One in five students with piercings have complications
The largest ever “body art” study has found that a fifth of students with body piercings have excessive bleeding, bacterial infection, and tissue trauma. The research was reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings (2002;77:29-34) after 454 undergraduates from a New York college completed questionnaires on the subject.
More than half (51%) of the students had piercings outside the traditional domain of the earlobe, and 29% of women had a navel ring or belly bar. Complications were most likely for nipple (21%), navel (24%), and genital (14%) piercings. Bleeding and bacterial infection were the most common ailments. Piercings were most frequently permanently removed from the nose, tongue, eyebrow, and male nipple.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of the students had tattoos, but few related complications were identified. The authors had, however, no means to detect hepatitis or HIV infection transferred through dirty equipment.
Whether these findings are applicable to the United Kingdom population