Please do not try to pierce your own ears at home during lockdown

Lockdown has left us bereft of, among many other things, the ability to keep up with our beauty routines and alter our looks as we otherwise might.

Gone are the days of turning to professionals for their highly skilled services, at least for the time being, as lockdown drags on with no definitive end in sight.

Usually opt for manicures? Time to dig out your old nail polishes. Prefer to keep your haircut looking sharp? You’re probably well acquainted with the Covid cut by now.

Been craving a new piercing? That’s one thing you absolutely should not be trying at home.

Look, we get it – now that restrictions have been in place in some form or another for nearly a year, keeping us away from hairdressers, tattoo parlours and piercing studios for most of that time, it’s totally understandable for you to be getting that itch.

However, since there’s no shortage of content online promising to show you how to pierce your own ears at home, as well as, according to, a 108% increase in online searches for ‘How to pierce your own ear’ from 2019 to 2020, we felt it was a good time to beseech you: please do not pierce your own flesh at home.

Not your ears, not your nose, not your eyebrows, nipples, septum, belly button, or genitals – no part of your body should ever be pierced by someone who is not a professional in a sterile environment.

Henry Hate, owner and proprietor of tattoo and piercing studio Prick (which is in the middle of rebranding to Big Sexy Tattoo) agrees that there seems ‘to be a large influx of people doing home piercings.’

‘Most are young kids and girls looking to save money and log onto YouTube and pierce themselves, which can lead to all sorts of issues,’ he adds.

When asked for their thoughts on the subject of amateur home piercings, a representative from Nemesis Tattoo & Body Piercing Studio in Camden said in no uncertain terms : ‘JUST DON’T DO IT!’ 

So what exactly can go wrong?

Daena Borrowman, from warns: ‘Trying to pierce yourself at home, without proper equipment and health and safety measures is extremely dangerous.

‘I understand that many people are opting for DIY beauty methods, but many would consider DIY piercings as one step too far.

‘If you’re not careful, you can shatter cartilage on impact which could leave you with irreversible lumps and increased chance of jewellery rejection.

‘Not only this, but your piercing can end up uneven, in the wrong place and of course, in the worst case scenario, infected.

‘It is always better to go to an experienced and qualified piercer to get the safest and best experience overall.’

Henry says: ‘One main issue is that you can develop small boils on the inner or outer ear that show and flare up on acupressure points that are within the ear,’ adding: ‘They are tedious and painful to sleep on when weight is applied against them.’

‘These tend to happen mostly with women,’ he says,’due to their body chemistry and immune system changing when the crimson tide comes to town. The pressure points flair up when the immune system is run down or compromised.

‘Hygiene is another factor to consider. Proper sterile conditions and the use of improper tools can cause trauma and keloid scaring.

‘People might be allergic to nickel, which can be in most costume jewellery or low grade accessories. This can make the healing process difficult and lead to allergic reactions.

‘I personally have seen people come into the shop with blood blisters and embedded jewellery that has burrowed into their bodies.

Henry also explains that, if a practitioner in a parlour were to try to help with one of these home piercing mishaps and further problems like blood poisoning or scarring ensued, then the parlour could be seen as liable for ‘making a bad situation worse.’

So instead, the home-pierced person should be pointed in the direction of a minor injuries unit or hospital.

If you’re looking for a high-quality parlour to do your piercing, Henry says: ‘It’s best to look art their piercer’s portfolio or social media feed to see the work. 

‘Shops will have a licence fully displayed and have a reliable industry high grade manufacturer.’

He adds: ‘It’s funny younger kids are stuck on paying for designer shoes, shirts and bags yet when it comes to piercings they tend to want to draw the purse strings tight. 

‘You are not only paying for a beautiful piece of jewellery. You are paying for peace of mind. 

‘Also, reputable shops will sell aftercare to look after your fresh piercing and give you instructions on a card to look after it.’

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