Body piercing is a type of body modification that creates an opening in which jewelry can be worn. Throughout history, the practice of piercing was related to religious or spiritual practices, but in modern times, piercing is used more for self-expression, for aesthetic value, or for sexual pleasure.
There are records indicating that the practice of ear and nose piercing existed among African and American tribal cultures. There is written and archaeological evidence showing that the Egyptians, Indians, Middle Eastern tribes and Northern Pacific cultures practiced body piercing.
Contemporary body piercing has become very popular, and it is not at all uncommon to see somebody wearing a piercing. There are different types of piercings, but the most common ones are ear, nose, tongue and navel piercings.
In the 1970s body piercing began growing in popularity in the United States, and it got heavily popularized by a group of Californians including Malloy and Ward, who is considered as "the founding father of modern body piercing".
In general, body piercing became more popular in the United States in the 1990s, with the increased acceptance of groping which therefore allowed more access to piercings of the navel, nose, eyebrows, lips, tongue, nipples and genitals, creating a profitable industry.Body piercing has become very fashionable in recent years and many people get piercings without being fully aware of how to clean and care for them. Some parts of the body can be more sensitive to infections. Nose and tongue piercings are the most common piercings to get infected since these areas of the body are exposed to millions of bacteria.