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Engagement piercings: You might see them on Instagram, but they’re risky

Engagement rings are expensive. According to wedding brand the Knot, the national average was $5,764 in 2017. They’re also easy to misplace. And hard to resell if your engagement gets called off.

Some couples are skipping engagement rings altogether — or getting tattoos or piercings on their ring fingers instead. Couples have merged the piercing and tattoo trends to come up with something like this.

Engagement piercings might look cool on Instagram, but before you and your beloved rush out to get one, just know: The finger is a risky place for a piercing. Solo-ish spoke to two piercers in Washington who recommend against such body art.

Why? Well, for starters because a person’s hands are so mobile and functional — and come into contact with soaps, chemicals, germs — they have a high probability for infection. “What ends up happening is the piercing just doesn’t heal out correctly,” says Fatty, a.k.a. Matt Jessup, the owner of Fatty’s Tattoos & Piercings in Dupont Circle and on H Street.

Fatty says his shops generally don’t do hand piercings because of the risk involved. In addition to the risk for infection, he noted that because hands can easily brush up against things, such piercings can snag easily and come out. “They also have a high probability of migrating,” Fatty says, away from where they were originally placed.

Memo Gonzalez, a piercer at Embassy Tattoo in Adams Morgan, also cautions against skin piercings, or dermals, in spots “where the body is in motion.” More common spots for skin piercings, he says, are the center of the chest, near the belly button, or on the lower back or hip areas.

Tattoos on fingers are a lot more common, Gonzalez says, but they’re not recommended either. “If there are no hair follicles,” such as on the underside of your hand, “it’s harder for the ink to go in,” Gonzalez says. However, “it depends on what you use your hands for. If you’re a dishwasher, your tattoo might last a week.”


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