It is becoming more and more common to see men with an array of piercings on the face, from the ears to the eyebrows to the lips and tongue. Aside from this clearly visible trend, increasing numbers of men have been adding body jewelry to the undercarriage, as well. Body piercings are often used as a form of self-expression, and piercing the penis is no different. Whether guys are considering the piercing for fashion reasons, the shock factor or the hope of deriving pleasure from the experience, there are several important things to know before undergoing the needle. Penis piercings can lead to severe side effects, even when they are done by a professional. Proper penis care after the piercing may help minimize the side effects, but one should certainly think long and hard before having one done.

How is a piercing done?

First and foremost, a piercing should always be done by a professional using the proper sterile equipment. At-home piercings may be more prone to infection or damage to the penis itself, so paying the extra money to have it done right is a no-brainer; nobody wants to bring more pain to their manhood than necessary. The procedure itself is quite simple: a needle is pierced through the skin, and a bar or ring is inserted into the opening made by the needle. Piercings can be done on the skin of the shaft of the penis, the head of the penis, the scrotum, or through the foreskin. A piercing cannot be made through the shaft itself, as this would cause serious tissue damage.

Things to consider before piercing

1) Permanent hole. It is important to be aware that once the jewelry is removed, it is very likely the hole will never close. Scar tissue may have formed around the jewelry, leaving a hole that, while it may shrink, may still be prominent. At the very least, a small, visible scar where the jewelry was placed is highly likely.

2) Infection. Due to the location of the jewelry, urinary infections are a common side effect. The wearer may experience a burning sensation during urination or even notice blood in the urine. Additionally, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C are blood-borne illnesses that can be contracted via unsterilized needles, which is why it is so important to go to a reputable piercer.

3) Allergic reactions. There is a possibility of an allergic reaction to the metal in the piercing, which can result in an uncomfortable rash surrounding the piercing. Choosing jewelry that is made from surgical grade steel, titanium, gold or platinum may lessen the chance of a metal allergy issue.

4) Redness. The penis will be red and sore at the site of the piercing immediately after it is done. If such symptoms persist, it may be a sign of infection and should be treated by a doctor.

5) Bleeding. The skin in the penile area is very sensitive and may bleed if the jewelry becomes caught on undergarments. It is likely to bleed at the time of the piercing, but it should stop if pressure is applied. If the piercing is placed incorrectly, it may be more prone to irritation and bleeding issues; persistent bleeding is a sign that medical attention is needed.

6) Other health issues. Diabetics have a higher risk of infection and should therefore consult with a doctor before having a penis piercing done. Also, individuals of Asian, African, or Hispanic descent are at higher risk for keloid scarring, an abnormal type of raised scar tissue that spreads beyond the site of a skin trauma. Men who have keloid scarring on other parts of their bodies are often advised by their doctors not to get piercings or tattoos.

7) Sex issues. While some individuals report increased pleasure during sex, it is also possible that a piercing could lead to pain in the pierced individual or their partner. Another important consideration is the propensity of the jewelry to tear a condom. Individuals with a pierced penis may benefit from wearing a larger, more sturdy condom to make room for the piercing and reduce the chance of tearing. A torn condom increases the risk of pregnancy or transmission of an STD and is a legitimate concern when dealing with genital piercings.

Post-piercing penis care

There are steps to be taken that can reduce certain unpleasant side effects of a penis piercing. Keeping the wound clean while it is healing and always maintaining proper hygiene can decrease the risk of infection. Men should not remove the piercing or change the jewelry while the wound is healing, unless an infection develops. Men should also keep a close eye out for signs of infection or a metal allergy and seek medical attention if pain, bleeding, redness, or soreness persists. Overall penis health can be maintained by the daily use of a penis health crème which contains vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals (most professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). A high-quality penis health crème may also promote healing, reduce scarring and help improve the health of the penis skin.

Author's Bio: 

For additional information on most common penis health issues, tips on improving penis sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy penis, visit: John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.