A TEENAGER from Oswaldtwistle needed hospital treatment after a lip-piercing went horrifically wrong.
Gemma Clark, 17, of Harlech Drive, paid £28 to have a metal stud put in her upper lip - known as a "Madonna'' - at a piercing studio in Blackburn.
But the needle hit a blood vessel and Gemma, a shop assistant, had to be taken to Accrington Victoria Hospital for treatment after she complained of feeling dizzy. She also suffered swelling and bruising to her face.
Now her furious mum, Sandra, a nurse, is warning other people to be aware of the possible dangers of body piercing. She has sought further advice as a result of the incident. She said: "We were out shopping in Blackburn when Gemma said she wanted her lip pierced. I was reluctant because I'm not in favour of them at all but I agreed to let her have it done. I was waiting outside when the man who did the piercing called me in, saying there had been a problem and he had pierced the vein.
"Gemma had blood running down her face and in her mouth, and her lip had swelled up like a balloon. The man took the stud out immediately but Gemma was white - she looked like a ghost."
The teenager, who also has piercings in her navel and nose, stayed at the Zodiac Aromatherapy and Gifts piercing studio until she felt well enough to leave, but as they returned home she was still complaining of dizziness.
Sandra, who was concerned the piercing could get infected, took Gemma to hospital, where she was given antibiotics. She said: "It is supposed to be pretty rare for a vein to be pierced but you expect these people to know what they're doing. I'm a nurse and if I did something that went wrong in my practice, such as an injection, I could be sued for negligence. People should be aware of the dangers beforehand so that they can make an informed decision."
Brian Schofield, owner of Zodiac Aromatherapy and Gifts, said that it was his policy to only allow under-18s to have piercings if they had parental permission. He said: "The mother could have said she didn't want her daughter to have it done and we would have stood by her decision. At the end of the day, there is only a slight risk with these piercings and it is not life-threatening. I have only ever experienced it twice in five years. "The flesh is made up of lots of little blood vessels and in this case one of them got nicked."