Why A Needle Piercing Is Superior To A Gun Piercing
by Lish Daelnar
- Health Reasons- guns cannot be autoclaved- if put in an autoclave (sterilization device), it will melt. The only sterile part about the gun piercing is the stud itself, which is not acceptable when placed into a non-sterile environment (read: the gun itself.) Guns are sanitized (not sterilized; big difference) with windex, which will not kill hep-b, hep-c, & most of the microbes that cause infection, nor will it clean up the spray of plasma & if blood, or blood-borne pathogens, from the previous customer. Every tool used in a 'needle pierce' is autoclaved, not just the jewelry. This includes; the forceps, needle, the jewelry, ring opening / ring closing pliers, the rubber band that holds the tension on the forceps, right down to the field on which the bacitracin is squeezed* To be a "pro with a gun", the "piercer" must only know how to load the gun and aim straight-This does not account for cross-contamination from touching other objects with latex gloves on, nor does it cover the occasional spray of blood from a previous piercee, from which the gun cannot be properly cleansed. Professional piercers are trained in how to prevent cross-contamination & the transmission of blood-borne pathogens and you'll see them changing their gloves every time they touch something non-autoclaved. The Association of Professional Piercers (APP) watches over procedures & if you're being pierced by an APP-approved shop, you know the piercer has been through the classes that teach him these things. The "piercers" that work in the mall and use guns have no such organization. A piercing gun can only hold a butterfly-back stud, and if you've ever seen one, you know that they're difficult to clean properly. Dried lymph fluids and blood get caught in this backing, thus making it easier to contract infection. Initial 'needle-pierce' jewelry is generally a ring, which makes cleaning much easier due to there being nowhere for discharge, hair, dirt and bacteria to get stuck. Studs also have a tendency to become wrapped with hair, which can imbed the hair in the piercing.
- Ear Trauma - As previously stated, the gun can only hold one type of stud, the dimensions of which happen to be 18ga, approximately 1/4" in length. This small gauge is generally inappropriate for any area of cartilage (such as upper ear, nostrils) for two reasons. The first is that it is tougher to heal a small hole than it is a large one. A dermal punched* 2ga ear cartilage piercing will heal months faster than a 18ga gun OR needle pierce in the same area of tissue, due to the surface area involved. The second reason concerns the initial hole size, as cartilage should be pierced with a step larger needle than jewelry (14ga needle with 16ga jewelry, et cetera). This gives the cartilage some room to grow in around the piercing. When a gun piercing is performed, the end of the stud is what creates the hole. This is much more traumatic for the ear because the stud isn't nearly sharp enough to avoid compacting the tissue, leading to a longer healing period. A needle is razor-sharp therefore it carves a cresent-shaped hole in the ear which is stretched around, as the rest of the needle continues through the newly made hole, whereas less compacted tissue leads to quicker healing. The length of the stud, 1/4", is too short to allow for swelling. The pierce needs to be given room to swell so as to prevent pain and possible imbedding of the stud in the ear. Rings used as initial jewelry, which cannot be installed with a gun piercing, when sized properly, give plenty of room to swell. rings are chosen based on the size of the person's ear to be pierced (standard is 3/8" to 5/8" in diameter). this cannot be done with a gun.
- Pain- a quick push with a razor-sharp needle is less painful than an equally quick click of a dull stud tearing a hole through tissue. A good professional piercer can move a needle just as fast as the gun moves the stud. The ear is less sensitive when it has proper room to swell.
Why A Gun Piercing Is Superior To A Needle Piercing:
- Gun piercings generally run two for ten dollars, whereas needle piercings,
including the jewelry, are normally twenty for one, depending on
the chosen jewlery.
- Gun piercings look less scary than needle piercings. There are less
tools involved & no inch & a half long needle.
Any body part other than an ear generally cannot be fit into a gun. There have been cases of nipple and navel pierces with a gun, but they can easily be torn out with such a small gauge as well as the fact that there is no room for the body part to swell ( body piercings often swell much more than earlobes.)
*Bacitracin is used as lubrication to make it easier for the needle & jewlery to go through the skin.
*Like a big hole punch
Courtesy of Bmezine