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PSA: The Disposable Piercing Kits Sold Online Aren't Safe At All

You're safer in the hands of a professional.
PHOTO: SHEIN
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To those of you who have been wanting to get your ears pierced for the longest time, there are two ways to go about it: Using a piercing gun or a hollow needle. The former is usually offered in jewelry stores or mall kiosks at a low cost, while the latter is only available at tattoo shops at a much higher price point.

Professional body piercers agree that using a hollow needle is the most effective and safest way of piercing through the skin with minimal pain and damage. Even with that, people still opt to take matters into their own hands, as seen in the popularity of disposable DIY piercing kits found online. While it may be cheaper, it's not safe to use *at all*. Keep on reading to learn more:

The Dangers Behind Using Disposable Piercing Kits Found Online

What are disposable, DIY ear piercing kits and how do they work?

In an exclusive interview with Kenneth Abad, a professional body piercer and tattoo artist, "The piercing tool kits that are usually sold online are plastic made and are manually operated." They are essentially like a puncher that holds the jewelry and lock together and *snaps* in place as you click it and pierce your ear.

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The piercing guns used in jewelry stores and mall kiosks operate the same way. While the disposable piercing kits use force from you pushing down on it to pierce your ear, a gun usually has a type of band or spring that gives it tension. When the trigger is pulled, it "fires" the stud earring and pushes the dull point onto your ear.

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What are the dangers of using DIY ear piercing kits found online?

Since we aren't trained professionals, a *lot* can go wrong if we decide to pierce our ears. Kenneth stressed the importance of getting it done by an actual body piercer in a reputable tattoo and body piercing shop. "Always remember that if something goes wrong, a trip to a doctor or the hospital and taking care of your infected ear will certainly take a lot more of your time and money."

That said, here are the dangers you might face if you do decide to DIY your ear piercing:

1. It can cause micro-tears that will lead to scarring.

The stud earrings loaded in DIY piercing kits have a dull point and cannot pierce through the flesh of the ear with ease. It uses *blunt* force that can cause micro-tears and trauma that may lead to scarring.

2. Your ear might get an allergic reaction.

Kenneth says that we aren't sure of the earrings' quality. "If it's too cheap then, it's probably not a good quality piece of jewelry to put in your ear. Our skin is highly reactive to certain pieces of metal, and most of the cheap ones are not biocompatible which causes allergic reactions to our skin," he explained.

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3. You can easily misalign the piercing.

"Just because you can doesn't mean you should," Kenneth stated. "You can easily misalign the piercing, which can cause unnecessary scars should you try to do it again." Plus, piercing tool kits are made of plastic that may easily break or get stuck if you use too much or too little force.

According to Kenneth, it's also not uncommon to hesitate in the middle of piercing your own ear. You might leave yourself with half a piercing that will hurt a lot and leave you with marks.

What do you do if you get an infected ear piercing?

If you do get an infection, Kenneth said that you must go to a professional piercer and get it checked to see if the piercing can still be salvaged. "An infected DIY piercing usually needs cleaning and changing of high-quality jewelry."

If you can't go to a professional piercer or they're not available, here's what you need to do, according to Kenneth: "First of all, do NOT put alcohol on the affected area. Put warm distilled or mineral water in a glass or porcelain cup. Add 1/4 teaspoon of all-natural, non-iodized salt into the mix. Soak the infected area for eight to 10 minutes then let it air dry. mins. Continue to do this for three to four days."

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If the infected piercing doesn't show signs of getting any better, it's best to seek professional help.

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