Many people fear the sterility of the piercing process, ergo they don't get the piercing. In actuality piercing is very safe. The piercer has to follow many steps in ensuring the safety of the piercer and the patient. After filling out the proper paperwork, the patient has to decide of the location of the piercing. There are many spots over the human body where one can get pierced. Some of the common spots to get pierced are: the inner and outer ear, the nose, the bridge of you nose, the cheek, lips, tongue, eyebrows, nipples, naval, and the genitalia.
If one was to get their tongue pierced, the piercer must decide whether or not it is piercable. If the tongue has a large under-webbing it cannot be pierced. Once the tongue is deemed piercable, the piercer sterilizes all of his equipment. A common set-up for a piercing is as follows: two pairs of surgical gloves, many gauze, a needle, cork, rubber-band, surgical clamp, toothpick, and the jewelry. All of these are placed in a metal cartridge and placed inside a sterilizing machine.
The machine heats and compresses distilled water and then blows steam into the cartage sterilizing everything inside. During this time the patient is instructed on the procedure and washing his mouth with bioclean. Bioclean is antibacterial mouth cleaner that destroys 99% of all mouth bacteria. During this time the piercer scrubs his hands with an antibacterial soap, and places one pair of gloves on. The patient sticks out his tongue and the piercer makes a horizontal and vertical make on the tongue if a mild antiseptic dye.
The clamps are placed on the top and direct bottom of the tongue and double checked, to ensure that the needle will not pierce a vein. At this time the piercer discards his current pair of gloves and dons the second. He then places the needle on the tongue and pushes it through. Once the needle has passed through, he then places a cork on the end so no one is harmed. The needle is push the rest of the way through with the jewelry. The needle and cork are placed in a sealed biohazard container to await proper disposal.
The clamp is removed and placed in an antibacterial solution. The other half is then screwed on and the piercing is over. All the gausses and swabs with no blood are placed in the trash, and any items with blood on them are placed in a biohazard bag. At this time the piercer informs the patient on the proper care and maintenance of the piercing. In an interview with Richard, a piercer at Factor V in Charleston, SC, he states that the most unsanitary and dangerous time for a piercing is seven days afterward.
"People don't follow directions and end-up with an infection. Most piercers pass out a pamphlet with the proper care directions on it. The piercing process is safe when done by a professional. The customer is responsible for the piercing once the piercing process is over. The procedure is so safe that one doesn't even lose taste due to the piercing. Some swelling may occur and pain in very minimal because no nerves were hit. Piercing can be a healthy and fun way express oneself, when done in a clean and experienced environment. But one has to make sure that proper care is given to the piercing.