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Hollow Needle
Vs. Piercing Gun

Hollow Needle
Vs. Piercing Gun


Figure 1

Piercing Gun

Let’s begin with the gun.  When you consider piercing your child’s ear you want it to be done the best way by a professional if possible.  Someone who has been trained properly.  Before I knew there was a difference between a needle and the gun my first thought when there was mention of ear piercing would be Claire’s at any local mall. For starters, the gun utilizes the earring itself to make the hole in the ear.  The tip of the earring is a 16 gauge tip which then turns into a 14 gauge pole at the other end of the earring once the tip has penetrated (Figure 1). The tip of this earring is pointy, but it is not sharp.


Figure 4

The earring has a sort of stair stepping effect.  The tip is thinner than the end of the pole where the earring will be sitting after the piercing vs with a hollow needle, once the opening is made it will be the same width as the pole of the earring (Figure 4).  The best description of what the gun does to the ear would be taking a baseball bat and driving it into a sheetrock wall.  Certainly, you will end up with a hole in the wall but it is not the best way to make it. The hole will be very rough, not smooth or accurate and there will be fraying of the material.


Figure 2

Hollow Needle

Let’s explore the hollow needle (Figure 2) a bit and even my own previous personal misconceptions with the needle.  When I first learned of the needle piercing versus a gun I thought the needle took a piece of skin out of the ear creating the space for the earring to go.  That is certainly not the case.  However, there is a technique in piercing that does this, and it is utilized in some ear piercings such as the conch with a specific dermal punch instrument (Figure 3).  I have also been trained on this technique known as dermal punch. The punch takes out a circular piece of skin leaving a hole in the skin.  This is NOT what a hollow needle does.



Figure 3

The hollow needle creates a slit in the skin followed by stretching of the tissue by the body of the needle, to make space for the hardware to go through.  The important part is that unlike the gun the slit is a smooth-precise puncture into the skin.  It is not an abrupt blunt object passing through the skin with the same force on every ear no matter the texture of tissue involved.

See The Difference In Our Example Video

Please see our video depicting the difference between the needle and gun on a glove. The needle goes right through the glove while the earring requires a tremendous amount of force. Overall healing times will be less with a needle.  You avoid the possibility of keloids developing at the piercing site and most importantly infections, which are both common with the gun since it creates such an uneven result. 

On the note of infection, it is important to keep in mind that the needles are used on the client then disposed of immediately.  On the contrary with the gun, the same gun is used on all customers and it is not disinfected.  Even if it is cleaned with alcohol that is not considered disinfected.  In order for an instrument to be disinfected against any contamination, it must be autoclaved which the instrument is not capable of since it is plastic and would melt. 

At our facility, we are 100% disposable.  Nothing is used twice.  Anything that is used is sterile and once it is utilized it is disposed of as medical waste. Detailed aftercare instructions will be handed to you during your visit by the doctor.