Amateur body piercing dangerous: pediatrician
Teenagers in St. John's say there is an underground body piercing industry in the city.
People are offering the service in their homes – and while it may be cheap, health officials say it is also dangerous.
"I had my lip done … and the cartilage of my ear," said 17-year-old Katie O'Brien.
O'Brien did not go to a business to get her lip pierced, she went to a man's house – something she admits may not have been safe.
"There were like 10 people getting different things done at the same time, well, at the same place," said O'Brien.
"It was in some guy's room."
O'Brien's 15-year-old friend, Kayla Cranshaw, said she has seen piercings done that way too.
She said it was not clean, but it was cheap.
"A lot of kids do it because their parents won't let you and it's a lot cheaper too," said Cranshaw.
"It's probably $20 to get it done in someone's house and it's like $60 to $70 to get it done at a business."
St. John's pediatrician Rick Cooper said amateur body piercing is scary.
"There might be reactions to the metals in the jewelry. The biggest thing would be possible infection," said Cooper.
"Often the infections that would result would not be life threatening, but they could still do a lot of damage and cause a deformity."
Cranshaw and O'Brien said they know it is risky – but O'Brien said it's the new "cool" thing to do.
Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical examiner last week confirmed he is looking into the death of a teenage girl that could be connected to body piercing.