Piercing News


I will confess that my ears are not pierced.  Although it is not due to a lack of trying or a philosophical decision against it.  The first time my ears were pierced I was about 5-years-old and due to an infection, I eventually had to let those holes close up.  We attempted it again when I was around twelve, driven by my own interest to wear earrings like my friends, but alas my earlobes were still intolerant.  Finally, I decided to try one last time in the months before my wedding.  After having an allergic reaction and nearly fainting in a fancy jewelry store, I decided it was time to give up on having pierced ears and started shopping for necklaces and rings instead.

Besides having naked lobes at my wedding and having to shelve the diamond studs my dad bought me at age 5, I haven’t missed having piercings.  Now that I am having a daughter though, I have started to think about when I would consider piercing her ears.  Should it be when she’s too young to remember having it done or when she’s old enough to make the decision herself? Should she be expected to clean and care for the piercings, or would I take on that responsibility anyway?

Parents in my clinic often ask me when it is safe to pierce their daughters’ ears.  This leads to a discussion on immunizations, infection control, and finding a reliable technician.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has also published some advice on this topic to help parents in preventing infections.  Ultimately though, there is no answer about when the “right” age is.

Recently though, supermodel Giselle Bundchen posted a photo of her 7-month-old with gold studs on Instagram, stirring up the how young is too young for pierced ears controversy in the mommy blog community.  Some claim this is cultural, while others say it is traumatic or cruel.  I have to say that when I saw this photo I saw a beautiful and intimate moment between a mother and daughter, so sweet that I would not have noticed the earrings without the headlines.  I wish that people could focus more on those tender moments of motherhood and less on her child’s accessories.  This photo made me even more excited to hold my own daughter in my arms in a few months.  Whether or not she will be wearing studs, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out…

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  1. Katie
    I think I would wait and let my little girl make her own decision about piercings. That might be problematic to me if she had nose, tongue and belly button piercings.
    When I was in grade school, young girls of color had their ears pierced and had little things that looked like sticks through their lobes, others had little black strings through their lobes, I think they put iodine on them. None of those girls ever had problems with the piercings. Some of the other girls would put ice on their ears to numb them, hold a potato behind their ear and stab a needle through their lobes, they never had problems. Makes me want to pass out just thinking about it.
    I always had problems, back then my doctor told me I should have had him do them, he would have used surgical steel studs. To this day I can only wear 14K gold, sterling silver or surgical steel.
    I think I should have had little sticks in my piercings!
    By the way I was about 20 when I had them done the 1st time.

  2. I had an attending from a South American country tell me that in the hospital she worked out down there they went down the line of mom’s and asked boys’ moms if they wanted a circumcision, girls’ moms if they wanted their ears pierced…I usually tell families that they can do it whenever they want but that my daughter won’t get hers done until she can choose.

  3. My only advice would be – don’t sweat the small stuff. Sometimes these kinds of decisions seem huge at the time and with some distance you realize you spent too much time agonizing over them and the strife and conflict just weren’t worth it with hindsight. This from a mom who noticed her daughter had a tattoo, two years after she had gotten it!

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