Medical Definition of Piercing

Piercing: Using a sharp instrument, usually a needle, to make a temporary or permanent hole through an earlobe or other body part. Humans have practiced piercing for body decoration since prehistoric times. Unless it is performed using a sterile needle (preferably disposable), piercing can carry a risk of infection. A piercing should be kept clean; antibiotic cream may be applied if the area becomes inflamed.

See also ear piercing.

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Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016

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