Health Considerations

Important Health Considerations

Sometimes it is inappropriate to perform even the most standard piercing.  A piercer should politely refuse to perform a piercing that could be dangerous, ill suited, unsuccessful, or for which they are not trained.  The following are examples for which a second opinion, in some cases from a piercing-friendly physician, may be needed before proceeding:

  • An individual who has diabetes, hemophilia, auto-immune disorder, or other medical condition(s) that may negatively influence the piercing procedure or the healing process
  • There is an obvious skin or tissue abnormality that may include but is not limited to rashes, lumps, bumps, scars, lesions, moles, freckles, and/or abrasions
  • The client requests you pierce irregular or surgically-altered tissue, or the client is unsuited due to occupational, recreational, or environmental factors
  • Piercings considered, by the piercer, to have little or no chance of healing
  • The client has impending plans to become pregnant and wishes to get a nipple, navel, or other piercing
  • It is also advisable to refrain from piercing during pregnancy to allow the body to focus on the important, complex, and demanding task that it is handling already.

Piercing and Heart Conditions

Previously, it was suggested to not pierce any client who has a pre-existing heart condition without a doctor’s consent and a preventive antibiotic.  This is no longer the case.

The American Heart Association’s Endocarditis Committee, together with national and international experts on bacterial endocarditis extensively reviewed published studies in order to determine whether dental, gastrointestinal, or genitourinary tract procedures are possible causes of bacterial endocarditis.  These experts determined that there is no conclusive evidence that links these procedures with the development of bacterial endocarditis.

The piercing community has long complied with previously guidelines; anytime a client has been instructed to take preventative antibiotics prior to dental procedures, they were asked to get the same prescription prior to any oral piercing.  This is no longer suggested for many clients, but only those listed below:

Antibiotic prophylaxis with oral piercing procedures is recommended only for patients with cardiac conditions associated with the highest risk of adverse outcomes from endocarditis, including:

  • Prosthetic cardiac valve
  • Previous endocarditis
  • Cardiac transplantation recipients with cardiac valvular disease
  • Congenital heart disease only in the following categories:
    • Unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, including those with palliative shunts and conduits
    • Completely repaired congenital heart disease with prosthetic material or device, whether placed by surgery or catheter intervention, during the first six months after the procedure
    • Repaired congenital heart disease with residual defects at the site or adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or prosthetic device (which inhibit endothelialization)
More information can be found here:  If clients have any questions about whether or not they fall in any of these categories, they are urged to talk to their physician before any oral piercing.