Why Ear Piercing Guns Are Not Safe
Ear piercing guns can be seen in every mall and every walmart across the world. They are cheaply made and are readilly available, so people think that they are safe, or a good method for a piercing. They are not. There are so many flaws and problems with piercing guns that it is a wonder they are not yet illegal.
If you value your health, you will do things the right way.
Piercing gun "technology" is derived from veterinary procedures used to tag the ears of cattle. In a setting where livestock is processed, guns may be the fastest method to tag animals, but they are not the safest for humans. Here is why:
-They cannot be sterilized. Wiping down a gun with alcohol does not equal sterilization. Gun parts are made of plastic, which cannot be autoclaved, which is the best way to kill HIV and Hepatitis. There are no real claims of someone getting HIV from an unsterile piercing gun, but why would you risk it? It is certainly possible, and there's always a first for everything. Don't become the first. The only way to kill bloodbourne pathogens is to autoclave the gun, and this can't be done with piercing guns.
-Guns do not make a clear entry hole. When you are pierced with a needle, the needle is razor sharp and beveled specially to aid insertion. You injure fewer cells with a needle, making it easier for your body to heal. A gun forces a relatively blunt object (a "piercing stud") through your flesh, basically ripping it through your lobe by force. This causes a lot of tissue trama, and will lead to haveing a longer healing process, as well as a more painful healing process.
-The studs are not even, which leaves you with an uneven piercing. The end is smaller than the base, and starter studs are rarely gradual in the change of thickness. Have you ever tried to put an earring in and could get it through the front, but it took effort to get it through the back? This is why.
-Because the studs are not gradual in the thickness changes, if your earring is pushed, it can force the larger part of the stud into the smaller part of the hole, which can rip a fresh piercing and really hurt. I can also make it hard for a fistula to form (when skin forms through the hole making it fully healed) when the hole is constantly being ripped or aggitated. This means you have a longer healing time, a more painful healing time, and the longer you have a chance of getting an infection.
-Because the piercing studs used in guns tear through your lobe, there are more bodily fluids displaced by the force of the impact. These fluids will fly off and land on the closest object, which is the piercing gun. Which is then not sterilized in between customers. Remember, alcohol does NOT in any way sterilze anything. It can actually keep certain bacteria alive longer, and those just happen to be the kinds of bacteria that are dangerous for you.
-Piercing studs that are used in guns are usually of a cheap grade metal that contains nickel. Many people have allergic reactions to nickel, making their ears red, raw and puffy. It may not occur to them that they are having a reaction to the jewelry.
-These studs have tight fitting "butterfly backs" which have twists and bends which are hard to clean, therefore trapping bacteria perilously close to an open wound. That's right, you can get an infection just from having that butterfly back on your fresh piercing!
-Piercing studs are not long enough to compensate for any swelling. This means that you will have an incredibly tight earring that will also cause a lot of pain and discomfort, no oxygen can get to the actual hole, and the stud can even become inbedded in your ear, and you'll have to have it cut out.
-Piercing guns have a VERY high malfunction rate. It's very common for a piercing to be crooked, ripped out, or have to be piercing multiple times due to a malfunction of the gun. It's just not worth the risk. If the gun malfunctions, not only will you be in a lot of pain, but they can do some serious damage, and you can get a serious infection.
-These so called "piercers" that pierce using a gun at the mall are not trained. They are not certified in first aid, CPR, nor do they have bloodbourne pathogens training. They aren't trained about aftercare instructions, they aren't trained about diseases, they aren't trained on how to be sterile, and they aren't trained on what to do if the gun malfunctions. They are however shown how it work, than given a certificate saying they can pierce. These certificates mean absolutely nothing, and these are not real piercers. A REAL piercer would never, EVER use such shoddy, unsterile equiptment on a person.
-In addition, most guns are labeled for lobe use only. Even thought they are labeled as such, they are too often used on upper ear cartilage. When cartilage gets infected, it can lead to a phenomenon called "cartilage collapse" where the ear cartilage basically melts and collapses, leaving you with a deformed ear that can only be reconstructed by a plastic surgeon.
In a nutshell, getting pierced with a gun is cheap because it's a cheap piece of equipment that gives you an improper piercing. When you go to a shop, you are paying for their equiptment, their sterilization, their time, their experiance, their supplies, and their work. It's well worth it to pay a little more for a proper piercing, for a sterile piercing, and for a piercing that is preformed right. If you aren't being pierced with a brand new, sterile, tri-beveled, hollow, 316l surgical steel piercing needle, you aren't getting a proper piercing!