Like tattoos body piercing has become a popular trend. This is not a new phenomenon, piercing has been practised in many cultures for many centuries. It was often associated with royalty and was intended to portray courage.
Egyptian Pharaohs pierced their navels as a rite of passage. Roman soldiers pierced their nipples to show their manhood. Mayans pierced their tongues as a spiritual ritual and Victorian royals chose nipple and/or genital piercing.
As piercings still carry a health risk it is important to go a trained person. Infections can occur if the instruments used are not disposable or properly sterilised or if the venue is unhygienic. Serious complications such as HIV and hepatitis as well as allergic reactions to jewellery metals could occur.
If your piercing becomes red, hot and painful or oozing pus it might be infected and you should see a doctor.
Share your piercing
If you have a piercing, email us a picture of it along with some details: Where is the piercing? How long have you had it? What significance does it have for you? Were there any health complications when you had it? Would you do it again?
We will create a gallery selected from the pictures and stories we receive.
(Leandra Engelbrecht, Health24, November 2012)
(Picture: Pierced tongue from Shutterstock)