Piercings are a popular way to express one's individuality. Some people merely pierce their ears, while others pierce everything from their nose to their bellybutton. Piercings should be obtained in a clean and professional environment, as improper piercings or piercings that are not cleaned correctly can become infected.

About Piercings

Piercing is considered a form of body modification. A part of the body is punctured or cut, and a piece of jewelry is inserted through the hole to be worn as decoration. The art of piercing has been documented as far back as 1500 BC.

Different piercings have been linked to certain cultures and religions. Lip and tongue piercing was generally found among Africans. Nipple piercing has been traced back to Rome, and genital piercings were practiced in India. Today, piercing is widespread and is not limited to any specific culture. It is often seen and done as a means of expressing oneself.

There is no limit to where a piercing can be placed. The most popular piercing is the ear lobe. Most people with pierced ears wear a small gauge post, but piercings can be stretched to accommodate larger jewelery. One's ear can be stretched, or ''gauged,'' to create a very large whole in the earlobe. Other piercings include nose, eyebrow, cheek, lip, tongue, nipple, navel, collar bone, and genital. Almost any body part can be pierced.

Many people attempt to pierce themselves at home, but having a professional do the piercing is the safest route. Improper piercings can cause deformations and infection.

Once pierced, follow all care instruction completely and keep the clean the piercing well to avoid infection.