How to Cover your Piercings – Part 1

Piercings though widely accepted nowadays are still considered a taboo especially in some educational institutions and workplaces. Also in some situations like an extended family gathering, it is also sometimes easier to hide unusual piercing than to be subject to glares, and a myriad of questions and comments about it. But such prejudice shouldn’t stop us from getting piercings to express ourselves. So go ahead and get a piercing but just cleverly hide it at places where it becomes necessary. You can remove your piercings at times when the situation demands it, and wear it again later. But it can be tiring to remove your piercings on a daily basis and it is also not advisable to do so especially during the healing process. So it is easier to just try and cover them by minimizing their appearance.

 

  • Ear piercing is accepted among women but some forms of extreme ear piercings or multiple piercings are still not. Men with ear piercings are still sometimes subject to discrimination at conservative institution and organizations.

The easiest way to cover ear piercing among women is to let your hair down and cover your ears with it. If you don’t have hair that is long enough then you can wear clear jewellery that is made of materials like quartz or glass as they are visible to the naked eye only on close inspection. You could also try wearing flesh coloured plugs made of silicon or acrylic material to disguise the piercing.  These coloured plugs are especially useful in cases of stretched ears to emulate the look of normal earrings.  If you are in a hurry or stuck in situation with no access to any of the jewellery mentioned earlier, then just grab a scarf or a hat and cover it up.

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  • Tongue piercing is a very new trend and is mostly frowned upon in most cultures. The visibility of the tongue piercing depends on where it is placed on the tongue. The further back it is it is less visible. The easiest way to conceal it is by wearing a clear stud or jewellery that is the colour of the flesh of your tongue. The lesser you play with your piercing the lesser attention you will bring to it.

These suggestions are meant to be used only after the piercing is completely healed, and not on fresh piercings or during the healing period.

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Piercing your New-born’s Ears

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.

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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.
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  • 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. 

Common Types of Ear Piercings

Ear piercings are the one of the easiest methods of body modifications and also the most common kind. It is not frowned upon like a few other piercings, and is widely accepted be it in schools and colleges or at workplace. It has been in practise for many years and is considered a part of many cultures and their rituals. It was probably man’s first attempt at body piercing as it is the easiest and most obvious part to pierce.

There are many ways to get your ears pierced. There are simple ones like ear lobe piercings which are more common and ones like stretching and gauging which are rarer because of the risks associated with it.

The most common kinds of ear piercings are

  •  Ear lobe piercing. This is the simplest type of ear piercing. The primary piercing is done on the centre of the earlobe. Some people even opt to get a second or third hole above this piercing. These take about 4 to 6 weeks to completely heal.
  • Cartilage or Helix piercing. This is the second most common form of ear piercing. Standard cartilage piercing is the piercing of the tissue on the upper part of the ear. They take longer to heal than the earlobe because of limited blood supply to that area. Healing time is usually a minimum of 8 to 10 weeks.
  • Tragus Piercing. Tragus is the thick cartilage that juts out directly in front of the ear canal and is on the inner ear. This is also a fairly common piercing.  The size of the jewellery worn here is pretty small and depends on the thickness of an individual’s tragus. It is more painful than the upper cartilage as it is thicker here. This piercing takes about 6 to 18 weeks to heal and may take about a whole year to heal completely.
  • Anti-Tragus Piercing. This piercing lies opposite the tragus and the ear canal. It is on the spot on the outer ear just above the ear lobe. This is not as common as the tragus as not everyone has an anti-tragus that is large enough to pierce or fit jewellery through.  This like the tragus will take 6 to 18 weeks to initially heal and up to a year to completely do so.

These are the most non-intrusive methods of ear piercings, and therefore they heal the fastest. They have fewer chances of infections, scarring and keloids and can also look comparatively subtler.  These piercings can prove to be very low maintenance and hassle-free if the right brand of piercing tools, hypoallergenic jewellery and aftercare products like Studex is used.

Why Hypoallergenic Metals for Piercing?

While getting a piercing done one of the major concerns faced is an allergic reaction to certain metals.   Intrusive metal jewellery into our skin is a foreign body which the body will initially try to repel if it is not hypoallergenic. This could manifest itself in the form of metal hyper sensitivity. So it’s recommended to reduce prolonged exposure of such metals to the skin and it is best to avoid it completely.

While nickel is the most common allergy, other metals like surgical steel and copper can cause allergies too. A nickel allergy will usually result in localized swelling, irritation, redness or itchiness. In most cases the reaction is similar to dermatitis due to the fact that the contact is with the skin. People with extra sensitive skin must use an antibiotic cream or ointment before and after inserting the piercing. They must remove the jewellery at night giving the skin time to recover. For many individuals, an allergy will show up within a few hours of putting in the earrings. If the symptoms of a new swelling do not decrease within a reasonable amount of time or get worse over time, make sure you get medical attention.

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When this happens it discourages people from wearing jewellery or getting themselves pierced.   One way to avoid allergic reactions is to figure out which metals you are allergic to and avoid using them as piercing tools or as jewellery. Since it is not practical to test every metal to look for allergic reactions, the best alternative is to use jewellery and piercing tools made of only hypoallergenic metals.

Hypoallergenic, meaning “below normal” or “slightly” allergenic is a term used to describe items that cause fewer allergic reactions or no reactions at all in most cases. Hypoallergenic metals do not irritate the skin and are considered inert as far as interacting with your skin is concerned.

Metals which are considered hypoallergenic are

  • Pure gold
  • Silver
  • Titanium
  • Surgical steel
  • Niobium
  • Platinum

Hypoallergenic metals are usually pure metals and hence are not prone to cause negative reactions with human body tissue. There are a lot of jewels and instruments out there which claim to be made of pure metals and hypoallergenic but they are just alloys coated with silver, gold or other hypoallergenic metals. So it is best to invest in tools and jewellery from a trusted brand which can provide you assurance of its claims.

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Hypoallergenic jewellery is a boon to jewellery lovers. It offers them the aesthetic benefits of accessorizing without the dreaded fear of developing an allergic reaction.