An increasing number of people are considering doing their own piercings during the pandemic – because clearly, they’ve never watched that wince-inducing scene in The Parent Trap.
Searches for “home piercing kit” in the UK have increased 576% since the start of lockdown, while searches for “piercing ears at home” have increased by 244% and “how to pierce your own ear” by 133%.
While some tattoo parlours and piercing salons are open, the work they’re able to deliver is restricted.
Tattooists and body piercers are currently “strongly advised” not to tattoo or perform a body piercing that will bring them within the “highest risk zone” of their clients, according to the government guidelines.
This means avoiding the area on the face, the throat and the front of the neck, where respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking can pose a hazard from the client to the practitioner and vice versa.
In case you need reminding, Daena Borrowman, from Jewellerybox.co.uk who conducted the analysis of search trends, says trying to pierce yourself at home, without proper equipment and health and safety, is “extremely dangerous”.
“If you’re not careful you can shatter cartilage on impact which could leave you with irreversible lumps and increased chance of jewellery rejection,” she says. “Not only this, but your piercing can end up uneven, in the wrong place and of course, in the worst case scenario, infected.”
It’s always better to go to an experienced and qualified piercer to get the safest and best experience overall, says Borrowman, even if that means waiting until after restrictions are lifted.
“The rise in people piercing their own bodies is a concern and isn’t something we’d advise you do at home,” she says. “To be safe, you would at least need sterilising equipment and liquids, the professional needles, the right type of jewellery and gloves.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.