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Be Aware of Piercings and Your Grandchild

Editor’s Note:  Piercings are everywhere and it’s quite a temptation for your teenage grandchildren to want to fit in with the “in” crowd. You, as the grandparent, may not have any say in this matter, but you can know some of the risks and speak intelligently with your grandchild about some of the problems or dangers of piercings before that decision gets made. Hopefully, your grandchild won’t go in for extreme body piercing…that is soooo scary.

Young people may think that a new piercing can be an exciting way to change their look or scare family members. But to ensure their need for style doesn’t include a nasty infection, it’s important they take each step cautiously, from when they first get the piercing to when they can’t imagine their nose without it.

Have them check out our guide to safe piercing before you head to the piercer.

Before you go
Know the risks. Tongue piercings, for example, can chip teeth and damage gums, the Mayo Clinic warns, and any piercing that’s not cleaned properly can become infected.

Know your piercer. Different states have different licensing requirements, so check on yours before you go. And as you know, even if your friend swears she’s done tons of piercings before, don’t get pierced in your bathroom.

When you get there
Make sure your piercer is wearing gloves and sterilizes nondisposable equipment like an ear-piercing gun. For non-ear piercings, he or she should use fresh, sterile needles.

Ask for hypoallergenic jewelry made of surgical-grade steel, titanium, niobium, or 14- or 18-karat gold, the Mayo Clinic advises.

After the piercing
In general, ear lobe and tongue piercings take six to eight weeks to heal, while navel and cartilage piercings take around three to eight months to heal. Be sure to follow the cleaning instructions your piercer gives you for that entire period of time. Clean your piercing with saline solution daily, and be careful to clear out soap after a shower.

Because the piercing will heal from the outside in, it may appear healed before it’s completely healed internally, the Association of Professional Piercers says, so keep up your cleaning practices until you no longer see redness, crusting or oozing around the piercing.

This information was provided courtesy of  www.hellawella.com

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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