For many people piercing guns are a fast, cheap, and easy way to get their ears pierced. But this method of piercing is not necessarily harmless and can cause serious damage. The mechanism used to pierce is a relatively blunt force and they are more likely to expose people to transmitted diseases than professional piercing in a more controlled environment. Ear piercing guns aren't sterilized in between uses doesn't happen and their users are under-trained for disease prevention.
On July 13, 1880 Illinois inventor Edward Seyfarth patented his invention “the earpiercer.” This device was constructed of two bars hinged together at one end with a socket to receive and on the other end a tube with a spring triggered needle to pierce. Edward Seyfarth writes “The object of this invention is to furnish earpiercers so constructed that the puncture can be made in exactly the desired spot and so quickly as to be painless”. Originally designed and intended for earlobes, piercing guns are often misused by piercing other body parts like ear cartilage, nostrils, and navels, all of which are likely will have a bad result. There many well documented cases of damage to cartilage caused by ear piercing guns.
Piercing guns today are still only designed for earlobes. The most common style is shaped like a handgun. When the trigger is pulled it uses a spring action to push pointed jewelry, usually a stud, through the earlobe. Many piercing guns have a non-removable cartridge that holds the jewelry. This cartridge does come in contact with the lobe and exposes it to blood and other fluids from every use. Other models of piercing guns do have cartridges that are disposable and minimize exposure, but not completely because the rest of the piercing gun is still exposed. When manufactured, a piercing gun may be sterilized using gas or radiation, but it is impossible to sterilize the gun itself after it’s been used for the first time for a piercing. Most piercing guns are made of plastic that can’t withstand the heat, steam, and temperature conditions of autoclave sterilization.
Another problem with ear piercing guns is the jewelry that is commonly provided. Pre-loaded jewelry cartridges usually have standard length studs that won't accommodate for swelling. Many people will find that their new jewelry has little to no extra post length to relieve the pressure. Also, much of the jewelry provided does not meet the ASTM metal standards considered safe for long term use in the human body. In a professional piercing studio like New Flower, body jewelry, even for ear lobes, comes in a variety of sizes, styles, and materials so we can tailor fit each piece to the person. Body piercing should never be one-size-fits-all. Our stainless steel jewelry is ASTM F-138 and our titanium is ASTM F-136. These are the implant standards for both these common metals. We also keep factory provided mill certificates on location for everything we have. You can also trust that our sterilization systems are the most current in the industry and spore tested regularly to meet guidelines and regulations for the Association of Professional Piercers and the state of California.
Posted by John Johnson.