Warning: Graphic images
Tattoos and piercings are more popular than ever, but what happens when things take a turn for the worse?
A student from Nottingham, Bianca Hart is living proof that even the simplest of piercing procedures can turn ugly.
On Monday 4 May's episode of Tattoo Disasters on Spike TV, she reveals how an infected ear bar piercing turned horribly wrong.
"The surgeon said there was a chance of me losing my ear," she says.
Bianca, who grew up with a severe phobia of needles, had remained piercing-free up until her friend persuaded her to go and get an ear bar piercing.
Hart revealed that she was so afraid of needles that, aged 16, she'd gone to get her belly button pierced and had ran out of the room while the piercing specialist went to get her apparatus.
Similarly with blood tests, she could never stay long enough for doctors to take her blood.
But, after being persuaded to get a "spur of the moment" ear bar piercing by her best pal, Hart decided to not let her fear of needles frighten her.
"I was in there, my friend was going to get hers done and the lady was really quick. She literally just said: 'Do you want it done?' I said 'yes' and that was it."
After having the top of her ear pierced, she soon began to realise that there was something amiss with her new look.
"I knew from the start, as soon as I left the piercing place, that I was in a lot of pain. But the excitement of it overruled that."
However a few days later, her ear started changing colour and leaking pus.
Her mum reveals: "She wasn't sleeping at all. She was just crying, screaming, rolling about on the floor. She didn't know what to do, she was in that much pain."
Hart went to the doctors and was prescribed a course of antibiotics, but it was too late. A serious infection had set in. Her condition worsening, Hart was adamant that she wasn't going to hospital because of her fear of needles.
Instead she went back to the salon and they put a longer tongue bar in her ear.
But by the next morning, her ear had swollen to the length of the bar - to the point where it no longer resembled an ear.
It was only after Hart began to uncontrollably vomit that her mum became seriously concerned and rushed her to hospital.
"It looked to me like the top of it [Hart's ear] was dying," says Hart's mum.
The surgeon said that the infection could spread to her brain, or that she could end up losing her ear.
After being rushed into surgery, doctors were left with little choice but to rebuild her ear after the infection had disintegrated part of her cartilage.
Thankfully, the surgery was successful and much to Hart's delight, they managed to save her ear - and her life, too.
Catch the rest of Spike TV's Tattoo Disasters on Monday 4 May.