For those of you in the market for a new piercing, whether on your ears or another body part, keep in mind that there should be a lot of planning that goes into it. Piercings could be described as temperamental. You never know when or if your body will reject your piercing, whether it will get infected, whether it will form a keloid, or whether it will be just fine.
Here are 6 things that you should keep in mind as you debate getting a new piercing.
Avoid Claire's and Piercing Pagoda at all costs.
Trust me when I say you want a professional piercing any and all parts of your body. While I have nothing against the people who work at these stores/kiosks, they are simply not trained enough and I don't trust them. Not to mention, both places use a piercing gun which is absolutely frowned upon.
Piercing guns are BAD.
If you ever get your ears pierced, do yourself a favor and do not do it with a piercing gun. Piercing guns are very hard to sterilize and they add unnecessary trauma when compared to getting pierced with a needle. The Association of Professional Piercers deems piercing guns to have major drawbacks.
Research tattoo/piercing shops.
I got all of my piercings (aside from the one my parents did for me when I was a baby) at a tattoo shop. Many tattoo shops have professional/licensed piercers. They are better equipped with the skills and practice needed, they use needles so it's less traumatic for your body, and it's much more sterile than Claire's or Piercing Pagoda.
Research the new piercing you want.
For example, if you are thinking about a belly button piercing, just know that many people's body reject them. I was fortunate enough that my body didn't reject it but know that it is always a possibility. You should research the pain level (to help determine if you'll pass out or not), you should determine the risks, and you should determine if this is something you want to spend money on and potentially have for the rest of your life.
Salt and warm water is a cheap alternative to saline solution.
Saline solution is a great way to keep your piercing clean and free of bacteria. However, if you don't want to spend even more money on saline solution, do yourself a favor and purchase non-iodized salt. Simply make a mixture of warm water and the non-iodized salt solution, then use a cotton ball or a shot glass (depending on where your piercing is) and use it to clean your piercings.
Antibacterial soap is a lifesaver.
Aside from saline solutions, unscented bacterial soap is also very handy. I bought one bottle of antibacterial soap and I leave it in my shower. Every time I shower, I use the antibacterial soap to clean all of my piercings.