There are many body piercers that routinely use larger gauge needles than necessary when piercing. For example, for a navel piercing which is a 14g piercing, some piercers will use a slightly larger needle (13g). This is primarily so that the jewelry can be inserted into the back of the piercing needle to allow an easy pull-through during piercing. Although this may save time and prevent any fumbling with the jewelry, it allows for a greater risk of infection and longer healing times for the client.
The reason this method increases the risk of infection is due to the fact that a larger than necessary hole is being made, creating a small ‘gap’ between the open tissue and the jewelry. Because of this ‘gap’ there are more active sites in the freshly pierced tissue for infection to occur. Also, it takes more time and energy for the body to heal a larger hole than a standard one. One solution to this problem is the use of internally-threaded body piercing needles, available from online sellers of body piercing supplies. These needles allow the jewelry to screw into the back of the needle, creating a flush, smooth piercing surface that offers the convenience of a larger needle without the drawbacks associated with them.