BODY piercing enthusiasts who opt for a cheaper procedure are running the risk of serious infection and cartilage damage, according to a local piercer.Erin Parkinson, 20, said she felt many in the local industry were unaware of the dangers of using piercing guns for areas other than the ear lobe. She said many local piercers use the blunt guns, rather than sharp piercing needles, to create holes through cartilage."It's more expensive to get it done with the needle and that's really the only reason to get it done with the gun," she said. "They (clients) just want it done with the gun because it's cheaper but they don't realise that it's bad for them." A gun piercing costs about $25 while a needle procedure is about $50.Spring-loaded piercing guns are only designed to punch studs through ear lobes.If used to pierce areas like the upper ear they can shatter cartilage and lead to serious infections.According to the Department of Human Services, "ear piercing guns should only be used for ear piercing as they can damage other body parts". Many piercers refuse to use guns over fears blood particles cannot be entirely removed, raising the risk of transferring HIV or hepatitis.