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Friday, June 13, 2008

The rising popularity of body piercing could "place a significant burden on health services for many years," a public health official has warned.

Body piercing boom could place burden on health service
article in the Telegraph


"According research by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), one in three young people aged 16-24 have experienced medical complications as a result of having a part of their body pierced.

One per cent of all piercings have resulted in a hospital admission.

As much as a tenth of the adult population has been pierced somewhere other than their ear lobe, according to the survey.

Piercing can cause a range of problems including serious bleeding from the punctures and the creation of excess scar tissue. Using unsterilised equipment carries the risk of life-threatening infections such as hepatitis C, HIV or septicaemia.

The research, which drew on responses from 10,503 people, is the first of its kind and was carried out by public health doctors from the HPA and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine."

"The research, published online by the British Medical Journal, found that a quarter of people with piercings suffered problems such as bacterial infections or bleeding and tearing around the wound.

Women are three times more likely than men to have a body piercing, with navels their most popular location.

Nipples were the most popular spot for men, who were also twice as likely as women to opt for genital piercing.

The most common complications were swelling, infection and bleeding with almost half of tongue piercings causing problems - the worst record by far."