Piercing has become more than a fad. It’s been around too long and too popular to be labeled as such. Teenagers and piercing is becoming a parenting issue that five years ago parents of ten year olds thought they wouldn’t have to deal with. Well, it’s still around and parents of kids of all ages are now dealing with the issue of piercing various body parts in the name of style and self expression.
Piercing is about more than just something to do. Of course, kids think that this is a cool thing to do to themselves because they believe it looks cool. And for some people, some piercings can actually be attractive. Depending on the size, location, and style of the stud, some piercings can be pulled off tastefully. However, many simply look, well, junkie. And for many teenagers this would be the appeal. There is an edge to having these done and it creates a look that speaks of teenage and young adult angst as well as presents the whole “tortured and soulful” look to the rest of the world. For some teenagers, this is their opinion of self expression.
Hopefully your teenager asked you whether it was okay or not before they went out and had something pierced. If you have agreed to this idea, it would be recommended to go with them at the time of piercing. Your consent means that you have consented to piercing anything, and the only reason for a girl to pierce her genitals has everything to do with sexual pleasure, which would tip you off to the more pressing issue of sexual activity.
If your child comes home from wherever they have been with a piercing, they most likely had it done by a friend. Piercing shops require that you show identification to prove your age before piercing anyone or anything. Thus, either your kid has a fake ID, the piercing shop messed up, or it was done by a friend. In the event of the latter, the risk of infection is very high, especially if it was a tongue or nipple. When the tongue is pierced professionally, instructions are given to avoid certain foods, kissing, and other oral activities such as smoking for at least 2 weeks to prevent infection. Nipple piercings are likely to become infected because of the ducts that lead to the mammary glands in the breasts of a teenage girl. Taking the piercing out actually increases the chance of infection. However, the good news is that even if they managed to pull this off without your permission, the eventual removal of the stud will take care of the hole over time. You should be more concerned with who your teenage daughter is intending to show her pierced nipple to than the fact that there is now a hole in her body that will one day grow back together.
I’m not implying it’s not upsetting. What I am implying is that while piercing of the nose, lips, eyebrows, ears, and other facial features is done for effect. Piercings of the nipple, clitoris, penis, tongue, and in a more abstract way the belly button is a sexual gesture. Very few teenage boys pierce their penis.
When approaching the topic of teenagers and piercing, it may be prudent to deal with why they want something pierced before dealing with that something either is or is about to be pierced. The piercing itself is usually a side effect of another desire, sexual or otherwise.
Whether or not you choose to allow your teenager to pierce their body is up to you. Long gone are the days that pierced ears (as in one hole in each ear) are the great debate. Out of the teenagers with piercings, 13% have piercings that their parents aren’t aware of. This is a pretty high number considering the health risks that go along with piercings done professionally, let alone those performed by a friend. In most cases it is harmless to allow your teenager to get a piercing. Except for the fact that most parents don’t like the way it looks, a lot of the same arguments for not piercing are very similar to those surrounding the piercing of the ears once upon a time. An eyebrow, a nose, and in some cases a belly button piercing is usually just for effect and means nothing more.
Teenagers and piercing is destined to be a debate between parents and kids for a long time to come. The phenomenon has lasted long enough that it will be around for many years, and those teenagers who are denied now will most likely do it at the first available opportunity come the ripe old age of eighteen.
Is tongue piercing harmful?
Oral body art has existed for thousands of years in some cultures but it is a relatively recent fashion in Western society. Today, body piercing, including tongue piercing, is very popular.
There are concrete, scientific studies that have been conducted to ascertain if tongue piercing causes dental complications. While all people are different and will respond differently to the 'wounding' caused by tongue piercing, there are things to consider before piercing the tongue. First and foremost: are the instruments used to pierce the tongue, lips, or cheek clean and sterile? Secondly, the tongue has many blood vessels and is heavily supplied with sensitive nerve endings; therefore, the piercing can cause quite a bit of bleeding and pain.
Any time jewellery is inserted through the oral soft tissues, infection is a real concern. If the metal is not pure, allergic reactions may also occur. The barbell end of the jewellery pierced through the tongue, lip, or cheek can be removed but it is usually worn permanently. This can lead to chipped teeth, difficulty eating, and difficulty speaking clearly. It is not uncommon for the tongue to swell up for several days after the piercing procedure. One report described a case where the swelling partially blocked the patient's trachea (windpipe) and caused serious difficulty breathing!
The Hazards Of Body Piercing
There are some potentially harmful results if associated with body piercing. Here are some things to keep in mind before you pierce your tongue, eyebrow, belly button, lip, nipple, genital or navel:
The mouth contains an abundance of bacteria and introducing a foreign body into the environment can lead to serious infection. In addition, piercing with infected needles can lead to HIV exposure, tetanus and hepatitis.
- Dental Damage
Tongue studs and rings are hard, and have led to chipped and cracked teeth. They can also cause potential choking hazards if the jewelry ring becomes loose and is swallowed. Loss of taste buds and numbness may occur if a nerve is accidentally pierced. Excessive drooling and speech impediments are minor, but are common problems with tongue rings.
Keloids are a type of scarring seen in areas of skin trauma that is prevalent among those with African or Asian descent. If you are prevalent to developing keloids you may want to think twice before piercing, as it could result in a cosmetically unappealing scar.
- Diabetics and Hemophiliacs
Diabetes and hemophiliacs should also reconsider having piercing done. Diabetics can have poor wound healing and hemophiliacs may have prolonged bleeding which could be life threatening. People with nickel allergies also want to stay away from piercing.
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