Is It Ever A Good Idea To Pierce Your Own Ears?

You might remember the days when you could pop into the mall to have your ears pierced on a whim. For a small price, a complete stranger would offer to use a piercing gun to create holes in your ears. At the end of it all, you would be left with the ability to rock the earrings of your dreams.

While this approach might have sounded risky when you were younger, believe it or not, many of those same shops still offer the service today. That being said, these stores tend to provide an ample amount of transparency around the service. For example, many will tell you exactly what type of piercing gun will be used, as well as the standard hygienic practices in place, which might put you at ease. However, this isn't to say you shouldn't consider alternative options. Piercing guns are never fully sterilized, meaning the risk of infection may be greater if you opt for this method. This is because the guns are typically made of plastic, which melts when placed in an autoclave for proper sterilization. Additionally, this is why needles are often used by professional piercers instead.

What if you have a fear of needles but still want your ears pierced? These days, you can purchase your own piercing gun online. If you're the only person using it, is it safe to do it at home? Here's what you need to know.

Is it a good idea to try piercing your ears?

Whether you don't have the funds for piercing services or you simply feel up to the task of executing your own piercings, it's best to go to a professional piercer regardless of how affordable or simple it may seem to buy and use a piercing gun at home. Of course, doing your research before having a professional pierce your ears is paramount, too. This means looking into the background of the piercing studio you intend to visit and asking the piercer about their professional experience. You should also feel comfortable asking about the tools that will be used during the piercing process, as well as the sterilization process.

The Association of Professional Piercers states that piercing guns are never appropriate for use and can be dangerous, even in an area as seemingly harmless as the earlobe. The professional you choose to work with should not only have the proper needles for piercing but also a clean area to work in, as well as a sterilizer for their equipment. Do not hesitate to ask the professional any questions about the process, the jewelry you're receiving, and aftercare, especially if you've never had any type of piercing before. If you feel uncomfortable at any point before the piercing, remember that you have the option to go elsewhere for the service.

What to know about ear piercing and aftercare

Once you've found a professional piercer you trust and you're ready to get your ears pierced, there are a few things to keep in mind, even if this isn't your first piercing. As WebMD explains, there is the potential for an allergic reaction if your starter jewelry is made of a material, such as brass. Even if you've worn other jewelry before without developing a reaction, you could be unaware of an underlying allergy to a different metal. In this case, you might need to remove the jewelry, potentially resulting in the closure of the piercing.

As with any piercing — even one done by a professional — there is also a risk of infection. Redness, pain, swelling, and discharge are all signs that you may need to see your doctor for further examination and treatment. With proper aftercare, however, you can reduce the risk of infection and help your ear piercings heal properly. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends keeping your piercings clean by gently washing them at least once a day with fragrance-free soap and water. Before you touch your piercings, always make sure to wash your hands. If you notice any unusual changes in their appearance during the healing process, reach out to your piercer for insight.