The sternum piercing is a one-of-a-kind fashion statement but, before you take such a decision, you need to know some information about it. Based on the details that you will find in this article, you can decide whether the aesthetic benefits overcome the health-related risks. As the name clearly points out, this type of piercing is performed at the level of the sternum, being also present as cleavage piercing (when it comes to women). For those who are not certain about the location of the sternum, this is the bone that is located in the center of the torso (also known as the breastbone).When the piercing is performed, a starter jewelry is placed at the level of the sternum. After the healing process is complete, you can return to the saloon, in order to change the jewelry. In the majority of the situations, the jewelry used for the sternum piercing is either made from stainless steel or titanium. These materials are often preferred because they are light and they have a reduced risk of allergic reactions. Other alternatives include gold studs and diamonds. Choosing a professional salon for such types of piercings is more than recommended, otherwise the jewelry could end up being rejected by the body (perceived as a foreign object).The sternum piercing is part of the category known as “surface piercing”. This refers to a piercing that is located more superficial, with a surface bar being inserted at the level of a skin plane. The healing process is more complicated when it comes to these types of piercings because, as it was mentioned above, it presents an increased risk for being rejected.
How is the Sternum piercing performed?
Hopefully, the first thing that the piercing artist will do is to disinfect the sternum area. After that, he/she will mark the desired entry and exit points for the piercing. For the next step, the actual piercing is going to be performed, with a sterilized needle entering through the skin. After the piercing has been made, the chosen type of jewelry is going to be inserted. Depending on your personal preferences, you can decide for the sternum piercing to be placed either vertically or horizontally.
How long does the Sternum piercing procedure last?
In general, it does not take more than a couple of minutes before the sternum piercing procedure is performed.
How painful is the Sternum piercing?
Given the fact that the area of the sternum is quite sensible and vascularized, the sternum piercing is one of the most painful types of piercings out there. This is indeed one of the main reasons to consider whether such a piercing is worth it or not, no matter how cool or fashionable it may look. The area of the piercing will also be tender or painful to the touch for the next couple of weeks, until the actual healing process is completed.
Sternum Piercing Pictures
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Once you have had the sternum piercing done, you need to look after it, in order to keep the risk of infection down to a minimum. It is recommended that you clean the recently pierced area with warm water mixed with salt (disinfectant properties). The cleaning procedure should be repeated at least two times per day, in order to reduce the risk of secondary bacterial infection. Do not listen to those who recommend rubbing alcohol or other solutions such as peroxide or bactine on the pierced area, as these can further aggravate the irritation of the skin.When taking a bath, you have to give proper attention to the area, rinsing it thoroughly but gently nonetheless. After the bath, make sure that you dab the area with a paper towel, so as to make sure it is completely dry. Even the slightest amount of moisture can harbor bacteria, which is highly likely to lead to a nasty infection. Also, you need to avoid applying lotion, body spray or any other skin care product to the recently-pierced area. Remember, this is an area that needs to heal and you need to take good care of it. Also, no matter how tempted you may be to do that, make sure that you do not apply excessive pressure to the pierced area.
How long does it take for the Sternum piercing to heal?
Provided there are no complications or secondary bacterial infections, it will take between four and six weeks for the sternum piercing to completely heal. You can guarantee a shorter healing period, by taking good care of the pierced area and maintaining an excellent level of personal hygiene. When you fail to properly care for the recently-pierced area, you increase the risk of infection and thus prolong the necessary healing period.
Complications associated with Sternum piercing
The most common complication is infection, which occurs in the situation when the necessary hygiene and after-care measures were not respected. It is recommended that you refrain from touching the sternum piercing with dirty hands, as this will increase the risk for infection. So, always remember to wash your hands, preferably with antibacterial soap. It is also recommended to avoid wearing clothes that are too tight, as these might irritate the recently-pierced area and lead to scarring. One must also pay attention when removing his or her clothes, as the risk of injuring the sternum area is high, once a piercing has been placed there.In conclusion, the sternum piercing can be a very interesting way to express your sense of style but there are several things you need to be on the lookout for. You need to choose a piercing artist who has experience in dealing with such kind of piercings, in order to reduce the risk of the sternum piercing being rejected by the body. Apart from that, you need to take very good care of the pierced area, in order to avoid secondary bacterial infections and other potential complications. As for the jewelry itself, you need to choose surface bars or other similar items that are made from lightweight and hypoallergenic materials.