Types Of Body Piercings And Complications

By Matthew Cenzon. May 7th 2016

Many people decide to add certain decorations and jewelry to their bodies in the form of bodily piercings. There are numerous types of body piercings available, which require creating a hole in a certain part of a person's body. There are various health risks and complications related to body piercings, and special care and preventative safety measures should be taken when performing this permanent alteration on a person's body. Here is a guide to the most common types of body piercings, and possible health risks and complications.

Types of Body Piercings

  • Ear piercings: An ear piercing is perceivably the most common type of body piercing. The piercing is typically performed around the lower portion of a person's ear lobe. However, piercings on virtually every portion of the ear have become more prevalent over the years.
  • Nose piercings: Nose piercings have a very extensive history in different civilizations. A nose piercing is typically performed on either side of the nostril. Another popular form of nose piercing is through the nasal septum, which is the wall that separates the nostrils.
  • Lip piercings: While not as common as nose or ear piercings, lip piercings have become quite popular, particularly amongst artists and musicians. There are a variety of types of lip piercings, depending on where the piercing is made on or around the lips. Lip piercings can be performed on the upper or lower lip, and even through the philtrum, which is the crevice at the center of the upper love, just below the nose.
  • Tongue piercing: Tongue piercings are typically performed directly through the center of the tongue, and is more prevalent in western societies. Multiple tongue piercings can be performed to surround the center piercing. Piercings are almost always straight barbells with metal balls at each end since these are less likely to create problems or obstructions when talking, eating or drinking.
  • Navel piercing: A navel piercing, also known as a belly button piercing, is typically performed on the upper portion of a person's navel. Though seen on some men, navel piercings are typically perceived as a feminine piercing. Various types of navel jewelry are available for the particular type of piercing.

Body Piercing Complications

Depending on the area that has been pierced, there are certain health risks and complications that a person should take into consideration before getting a body piercing.

  • Ear piercing complications: The most common complication for ear piercings are redness and swelling that persist several days after the piercing has been performed. Infection, keloids, allergic reactions to certain types of metals and tearing around the piercing are other possible complications.
  • Nose piercing complications: Nose piercings can pose similar complications to ear piercings. However, one complication is strictly caused by a nose piercing. There have been reports of several cases where a portion of the nose piercing would disappear within the nostril tissue. In almost every case, the nose ring was successfully removed through a small incision and the nose would completely heal in a short time span.
  • Lip piercing complications: Staph infections, allergic reactions and complications similar to that of ear piercings are a possibility for lip piercings. Oral and dental complications, which include tooth fractures and bleeding gums, are a possibility with this particular type of piercing.
  • Tongue piercing complications: Infection, swelling and nerve damage are possible complications associated with tongue piercing. However, these can be avoided with proper care and an experienced technician performing the piercing. Other complications include chipped teeth, the inability to eat or speak properly during the healing process, and possible oral and dental complications similar to lip piercings.
  • Navel piercing complications: Infection and allergic reaction are common complications for naval piercings. Navel jewelry getting caught on loose threads on fabrics is a complication that can lead to discomfort or tearing.

Body Piercing Health Risks

Most health risks associated with body piercings can be avoided through preventative care, proper maintenance and the proper piercing tools and facilities. Here are some common health risks associated with piercings:

Bottom Line

Before having any type of body piercing done on your body, make sure you are dealing with a clean and hygienic facility. The piercing technician should be knowledgeable and experienced and should be using properly sterilized equipment. These precautions, along with proper care and maintenance of your piercing will help you avoid complications and health risks associated with these common types of body piercings.


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