Piercing & Tattoo: How To Combine Body Art, Jewelry & Sports
by Jasmin Schmitt:
In sports, safety always comes first. Jewelry has to be taken off as it might get tangled up in your apparel or equipment, leading to injury. A tattoo, on the other hand, does not pose a risk to athletes as it’s under the skin. Just be sure you don’t expose a tattoo to direct tanning light. If you have a piercing, however, you should always take it out before doing sports to minimize the risk of injury.
Piercings & sports
Just like dangling earrings, a piercing on any body part can get caught up in your fitness apparel, hair or sports equipment. Depending on the position of the jewelry, it might squeeze or pinch you even if you just twist and turn your body. This is not only uncomfortable, but also bears a small risk for injury. The piercing channel could slightly rip, leading to an infection in the worst case – even if you’ve had your piercing for a long time. In order to avoid this, take out all piercings when doing sports, even if the pierced body part does not play a central role in the movements you will be doing. This way, people with tragus, the small pointed part of the outer ear directly in front of the ear canal, piercings can also easily wear headphones during their fitness activities.
Is taping safe?
You can also tape a superficial piercing to prevent it from getting caught up somewhere. But is tape really a safe solution? Well, that depends on the body part. You can secure ear studs with a piece of tape without worries, but for piercings on other parts of your body that might not be enough. Taping just provides a plain surface so that piercings can’t get all tangled up somewhere, however, it does not protect the piercing channel or prevent it from being twisted or stretched during certain movements. If you want to play it safe, completely take out your jewelry and seize the chance to clean both your piercing and the piercing channel.
What about recent piercings?
Some piercings require a sports & fitness break of several weeks. New belly button piercings, for example, pose a risk to almost any sports type or fitness activity due to their central position on the body.
That’s why you should only get pierced when your fitness program allows for a break, because you can’t really – and shouldn’t anyways – take out a brand-new piercing. Many students therefore get piercings right before summer break, as the time away from school is often enough for the piercing to heal so that they can take it out and practice sports after the break without problems.
During the healing phase, a piercing is like an open wound representing a risk for viral and bacterial infections. At worst, inflammations caused by dirty hands or sweat can lead to blood poisoning.
A freshly pierced body also needs to stay away from swim training, no matter where the piercing is situated. Contact with chlorine water can lead to inflammation for up to six weeks after getting pierced.
One even has to take a break from ski tours as piercings can cause frostbite. To avoid your new piercing channel from closing, wait several weeks before skiing, then leave your piercing at home while on the slopes.
Sports & tattoos
In general, tattoos don’t present any risks in sports. They can’t get tangled up anywhere – you should just make sure your tattoos don’t get any direct light on a tanning bed (which many athletes use to give their trained bodies the final touch). However, give your skin a few days to heal and go without stretching to avoid overstraining freshly tattooed skin parts. As a rule of thumb, don’t stretch until you take off the foil. Only for extremely intense sports types, like boxing or spinning, it’s recommended to keep one’s feet still even longer. If you get a piercing, just ask your ink artist – they will have advice on hand. In any case, you don’t have to worry that a tattoo might hamper your performance or weaken your immune system.
So, what’s the takeaway here? Piercings and tattoos always bear certain risks you shouldn’t take lightly. In most cases, a period of grace without any sports or fitness activities of at least one week is required. Plus, aftercare is important for quick and trouble-free healing.
If you’re not 100% convinced, why don’t you try a fake piercing? No risk, same effect.
Jasmin works in Online Marketing at piercingline.com, being responsible for editing, social media & marketing strategies and collaborations with photographers & bloggers. The established piercing & stainless steel jewelry wholesaler piercingonline.com was founded in 1995.