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.
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.