Maybe you’ve been weighing the pros and cons of getting your belly button pierced, or your tongue pierced? Maybe you can’t decide because you know it’s gonna hurt or you’re worried about a possible infection, but you know it’ll look cool! Here is a list of pros and cons of body piercings I’ve discovered over the years that may be helpful in making your next decision.
1. Yes They Hurt
Of course, piercings hurt. It’s a needle perforating your flesh. Which body part you’re getting pierced and how much of a pain tolerance you have though will determine how much it hurts.
Personally, the belly button piercing happened so fast I don’t even remember the pain. The nostril piercing hurt and instantly brought to tears to my eyes. The industrial piercing, however, where the top cartilage of the ear is, was by far the most painful piercing I have experienced. So much so it made me lightheaded and I had to sit back down.
Often times, piercings don’t stop hurting just because the needle is out. They may be sore for a while afterward. The soreness will persist if you play with the jewelry, twisting it and poking it as well. Or if you choose to have your cartilage pierced and you try to sleep on that side, irritation will be prolonged.
The pain from a piercing should be temporary though. As long as it heals properly, you should not continue to feel prolonged discomfort with it.
2. They’re Distinguishing
If I haven’t scared you away after all that talk about needles and pain, let’s talk about one of the reasons people get body piercings in the first place. They’re very distinguishing looking. For everyone it’s different, but it ultimately becomes part of their identity and allows them to look the way they always saw themselves. For a lot of young people, body modifications can help to make them feel older, giving them more confidence.
It also can feel like a right of passage for someone once they turn of age and can make decisions for themselves. Getting tattooed or pierced on one’s 18th birthday is fairly common because this allows them to enter adulthood the way they see fit.
3. Infection + Irritation
One of the major, possible downsides to any body modification is the risk of infection. You can help prevent this by keeping the area cleaned, how your piercer instructed, and by not playing with jewelry. Also be sure to only use the products your piercer recommends, and to avoid touching the area with unwashed hands.
Piercings can also become irritated during their healing stages, but this does not mean they’re infected, or that you have done something wrong. This is normal during the healing process and should go away as long as everything is done as instructed. This irritation can be annoying and scary at first, especially if you’re new to the world of piercings.
4. Less Permanent Than Tattoos
Tattoos are a huge commitment and should be considered with much regard and caution. And while piercings, should be taken seriously as well, they are a lot less permanent of body modification. If at some point you decide you don’t want that piercing anymore, you can simply take out the jewelry and let the hole close up. They can also be taken out (once they’ve healed) for work or job interviews. It can be like you’re living a double life!
5. Having An Additional Thing To Worry About
A major downside I’ve found from personal experience with piercings is having an additional thing to be worried about. On many occasions I’ve had jewelry fall out in my sleep, leaving me frantic to find something to replace it with. On another occasion whilst taking out my nose ring for my passport photo I found it extremely difficult to remove the ring, as I had not yet attempted the process, and when trying to put it back in, later on, to be even more difficult, and quite frankly impossible for me to accomplish.
You may have better luck getting your jewelry in and out, but it added another stress factor because there is the concern of “how will I get my jewelry back in?” “Will the hole close up if I don’t?” “Whose the next available piercer that can help me?” Hopefully you’re cooler and collected when these issues arise and have a much better experience than I do.
6. They Look Cool
After all that though, another reason many of us get piercings in the first place is simply that they look cool! We like the way they look. We admire them on other people, and we wish to be those people. We think will look a certain way, or feel a certain way with a lip ring or belly ring.
Body modifications have long been a sign of rebellion, and most people, at some point in their life, are attracted to that. Body piercings can be liberating because we feel or look in a different way and we know people look at us in a different way when we have them.