7 myths about piercings that just aren't true

Alexander_G/ShutterstockYou shouldn’t remove a piercing shortly after you get it.
  • There are a lot of popular myths about getting piercings and taking care of them.
  • Some people experience allergic reactions to some of the metals used in the jewellery that goes in piercings.
  • After getting a piercing, you should wait a while before removing your jewellery. The amount of time you should wait depends on which type of piercing you have.
  • Generally, nipple piercings do not impact one’s ability to breastfeed.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Although piercings are quite common, there are a lot of misconceptions about them that are quite widespread.

Here are some common misconceptions about getting piercings and caring for them that just aren’t true.

MYTH: Nipple piercings will negatively impact one’s ability to breastfeed

“Nipple piercings should not affect [your] future breastfeeding [capabilities], it’s not like putting tiny holes in the sides of a straw,” said Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a board-certified dermatologist. She said there may only be an issue if you had complications with the piercing, such as scarring.

MYTH: Only people with certain types of nipples can get them pierced

“All types of nipples can be pierced, including erect, protruding nipples, flat nipples, and even inverted nipples,” Dr. Shainhouse told INSIDER.

MYTH: It’s OK to remove jewellery soon after getting a piercing

For most piercings, the jewellery needs to stay in place for quite a while so your piercing can heal and not immediately close up. The amount of time you should leave jewellery in before removing it from your piercing varies depending on which part of your body has been pierced.

If you have recently gotten a standard ear piercing, you may want to leave earrings in for at least six weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic. Per Healthline, if you’re getting your tongue pierced, you may want to leave your jewellery in for about six to eight weeks.

If you plan on getting nipple piercings, Dr. Shainhouse said you’ll want to wear your nipple jewellery at all times for the first year after getting them pierced. She said even after a year you may want to wear jewellery often to keep your piercing from closing up.

As long as everything is healing smoothly, it’s usually best to leave the new piercing alone. Generally. your piercing professional will let you know how long the entire healing process will take and when you should be able to remove your jewellery.

Read More: 12 horror stories that will scare you out of getting a tattoo or piercing

MYTH: It doesn’t matter which sort of jewellery you put in your piercings

Earring piercingiStockSome metals may irritate your skin.

Some people experience allergic reactions to different types of metal – so before you get a piercing, you’ll want to know if you have any allergies and if the piercer is using jewellery that contains metals you’re allergic to.

“Allergic contact dermatitis, a localised allergic skin reaction, can occur when skin comes in contact with certain metals, especially nickel,” said Dr. Shainhouse. If you experience nickel allergies, you may want to opt for nickel-free metals and avoid stainless steel, since it contains nickel.

“Consider only wearing precious metal posts, including silver, gold, and platinum, which are less likely to cause a reaction or rash,” said Dr. Shainhouse. If you do experience a reaction, then your dermatologist can test for metal allergies.

Even if you have a metal allergy, there are still some ways you can get and keep a piercing. For instance, your piercing professional can switch out the current jewellery for a glass retainer or a less reactive type of metal such as platinum or titanium, Dr. Shainhouse explained.

MYTH: You should clean your piercing with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide

Although they are commonly recommended for disinfecting purposes, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide might not be great for your new piercing.

“You should not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide [on a new piercing], as [they] can actually damage re-epithelializing (re-growing) cells and prolong or prevent healing,” said Dr. Shainhouse.

All in all, it’s important to follow your piercing professional’s instructions for aftercare and avoid using products that could irritate your skin or disrupt the healing process.

MYTH: It doesn’t matter which piercing place you go to, they’re all basically the same

Tattoo piercing parloriStockSome piercing parlors are cleaner than others.

“Not all piercers are created equally and not every studio is offering the same quality of service. Individuals looking to get pierced should do proper and thorough research regarding their piercer and look beyond price alone,” said Miro Hernandez of the Association of Professional Piercers (APP).

If you want a piercing that’s done properly, doing a little homework is key. You may want to read online reviews of shops and piercers and check that an establishment’s staff uses gloves and sterilized tools before deciding on where to go.

MYTH: Piercing guns are a perfectly safe alternative to sterilized needles

Although most professional piercing salons and parlors use sterile needles to pierce customers, many retail stores that offer piercings typically use a piercing gun.

The APP advises against using piercing guns because they can increase your risk of infection.

“Piercing guns cannot be sterilized because they are made of plastic. The plastic would melt in an autoclave, which is what we used to sterilize instruments like needles, jewellery, and any tools we might use during the piercing,” John Joyce, professional piercer and owner of Scarab Body Arts, told Good Housekeeping in 2015.

Plus, being pierced by a piercing gun can sometimes cause you to experience tissue damage, disfigurement, or excessive scarring, per the APP.

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