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Your lifestyle, your quirk
Tattoos and piercings aren’t for everybody; I understand that. But some people really enjoy them! Getting a piercing or a tattoo that symbolizes a special meaning is always gratifying, and will always remind you of why you got it. However, you need to seriously think about your decision before getting anything permanent done. Piercings are less permanent up to a point, but some gauges will never heal, and tattoos, of course, are forever.
All tattoos and piercings have to be cared for. Piercings are trickier to clean, especially those in nooks and crannies, like industrials, which are bars that go through the top of your ear. Any cartilage piercing can get infected easily, as do belly button rings. Belly buttons are strange birds; punch a hole in it and it gets worse. My friend has had hers for months, and when we went to the beach, she accidentally hit it pretty hard and it was sore for days! That can happen. Be sure to clean out every piercing for a few weeks with anti-bacterial soap and avoid soaking them in water for too long. That means no swimming in the ocean, creek, pool, whatever, for at least a couple of weeks. Make sure to ask your piercer how long you have to wait before changing your piercing.
Also, it’s far better to have a piercing done by hand if it’s in your cartilage. Using a gun shatters the cartilage, and it won’t heal the way it should, so it will always be sore and painful. It’s also easier to get it infected. Going to a tattoo shop, or any other place that pierces by hand, is always an advantage and less painful. When I got my industrial done, I could sleep on that side only two nights later! I had a stud in my other ear, and it was pierced with a gun. After a year, it was still sore, so I gave up and let it grow back up.
Tattoos require a bit more though than piercings. After all, you can always take out a bar or ring. Ink, however, is forever! It also requires different healing procedures. Whereas piercings don’t ever need to be damp, tattoos heal best with a thin coat of a lubricant like Neosporin. It helps stave off infection and keeps your skin from scabbing or drying out.
Make sure your tattoo artist always uses a clean needle; if you have any doubts, leave! I suggest going in to talk to the artist before you actually get inked; pick out your design, quote, whatever, and set up an appointment. You can even ask to look around the room you’ll get inked in to check out how clean it is and how the procedure is done.
Piercings and tattoos are a big decision; after all, you weren’t born with them! Make sure to think out your decision and options before getting anything done, and above all, make sure the place is clean and safe!