One of my Roommates (Charlie) decided she wanted to get her nose pierced while we’re here. So, basically on a whim, I decided to get one of my own. Not a nose piercing, of course, but I did get my cartilage done. It was interesting how they went about doing it.
I have 6 piercings already (all ear, chill Pop) and so I’ve been to a couple of different places to get them done, all of which used piercing guns. However, this place (Berlin Tattoo: Berlin Tattoo) used an IV-like needle. The guy stuck it through first, then cut off the tag part, and then removed whatever material it was to insert the earring. I looked up piercing methods, and it looks like it was just a standard needle method:
The customary method of body piercing includes the use of a needle. It is one of the oldest and easiest techniques and is practiced due to its simplicity and effectiveness. These needles come in different sizes, lengths, thickness and shapes to suit individual requirements. Needle piercing is done by hand or with the help of a needle holder with which it is pierced into the body and left there. Then it is gently removed and the jewelry is forcefully pushed into the incision made. In most cases, the thickness of the needle is more than the ornament’s for which the piercing is done. This is because it gives sufficient space for the ornament to move in and out of the hole and a lot of room for the piercing to heal and also prevents the formation of a fistula. (indobase)
We were talking to the guy there, and he insisted that this method is the best, especially over the guns. Why? He said that it’s not only more precise, but also safer and cleaner. He didn’t explain why, but we also didn’t really ask, either. So…I decided to look it up. This is one answer that I found:
The mall piercing booth, and stores like Claires, uses a mostly plastic gun, which cannot be autoclaved (the plastic will melt). Also the gun is used over and over again. Swabbing the gun with alcohol is usually not enough to get in the nooks and crannies and icky stuff will linger in there.
So basically the gun can’t be properly sterilized, which makes sense. There are several piercing methods, some utilized and some not depending on where you go. I think the reason why I’ve yet to experienced anything other than the gun is because I’ve only gone to places like department stores. Not tattoo parlors. Anyway, it was an enlightening experience and the people there were very nice.