There are so many reasons not to use a piercing gun. I am going to list the top 3 for you. Number one sterilized, two blunt force trauma, and three lack of training. Everyone has their own experiences and opinions; these are just mine.
I have had my earlobes pierced with a gun when I was a baby and a teenager and never had an issue, but I was lucky! I did have my helix pierced with a gun when I was 14 years old, and it never stopped hurting. Anytime I would sleep on it or bump it, and I would have to take it out for a few days to stop the pain, even after 15 years. I did get it corrected as an adult, and now it is perfect and never hurts.
A piercing gun is “almost” every time not sterilized
Reason one: most guns can not be sterilized! That is just gross and dangerous. Even though the earring themselves are sterile, the guns are just wiped down using an alcohol pad. Alcohol can not kill bloodborne pathogens. When you are pierced with a gun, it shoves the shaft of a sharpened earring into your ear. There is a splatter of bodily fluids that happened. That fluid does get on to the gun; that same gun is being used over and over. The infection risk is much higher.
A piercing gun is causing blunt trauma’s
Reason Two: when you get your ears pierced from a professional piercer, they will be using a surgical grade needle that is the same as the needles used to give shots and draw blood. These needles have been designed to have the least amount of trauma to the tissue and be inserted with the least amount of pain. We insert the needle and then smoothly insert the jewelry in 1 fluid motion. It has been designed to allow for the quickest healing and the least amount of pain.
When you get a piercing with a gun, it creates a lot of trauma to the tissue. The gun was designed to quickly get the earring in an be as easy as possible to perform with the least amount of training. The jewelry used with the gun is an earring that has been pointed into a triangle shape at the end, but not shape. It does take a lot of force to push through the earring through the tissue. The gun is spring-loaded, and the earring is jammed into the tissue. On the earlobe it is known to cause scar tissue. On the cartilage, it actually makes cracks around the insertion area, making it take a very long time to heal. There are cases that they never heal correctly. It is also much more likely to get a piercing bump from a gun due to the trauma. The earrings are butterfly backed and are too small short. They do not allow space for swelling, and there are many cases where the ear will grow over the jewelry.
You don’t need to be a professional for a gun
Reason Three: a professional piercer has at least one year of training before they are able to start piercing. They are dedicated to continuing education and the safety and well being of their clients. This is their career, and they take pride in making you have the best experience. We are trained in medical-grade sterilization practices.
When you get pierced with a gun, you are generally going to a low-end jewelry store offering free piercings with the purchase of the earrings. It is a marketing tactic to get you to buy from them. The jewelry you are getting is very cheaply made, and you are really paying for the piercing. Their employees are mostly teenagers and young adults. They watch a 30 min training video on how to use the gun, and that is it. I have had several employees from companies like Claire’s tell me they hate doing it, and they have no clue what they are doing. I have heard stories of the guns getting stuck on baby’s ears. The piercings are completely angled. They do not match from side to side. I’m not saying every place is like this. These are just stories I have heard from employees of the companies and clients that I have had to fix their ears.
We try and educate the public
There are many organizations that are trying to get it to be illegal in the United States. Hopefully, soon they will be outlawed everywhere, but until then, we are just trying to educate the public in hopes they make the decisions to go to a professional.
I recommend reading the article below for more technical information on piercing guns as this blog is more opinion based and an easy read format. This is a deeper dive into the dangers of a piercing gun > https://www.safepiercing.org/safe_piercing_faq.php