Body modifications, especially piercings, have been a cultural and personal expression for millennia. The method and technique employed play an integral role in ensuring a safe and healthy piercing experience. While many jewelry retailers lure customers with the offer of “free piercing with the purchase of jewelry”, it’s crucial to be informed about the potential risks of using piercing guns.


How Piercing Guns Work

The Dangers of Using Piercing Guns


Piercing guns use stud earrings to puncture the skin. Instead of a precise and clean puncture that a specialized, sharp needle provides, stud guns force a pointed earring through the skin, causing significant tissue trauma. This not only results in more pain but can also lead to complications during the healing process.

Jewelry & Healing Concerns

Stud earrings used in guns often come with a butterfly clasp – not recommended for fresh piercings. These clasps compress tissue, impede circulation, and trap bacteria and secretions, heightening the risk of infection.

Inadequate Sterilization

Perhaps the most alarming issue with piercing guns is the inability to adequately sterilize them. Blood from one client can become airborne in microscopic particles, contaminating the gun, potentially infecting the next person. While some attempt is made to sanitize these guns using disinfectants or sprays, these methods don’t eliminate all microbes. One severe outbreak of infections, which hospitalized several individuals, was traced back to a contaminated spray used to “clean” a piercing gun.

Furthermore, many piercing guns have plastic components, rendering them unsuitable for autoclave sterilization – the gold standard for piercing equipment.

Accuracy & Other Issues

Piercing guns aren’t precise. There are numerous accounts of the stud failing to penetrate the skin or the earring not disengaging from the gun. This can result in an improperly placed piercing or even lead to the gun being stuck to the fresh piercing.

Scar Formation

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not piercings that scar – it’s the method used. Guns tend to cause more scarring due to the trauma they inflict on the tissue.

Other Risks to Consider

  • Piercing guns are linked with the spread of diseases like hepatitis.
  • The earrings used are often dull, leading to tearing and other complications.
  • The size and length of gun studs are inappropriate for most piercings and can result in swelling, rejection, and infections.

Types of Piercings: Explore Your Options Safely

If you’re considering getting a piercing, it’s vital to be aware of the variety available and to choose a professional studio:

  • Lobe, Upper Lobe, and Cluster Lobe Piercings
  • Curated Ear, Helix, and Forward Helix Piercings
  • Scapha/Flat, Inner Conch, and Rook Piercings
  • Daith, Industrial, and Orbital Piercings
  • Tragus, Anti Tragus, and Snug Piercings
  • Eyebrow, Nostril, High Nostril, and Septum Piercings
  • Bridge and various Lip Piercings (with up to 15 styles)
  • Navel and Double Nostril Piercings


While piercing guns might seem like a quick and convenient option, the risks outweigh the benefits. Choose a reputable piercing studio with trained piercing professionals, sterile equipment, and a wide array of jewelry options to ensure a safe and satisfying piercing experience. 

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