It may be more convenient and cheaper to get your latest piercing done by a mall employee with a piercing gun, but keep in mind the old adage “you get what you pay for.” Piercing guns prove problematic for several reasons, the two most notable being cleanliness and performance. When considering the problems associated with guns, a smart consumer will opt for a professional piercing with a needle.
1. Cleanliness.BME World reports that piercing guns “are often made with plastic which cannot be properly sterilized in an autoclave.” Somebody without medical knowledge may assume that simply wiping down the piercing gun with antiseptic may be “sterile,” but the true Dictionary.com definition of sterile is “free from living germs and microorganisms.” In the case of antiseptic wipes, it is impossible to make the gun’s surface completely free of microorganisms. True sterility occurs when an autoclave kills bacteria, then seals out additional microscopic organisms with special air-tight packaging. Guns can never be truly, 100% sterilized. Additionally, the moving parts within the gun trap hair and bodily tissue, leading to a number of health risks. The gun is essentially a “dirty” instrument, whereas piercing needles are sterile and single use (meaning they are 100% germ free, and after they are used the piercer throws them away rather than reusing them).
2. Performance. Despite the problems that cleanliness can create in the way of disease and infection, some people may still lean toward piercing guns because they assume the mechanized device hurts less than a free-hand piercing. This assumption is unfounded. The very name “piercing gun” is misleading; the gun actually just shoves the jewelry into a person’s earlobe. The earring itself is jammed through the tissue by brute force, effectively tearing apart the skin rather than piercing it! A professional piercing needle is much sharper than the blunt earring that a gun uses. It is much less painful to have the clean slice of a professional needle than the traumatic force of a gun. And don’t think that you’ll get the same result by haphazardly piercing a friend with a sewing or darning needle at home; this is also dangerous both in terms of cleanliness and performance. Piercing needles effectively create a small initial incision, then they are beveled to gently cut and push aside extra skin, creating a smaller hole with adequate inward pressure, thereby reducing bleeding and pain.
With the gun’s many problems, it is baffling why it is still used across the United States. The gun is even misused beyond its scope; an article by Blue Star Tattoos indicates that piercing guns are only approved for use on earlobes, but many stores irresponsibly perform other piercings with the gun. When considering your next earlobe adornment, trust the piercing to a true professional, not somebody working out a mall booth. A piercing done with a needle will be cleaner and hurt less; the choice is obvious.
Rebekah, Are Piercing Guns Dangerous?, BME World.
Random House Dictionary, Sterile Definition, Dictionary.com.
Blue Star Tattoos, Piercing Guns, Blue Star Tattoos.