3 Questions About Facial Piercings

face pierced

Do you have facial piercings? No judgement, just curious!

Every time I see a picture like this, I end up wondering three things, which possibly people who actually have facial piercings can explain.

1) Do you have to rearrange the way you do simple stuff once you get them? Like, this guy, I imagine he’s going to have to learn how to see things again. Do you have to rearrange the way you eat with a lip piercing? The way you sneeze with a nose piercing? Do you, like some sort of Jay McInerney character “have to learn everything all over again?”

2) Does it get addictive? Like, let’s say you start buying designer bags. Quickly it will not be enough to have a Kate Spade bag, you’ll want a Prada bag. Then you’ll want a Birkin. There will always seem like something cooler, dangling just out of reach. Basically, if you pierce your nose, what are the odds you’re going to want an eye fence within a year? High?

3) How dangerous and prone to infection are these? Say, if you fall on your face, will you impale yourself? Is that a crazy thought to have? Maybe. More importantly, how do you keep the pierced places clean? Because I’m pretty sure that guy’s eyebrow is infected, and almost nothing is more terrifying than an infected eyebrow. I mean, except for a lot of things. Like, an Ebola outbreak in New York would be substantially more terrifying. But in the context of “minor daily things that are off-putting.” That kind of terrifying.


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    • eelizg23

      I’ve had my nose pierced since I was 21. While it was healing, it was kind of a pain in the ass to make sure that I didn’t rip it out accidentally while over zealously toweling my face dry. And I did also happen to come down with a gross cold right around that time, and it was kind of a battle to keep boogers from gathering on the inside part.

      Years later, I barely even remember that I have a nose ring sometimes. I haven’t had the urge to get a bunch of facial piercings since then. I did get my tragus pierced, but I think that was really just to suppress my urge to get another tattoo. Getting tattoos is so much more addictive/tempting to me.

      • eelizg23

        And the nose piercing wasn’t that bad healing. The tragus, however, was TERRIBLE. It took forever and got infected what felt like a million times, and I had to be careful about clean pillowcases and sleeping on my left side for a long time. I think the rule is that areas that get more blood flow might hurt more when you get them pierced, but they heal faster. I wouldn’t recommend the tragus or the top part of your ear.

    • Ella Jane Goeppinger

      I had my septum pierced for a while. That was hard as hell to get used to: you definitely change the way you blow your nose.

      The only thing addicting about it was the habit I developed of turning the ring around with my upper lip constantly. One day I saw a photo taken while I was doing it, and it was such a hideous thing that I immediately took out the ring and haven’t looked back.

    • Kerri

      I got my nose pierced when I was 18. I have no desire to have anything else pierced at all and find many facial piercings 1)distracting 2) unflattering 3) waste of money.

    • Jenn

      I’m going to echo the “ear cartilage is harder to heal than a nostril piercing” sentiment. I pretty much just washed my nostril piercing whenever I washed my face. My conch (the thick part of the ear cartilage) was harder, since I don’t always consciously wash my ears. I did have to change the way I dealt with my nose, but after the piercing was no longer fresh, I didn’t really notice it. For the ear piercing, I had to change the way I slept, which still bugs me, over a year later. I didn’t find piercing as addictive as tattoos.

      Also, not everyone with a facial piercing has an extreme one like the picture shown, just, y’know, in case you felt like not making sweeping generalizations about a group of people based on an outward appearance choice. My husband has an eyebrow ring and he doesn’t seem to want anymore piercings. And he works a fairly conservative job at a military lab.

    • Starofthemag

      I wanted my tongue pierced for years but I waited until I was in my mid-twenties to get it and now, a decade later, I’m still sporting it. I had my labret pierced shortly after the tongue but it did some minor damage to my gums so instead I got a (dentist approved) vertical labret which is like a lip piercing but doesn’t actually go in my mouth and therefore has less risk of becoming infected. I’m 36, I teach French to 5 year-olds and I’m still rocking the piercings and even though I get occasional looks and odd questions about it, I love the way I look and the tongue-ring is like a piece of candy that never goes away. I had to get used to a little clinking when I drink from a mug but that’s about it. I also had parallel industrial piercings in my right ear for a few years but they bothered me when I slept so I took them out.

    • BeccaTheCyborg

      I had my lip pierced and though I had to take it out for work reasons, I miss it every day. I also did body piercing.

      As for rearranging your regular stuff around it? Enh, not especially. The only thing I could not do comfortably was bite into fruits like apples, peaches, that kind of thing. So I cut them up. I did fidget with it lot, though. But then, I bite my lips when I’m nervous. I’ve had two dozen piercings total, and have managed to never have some kind of incredibly ridiculous injury because of them, though.

      Healing varies. Eyebrows are prone to rejection. Any kind of mucus membrane, on the other hand, heals pretty quickly. And it’s also contingent on how you take care of them while they heal. (Seriously, just fucking take the extra five minutes for a couple weeks!) Ear cartilage does heal a hell of a lot more slowly and annoyingly.

      Addictiveness? Well, I worked in a place where I could get them for freeish with no consequences, and I still only got my lip. Some people are all about getting more, but most people are happy with their singular face-jewelry.

      As for eye-fence guy, ick. That looks like a temporary piercing he decided to try to keep, which will reject revoltingly.

    • Meghan Keane

      That man’s skin looks so angry. Like it’s trying to flee his face and the piercings have it trapped in place. But not for long!

    • Cranberry

      I have a vertical labret… but I’ve had many others when I was a teenager. As far as adjusting to how you do simple stuff, definitely at first with eating and drinking because it was swollen, tender and had a longer piece of jewellery in it while it was healing. Sometimes it’s a little awkward to drink out of cans but the for the most part now that it’s healed I don’t really think about it. Adjusting to it being there actually happens really quickly. My grandma always tells me that she couldn’t stand having something on her face all the time but you’d be surprised how little you really think about it.
      Piercings can definitely be addictive, like I said, I had quite a few when I was a teenager; my septum (twice), my nostril, my tongue, I’ve had a monroe piercing on both sides of my mouth, muliple ear piercings, my nipples, my navel… I didn’t have them all at the same time, I always liked that they were removable so if you were tired of it being attached to your body you could just take the jewellery out. But yeah, there’s a bit of a thrill when you get them done, especially if you’re getting them done while you’re underage without your parent’s permission, haha…
      The only one I found particularly obnoxious was my tongue piercing, I accidentally bit into it a lot and that was uncomfortable, but I know lots of people who have had them for years and have never had any problems. Everyone is different.
      I wouldn’t say this dude’s face is infected, they were just probably freshly pierced, which is why they’re red and swollen. Keeping piercings clean is really important, obviously. I do sea salt soaks with my lip and even though I keep it really clean it gets a litle irrtated sometimes, probably because it’s on my mouth and things like spicy foods or make up can get in the hole and piss it off. But, it’s all about taking care of it and keeping it clean, usually a rinse takes care of anything that it’s mad about.

    • Cee

      I had an industrial piercing on my cartilage. I just couldn’t wear my hair up at work because my piercing would distract my students, yet they would also look for it when I wore my hair up. Also, I just would hide it with my hair because parents think if you have a piercing, you are teaching their children how to do coke.

      Its kind of not addictive. I got the industrial one twice (I got impatient with the healing process both times). I did want a lip piercing, still do. But I realize I’m a little too…teacherish to get it. I probably wont get any more piercings.

      Mine wasn’t a dangerous piercing unless I was furiously brushing my hair or your godson pulls on it..twice. Though now I wonder what kind of fall would get you impaled with an industrial….

    • Sam

      1) Not really, except when I had both nostrils pierced and had to avoid them while washing my face (which I do gently anyways). I have my ears stretched, too, which does not particularly interfere with anything. I just have to be conscious of it while holding toddlers because they always try to stick their fingers in my ear, haha.

      2) Not really. I’ve had my nose (including septum and nostrils) pierced 11 times over the past five years, which is certainly a lot, but each time I got it re-pierced, it was because I had had to take the previous ones out for surgery or for another reason…not just because I felt like it. Impractical piercings that have little chance of healing properly (such as this guy’s as well as wrist/neck surface piercings) don’t appeal to me. I’ve had a microdermal in my chest for about four years, and although I love the way it looks, I don’t really have the desire to get another anywhere else.

      3) In all likelihood, this guy’s eyebrow isn’t infected…yet. Chances are, it’s just irritated because it has improper jewelry in a placement that’s clearly intended to shock people rather than be practical and safe. It’s integral to learn about proper piercing techniques and find somebody that you really trust who possesses an outstanding reputation to do yours. As for cleaning, there are different methods done for the initial healing periods of different piercings, but I tend to just go for “LITFA,” which stands for “Leave It The Fuck Alone.” I just let water go over the piercing and clean it that way, or a do a soak of water + sea salt when the piercing is irritated (like during Coachella or somewhere else with dusty air). Taking care of piercings is easy provided a person has a basic knowledge and understanding of it.

    • Nat

      1) Not really. With my lip piercing, I can eat, kiss, etc as I normally did. I had another facial piercing near the top of my cheekbone, and with that one I had to kind of learn to maneuver around it while washing my face or putting on makeup, but it wasn’t bad.
      2) I find that, personally, they are addictive (but I have many friends who only have one piercing, so I guess thats not true for everyone). I have my fair share, and I think the only reason I don’t have more is because I keep reminding myself how impractical/unnecessary it is to get more. Although, this remind doesnt always work.
      3) How dangerous are they? Here is my story: the cheekbone piercing I mentioned above was ripped out of my face by my hairdresser while she was brushing my face. I was a barbell, so all that skin between the two points was torn in half. Also, the entire time I had it, my face felt very fragile and I was very protective of anyone going near it, or anything (ex, hats). Based on this experience, I am always made very nervous when I see people like the guy in the photo. I feel like eventually, something has to catch on to those earings, theyre are all inevitably going to be torn out, right? For me, I will never ever get a surface piercing again.
      And infection? Some areas are very prone, some not so much. The first few weeks of a new piercing can be a huge pain in the but though. But usually worth it I think!

    • Sarah

      I have 5 piercings in each ear, one in my nose and one in my tongue. I have no desire to pierce anything else on my face. But that is a personal preference. I also have 12 Tattoos and I can say that they are addictive. So I guess it all just depends on the person. I’m pretty sure that its like any other piercing or body modification its prone to infection.

    • SM

      I have my nose pierced and no, I don’t have to change the way I blow my nose lol You kind of don’t even notice it’s there after a few months (I’ve had mine 9 years). It healed just fine. That’s as many piercings as I will get, besides the 2 holes I have in each ear that I rarely wear earrings in anymore.

    • Denise

      You don’t have to change the way do things (depending on what kind of piercing you get). If you get your tongue pierced like I did..yes you do have to re-learn how to eat…because you have to eat around the ball..cuz if you don’t you’ll bite down right on it lol and it sucks especially when your tongue is still sore haha! But talking…you have to learn a little bit how to say your “S”s again..but that get’s easier once the swelling goes down. But the dude that is in the picture his brow’s aren’t infected…they are just still irritated from being pierced…you can tell they are fairly new cuz you can still see the marker marks…how you clean new piercings is you twist them 3 or 4 times a day so they don’t stick and get “gunk” built up around the bar and once they are totally healed you can take them out clean the hole and the jewelery REALLY well then put it back in and if you did everything the artist told you to do you should be perfectly fine. :)
      Lol I have A LOT of friends with piercings…went with them to get them done as well ;) lol.

    • TheMostAwesomestTeenager

      i think tis true about the addiction thing : 3 yeah,definetly true. about the learning things again thing,it just depends on the peircing. i have a septum peircing and tis kinda awkward blowing mah nose xD but mah cartilage peircings (on mah ears) are fine. the third thing,most probably. but again,depends on the peircing. tis definetly addictive though! i need moreee o: even though i shouldnt cause ill end up looking retarded and my face looks fine with just le septum thingy. i cant wait untill im old enough to get tattoos cause theres so much more i can get done :3 <3 x

    • Ransom

      When I got my first facial piercing, which was the center of my lip, I had to change pretty much everything facial-related. Smiling hurt for weeks, laughing was even worse, every time I drank out of anything other than a narrow-necked bottle I whacked the damn thing on it. Worth it, I still love it (more so now that its downsized), but at the time it was a bit harrowing.

      My septum was a little different, surprisingly. It was frigid cold the night I got it and I had to walk about 30 minutes to meet with my boyfriend, and by time we got home I dreaded blowing my nose. Didn’t hurt though, really the entire thing didn’t hurt. And I’m a wuss sometimes, to compare I’d rather get my septum pierced again than my ear.

      An for me at least, it IS addicting. So, so addicting.The whole infection thing, from what I’ve heard, varies from piercing to piercing, but is a lot more dependent on the quality of your piercer/materials and your personal aftercare. The shop I went to is the most respected in my area, and I’m almost obsessive about cleaning mine, so I’ve never had an infection. Compare that to when I was young and stupid and got my ears done by one of those dreaded guns, one set of holes STILL flares up and gets sore every once in a while.

    • Venus

      I have my nose pierced, and no nothing has really changed except my self esteem (its actually higher). I guess you can say piercings are addictive to some people who don’t know how to stop and don’t think about the consequences of their piercing. Sad to say but true.