Vol.2, No.4

Body piercing pain comparisons

If you are interested in getting a body piercing but are concerned about the pain, read this information about body piercing pain levels and causes.

Woman with tongue piercings
Photo Credit: Matjaz Slanic
Body piercing is a very ancient form of body modification that has been practiced for ritualistic as well as cosmetic purposes in various places all over the world. In recent years, body piercing has become increasingly popular in Western societies, where the piercings are done for aesthetic reasons. However, as more and more people debate whether or not they want to get their own body piercings, many people wonder what the negative consequences are. Specifically, many people want to know how the pain of different types of piercings compare.

The level of pain depends largely on the location of the piercing. The most common piercing is still the fleshy part of the lower ear lobe. This piercing is only momentarily painful, and most people find it quite bearable. The pain is not very severe because the piercing only goes through flesh. Piercings that go through cartilage are more painful. Therefore, piercing the top part of the ear, which is comprised of flesh and cartilage, is more painful than piercing the fleshy, bottom part of the ear. The tongue, which is a muscle, is also a painful part of the body to have pierced. Some piercings are more painful because they are done in sensitive areas. For example, nipple and genital piercings can be very painful because those areas are very sensitive.

The pain of the actual piercing, no matter what kind of piercing it is, is very brief. However, piercings may cause continuous irritation if they are constantly rubbing against the skin. Piercings done in sensitive areas can prove especially problematic. Also, piercings that are likely to rub against or be pulled by clothing, such as belly button piercings, can be painful to some people. If a piercing catches on clothes and is ripped out, it will be very painful and the hole will no longer be of any use. Studs and less likely to catch on things than rings are; people who decide to wear rings should be very careful not to allow their rings to catch on anything.

Further pain will occur if the piercing becomes infected. Certain piercings, such as tongue piercings, are harder to care for than others and may be more prone to infection. In order to avoid infection, people should make sure that they have their piercing performed by a professional. Additionally, people need to follow all care instructions, especially cleaning procedures.

All piercings are painful to some extent. Piercings performed on fleshy areas like the lower ear lobe or the eye brow are not considered too painful by most people. Piercing performed on muscles, cartilage, or sensitive areas are more painful. Piercings that become infected are even more painful, and the pain of infection lasts much longer than the brief pain of the actual piercing. Everybody's pain tolerance is different, and people who know that they have a low pain tolerance might not want to get some of the more painful piercings. In any case, the piercing should be properly cared for to reduce the risk of complications.