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DD,10, wants ears pierced... Needle vs gun

(40 Posts)
earwig1 Thu 18-Oct-12 17:21:52

I have spoken to a few piercing studios having found out that needles are much better and safer. They informed me very well, but they won't do it as it's actually illegal below 16. DD really wants it done, but I'm very nervous about the guns: hygiene is potentially an issue, and the blunt stud used on the flesh seems brutal compared to a needle. I really don't know what to do now, any suggestions? We live in London.

pictish Thu 18-Oct-12 17:23:46

Needle. I think piercing places will needle a piercing from the age of 12 with parental consent.

Those guns blow fuck out of the earlobe, damaging tissue.

Needle, needle, needle....

usualsuspect3 Thu 18-Oct-12 17:24:23

All mine had their ears pieced with guns, with no problems.

pictish Thu 18-Oct-12 17:26:59

Yeah loads of people have...but alas I was not one of them. I had piercing by the gun that were awful (had to abandon them) and then later by the needle - which I had no probs with. So I'm going on my own experience, and the know-how of my tattooist pal, whose studio does both.

The gun probably would be fine - but I wouldn't bother.

mrscumberbatch Thu 18-Oct-12 17:27:54

You can get your ears pierced with a gun. But there's a far higher chance of it going wrong/getting infected than getting it done with a needle.

Piercing parlours will pierce if you are in attendance and give written consent, only for ears though. There's TONS of places in London.

mischiefmummy Thu 18-Oct-12 17:27:59

Go to a reputable tattoo studio. They will use needles, it's quick and straightforward.
Two of my DDs (11 &10) had their's pierced this summer, not a single problem. You sign a disclaimer.
Guns cannot be sterilised properly and so ears are easily infected. All the girls in their classes with ears pierced with a gun ended up with awful infections and often let me close up.
Wash daily in salty water and DO NOT FIDDLE or TURN them.
Hope that helps!

cm22v077 Thu 18-Oct-12 17:28:05

I swear they just use these disposable things these days which look pretty hygenic to me! hmm

earwig1 Thu 18-Oct-12 17:29:31

Thanks, that's what I thought... do you know of any piercing places that will do children in London? At least, if I know it's ok from 12 I can put her off until then...

mrscumberbatch Thu 18-Oct-12 17:34:23

There's a disposable cartridge in the gun cm22. The gun itself is not sterile.

3mily Thu 18-Oct-12 19:09:52

Needle, Have had both and the needle is far less painful. Also my ears got infected both times I had them done with the gun.

(Plus, I may be being a big wuss but the gun hurt me more than my lip, eyebrow, belly button, arm and nose put together!)

zzzexhaustedzzz Thu 18-Oct-12 19:14:51

My daughter had the gun, at a well known kids tat / jewellery shop. They did both at the same time. Unfortunately one is wonky and it looks a bit wrong. Think it was someone's first time... Or they just don't care!
I'd go for a needle if I did it again.

LynetteScavo Thu 18-Oct-12 19:15:33

There are tons of places in London...but which one?

Selfridges do a disposable gun, apparently.

I've learned on MN to go for gun every time, but I want to take DD to a nice frilly place, not a hardcore tattoo parlor, however sterile they may be. I have at least 5 years to find somewhere (no ears pierced before she's a teenager, and DS who is 2 years older is desperate to have his ears pierced. For equality reason's how do I say no?)

LynetteScavo Thu 18-Oct-12 19:16:47


I have learned on MN to go for the NEEDLE not gun! - Sorry!

MonsterBookOfTysons Thu 18-Oct-12 19:17:47

My mum had her second holes done with a gun in H samuel, the gun got stuck in her ear, buggared up her piercing on one ear. I would wait for the needle tbh.

Fairylea Thu 18-Oct-12 19:18:39


And clean with salt water twice a day every day.. and keep earrings in longer than the recommended 6 weeks.

CaseyShraeger Thu 18-Oct-12 19:29:53

Needle. I'm another one who got a wonky piercing done with a gun. It gave me no end of trouble for four years or so until I just gave up on having pierced ears. Even now, twenty years since I last wore earrings, the wonky side still gets slightly infected and fills up with gunk once or twice a year.

mrscumberbatch Thu 18-Oct-12 19:56:40

Lynette, there's no such thing as a disposable gun.Just disposable cartridges, the gun is not sterile.

Why would you want to take DD to a frilly unsanitary place rather than a proper piercing parlour? Madness!

valiumredhead Thu 18-Oct-12 20:04:14

Needle at a tattoo parlour.

Lostthewilltolive Thu 18-Oct-12 20:12:40

DD1 had her ears pierced in a children's overpriced tat shop too and they got awfully infected and she let them close. She found it really painful having it done and they're also wonky! Can anyone explain the process when having them pierced with a needle?

mewkins Thu 18-Oct-12 20:14:34

There are plenty of tattoo and piercing places around Covent Garden and Camden and you can make a day out of it! I went to Tusk on Stukeley St (i think) for a nose piercing. Reassuringly clean and hygienic and they did a good job. It was years ago but I went back about 3 years ago for a replacement nosering and it was still there.

mrscumberbatch Thu 18-Oct-12 20:19:46


In a nutshell,

The piercist will have a sterile needle, they'll clean your DD's ear and then slide the needle through her lobe following it with the jewellery.

Because it's a smooth action it doesn't cause any trauma to the area which reduces swelling. It also means that they are less likely to be done squint.

To pierce ears with a gun requires NO training. I believe that the girls that do it in the childrens overpriced tat shop get one days training. They have no capacity to sterilise equipment. If I'm getting holes made in my DD I want more than 1 days training!

Piercers do this day in and day out and have access to autoclaves. It's a no brainer!

hmc Thu 18-Oct-12 20:22:08

DD (aged 10) had a gun used at Claires Accessories (any problem with me mentioning where? - since she did have them done there - no need for cloak and dagger mystery....) It may or may not be related to the use of a gun but she did encounter problems which possibly could have occurred in any case...basically on cleaning her ears with cotton wool pads (not the soft fibrous balls but cosmetic removal type pads) fibres some how sort of got worked into the piercing hole and got embedded increasing the size of the hole and causing bleeding and irritation. The practice nurse at our GP advised us to remove the earrings (this was 3 weeks in) and let the holes heal - which we have.

I think we'll go for the needle next time.

VoterColonelSebastianDoyle Thu 18-Oct-12 20:29:38

I had my dds done at claires a year ago and ive had absolutely no trouble with them.

SchrodingersMew Thu 18-Oct-12 20:30:32

Please, please do not take her to have a piercing with a gun. There are so many problems that can come from this.

Guns are not sterile and cannot be sterilised, therefore very much raising the chance of infection and spread of blood bourne diseases including HIV.

The jewelery in a gun is what pierces the skin and this is not sharp like a piercing needle and causes blunt force trauma, this can make it far more painful and much harder to heal.

The jewelery normally used in guns is not high enough quality to use in a fresh piercing and can have high levels of nickel which a fair amount of people are allergic to.

The way the gun shoots can cause the butterfly to be on too tight, this can cause it to be embedded under the skin and possibly needing surgery to remove.

And finally, the people who perform gunned piercings do not need any training.

Also, it's not illegal to pierce an under 16, just parental consent is needed.

SchrodingersMew Thu 18-Oct-12 20:31:18

Google "Claire's piercing" and you will see all you need to know about that!

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