Proper Piercing Protocol

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Piercing various areas of the body may be trendy, but for centuries, different cultures have pierced their bodies for myriad reasons, such as cultural ranking, religious purposes and protection from evil. If you're thinking about getting pierced, there are a few things you should consider. First, think about the area you'd like to get pierced. Healing times vary based on the location on your body. For example, an ear piercing will take six to eight weeks to heal. However, a lip or tongue piercing could take months to heal. In fact, due to the lengthy and sometimes complicated healing process - plus the damage a piercing can do to your teeth - the American Dental Association doesn't recommend mouth piercings at all. A navel piercing can even take up to a year! And that's if the piercing site stays healthy and infection-free. Generally, places that don't get light and air - i.e., your mouth, which is a place that's already rife with bacteria -- will take longer to heal and be more prone to infection. The next thing to ponder before a piercing is your health. If you have a blood disorder that prevents blood from clotting well, then a piercing may not be for you. If you're prone to keloids - thick scarring at the site of wounds - then a piercing could cause unsightly scarring around the site and perhaps obscure the hardware used for the piercing.