Body Piercing - Common complications of cosmetic piercing

body piercing complications

There is insufficient data regarding the number of people undergoing cosmetic piercing and the complications that arise as a result of the piercing. In one survey 95% GP had seen a patient with complications of piercing and 64% dentist have seen a patient with lip or tongue piercing in the previous 12 month. So a Cross sectional household survey was conducted in England among 10,503 adults aged 16 and over randomly selected to reflect the demographic profile of England from various geographical area. The participants were provided a simple questionnaire with questions relating to the piercing history.
Overall 10% of the study populations had undergone a piercing.
Three times more common in women than men.
More common in the younger age group (16-24)
Less common in the higher social groups
90% performed in the specialist piercing and tattooing shops and the rest by non-specialists

Anatomical Location
The commonest area of the piercing in the study was navel, followed by nose and the least common is the genital area. The percentage in various areas are given below
Navel - 33%
Nose – 19%
Ear – 13%
Tongue – 9%
Nipple – 9%
Eye Brows – 8%
Lip – 4%
Genitals -2%
Complications- Immediate
Pain, Swelling, infection and bleeding
More common in tongue piercing
More common in the younger age group (16-24)
More common with non-specialist piercing
Complications- Late
Brain abscess, head and neck infections
Cyst, scar and keloid
Perichondrial auricular abscesses
Ludwig’s angina
Severe periodontal damage and tooth loss
Systemic infections, such as toxic shock syndrome or sepsis
Metal-associated problems include allergy (especially to nickel), eczematous rash, and lymphocytoma
Speech impairment, together with difficulty in chewing and swallowing from oral jewelry
Piercing is common among the women and the younger age group
High rates of complications are reported especially with non-specialist piercing.
Overall complications rate is around 27-30%

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
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