Piercing Questions

Piercings and Minors Often Don't Mix Well

Hello Elayne!

I was wondering what info you could give me on laws pertaining to piercing minor's nipples? I know it's illegal, however I can't seem to find any laws supporting my claim and I'm thinking you'd know much more on this.

The reason i ask is because this 14 year-old-girl has her nipples pierced and I'm talking to someone currently about the law in the US on this subject. I'm also wondering if you know if it's legal or not to discuss nipple piercings with minors? I know it's illegal to talk to them about genital piercings, however I was wondering if this also applies to nipple piercings?

And one last note, I am 18 years old just incase any of this would be illegal to discuss with a minor.

Thanks so much for your time!
M.

Hi M.,
I know that we have corresponded previously.

I would not discuss it with a minor with the exception to explain that I cannot perform, nor even talk about such piercings until the individual is 18 years of age or older with proof-positive ID.

Does the health department regulate piercings in your area? If so you could contact them.

There's also the industry standard from the Association of Professional Piercers with a FAQ posting here.

And there's this from The Piercing Bible:

NO Nipple Piercing on Minors!

I received a message and I genuinely hope my advice is taken on this one:

Hello! I have a question about female nipple piercing. Will you pierce a 16 year old girl with parental consent and supervision? Please let me know!

Thanks in advance,

T.

T.,

Absolutely not, and neither would any ethical piercer. You and the piercer both could be charged with reckless endangerment of a minor, child abuse, or other crimes. If someone agrees to do it, they're exactly the type of piercer you should run away from.

Nipple piercing with barbell on ADULT femalePLEASE wait until she is 18. Further, her body is likely to still be developing and a piercing that is properly placed now could end up in the wrong spot once her development is done. Nipple piercings are an adult placement, and she must WAIT until she's an adult to get the piercing done!

Sincerely,
Elayne

Elayne Angel, Author
The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
President, Association of Professional Piercers

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Nostril Piercing Placement (With Photos)

I got a message from a piercee who was concerned about the placement of her nostril piercing:

Nostril piercing front viewHi Elayne, I just got my nostril pierced a week ago, but I'm experiencing the same problem P. had with nostril piercing placement. Although I had initially questioned the placement of my piercing, I went ahead with it anyway because I knew that my piercer was experienced and therefore trusted his judgment.

But since I've gotten my nostril pierced, I've been extremely self conscious about it, thinking I might look stupid because it may not be in the most flattering position for my face. I've even found myself looking at peoples' noses and imagining where a potential nostril piercing should be placed, and more often than not, it looks best along their crease. To my surprise, the placement of my nostril piercing, though unconventional and awkward at first glance, has kind of grown on me (it looks a bit weird straight on, but the profile view is not too bad). However, I know that a few millimeters can make a big difference, as you mentioned to P. I was hoping that with your experience, you could help me settle my indecisiveness.

Labret (Lip) Piercing Problem--Excess Scar Tissue Formation

I got this message from a piercee who is having trouble with  a labret (lip) piercing:

I got my labret pierced on the 3rd of december, and in the last couple days the skin on the inside of my piercing has grown (like a white flap on the bottom of the disc about 1mm tall) that rests next to the disc. i don't know whether it would be growing over it, i have a 10mm long stem which i thought is long enough, but i would still like your opinion

I told her that if she thinks the tissue is growing over the jewelry, she should should see her piercer IMMEDIATELY for a jewelry change! I also explained that I couldn't really evaluate a piercing without seeing it--or at least a photo or two. I requested that she send some clear, close up images, and I received these (below). They do show that the post is long enough so she is not in danger of the jewelry becoming embedded (which is a risk when a piercing is healing if the jewelry is too short).

Labret piercing with sufficient extra length for safetyLabret piercing: scar tissue on interior 

The Effects of Stress and Health Habits on Piercings

Hi Elayne,

This is the second time I've noticed this.  I've had a few piercings since I was young.  I got a batch of piercings a while ago and the old, established piercings started to ache and ooze along with the new piercings.  All seemed to be better and I got a few more piercings recently.  Now all of my piercings, including the last batch are sore and crusting.  Can my new piercings cause my older piercings to be irritated? Thanks, S.


Changing Barbells to Rings in Nipple Piercings

I received a message from a woman whose nipples I pierced and she had questions about changing the jewelry:

Hello Elayne! I got my nipples pierced by you last year when you were at Obscurities, Dallas. I just want to let you know that this is my favorite piercing yet! They healed so beautifully! So after a year I was wondering if getting my jewelry changed to rings instead of barbells would be possible. If I did do the jewelry change (meaning I got to a piercer to get them changed, I'm kinda chicken in that situation) would my nipples once again become tender as they get used to the new jewelry? I still clean them daily. Your input would mean a lot to me! Thank you again for everything you have done! S.

Piercing Risks to Teenagers

I was asked to provide some information about risks of piercings specifically as regards teenagers (14 and up). Below are the questions and answers:

 

Q: What are some associated health risks that teens may be more exposed to when their piercing is healing?

 

A: Some teens pierce themselves or have a friend do it, or go to a piercer who is unethical (piercing minors without parental consent). In all of these situations, the risk of infection is MUCH higher than if they go to a professional studio and get pierced by a qualified practitioner. Sterilization equipment is expensive, and it is required for safe piercing. The piercing "kits" that are advertised as sterile do NOT provide everything needed for a safe piercing. These situations are all recipes for disaster. One of the likely problems is that the piercing won't end up in the right spot. When this takes place, it doesn't look good, and it won't heal well. Piercings that are not placed properly to the individual anatomy have a tendency to become irritated or infected; the can migrate and reject, and cause tissue discoloration and/or excessive scarring. Poor quality jewelry can cause the same problems. And teens are frequently on a tight budget, which means they often buy jewelry that is poor in quality

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