About 14 percent of people have at least one body piercing, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, and body piercings and the stretching of the ear, or “gages,” is growing in popularity for the young age group.
Senior Brogan Drissell said, “I think that it’s an aesthetic choice. I find them beautiful, but I’m sure there are people who hate non-traditional body ornamentation. I think it’s becoming more popular. A lot of girls are getting the nostril piercing and stretched ears are becoming more common. ”
Stretching the ears using gages is relatively safe, if the proper procedure is used. It really depends on the elasticity of the person’s skin, according to http://www.ear-gauges.com.
A piercer at Iron Age Studios said, “I pierce about 100 people a month, with 60 to 70 percent of them being under 18. I’m fine with piercing underage persons, but it really depends on where they want to get the piercing and what type of person they are. I have refused to pierce underage persons before, if what they want is in an inappropriate place, like the genital area. The most common place to get one is usually the navel, or ears. More girls come in to get a piercing than boys, and usually the girls can handle the process better. The price of a piercing is about $30 to $45 here.”
Concerning the safety of piercings, nurse JoAnn Nester said, “You can get any blood borne disease, Hepatitis A & B and even HIV from piercings. There is always the risk of infections, even if it’s done correctly. Once I had a student who could not get a job because of his gages, and he ended up really regretting them. Once you gage, it won’t go back without surgery. It’s just always going to be a big hole, and you might regret it later.”