Thursday, 18 August 2011

Ear piercing

Littletree got her ears pierced. She’s been *begging* to have it done for a verrrry long time. Being as she’s Brazilian, this probably means she’s finally a “real” girl. In Brazil, pretty much every baby girl has her ears pierced in the first day or two after birth, often before even coming home from the hospital. I was constantly complimented on my beautiful baby boy, and on correcting people, they insisted she can’t be a girl, because she didn’t have earrings. After all; how else can one tell boys from girls?!

Anyway, I insisted that we do the piercing with a proper piercing needle, rather than taking her to a shop where they use a piercing gun. I think the main reason people prefer to have piercing done with a gun is they get scared by the word “needle” (which we’re all sure is going to hurt), and for the most part, people don’t know any better. But talk to piercers and it’s fairly unanimous.

The gun is more painful, and less safe. You’re basically looking at the difference between the gun, which uses force to push a blunt stud through the earlobe, essentially ripping a hole in the flesh. Ouch! This means poorer healing, more pain and more chance of infection. It’s also very likely the piercing will create hard scar tissue and can create skin tags, lead to abscesses and other nasties. What’s more, the piercing gun can’t be properly sterilised between customers.

Piercing with a proper needle is quick and relatively painless. The needle is surgically sharp and hollow, just slides right through. If you’ve ever had an IV line put in, imagine having that done, and then imagine comparing it to putting the line in not with a sharp needle, but just punching in a blunt stud. Yikes! Proper piercing equipment is either sterilised (usually with an autoclave) or disposed of immediately. Healing is faster and cleaner.

Personally, I’ve had a lot of piercings done, my early ear piercings were all done with the gun by shop assistants in malls. Those ones, even 20 years on, and some of them that haven’t had any jewellery in them for 12 years, still have hard lumps in them that have a tendency to get infecty. The ones I’ve had done with a needle were significantly less painful, and all healed nicely – barely a sign of them now, years after I’ve taken them out.

Anyway, there’s a strong movement amongst serious piercers to have the gun banned, but that’s enough of a rant from me.

Littletree is very happy with the result; she looks so grown up now!

83 ear piercing


  1. She does look so grown up and I've learnt the hard way about piercing guns, in the past I didn't know there was any other way and now have three scars in each ear and cannot wear any earrings.

  2. They look awesome. Thanks for that bit of knowledge about piercing. Years ago I got my nose pierced with a gun and a strange lump grew that nearly engulfed the whole nose stud I had to take it out in the end.After reading your blog I'm picking it was scar tissue build up. Maybe i'l try again with a needle.

  3. She looks very pretty. I have scars on my ears from the gun.

  4. oh sorry to hear so many piercing-gun-horror-stories! I had some pretty awful problems with gun-pierced earrings in the past, including one that abcessed. blergh!

  5. I have such a needle/ gun/ whatever sharp thing might come near my body phobia I had to skip reading some of your details there. eeek. I was that one girl in school who did not want to get my ears pierced. I waited until much later than most and then only wore earrings for a short while. I haven't worn them in years and years now (10? 15?) Ironically I tried to put some in this morning b/c Zach asked me what earring were and how they worked. OUCH! The holes are still open, but it hurt like crazy and itched too.
    Anyhow, that was a lot of rambling to say -- congrats to Littletree, she looks happy and lovely!

  6. lol boatbaby. I don't think there's anything wrong with having an aversion to needles.

  7. So far I have two cool piercings in each earlobe and one in my nose. Getting the nose one was by far the weirdest piercing sensation I'd ever had.


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)