Advice Nerd

Not too long ago I took a journey with a few of my fellow Skyline View staff members to San Francisco, where we promptly got holes punched in our faces. I’m speaking of piercing, a developing trend among just about everyone where a long needle is inserted into a part of the body. The result of this self-mutilation is a dangling bit of jewelry. Now that I’ve got a big chunk of metal in my face, I can comfortably relate to you my experiences of what to do and what not to do when dealing with facial piercing.

Think it through:Ask yourself… do you really want this piercing? Does your boss at your job appreciate the artistic value of a big metal ring in your nose? Will you still like the idea of a hunk of steel in your face when you’re old and grey?

These are all questions you should ask yourself before you buy your hole. When you’ve decided on whether or not you want to go through with the procedure, you need to carefully choose what kind of piercing you want and where you want it. Stand in front of the mirror and imagine the ideal location for your new piece of jewelry… maybe take a pen and mark the spot to help you visualize. That way when you get to the piercing parlor you already have some idea of what you want.

Choose a sterile location:I went to Cold Steel on Haight Street in San Francisco. What I saw was a very clean location with friendly employees. There were bottles of hand sanitizer everywhere. The room where I was pierced was clean and well lit and it resembled a room one might find in a hospital. Choosing a place to get a piercing can be a task best left to a health inspector, but when looking for a good location you must look for some basic stuff:

-Do they check identification? Places that don’t check identification are not so good… legally, an individual must be 18 years of age or older unless accompanied by a parent. If the place you go doesn’t check ID, what other things are they doing illegally?

-Do they use fresh needles? If you see someone poke you with a used needle, sue them. Make sure you see the person unwrap the individual needle. Then, make sure they throw it away after use. Reusing needles can spread very nasty diseases like HIV.

-Does your piercer maintain an acceptable level of hygiene? If you smell something funky in the room and it gets funkier when your piercer approaches you with a needle, run away. Ask the individual with the needle to wash him-or-herself before touching you. Getting a new hole in your face is pretty serious, so don’t be afraid to ask for another person to pierce you. Their inconvenience is worth your safety.

Being nice is nice:It is definitely not a good idea to upset the people who are about to stab you with a piece of metal. Being a polite, decent human being will go a long way toward developing a good relationship with your piercer. Ask questions, chat about the weather, have a deep conversation about local politics… just talking to your piercer will make the experience quicker and easier. Besides, if you ever come back to get another piece of jewelry or another hole you’ll have a good reputation. One way to show your appreciation is to leave a tip.

Clean your hole:An infection is an easy thing to get. You’ve got to keep your fresh wound clean or you’ll fall victim to the discomfort that plagues many newly pierced individuals. There is a normal amount of redness and swelling when the piercing is still new, but it should go away within six to ten weeks. If it doesn’t, you’ve got problems. See a doctor immediately or contact someone at the place you were pierced for help.

Overall, I think piercings are awesome. If you get them done right, keep them clean, and if you are absolutely positive of what you want they can be a worthy addition to your face. I highly recommend getting them done professionally, even though the high cost might dissuade you. The risk of infection can be significantly lowered with just a few extra dollars.If you’ve got a question or a situation that requires my advice, drop me a line. I’d also like to hear from you if I’ve forgotten something important. I want to make sure I give complete and useful advice.You can email me at [email protected].