Nearly HALF of people under age 24 have a body piercing somewhere other than their earlobes. 

But know this: A study in The British Medical Journal found that a lot of people get piercings without understanding there are consequences when we put extra holes in our body. 

First, 1 in 4 people experience short-term issues, including infections and bleeding. But piercings in the tongue, navel, and nose can take up to 10 months to heal! And that’s not the end of it.

In the long-run, tongue and cheek piercings can cause tooth loss and nerve damage. 

Plus, any piercing carries the risk of blood-borne illnesses. And the symptoms of the most serious problems – mainly Hepatitis B and C – can take more than 10 years to appear. And both can be fatal.

Of course, the only way to avoid piercing-related medical issues is to not get pierced in the first place. But if you decide to get one, find a professional with a good reputation. Make sure they properly sterilize all their equipment. And follow their post-piercing instructions to the letter. That may sound like a no-brainer, but studies show that 1 in 5 piercings are done by a friend with no training. And often without sterilization.