Many years ago my daughter asked us if she could get her belly button pierced. It was a request in a long line of behaviors we were not thrilled with - and I personally have issues with body piercings and what they represent, to me personally - so my doctor husband and I said "no." A couple of weeks later I happened to be coming into the kitchen and my daughter was on the phone (couldn't see me yet) and I heard her respond, "no - they don't know - I started wearing longer t-shirts at home and they haven't a clue." I smiled (in horror), turned the corner and said, "you're busted." I then examined the piercing and immediately wondered if it was infected. My daughter said -"You look for evil."
We proceeded to the pediatrician (she was 14) and all the docs gathered round as her doctor attempted to figure out how to open it and pull it out. Of course, once pulled, some pus escaped as well. My daughter wearing her biggest shades was humiliated and didn't want to hear about infection (thus validating my exaggeration). I made sure the pediatrician talked the antibiotic prescription instructions out loud - yes, I can be evil.
My daughter and I can laugh now, but at the time when I was asking her- Did they use sterile equipment? Did they use golves or sanitize their hands? Is she sure it was a new metal piercing and not recycled?
She had no answers and i wondered out loud how the daughter of an MD and a Physician Assistant could be so cavalier and so clueless. Ahh well, teenager I suppose. But to bottom line - you do need to have this discussion with your teen. They need to know that blood borne diseases like hepatitis B and C, tetanus, and HIV can be transferred when getting pierced They can develop an allergy or skin infections (especially with oral piercings). They can also get scars and keloids.
If they want one then they need to go to a reputable storefront and they need to see:
- Fresh equipment
- Gloves on the person doing the piercing
- No piercing gun (it can't be sterilized properly)
- Hypo-allergenic metal piercing (14 karat or 18 karat)
- Clean environment
Published On: October 13, 2008