As a professional piercer for over 13 years, I am very passionate about safe piercing, and extremely passionate about spreading the word that piercings guns pose more of a threat than most people realize. While I am not here to judge, I am here to educate! While some parents may think it strange to bring their children into a tattoo shop to have their ears pierced, it’s becoming more common as more awareness is created. We at Eighth Empire operate a family friendly shop, and want children and their parents to feel comfortable while visiting. While we don’t exactly recommend you bring your child in for your own piercing or tattoo appointment, we are happy to sit with you to discuss the process of having your child’s ears pierced here. Unlike the in and out ‘service’ you’d get when having your ears pierced with a gun, we will spend a lot of time with you and your child during your visit. We want both of you to know exactly what it is that is going to happen, as well as leave feeling educated and comfortable with what it is you have to do in order to properly take care of and heal the piercings. You should also except to find this kind of care and service in other reputable tattoo shops that offer children’s ear piercings. While I could spend a very long time discussing all the reasons that you should say NO to piercing guns, here are the Top Three Reasons:
1. Ear piercing guns are NOT sterile
Ear piercing guns are not one time use, and therefor are not sterile, nor are the conditions they are used in.
Although they can become contaminated with bloodborne pathogens dozens of times in one day, ear piercing guns are often not sanitized in a medically recognized way. Plastic ear piercing guns cannot be autoclave sterilized and may not be sufficiently cleaned between use on multiple clients. Even if the antiseptic wipes used were able to kill all pathogens on contact, simply wiping the external surfaces of the gun with isopropyl alcohol or other antiseptics does not kill pathogens within the working parts of the gun. Blood from one client can aerosolize, becoming airborne in microscopic particles, and contaminate the inside of the gun. The next client’s tissue and jewelry may come into contact with these contaminated surfaces. There is thus a possibility of transmitting bloodborne disease-causing microorganisms through such ear piercing, as many medical studies report.
Read More: Association of Professional Piercers
When having your ears pierced in a reputable tattoo shop, you are having them done with one use sterile needles, as well as tools that have been sterilized using an autoclave. Not only that, but the environment which you are having the piercings done will also be clean and sterile, unlike locations like a mall or salon. In most places, tattoo shops are highly regulated by the local health board and would be following standards similar to doctor and dental offices, if not, higher.
2. Piercing guns cause tissue damage
Unlike the sterile needles used to create a clean hole, piercing guns force a blunt piece of jewellery through the ear using force. This not only causes unnecessary pain and discomfort, but can cause significant tissue damage by tearing through the skin, and just pushing it to the side, rather than removing it.
3. Not one size fits all!
The studs used with ear piercing guns are generally one size, and are mostly too small for the initial piercing.
Ear piercing studs are too short for some earlobes and most cartilage. Initially, the pressure of the gun’s mechanism is sufficient to force the pieces to lock over the tissue. However, once they are locked on, the compressed tissue cannot return to its normal state, is constricted and further irritated. At the least, the diminished air and blood circulation in the compressed tissue can lead to prolonged healing, minor complications and scarring. More disturbingly, the pressure of such tight jewelry can result in additional swelling and impaction. Both piercers and medical personnel have seen stud gun jewelry completely embedded in ear lobes and cartilage (as well as navels, nostrils and lips), even when pierced “properly” with a gun. This may require the jewelry to be cut out surgically, particularly in cases where one or both sides of the gun stud have disappeared completely beneath the surface of the skin. Such consequences are minimal when jewelry is custom fit to the client, allows sufficient room for swelling, and is installed with a needle piercing technique which creates less trauma and swelling. Read More: Association of Professional Piercers
Again, there are many more reasons why NOT to have your, or your child’s ears pierced with a piercing gun, and I would be happy to discuss them with you and answer any question you may have. Please contact me here, on Facebook, or call Eighth Empire at 905-634-8989 to reach me! And remember, JUST SAY NO! -Karen