Should you get your new-born’s ears pierced when she still is a baby or should you wait till she is older to get it done? This is a decision that every parent has to make and is based on their cultural background and personal experiences.
In western countries it is not usual to pierce a new-born’s ears and parents usually wait till their daughter is older. Whereas in Latino cultures, ear piercing is such a deep-rooted tradition and it’s very common to give a new mom gold ear studs for her new-born, and for the baby to leave the hospital wearing them. Even in India it is customary to pierce the baby’s ear when still an infant. Parents here believe that it is best to have the baby’s ears pierced when the skin is still soft and hence less painful for her.
A few things to ensure while getting your baby’s ears pierced are
- Consult your doctor about topical anaesthesia for the earlobes to minimise the pain during piercing. He may also recommend an antibiotic cream or lotion as after piercing care.
- Use jewellery and piercing instruments of a reputed brand made of hypoallergenic metal, to avoid any chance of rashes or any kind of allergic reaction to metals such as nickel.
- Go to a reputed piercing studio or artist and make sure they use sterilized equipment to prevent infections. It should be hygienic and must follow the correct procedure of piercing.
- Pierce your baby’s ear only when she is completely healthy. It is recommended to pierce her ears after rounds of DPT to provide protection against infections like tetanus.
- Hold the baby firmly and gently to help her stay calm so that her head does not move while getting the piercing.
- Try not to pierce her ears during hot and humid months as sweat and grime can cause infections. Keep earlobes clean and dry at all times.
- Distract your child and try to keep her hand away from the piercing. If she touches her ears constantly or tugs at it as it she may hurt herself in the process.
- Clean the piercing twice a day and rotate the earring so that the skin stays free from it. Always wash your hands before touching her ears.
- Dress your baby in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the piercing. Take special care while changing her clothes or while bathing her. Keep her bed linen and towels clean, and change them frequently.
- Watch out for signs of infection and consult a doctor if you see any.
- Choose simple earrings and do not change them till the piercing is completely healed. The healing process may take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks.
If the right precautions are taken, your baby’s ear piercing experience will be smooth and infection free.
Allergic reactions and infections are the two main concerns of piercings. In our last post we discussed the importance of hypoallergenic jewellery, and how it helps reduce the occurrence of allergic reactions. But just use of hypoallergenic jewellery is not enough to prevent infections. The first step to an infection free piercing is choosing the right piercing studio.
How to choose the right piercing studio
- Search the internet or look in the yellow pages for piercing studios. Do your research on them and look for online reviews on the same.
- Ask family and friends for recommendations of studios they have had experience with. Enquire with them about the studios you found details of online. Word of mouth is a reliable source when it comes to body art, so if you see someone with piercings that you like ask them where they had it done.
- Pick a properly licensed piercing studio. Check the credentials and licensing information of the studio by visiting the studio’s website, or by calling the studio directly and asking for the necessary information. If your country or state has no recognised certifications or regulations about piercing standards, then pick the most trusted brand name of salon or piercing studio.
- Pay the studio a visit and ask to be given a tour. The studio most importantly must be clean and hygienic. If possible try and watch them at work performing a piercing or two to observe their procedure. Check out their sterilization procedure and notice if they strictly adhere to it. All good piercing studios must have an autoclave where they sterilize all their reusable piercing equipment between each piercing.
- Ask to look at their piercing equipment and jewellery and make sure it is from a trusted brand. Take a look at the storage facility of the instruments and piercing tools and make sure it is dry and hygienic.
- Enquire about the artist who will be performing your piercing. Try to find an experienced one and certifications are always an added bonus. Ask to see his portfolio to see how his piercings have healed. All artists must wear medical gloves during the entire procedure. Never let an inexperienced hand pierce you.
- Ask to see the aftercare information. Make sure the information is current and is keeping up with the latest research in body piercing care.
- Also avoid any studio which uses non disposable guns for body piercing, as piercing guns cannot be sterilized. Piercing guns such as STUDEX offer single use pre-sterilized cartridges for piercing in which the only item that comes in contact with the client is the barbell which has sterilization lot info branded on packaging. Select studios that only such trusted brands as piercing instruments and jewellery.
A good studio will always be willing to show you their facilities and answer any questions you have in mind. They will most importantly make you feel comfortable enough with the studio and the artist to put your confidence in them. This coupled with Interacting with the artist and staff must give you sufficient information to make a decision. Don’t pick a studio only because it is cheap and affordable. In the case of piercings, it is always wise to shell out a little more and choose a legit and reputed studio for an infection free piercing experience.