My daughter had been talking about getting her ears pierced for a while – before she turned 4. At the time I had told her that getting her ears pierced was a big responsibility and she needed to wait until she could prove that she will be responsible to clean and take care of them properly. She is and has always been a pretty responsible kid and good at following rules, so I had made a mental note to offer it to her as a birthday present when she turned 5.
In the meantime, I started to ask my friends about their experiences with ear piercings. A friend told me that she her 5-year-old did not have a great experience with the piercing gun. The gun had gotten stuck in her ear and the technician was not sure what to do. They finally wiggled it out and were able to complete the piercing, but the little girl was really scared and had some pain that could have been avoided. I started researching the subject and found out that more and more people have been using professional piercers instead of the piercing gun.
The more I read about professional piercers, the more it made sense and the more comfortable I became with the idea.
Of course there are pros and cons to everything.
Piercing gun pros
- Convenient – Most malls will have either a storefront or a kiosk that offers piercing with guns
- Experienced staff – They perform many piercing in any given day
- Relatively sterile – The parts of the gun that come into contact with the ear are made of medical-grade plastic, which is sterilized at the time of manufacture and stored in sealed packaging that is only opened immediately before use in exactly the same way as the needles used by body piercing establishments
Piercing gun cons
- Not licensed or regulated in most states
- Very little training
- Tissue damage – Piercing guns force a blunt stud through the lobe or cartilage causing tissue damage
- Problems with studs – Some studs can be too short, and lower air and blood circulation that can cause infection and scarring
Piercing needle pros
- Licensed and regulated by the State of Vermont – You can look up your professional piercer’s license information here
- Education and training – Vermont requires professional piercers to complete formal education prior to licensing
- Sterile – All instruments are autoclaved prior to use and the needles are sterile, surgical needles which are disposed of after every use
- Control over placement
- Clean hole – The needle pierces a clean hole in the lobe
- Easier maintenance – Our piercer used small silver hoops for earnings which have been so easy to clean and turn
Piercing needle cons
- Availability – Some professional piercers have an age minimum
We ended up using a professional piercer at tattoo shop and had a great experience. The place was clean and the piercer was kind and professional.