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Sheryl Stewart


5 Reasons to NOT Get Your Ears Pierced At The Mall

Ok, after reading this article on Cafemom.com, I suddenly feel like a bad mom for taking my daughter to the mall to get her ears pierced. Everybody does it, so it's perfectly fine, right?  Well, experts say it's not....here are the 5 reasons why:

Sanitation of the facility:

A mall booth, on the other hand, can be touched by everyone who walks by, is often just a cloth stool in a highly trafficked area, and the only part of their equipment that is sterile is maybe the earring studs -- which doesn't matter if the gun and gloves aren't.

Training of the piercer:

A mall piercing employee often has one day of a seminar, or even a video, then practices a few times on a piece of cardboard with dots or a teddy bear. Sometimes pediatricians offer this procedure, but they're no more trained with a piercing gun than you are.

Quality of the equipment: Piercing guns use cheap metal that almost always contains high levels of nickel despite the fact a good 15 percent or more of the population has a nickel allergy. The studs are so thin that they have a tendency to migrate into the healing flesh, and they are not long enough to allow for normal healing in even the thinnest earlobes. How many times do you hear "The skin will close over the back of the earring if you don't twist it!" This isn't because of twisting (which is not advisable nor healthy!) but because of improper jewelry to begin with. The butterfly back earrings also have so many grooves that they can trap bacteria against the new piercing wound.

The aftercare:

Piercing booths hand you a bottle of cleaning solution that is about 99.8 percent water ... and the remainder is Benzethonium Chloride, or they suggest a soap with Triclosan (like Dial) that actually damages healing tissue. Their healing care almost looks satirical to educated piercers, which includes twisting piercing daily, a move that unless the earring is totally free of "crusties" (dried healthy fluid) and totally clean, twists bacteria into and tears sensitive tissue in the newly healing piercing. BAD idea.

Real piercers have been trained to not just hand you a bottle and piece of paper, but show you how to care for a piercing and help recognize potential problems and solve them.
Piercing artists undergo often one year or more of internships, take bloodborne pathogen courses, often take CPR just in case of a medical emergency with a client, have to learn about aftercare, potential medical problems, and proper jewelry choices for each piercing type, and have to watch procedures many times before being very closely monitored while learning to perform them.
Piercing parlors are required to thoroughly and regularly clean their piercing area (which consists of easy-to-clean materials like a doctor's chair) regularly, and only allow paying customers into the area to prevent any contamination of their sterile equipment.


12/01/2011 3:51PM
5 Reasons to NOT Get Your Ears Pierced At The Mall
Please Enter Your Comments Below
12/01/2011 4:10PM
Now what?
I just has my ear pierced at the mall. Where can I get advise and product about my piercing?
12/15/2011 3:54PM
Mall Piercings...
The same is true for any other piercing. I went to a Mall piercer when I got my eyebrow pierced 15 yrs ago. I told they guy that I was allergic to any thing but gold when it came to my ears and asked him if that would be a problem. He told me no it would be fine because the piercing was surgical steel. Not being very bright, I went ahead with it anyway. The piercing constantly infected and finally ripped out one day when I tried to switch to a gold piercing. Now I have a huge scar above my eye...don't get me wrong, I love my scar... it's a conversation starter... lol. But the pain and oozing was not worth it. My best advice if you want to get ANY piercing is to research any concerns first. Thanks for warning everyone of the dangers. Kim S.
02/09/2012 6:03AM
Skilled Doctor's Can Pierce Well
My mom pierces ears at her pediatrics clinic. You just have to know if the person has experience with piercings. Just because she isn't a piercing artist doesn't mean she doesn't have a great deal of practice doing it over several years. If you can't find a piercing artist near you the doctor's office is still a step above the mall for sure. At least you know everything will be sterile and made out of gold so you don't have a poor reaction. Just do some research first.
06/05/2012 8:49PM
Mall piercings are a nightmare!
I have gotten my ears pierced MULTIPLE times at a mall, and each time they became infected immediately. I was religious with the "care" they suggested and each time the piercing was so infected the earring had to be removed which was incredibly painful. I now have five piercings, four in my ears done with a sharp sewing needle, ice and a potato at home. The fifth is a nose ring, done professionally at a shop, also with a needle. None have become infected. I think that alone speaks volumes!
06/28/2012 7:52PM
Took my daughter to adorn
I am so happy that we took my daughter to a professional. They use a VERY sharp needle that didn't hurt a bit (according to her when she was 5). We still had some issues and one ear did become infected but Adorn was extremely helpful and while we did have to remove the one to clear up the infection they repierced it for us at no charge.
01/12/2013 8:58PM
I just got my ears pierced at Clair's about 2 weeks ago and I've been twisting the earrings. I think my ears can't heal because they always get pulled on by my hair or i accidentaly pull them. It is my first piercing and i don't know what to do! Help would be appreciated!
01/14/2013 8:22PM
I am 48 and have wanted my ears pierced for many years and due to circumstances it has happened, I would like to get both ears pierced. Any feedback would be great!!!
01/25/2013 1:21PM
5 reasons not o get your ears pierced at mall-response
This is honestly the most disgusting thing I've ever seen...why anyone would want to pierce a baby's ears is beyond me...it's incredibly selfish and looks cheap and nasty
02/22/2013 9:30PM
Just wanted to respond to the person above me, people like my mom might get their baby's ears pierced because they look like little boys. I didn't have hair until I was 3 or 4 because I'm a twin and was a little baby
02/25/2013 3:48PM
Piercing guns are not sterile and filthy.
When my daughter was nine her ears were pierced at the mall with a gun. When they pierced her first ear the gun got stuck on her ear! It took awhile for them to get it off of her ear with the earring intact and then she still had the other ear to pierce. Of course a horrible infection followed. It was so bad that she got a dark purple cyst behind her earlobe. We removed the earrings, waited three years and then went to The Catalyst in downtown Vancouver. Completely different experience. All tools and needles are autoclaved. They change their gloves many times during the procedure. The fine piercing needle is hollow, slicing the tissue clean and quickly followed by the needle is the jewelry. Piercing guns tear through the tissue leaving rough edges whereas a piercing needle makes a clean puncture. Much better for healing, not to mention it is sterile.
03/09/2013 10:41AM
Wanna get my ears done
Okay im turning 14 and have always wanted my ears pierced but been way to scared I want to get them done... Does it hurt? Does it cost a lot to get it done ya know... Properly?
04/12/2013 10:39PM
I'm Getting Them at Claire's...
All my friends who have their ears pierced got them done at Claire's with no problems. Was this simply pure luck?
04/14/2013 10:01AM
If anyone has questions go find a copy of "The Piercing Bible"
To the person above me, your friends did have good luck. Maybe the Clair's near your house is a bit better then the average mall gun piercer. However you will still have a much much better experience if you find a reputable trained piercer. Anyone wanting to get pierced should go get a copy of The Piercing Bible by Elaine Angel. Once you have read the general info in it and the specific info for the type of piercing you want to get, if you still have questions you can check out her website. She has shops she recommends and will answer any questions you still have if you email her after you have read the book.
05/08/2013 9:53AM
I got my ears pierced at Clare's
I got my ears pierced at Clare's and it did not get infected I think it is better to get it done at a mall
05/31/2013 8:11AM
im getting a second piercing where should i go???
I also wanted to say that 5 of my friends went to clairse and got there ears peirced and their ear got RIPPED!!!!!! So thanks for posting this it really is interesting!!!!!
11/19/2013 6:20PM
Not True!
I had all of my piercings done at the mall and have had no problems (this is B.S.)
03/19/2014 4:33PM
Claire's and Icing
I have had all of my 5 piercings done at Claire's/Icing and I haven't had any problems with them. I took care of them and they were fine. People don't take care of their piercings and THAT'S why they turn out badly. Quit laying blame on the piercers and start looking at the kids who are getting pierced. Kids don't get that you can't touch them. Kids touch things. it happens
09/01/2014 10:31AM
State to State
Every state has different regulations this article isn't valid. Not to mention it can differ from city to city in each state as far as piercing regulations go. To get a piercing license where I live you need anatomy and physiology 1 and 2 with a B or higher, blood borne pathogens, tb test, cpr and first aid. If you go into a shop of any sorts who are willing to pierce cartilage with a "gun" probably don't go there, it can shatter your cartilage. Just do you r research and mall or not you'll be ok. -Mall Piercer
11/16/2014 7:16AM
my opinion
do u know what that is so nasty why would anyone go there because I wouldn't take my kids there It is unhygienic
11/16/2014 7:17AM
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11/16/2014 7:18AM
fucking pisstaker
01/31/2015 9:08AM
Do you need a parent or guardian to go with you to claires to get your ear pierced if your 16?
02/16/2015 9:09PM
Claire's is a huge rip off!
I have always been highly allergic to most metals. The only metals I can stand is gold and fine silver. I have gotten my ears repierced a total of 6 times at Claire's because every time I got them pierced they became infected. I, being young at the time, thought it was because I didn't care for them right. The last time I went to get them pierced I was 17 and, again, I went to Claire's because I thought their prices were fair. This time I went I made sure to tell the person doing the piercing that I was extremely allergic to other metals. I was assured that the earrings I was purchasing were 14K gold and I should have no problems with them. A few days later, my ears became inflamed and puss filled. I kept cleaning them hoping the infection would go away. It never did so I took the earrings out and inspected them. Upon inspecting them, I discovered that they were not 14K gold but surgical steel. I paid $60 thinking I was getting a good deal but instead I was ripped off. Afterwards I had to go out and purchase another pair from a store where I knew I was getting 14K gold earrings. I am writing this post to warn others of what Claire's does to probably many other people. If you want your ears pierced don't go to Claire's because you will get ripped off.
06/09/2015 12:35PM
I love Clairs
Clairs is amazing to us but you don't think that they are.
06/18/2015 6:03AM
I had my ears pierced when I was 9, and the woman who worked there told my mother she was certified and well-trained. When she got the gun stuck on my ear (the needle was through my ear lobe and didn't look like it was coming out any time soon) she told us she'd only pierced one other person's ears before mine - with her manager helping her. My MOTHER got the needle out and the earring in, and did my other ear at home with a sewing needle and an apple. After a few months, she bought me gorgeous new earrings, but I wouldn't let her put any back in for fear of them never coming out again. Seven years later, I got my ears pierced at Icing with my stepmom. I had reservations about having it done at the mall again, but the girl looked twenty-ish so she seemed halfway trustworthy. The gun didn't hurt all that bad, but a week later I realized how tight the training earrings were. I called the number she gave me on my contract, asking for earrings with longer posts. She said since the store usually pierces children's ears, they did not have earrings with longer posts. I asked her where I could FIND a pair, and she told me it was against company policy to suggest other companies. So now I'm here with swollen ears and a $60 piercing I'm probably going to have to have redone by an ACTUAL professional.
06/29/2015 4:13PM
I had my ears pierced at Icing about 3 months ago and I haven't had any problems with my piercing. No infections or anything and it really isn't sore anymore.
08/05/2015 8:54PM
3 times
So I my first time I went to Claris some thing happen but the 2 time I had them for 1month and 3 week I thing and one day I take them out over night in the morning I tried to put them in but they did not go in πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯my 3 time ben a monthπŸ˜„πŸ˜ƒtime totake them out I just was tired now I'am9 and I really wait my ear pierced hopefully πŸ˜„πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸΆπŸΆπŸΆπŸΆπŸΆπŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’
08/30/2015 3:19PM
Don't go to the mall
I hav a total of seven piercings and the first set I got done was at the mall, they were totally un-even and I didn't get my money back. I bought a gun for myself and did the fest of my piercings. The only thing you need to be worried about is if you have a low pain tolerance
09/08/2015 11:17PM
Professionals all the way guys
When I was around 8 years old I had my ears pierced in a hair salon buy people I'm sure didn't know what they were really doing. Two people used guns on my ears to do both lobes at the same time. They were uneven and didn't heal well at all. The studs that were used were cheap and my ears quickly got infected. After cleaning my the earrings were taken out and allowed to heal. Now at 22 I wanted to get them redone. After researching and searching the internet over for every outcome of both "mall" piercing and professional I decided that a professional with needles was way better option. I even visited multiple places that did piercing, including claires. The girl there who looked no older than myself barely knew much about aftercare when I asked and recommended rubbing alcohol or the aftercare kit that comes with the piercing. Long story short I did not go there. I found a piercing salon that has been doing piercings for 10 years. Very friendly and answered every question I had. Told me everything I needed to know about after care and gave me a sheet with everything I needed for aftercare and how to care for my new piercings. As well as multiple ways to contact him or the shop if I had any more questions. And he offers free jewelry changes anytime I needed it. So unlike with claires and other mall piercing places, professionals normally offer a more personal touch along with their obvious knowledge of care for your piercings. Please please go to a professional for any piercings and always research before you get a needle through any part of your body. Never a gun!
11/14/2015 2:51AM
I had my Ears done at Clair's and not had a problem they do t hurt when I an sleeping and that was from the first night
01/15/2016 9:43AM
Claire's employee
I do agree that it is not a good idea to get your cartilage pierced at Claire's because they do use a gun, I had my cartilage done there and it was in pain for months it finally healed up though. When you get your ears pierced at Claire's I can assure you that we actually have 14kt gold earrings, and we have sterling silver, so if you have an issue with Claire's it may be the employee itself, when you go make sure they clean off the workstation multiple times, spray their hands with multiple sprays of cleaner, clean the gun multiple times with an alcohol pad, clean hands again, put gloves on then spray the gloves pop the sterile earring into the guns, spray gloves again, then clean your ears before we do any piercings. At the Claire's I work at we have had no complaints, we've had customer complaints from other stores it just depends on how clean the employee is, if they aren't cleaning things don't do it & find somewhere cleaner. But it's sad that a couples Claire's stores ruin the entire Claire's name. -Claire's employee
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