These days, everyone is all about DIY. It’s amazing the things that people are creating on their own. With the right tools and a good YouTube video, you can retile your own bathroom, paint a mural on your wall, knit yourself a sweater, and all sorts of things you might have wanted to try.
Recently, the search term, “piercing kits,” started trending on Google, likely because of current restrictions on nonessential businesses. Many people are keen to get the piercing that they’ve been dreaming of for a while, and they’re looking for ways to do that while many studios remain closed.
A quick Google search shows that there is an abundance of piercing kits available with professional-looking tools and a whole arsenal of jewelry. The easy availability might make it seem as though it’s a good idea to pierce yourself at home using one of those kits.
We’re here to tell you that, unless you’re a certified piercer in a piercing studio, you should never pierce yourself, even if you use one of these kits. Here’s why.
Piercings might seem easy to do—you’re just poking a hole in your body, right?—but, as any professional piercer can tell you, there’s a whole bunch of training that you need to go through in order to do a piercing safely.
Many common piercings, like tongue piercings and dimple piercings, appear near nerve endings or other important parts of the body. If you don’t know the proper placement of these piercings, you can cause real and irreversible damage to yourself. Furthermore, cartilage is brittle and easily damaged. If you don’t have the correct equipment or if you conduct the piercing awkwardly, you could cause damage leading to unsightly scarring. Piercings also need to be placed at the proper angle and proper depth to avoid complications like piercing rejection. In short, you lack the training that it takes to safely pierce yourself, and the risk isn’t worth it.
Piercers also have training in aspects like bloodborne pathogens, infections, and other medical risks surrounding piercings. If conducted in a piercing studio, new piercings have a low chance of infection. However, if you pierce yourself in your bedroom without the proper equipment, your chance of infection greatly increases.
No matter how much you read, how many YouTube tutorials you watch, or how many piercings you’ve gotten in the past, if you’re not certified, you simply don’t have the know-how to pierce yourself. Would you pull out your own tooth in lieu of visiting a dentist? Probably not. The same goes for your piercing.
No matter how reputable the site you ordered from or how many great reviews the piercing kit has, you still won’t have all of the proper equipment that you need.
All tools must be sterilized in an autoclave sterilizer. Unless you have one of those lying around, then you aren’t properly prepared to pierce yourself. An autoclave sterilizer uses steam to fully clear the tools of all bacteria. Simply disinfecting the tools with a bacteria-killing disinfectant won’t do the trick; these only serve to kill most of the bacteria—not all.
Beyond proper sterilization, the needles that you use must be super sharp. If the needles are too blunt, they won’t perform a clean piercing (and it will be painful). There are also many piercing kits that include piercing guns. These might seem easier to use, but they’re a big no-no, even if used by a professional. (Here’s some more information why.)
Since everyone’s body is different, every piercing is going to be different. The type and size of your starter jewelry depends upon your individual anatomy. Unless you have the training, you won’t know which jewelry to choose. Even if you research beforehand, you need to know the size of jewelry that fits your body specifically.
Additionally, some piercings, especially in the cartilage, need to be pierced at a specific angle depending on the jewelry that you want to wear. (If you want to wear a hoop, then the piercing might need to be at a different angle than if you want to wear a stud.) There’s no way for you to know the proper angle by simply researching. It takes practice that you don’t have.
Many of us know at least one person who has pierced themselves at one point in their life, and it might have been successful. Don’t let this lure you into a false sense of security; piercing yourself is never a good idea.
The fact is that they probably simply lucked out. Some areas, like the lobe, do present less of a risk than other areas, like the cartilage, and they can be more forgiving towards poor piercing practices. However, even the lobe can be subject to infection and scarring when done by an amateur.
Between raised infection risks, risks of scarring, and possible irreversible damage, piercing yourself is not worth it. Remember that any success story that you’ve heard is purely anecdotal; the fact is that piercing yourself at home poses a major risk that’s not worth the new piercing.
Despite how easy it is to buy a piercing kit online, just don’t do it. The cost of the kit and the risk of conducting the piercing at home is not worth the piercing that you may or may not end up with. Wait until you can get safely pierced by a reputable professional in a clean studio. Your body will thank you for it.
If you’re impatient for a new piercing, scratch that itch by dreaming about the jewelry that you can wear when the piercing is done. You’ll be able to go to the piercing studio someday, and the wait will be worth it. Here are some pieces we love to help satiate your piercing craving.