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Body Piercings Could Cause Potential Problems

Whether it’s a young girl getting her ears pierced or a rebellious teenager piercing something a little less noticeable, a body piercing can often signify a right of passage on the road to becoming an adult. While the risk of infection has always been an issue with body piercings, a recent reexamination of the medical literature in study published in February’s issue of the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology suggests complications from piercings are more common than most people think.

Many of us may reconsider undergoing any medical procedure that has a 20 percent chance of developing complications, but when it comes to body piercings, millions of American’s willingly take that risk each year. While the study found infection or scarring as the most common types of complication, in some extreme cases, serious infections such as viral hepatitis, endocarditis, and brain abscesses, have been known to occur.

ear-piercingThe type of piercing a person gets can often lead to site-specific complications. Tongue piercings can cause excessive salivation and dental problems, while nasal piercing may become aspirated and impacted, requiring surgery to be removed. Piercings of the ear, nipple, and belly button are at risk of tearing, and genital piercings could cause a variety of problems from infertility to priapism, according to research.

The study also determined that the two most popular types of piercings, the ears and belly button, also resulted in the most complications. More than just a coincidence, this statistic shows that while many individuals are keen to get a piercing, they don’t possess an equal amount of zeal for keeping the pierced area clean.

Researchers warn that a piercing is an open wound on the body, and the area remains at risk of infection until it fully heals. A belly button piercing can take up to a year to fully heal, and areas such as the upper ear can become easily infected because of the cartilage. The fact that most piercings must be removed before medical procedures, contact sports, or before your dad or boss see them can cause the healing process to take considerably longer than anticipated.

The study concludes with some common sense advice; recommending that individuals only get a piercing done by a qualified practitioner who uses sterilized needles and that body piercers be fully aware of the potential complications that could arise from their piercing.

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    Category: Infection Control, Lifetstyle, Teenage Health

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