Body Piercing Best Practices: Piercing Needles vs Guns

body piercing

Nowadays, piercings are becoming more mainstream. Around 12% of American men and at least 72% of American women have some form of piercing.

What’s great about piercings is they’re versatile and people from all walks of life can express themselves freely. Whether you’re old or young, man or woman, you can adorn yourself with beautiful jewelry. And it can be something as simple as a lobe piercing or as wild as a Prince Albert piercing!

But before you jump into a body piercing, you need to have some basic knowledge of the best practices. Otherwise, you might end up with annoying and painful infections.

For example, many mall stores will use piercing guns, while other establishments will use piercing needles.

So which one should you opt for when getting a piercing? Read on to find out!

Piercing Guns

A piercing gun has an outer shell that looks like a gun. Inside, there’s a cartridge (or cassette) that has a stud holder and clasp holder.

This piece of equipment is pretty easy to use since you just have to load up the cartridge, line up the gun with the area to be pierced, and then pull the trigger, so to speak. This is why when you go to the mall, you’ll see lots of young staff who handle piercings, even though their main job is to stock the shelves, keep the store tidy, and ring up customers. It’s very easy to train people to use piercing guns.

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Pros of Piercing Guns

If you want a body piercing quick, then it should be easy to find piercing gun places. An added benefit is that since you’re at the mall, you can also conveniently get your shopping done too.

Piercing gun places also tend to charge more affordable prices. There’s not much training and skill involved, so the savings are passed onto you.

In addition, if you’re afraid of pain and don’t like things to be drawn out, piercing guns can alleviate fear. When the piercer pulls the trigger, the piercing’s done in an instant.

Cons of Piercing Guns

Gun piercings might sound great, but there are some big cons that come with them.

The biggest con is the risk of major tissue damage. Piercing guns use studs for the piercings, which are blunt compared to piercing needles. As a result, it rips your tissue, and can shatter your cartilage if that’s where the piercing is; this can prolong your healing time.

Piercing guns also harbor bacteria, especially if the piercer hasn’t cleaned it between use. And the most cleaning they do is rubbing with an alcohol wipe. The blunt piercing can cause more bleeding, and the blood can get onto the gun.

Not to mention, the piercing gun puts in the butterfly backing snugly, which doesn’t leave room for natural swelling. This can then instigate more swelling, and the type of backing can harbor bacteria too.

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All this puts you at a higher risk of infection. Not only can it be painful, but it can also hinder healing. Plus, mall workers typically aren’t knowledgeable about infection control and the best healing practices.

And while it’s easy to train people to use piercing guns, that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily use them correctly. They’re hard to aim, and it’s common for piercings to go in at awkward angles.

Lastly, if you want non-ear piercings, then you’re out of luck, as piercing guns are designed for the ears only.

Piercing Needles

Piercing needles are one-time-use instruments, which are carefully placed into your body part to make a piercing. As you might’ve guessed, this takes a lot more skill and precision than a piercing gun, so there’s extensive training that goes into using a piercing needle. For this reason, you’ll have to find professionals at piercing parlors.

Pros of Piercing Needles

Piercing needles are much cleaner since they’re one-time-use. The needles are disposed of, and the piercing instruments (such as hemostats) are sterilized in an autoclave.

While piercings done with needles are slower than with a gun, they’re actually less painful. The hollow needle is very sharp, which provides a cut rather than a puncture. This makes needles more accurate too.

Instead of using a stud and butterfly clasp, piercers will put in captive bead rings and barbells so the jewelry can move. That way, bacteria won’t build up.

There’s less risk of infection with needles for several reasons. Not only are they cleaner, but the piercers are more knowledgeable too. They’ll properly educate you on how to take care of your piercing so you stay comfortable.

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Piercing needles are also very versatile since you can use them anywhere on the body.

Cons of Piercing Needles

There aren’t many cons associated with piercing needles. The main one is that it’s more expensive, but you get what you pay for.

It can also be more inconvenient to find a piercer and/or piercing parlor, depending on where you live.

Which One’s Better?

Piercing needles win, hands down.

It might be daunting to go into a piercing parlor, but it’ll be much better, even if you’re getting your child pierced. The quicker the healing process goes, the quicker they’ll get some cool kids’ earrings, after all!

It’s worth the time and money spent going to a piercing parlor since you won’t put your health at risk. Just make sure to do your research and pick a reputable place.

Get Your Body Piercing Safely

Getting a body piercing can be exciting, and you probably can’t wait to book your appointment. But do your due diligence; instead of going to the mall, make a trip to your local piercing parlor instead.

These places will have the proper equipment and trained staff to provide you with a pleasant experience. Although you have to pay more, it’ll be worth it when you have a cool piercing to show off that’s not infected!

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