Growing up means you want to experiment with your look more and find your ‘style’. Often, that can mean you’re interested in making some semi-permanent changes to your body with a new piercing.
Whether you’re dipping your toe in with an ear piercing or looking to go all out with your nose or belly-button, making the decision shouldn’t be made lightly.
Of course, there’s no denying that a piercing in the right place can look really cool, just look at Ariana Grande’s triple helix piercing. However, there are some things you should probably consider before jumping right in. Things like, am I of age for this? Is the place I’m going to clean? Below we’ve compiled a list of the most important things you should know and consider before going under the needle.
Am I old enough?
We’re sorry to be the killjoy here, but this really is the most important question you can ask yourself. As it stands, there is no set legal age for people to get piercings here in Ireland, and so for that reason, each piercing store imposes its own rules and restrictions. Generally, for piercings on the ear and navel, you can legally get it at the age of 16, and for piercings anywhere else the age requirement is 18+.
What’s more, you can also bring a parent with you if you please, with ID, and you may be granted permission for other piercings. Before deciding what you want and where you want it, check the regulations your chosen piercing shop have outlines and discuss with your parent or guardian if needed.
Scope Out The Shop
Before getting your piercing, it’s advisable to choose the best place for it first. Ask friends and family members where they got theirs and what their experience was like. Have a little look inside it for yourself beforehand. It’s never a good idea to step into the first piercing shop you see and get it done then and there. If the place you’re in doesn’t feel entirely sanitary get out. It’s important to find somewhere both clean and trustworthy.
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Okay, so you’ve made the decision, booked your appointment and today’s the big day. Whether you’re good with needles or not, it’s important to make sure you’ve eaten something before getting a piercing. Having a decent breakfast/lunch beforehand will help to steady your blood sugars, which will stop you from feeling faint or dizzy during or after the piercing.
Avoid The Gun
Other than your ear lobes, most if not all other piercings should be done with a needle. If a place is coming at you with a gun to pierce your tragus, nose, or wherever else this is an immediate red flag. Using a gun anywhere that isn’t your ear lobe increases your risk of infection.
Before sitting down to get your piercing, or before booking an appointment, ask about the process the piercer will take. Enquire about what tools will be used and if they will be sterile, this is the best way to avoid any mishaps with piercing guns.
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Keep It Clean
It’s a no-brainer, but you need to be prepared to spend some time giving your piercing some love afterward. You can use either soap and water to wash the area, or saline solution. Chat with your piercer on what the best aftercare routine for your piercing is, how often should you clean it (usually just twice a day), and what you should use.
It May Hurt
Both the actual piercing itself and in the days afterward too. This is totally normal. For that reason, you might want to prepare yourself for any pain you might experience and look into ways you can find comfort. For example, if you have an ear-piercing you could sleep with a travel pillow around your neck to take pressure off the ear.