The most common type of needle used for piercing are those made from stainless steel or titanium. These types of needles have been around since the early 1900’s and they work well. They are easy to clean and disinfect, but they do not last forever. Stainless steel needles will eventually rust over time if left out in the sun too long (and some people don’t even like using them). Titanium needles however, may need to be replaced every few years due to their durability. If you use these types of needles, it is best to keep them stored away from sunlight. You can store your needles in a cool place like a cupboard or closet. However, if you want to take advantage of their longevity, then it would be wise to buy new ones regularly.
Another type of needle commonly used for piercing is plastic. Plastic needles are often found in the form of dental floss or cotton swabs. These types of needles are very durable and can withstand temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they do tend to break down after a while.
A plastic needle should be kept in a cool place like a cupboard or closet. Plastic needles are also susceptible to breaking down over time if exposed to sunlight. So, if you’re planning on doing any kind of piercing, then it would be best to purchase new ones regularly. If you do leave your needles in the sunlight, make sure that they do not become too hot. If you suspect that your needle has become too hot to touch, allow it to cool down before storing it.
You will also want to store your needles in a holder (often referred to as a “tongue” or “butterfly”). If you don’t have a proper holder, then be sure to keep them in a storage container or ziplock bag. Be careful not to store them anywhere where they can become chipped or broken.
When it comes to sterilizing your needles, you will need to make sure that you use a proper disinfectant. Common ones that you should have no trouble finding are rubbing alcohol, medical alcohol, and surgical scrub. You can also buy specialized needle cleaners that can be found on the Internet or at certain stores that sell piercing supplies. If you want to make your own, then you can use things like Betadine (povidone-iodine), hydrogen peroxide, or liquid soap.
If you’re planning on using boiling water or sunlight to sterilize your needle, then you must allow it to cool down before using it.
When it comes to sterilizing your needles, one of the more important things is that you do not reuse them. This can expose you to serious diseases such as blood born pathogens. Never use a needle for more than one person. This is especially important if the person getting pierced has a cut or open wound of any kind.
This is because you do not want to contract or spread HIV, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C. If someone in your studio practices “piercing play” where they take turns giving each other skin piercings with the same needle, make sure to have extra needles on hand. Also, be sure to change the needle after each person.
There are many different types of jewelry that can be used for body piercing. The most common is an externally threaded ball (this is often called “gauge”). These are also the least likely to become caught on clothing. Internally threaded jewelry is also an option, but these are most commonly used for surface piercings.
If you do plan on using internally threaded jewelry, then you will need an adaptor.
When it comes to the gauge size of the jewelry, then this can vary depending on the area that you’re planning on pierce. The most popular sizes are:
• 0 Gauge (1.2mm or more) – Typically used for ears and lips. This size is also known as “gauge thick”.
0 Gauge = 1.2mm / 12mm (or more)
1 Gauge = 0.8mm – 1.1mm
1.5 Gauge = 0.7mm – 0.9mm
2 Gauge = 0.6mm – 0.7mm
3 Gauge = 0.4mm – 0.5mm
4 Gauge = 0.2mm – 0.3mm
5 Gauge = less than 0.2mm
• 1 Gauge (8mm) – typically used for noses and nipples.
1 Gauge = 8mm
1.25 Gauge = 7mm
1.5 Gauge = 6mm
2 Gauge = 4mm
2.5 Gauge = 3mm
3 Gauge = 2mm
4 Gauge = 1.25mm
5 Gauge = Less than 1.25mm
Another popular option for body jewelry is internally threaded, ball closure rings. These are often used for surface piercings and are very easy to insert and remove.
So now that you have a basic understanding of the types of materials, sizes, and jewelry options, you can make a decision on what you would like to use for your next project.
As you continue on, you will find that the possibilities are endless. Body piercing is a form of art, and as an artist it is your job to create something that not only you are satisfied with, but also your client. The sky is the limit.
Sources & references used in this article:
Self-sterilizing hypodermic syringe by RM Hall – US Patent 4,416,663, 1983 – Google Patents
Collecting two-cell-to compacted morula-stage embryos by A Nagy, M Gertsenstein, K Vintersten… – Cold Spring Harbor …, 2006 – cshprotocols.cshlp.org
Hypodermic needle case by HL Swan – US Patent 2,400,722, 1946 – Google Patents