings and barbell body jewellery are worn in these piercings, although they are usually relatively low gauge since there is not much tissue to work with in this area.
T-bar piercing is a less common oral piercing because it involves more time and effort on the wearer’s behalf. This type of piercing is more involved as it will require two piercing sessions. The first piercing session will involve either the horizontal or vertical piercing of the tongue. After a period of healing the individual will then return for the remaining horizontal or vertical piercing, whichever was not done previously, to be done. The result is that there will be a t shaped appearance to the piercing of the tongue. These piercings are usually fitted with barbells, as this will give the appearance of a t shape to the two individual piercings.
Oral Piercing Care
When you get an oral piercing your focus needs to be on keeping it clean. When you have an oral piercing you are introducing the open piercing not only to the bacteria that is naturally present in your mouth, but also to foods and drinks that could irritate it. For this reason, it is important that you keep the piercing as clean as possible.
After piercing, your piercing professional should tell you how to keep your piercing clean and recommend or sell you the solution that you should clean it with along with instructions of when and how often it should be cleaned during the initial healing period. If not, you should use an alcohol free antimicrobial or antibacterial mouth rinse. Your pharmacy should be able to recommend a suitable product to use.
You should also make sure that you purchase a clean, soft bristled tooth brush. Good all around oral care is important when you have a healing piercing anywhere in your mouth. Any bacterium that is introduced to the piercing has the potential to cause infection, so keep the mouth as clean as possible.
It is normal after receiving an oral piercing to experience swelling for three to five days. Gently suck on chipped or shaved ice to help reduce the swelling. It is not uncommon for the piercing to bleed on and off for a few days and there may actually be some bruising present.
Avoid playing with the body jewellery as much as possible as this can irritate the piercing that is trying to heal. Also avoid oral sex, tobacco, chewing gum, and salty foods as these will all irritate a new piercing.
Nose Piercing Types
While nose piercing may have started out as a cultural tradition, today it is something that is done by many people. A lot of people who have nose piercings done, do so for fashion reasons or even just as a means of self expression. Many people like the idea of a nose piercing because it is seen as beautiful and more socially acceptable by the mainstream population than perhaps some other facial piercings. Nose piercings can be made very low profile so that even people in professional settings can enjoy wearing body jewellery in their nose.
Nostril piercing is one of the most common types of nose piercings. This is the piercing of the nostril, usually on the left side (some say piercing the left side is said to stimulate reproduction in females, and is even said to make childbirth easier??) There are many different types of nose jewellery options for the nostril piercing. Some of the more common are the hoops or loops, studs with an l-bar closure, a stud with a ball closure, as well as a stud with a flat back. Many people choose simple nose screws that are jewellery that screw right into the nostril piercing.
The nostril piercing tends to shrink over time, so it is important for those with this piercing to keep jewellery in it at all times to keep it from healing closed.
Nasal septum piercing is another type of nose piercing, but it is not as common as the nostril piercing. The septum piercing is often called a bull ring. This involves the piercing of the cartilage that is found between the two nostrils. In some cases the cartilage is pierced, but most professional piercing specialists will actually pierce instead in a gap between the cartilage at the bottom of the nose. This is preferred because it is less painful, as the nose is a densely packed with nerves. Captive bead rings are commonly worn in the septum piercings. Circular barbells are also common and those who stretch their septum piercings may also choose to wear plugs. Those who want to keep the piercing open but cannot wear jewellery daily often choose to wear retainers, which are shaped like staples, and will keep the piercing open while being very low profile.
Bridge piercing is another form of nose piercing. This is not a common type of piercing as it can be quite painful. The bridge piercing involves piercing the small amount of skin that is found at the top of the nose between the eyes. The piercing does not pass through the bone. This type of piercing is usually not worn long term because they have a very high rate of migration and eventually rejection. Curved barbells are the most common type of body jewellery worn in the bridge piercing, although straight barbells are very common, and some people even choose to wear seamless rings.
Dermal anchoring, also known as dermal piercing is one of the hottest new trends in body piercing. Dermal piercing is basically a single-point anchor that is put into, or rather under the skin. The appearance is very much like a trans-dermal implant because there is just a bead on the surface, but the procedure is a lot less complicated.
Experts in the piercing field are beginning to prefer this technique over the trans-dermal implant procedure because it is so much simpler. In addition, these piercings are much easier to remove because you are dealing with jewellery, not implants. Dermal piercing can be done on just about any area of the body and generally speaking healing is not an issue unless the piercing is done on a body part that is always moving.
There are a lot of different techniques associated with piercing artists, and many piercing professionals are still experimenting with new and interesting ways to achieve the insertion. The most common method is done with a single hold done with a dermal punch and the skin around it is raised up with a taper to allow for the jewellery to be inserted.
After Care and Healing – Dermal Piercings
After a dermal piercing the consumer will be given a set of very specific aftercare guidelines. If these guidelines are followed closely, generally there are not any problems with the healing and the jewellery will look great! During the healing period the consumer is generally advised to press down on the jewellery once an hour or so and then they will need to keep a band aid on it at night. The purpose behind this is to help the anchor grip to the surrounding tissues. If you do this and keep the site clean there will likely not be any bruising or bleeding, and should not cause any pain.
Infections from Body Piercings
Infection from body piercings doesn’t happen with every piercing, but it can happen to anyone. You can help to avoid infection by ensuring that you have your piercing done by a qualified piercing specialist and by strictly following aftercare instructions.
Choosing the right piercing specialist will also help you avoid infection. If you are pierced by someone who is not qualified or does not use the right equipment you may be pierced with the wrong or even contaminated equipment. Even the best after care instructions will not help you if you are pierced by contaminated, faulty, or ineffective equipment. A professional piercing specialist will be happy to show you their credentials before allowing for your body to be pierced in any manner. Thoroughly find out everything you can about the establishment where you will have the piercing done and follow the instructions of your professional piercing specialist.
Infection is caused by the overgrowth of bacteria. The problem with piercings is that they can take a while to heal, during which time the piercing is constantly coming in contact with bacteria that naturally occur on your skin and in your environment. This is why cleaning the piercing is so important.
Infection is usually obvious to the person who has been pierced because there will usually be a marked increase in pain. If the piercing had not been causing any pain and begins hurting, this is a good sign that infection is present. Infection may be present with or without discharge from the piercing. Discharge may or may not be coloured or have an odour. If you suspect you have an infection you should ensure that you are cleansing the piercing as indicated by your piercing specialist. If you do not see any improvement within 48 hours you should seek medical care and you should not attempt to remove the piercing.
Manufacturing of Body Jewellery
Most of us buy our body jewellery without ever thinking about where it came from, what it is made of, or how it was made. The fact of the matter is that there are manufacturing processes of body jewellery that are important to how well the piece will hold up over time and even how comfortable the piece of jewellery will be when it is worn by the consumer.
Most body jewellery is created using a mould. This is done so that many pieces can be made to the specifications set by the manufacturer as quickly as possible.
Of course body piercing jewellery may have been handled by many people during its manufacture and up to its delivery to you. All body piercing jewellery should be regarded as non-sterile and you should ensure it is thoroughly clean and sterile before using it.
There are many different types of body jewellery ranging from acrylics, gold, silver, stainless steel, titanium and more and all of them are made where the material is heated and then poured into a mould. If there is threading this is done usually with a special machine that ensures that the ball or cone will thread easily onto the piece.
Tungsten Carbide Jewellery
Tungsten (Carbide) is the most durable material used in the manufacturing of jewellery today.
The forging of Tungsten and Carbide powders results into a piece of virtually indestructible and scratch-proof piece of jewellery. Using a diamond compound, the Tungsten jewellery is then polished, achieving a brilliant shine.
Tungsten, also called Wolfram, was discovered in 1783. The Tungsten-Carbide combination was first used more than 100 years ago, mainly for tools and machinery where heat resistance, impermeability, and strength were important. Tungsten was specifically used in the building of items such as rocket engines, welding tips, vibration sensing devices, X-ray shielding, and more.
Tungsten carbide jewellery is resistant to scratching, which is something that most people desire in jewellery that they wear every day. The surface of this type of jewellery can only be scratched by a diamond or a product that contains corundum. Other benefits of the Tungsten Carbide are that it will not require frequent cleaning; it will not oxidize, irritate the skin, or cause any rashes or discoloration of the skin. Though the jewellery does not require frequent cleaning, it can be cleaned with a detergent free soap and warm water. Be careful not to use products with chlorine, ammonia, or bleach.
Emergency Ring Removal - Tungsten
If you get a Tungsten ring stuck on your finger and you need to have it removed you will need to seek the help of a medical professional. The reason for this is because normal ring cutters will not be able to break through the material.
Belly Rings are one of the most popular pieces of body jewellery currently on the market. Belly button or navel piercing has been very popular for many years in many different cultures and for those that are quite young to those that are very old. Belly rings come in different shapes and sizes, gauges, and materials, so there is something that will appeal to everyone regardless of their age or personal style.
When buying belly rings or any body piercing jewellery make sure that you are buying the right gauge, especially if you aren't considering stretching you're piercing.
The Benefits of Stainless Steel Jewellery
Right now stainless steel jewellery is very popular and has been for some time. Stainless steel jewellery will not tarnish because the metal is very strong and will not oxidize when coming into contact with the air. This inability to tarnish will also mean that the metal is very durable and will also be more easily sterilized, which is important any time you are putting jewellery into a piercing and such. This is the same reason that stainless steel is used in hospitals and kitchens, because it is a durable and sterile metal.
Stainless steel jewellery is non allergenic. Even if you have allergies to many other metals, you may be able to wear stainless steel. The reason is that it does not contain nickel, which is the metal that so many people are allergic to in other metals. Steel is a naturally hard metal so other metals do not need to be added to it to make it more durable. Thus, it will not cause an allergic reaction for most people.
Unlike other jewellery options, stainless steel is easy to clean. You can simply clean this jewellery with warm water and a clean cloth.
Stainless Steel Earrings
The great thing about stainless steel earrings and stainless steel jewellery is that, unlike other forms of body jewellery, most people can wear it. Even if you are allergic to gold or silver you may be able to wear steel. Stainless steel often does not cause the same irritation or allergies as other metals, so if you have difficulties with other metals you may want to try a pair of stainless steel earrings. You can get the same looks and fashions, but without the irritation.
Titanium Jewellery is very popular today as it is very lightweight, which is what makes titanium jewellery so comfortable. In addition, titanium is a favourable metal for jewellery because it is much more resistant to scratching, bending, and denting than other materials. A lot of people are also attracted to this metal because unlike other metals it does not cause skin irritation, Titanium is considered hypoallergenic.
Acrylic Body Jewellery
Acrylic Body Jewellery has become hugely popular as an increasing number of people are moving from traditional gold or silver jewellery and trying out new trends and styles in jewellery. Among the several new forms acrylic body jewellery has also managed to create a niche market for itself.
All of the above is for general information only – a guide to help explain the various terminologies relating to body piercings. You should always seek the expert advice of your professional accredited body piercing specialist or pharmacist with any problems or concerns you may have with any body piercing.