In sports, safety always comes first. Jewelry has to be taken off as it might get tangled up in your apparel or equipment, leading to injury. A tattoo, on the other hand, does not pose a risk to athletes as it’s under the skin. Just be sure you don’t expose a tattoo to direct tanning light. If you have a piercing, however, you should always take it out before doing sports to minimize the risk of injury.
Piercings & sports
Just like dangling earrings, a piercing on any body part can get caught up in your fitness apparel, hair or sports equipment. Depending on the position of the jewelry, it might squeeze or pinch you even if you just twist and turn your body. This is not only uncomfortable, but also bears a small risk for injury. The piercing channel could slightly rip, leading to an infection in the worst case – even if you’ve had your piercing for a long time.
Good to know:
In order to avoid this, take out all piercings when doing sports, even if the pierced body part does not play a central role in the movements you will be doing.
Is Taping Piercings Like Earrings Safe?
You can also tape a superficial piercing to prevent it from getting caught up somewhere. But is piercing tape really a safe solution? Well, that depends on the body part. You can secure ear studs with a piece of tape without worries, but for piercings on other parts of your body, that might not be enough.
Piercing Tape just provides a plain surface so that piercings can’t get all tangled up somewhere; however, it does not protect the piercing channel or prevent it from being twisted or stretched during certain movements.
If you want to play it safe, completely take out your jewelry and seize the chance to clean both your piercing and the piercing channel.
If you are competing in sports like football, it may not be legal to wear piercings during competition. Consult your sport’s rulebook to find out if you need to take out your piercing to be able to compete.
How To Tape Earrings Or Other Piercings For Sports (If You Must):
1. Use waterproof, flexible bandaids as piercing tape
These bandaids are super stretchy and water-resistant, so they should stick to your skin even during sweaty activities.
2. Cut the bandaid to size
Hold the bandaid up to the piercing and decide if you will need to use scissors to trim the bandaid to size. For example, most bandaids are too long to tape over earrings. Trim them, so the sticky part contacts the skin by a few millimeters.
3. Fold the bandaid over the piercing so it contacts the surrounding skin by a few millimeters
Try to fold the bandaid over the piercing so that no sticky part sticks to the actual piercing, as this can make it difficult, painful and potentially even dangerous to remove later. The bandaid should stick to the surrounding skin, not the piercing itself.
4. Remove the bandaid after sports and clean the piercing
Hopefully, the bandaid is easy to take off because it is sweaty. Be careful not to pull the bandaid too hard or fast, or you risk tearing your pierced area.
5. Clean the piercing and the pierced area
Wash your hands before handling the piercing or touching the pierced area. Clean both the piercing and the pierced area with a piercing cleaning solution. Thoroughly dry the area. Monitor for any redness or swelling that may indicate an infection or unnoticed injury.
Is your piercing causing you chafing? Check out our tips to get rid of chafing!
What About Recent Piercings and Sports?
Some piercings require a sports & fitness break of several weeks. New belly button piercings, for example, pose a risk to almost any sports type or fitness activity due to their central position on the body.
That’s why you should only get pierced when your fitness program allows for a break because you can’t really–and shouldn’t anyway–take out a brand-new piercing. Many students, therefore, get piercings right before summer break, as the time away from school is often enough for the piercing to heal so that they can take it out and practice sports after the break without problems.
A piercing is like an open wound representing a risk for viral and bacterial infections during the healing phase. At worst, inflammations caused by dirty hands or sweat can lead to blood poisoning.
A freshly pierced body also needs to stay away from swim training, no matter where the piercing is situated. Contact with chlorine water can lead to inflammation for up to six weeks after getting pierced.
One even has to take a break from ski tours as piercings can cause frostbite. To avoid your new piercing channel from closing, wait several weeks before skiing, then leave your piercing at home while on the slopes.
Sports & tattoos
In general, tattoos don’t present any risks in sports. They can’t get tangled up anywhere – you should just make sure your tattoos don’t get any direct light on a tanning bed. However, give your skin a few days to heal and go without stretching to avoid overstraining freshly tattooed skin parts. As a rule of thumb, don’t stretch until you take off the foil.
Only for extremely intense sports types, like boxing or spinning, it’s recommended to take a break for even longer. In any case, you don’t have to worry that a tattoo might hamper your performance or weaken your immune system.
So, what’s the takeaway here? Piercings and tattoos always bear certain risks you shouldn’t take lightly. In most cases, a period of grace without any sports or fitness activities of at least one week is required. Plus, aftercare is important for quick and trouble-free healing.
If you’re not 100% convinced, why don’t you try a fake piercing? No risk, same effect.