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Body piercing kits are becoming increasingly popular for those wanting to try self-piercing at home. Amateurs dabbling in body modification techniques for fun often choose to commercialize this rare skill, and these easily available kits certainly help one start out.
Why Are Body Piercing Kits So Popular?
Using non-sterile piercing equipment or operating in an unhygienic environment poses risk of infection. Moreover, piercing incorrectly may also cause physical injury. So why do people still want to try piercing on their own rather than visit a professional?
• It could be as simple as wanting to save some bucks. If you really love your first few piercings, you may get hooked! It might sound silly, but I feel a craving to go get a new piercing after every six months! This kind of addiction may want you to try the art at home, so that the recurrent cost may be avoided.
• One may like to try piercing friends and loved ones for fun.
• Privacy could be a major consideration. Many of those who like extreme body modifications may not be comfortable with a stranger piercing them in personal parts of the body!
• Also, a person with a fascination for body art may wish to consider a professional career after getting the hang of it with a starters kit.
Whatever the reason, there are some things to be kept in mind before purchasing a DIY Body Piercing Kit.
Before You Buy:
• There are many bad kits out there. One must put some time and effort in searching for a professionally designed kit, which includes all the basic tools, rather than a bunch of mismatched odds. These should be appropriately designed for safe body piercing, hence the need for buying from a professional body piercing company.
• The tools should be made of metals that can be sterilized in a standard steam or ultrasonic sterilizer. Check the description info on the kit to make sure that the tools are made of high grade surgical steel and are sterilizable.
• Some piercing kits include a basic ‘How to’ book which covers safe piercing techniques, aftercare and sterilization instructions. This would be a useful asset along with your tool kit, especially for those starting from scratch.
What Should a Body Piercing Kit Include?
• Piercing needles of different lengths and gauges. These should be sharp, thin and with a hollow end for inserting the jewellery. Check to see if they are medical grade or not.
• Needle holder for providing a steady grip on the needle and helping to push it through the skin at a precise point.
• Opening pliers for prying open a ring that one is already wearing.
• Closing pliers for rings that have been inserted but need to be closed.
• Forceps or clamps to hold and keep the tissue in place while performing the actual piercing: The triangular-head Pennington Forceps which are used in most piercings. The special oval-headed Forester Forceps for tongue piercings.
• Corks to place on the underside of the tissue for receiving the needle.
• Several differently sized ring type and barbell type jewellery pieces. These should come pre-sterilized in separate pouches.
• Sterile Skin Marker for marking the point where the piercing needle has to go in.
• Latex surgical gloves.
• Alcohol wipes or preparation pads to clean the area to be pierced.
• Aftercare solution such as Triadine Iodine, calendula oil or bacitracin ointment. Rock salt sachets for cleaning.
• Instructional leaflets or a How-to book with detailed instructions on doing piercings, caring for them and sterilizing all the equipment. What would be even better is a DVD covering the same topics. This is included in most of the costlier piercing kits.
• All of the above should come in a convenient good quality carry case.
Clockwise from left: Forester Forceps, Opening Pliers, Piercing Needle, Pennington Forceps, Closing Pliers, and Piercing Gun.
Some kits may come with a piercing gun instead of piercing needles. You may purchase this if you wish, but beware that guns are absolutely NOT recommended for body piercings because they use blunt stud jewellery to directly pierce the skin. This may result in inaccurate piercing and cause trauma to the tissue and bring problems in healing. A medical piercing needle is much better and more hygienic because it is disposable. Using a gun also means that tiny sprays of blood that hit the jewellery holding notch will never get cleaned properly. Guns often have plastic coated parts which render them inappropriate for autoclave sterilization.
Using Your Kit
Read the instruction book from cover to cover or watch the video tutorials. They should pretty much let you know all the basics of piercing.
Here are some basic tips:
• Organize a separate area for doing piercings. Clean all of its surfaces with alcohol and do not use this space for other purposes. Do not wear shoes inside this area, instead, keep a nice pair of slippers for use only in here. This will keep germs and bacteria in check.
• Before using any of the supplies in your kit, make sure that you have sterilized each and every one of them properly.
• Wash your hands with antiseptic soap and sterilize them with a good quality hand santizer before you start.
• Use a fresh pair of surgical gloves and a freshly opened seal-pack of piercing needles for each new piercing.
• Prepare the skin with your alcohol prep pads by wiping clean the area thoroughly.
• Keep fresh tissue or sterilize cotton handy to wipe off any drops of blood after piercing as per instructions.
• Dispose of the needle, your gloves and the blood-stained cotton or tissue immediately.
• Follow aftercare instructions with religious devotion.
Sterilizing Your Equipment
This is the most important aspect of body piercing and perhaps the most costly investment you must make if you choose to use body piercing kits. More often than not, a body piercing kit will not include sterilization equipment. You will need to purchase it separately.
L – Ultrasonic Cleaner, R – Autoclave
An ultrasonic cleaner is a relatively less bulky electronic item and makes a good cheap option. It can sit neatly on a shelf, without taking up much space, and will do the needful task of cleaning. An ultrasonic cleaner generally requires you to purchase a surface cleaning agent as well. It works by ultrasonic wave radiation, which kills certain bacteria and microoraganisms. But these things are definitely NOT the last word in sterilization, because they do not deactivate spores and do not kill virus effectively.
Hence, the more expensive option – autoclave. This is the very dead end of sterilization! You don’t need to worry about hygiene if you use one. Though the cost is a little bit of a deterring factor, it is totally worth every penny. I ordered mine for around ten grand, but never regretted it since. These are stainless steel or aluminium bulky things that look like complicated and massive pressure cookers. They will likely use up a spacious corner by themselves. An autoclave works by using high pressure saturated steam to kill everything that you don’t want in there.
Both of these are electrically operated machines. Whichever you use, make sure that you follow the instructions in maintaining and using them very carefully. Run the sterilization cycle for the correct amount of time at the right settings. Make use of the chemical indicators on the machines to interpret the completion of a sterilization level. Take your machines for timely servicing to ensure long life and high quality performance.
Each and every non-disposable item in your body piercing kit must be sterilized after every single use. After sterilization you must store it under completely sterile conditions until the time you wish to use it again.
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