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Depending on the geographic location, certain types of needles for body piercing procedure are illegal. Inexperienced or unprofessional piercers use sewing needles or piercing needles for piercing body parts, without realizing the dangers of such practice. Sewing needles and piercing guns lead to unnecessary trauma, infection of bacterial and disease transmission, such as guns and inappropriate needles, are not sterile, and the piercing hole is usually a tear or rips instead of an appropriate puncture wound. In the United States, curved, hollow and cannula needles are the only needles that are legally use by a professional piercer.

Piercing Needles – Hollow Needle

The most common type of body piercing needle, the hollow needle has a triangular tip. It is available in a variety of gauges – as small as 18 gauges and as large as four gauge – and lengths – from 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches. Hollow needles are cut with lasers to ensure sharpness. Jewelry, the same size as the needle, follows the needle into the piercing hole for insertion. Piercing with a larger gauge needle than the jewelry is not recommended because unnecessary bleeding and scar tissue can occur. The inexperienced piercer can use the needle to prevent this from happening. If jewelry is not placed in a liquid, quick, the new piercing hole may shrink or close immediately and the piercer will no other option than to repeat the piercing to complete the procedure.

Piercing Needles – Cannula Needle

A cannula, or catheter, the needle is encased within the detachable plastic tubing. The cannula makes the piercing hole like other piercing needles, but the plastic tubing remains in the piercing hole. After removing the needle from the tubing, the piercer uses sterile scissors to cut away the hub phase of the tubing. The piercer then inserts jewelry into the plastic tubing and pulls it through the piercing.

Piercing needles – Curved Needle

Curved needles are not often used to perform piercing procedure. Similar to a circle shape, curved needles are used for a tragus and other piercings in the ear. The curved needle prevents the needle from puncturing the opposite facet of the ear during the piercing. Newly graduated piercers or the ones in an apprenticeship may also use curved needles while gaining knowledge and adjusting to the stress, depth, and speed necessary for complex ear piercings.


Piercing Needles – Dermal Punch

A dermal punch is a spherical medical device used by dermatologists when carrying out biopsies of the skin. Large gauge piercings, such as two to zero gauges are carried out with a dermal punch. Excessive bleeding is normal at some point during the piercing, and only experienced piercers with an academic background in anatomy need to perform a dermal punch procedure, as the piercer must be aware of blood vessel placement. Dermal punches are considered a clinical device in some geographical regions and are illegal for body piercers to use. A piercer who performs body punches in an area that prohibits the procedure will be charged with practicing medicine without a medical license.


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