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.


Last Editorial Review: 10/9/2012

Search MedTerms:


Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.