• Body piercing is the practice of puncturing or cutting a part of the body and   jewelry is inserted through it.
  • Body parts pierced is usually the ears, nose or umbilicus.
  • Other rarer body parts used for piercing include nipple, genitalia, eyebrow and tongue.
  • Like tattooing, when the process involved a break in the skin, there is health risk involved


Risk associated with body piercing

  • Depends on which part of the body is pierced, equipment used and how the procedure was done.
  • Some risks of note include:
  • Physical trauma and pain
  • Excess salivation for tongue piercing
  • Allergic reaction to the metal in the piercing jewel and the severity depends on the metal used.
  • Infection from either bacterial or viral. Risk of the infection to the heart is greatest among those with congenital heart disease and rheumatic heart disease with valves defect. Risk  of tetanus if the tools used is contaminated with the bacteria.
  • Chronic infection may include hepatitis B, hepatitis C and potentially HIV.
  • Oral trauma such as recession of gingival tissue or dental fracture in individual with pierced cheek and mouth.
  • Excess scar tissue includes hypertrophic scar and keloid formation. While piercing can be removed, they may leave a hole, mark or scar.



  • If you have opted to pierced , make sure you do it in a safe environment
  • Precaution steps before piercing include:
  • Make sure you have chosen a clean and safe facility.
  • Piercers are also expected to use disposable gloves
  • Reusable tools should be sterilised in autoclaves machine.
  • Piercing gun is generally not favoured as they are considered unsuitable for hygienic reasons.
  • Make sure a new piercing needle is used for each new client.
  • All material that has come into contact with blood or bodily fluids is thrown into biohazards containers and needles are thrown into special bin for sharp materials.
  • Body piercing jewel should be hypoallergenic. Stainless steel and titanium are commonly used metals.


Aftercare process of body piercing

  • Cleanse the pierced area with soap or non- alcohol cleanser.
  • Proper hands wash before touching the pierced area.
  • If you have tongue or mouth   pierce you should gargle with non- alcoholic mouth gargle.
  • Seek doctor’s advice if you develop infection or allergic reaction for further medical treatment.


Last Reviewed : 14 August 2012
Content Writer : Dr. Salmiah bt. Md. Shariff