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Author Topic: FAQ: Piercings  (Read 8873 times)  Share 

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FAQ: Piercings
« on: 05 Oct 10 / 11:20 PM »
This is just something I really feel should have a post dedicated to it, in case curious and less-informed people wander on to here looking for advice. Here's a quick overview of piercing things:

Hey I want to get my ears pierced. Can I just go to Claire's or another place in the mall to get it done?

Here is a website dedicated to warning people against the dangers of piercing guns: http://www.homiegfunk.com/gunssuck.htm

For the love of God, no. Claire's and other chains use piercing guns, which are similar to cattle tagging guns. While this seems innocuous enough at first, there are a ton of problems with piercing guns. First, they are damn near impossible to sterilize. Piercing equipment should be sterilized using an autoclave, not alcohol, and piercing guns are not designed to withstand this procedure. Piercing guns use dull metal studs shot at a high velocity at your flesh, making it difficult to align the piercing properly. This actually crushes through your skin rather than slicing out a bit (like a needle would) and makes your piercing more susceptible to infection, bruising, and keloid scars (those gross, raised lumps). It's basically blunt force trauma, something you do not want. The piercing guns also create a very fine spray of blood and other fluids which can coat the gun and surrounding piercing area, making cross contamination between clients highly probable.

Go to a real piercer. Please.

How do I find a real piercer?

First off, make sure to visit the shop first. If you get a bad feeling about anything, or are made to feel uncomfortable in any way, get out of there. Here are some things you should look for/ask about :
- Are they a registered piercer? Ask about their training and knowledge base.
- When was their most recent spore test and what were the results? This will tell you if their autoclave is capable of killing the most stubborn and dangerous organisms like HIV and Hepatitis. Never use a studio that doesn't have an autoclave.
- Do they use a piercing gun? If yes, leave immediately because they're hacks and will f**k you up.
- Check out their piercing setup. The piercer should use new, sterilized equipment from sealed packages each time he or she pierces someone. They should be wearing disposable gloves during the piercing process and should change those gloves each time they touch an object besides yourself or the piercing equipment. Never allow yourself to be pierced with needles soaked in liquids like hydrogen peroxide, this is not sterile. Needles should be disposed of in a "sharps" container (usually marked with a biohazard symbol).
- Check their aftercare guidelines. Do they tell you to use rubbing alcohol or an ointment like Savlon? If so, leave. This studio is not up to industry standards. You should be using a warm salt solution to soak your piercings, not any harsh cleaning stuff.
- How clean is the studio's common area and bathroom? This is indicative of the shop's hygiene standards.
- Are they licensed?

What kind of jewellery should I use in a new piercing?

The only materials suitable for new piercings are implant grade surgical steel, Niobium, glass, titanium, and implant grade PTFE (Teflon). Any other material such as organics (wood, bone, stone) are porous and will harbour bacteria in your wound. Acrylic novelty jewellery is not appropriate for long term wear, regardless of how healed your piercing is. Use at your own risk.

What about rings vs bars?
Rings are unsuitable for initial piercing jewellery as they do not accommodate swelling well and move around a lot, moving dirt and bacteria into the piercing as well as irritating it. Once you're healed, you can switch to a ring no problem, but be patient- it's better to prevent problems than fix them.

I got this hole punched in my face. How do I take care of it?

First things first: KEEP YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF THAT PIERCING! I promise you they are covered in filth and bacteria and you don't want this in a brand new wound. For some reason people think they need to spin their jewellery a few times a day to prevent it from getting stuck or something. This is not only wrong, it's terrible. This will introduce additional bacteria into the wound, increasing your chance of infection. To care for your piercing, there are a few simple things you need to do.

First, always wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before handling your piercings and jewellery. You will need to soak your piercing in a saline rinse 2-3 times a day for the first couple of weeks. To do this, mix a cup of boiled water (wait for it to cool!) with 1/4 of a teaspoon of sea salt. If your piercing is in a hard to reach place, soak some sterile gauze in the solution and then press over the piercing for ~15 minutes. Saline soaks are useful for a few reasons: first, it helps clean the lymph fluid, blood, and dead skin out of your piercings, helping you avoid infections. It also encourages your skin to heal quicker and feels very soothing on a fresh piercing. When showering, use a mild unscented soap on your piercings. Harsh soaps and those with scents can seriously irritate your skin so you'll want to avoid that. To dry the piercing, pat gently with a paper towel or tissue. Never use towel or wash cloths as they tend to harbour bacteria.

Never, ever use hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or antibiotic ointments. The former two are much too harsh for a new piercing and will dry the f**k out of it. The latter traps dirt inside your wounds and will keep oxygen from reaching your new piercing.

I hope this helps some people to stay informed about what they're doing, so now go out and have fun with it knowing that you're looking after yourself properly!
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Re: Piercings
« Reply #1 on: 06 Oct 10 / 11:28 AM »
Thanks teh_niarr!

Another point to add:

Some piercings reject, no matter how careful you are with them. My body for instance - no good with piercings but anything above the neck is ok.

Rejections can be painful so you need to sort them out a.s.a.p. If the piercing isn't healing well and/or moving it's position it's likely that it might be rejecting. Don't remove it yourself! Go back to where you got the piercing done and ask for advice. Sometimes its's not a rejection at all and you can get help to keep the piercing that you just paid your hard earned cash on. If necessary the piercer may take the stud out for you, at least it will be in a clean and safe environment - not in your unsterilized bathroom. The piercer will then give you tips on how to help the hole heal safely without any risk of further infections.

I had a belly button piercing that "migrated" due to rejection, it went from a vertical position to almost horizontal and it hurt like hell! I waited too long to get help but it had to be removed anyway, I just could have saved myself some pain time if I'd got it removed earlier. When my nipple piercing started to go the same way I sought help immediately and my piercer did all she could to help me keep the piercing but, alas it was not to be. It didn't migrate but it never healed, just oozed on a daily basis and messed up 3 of my bra's permanently. I tried skin divers - two of them - in my back. After a month they were fine but then they started to work their way out. It happened very quickly and they came out before I had a chance to get help but at least they didn't hurt.

So rejections take many forms, even if they're on the same person! It's just something you have to watch out for.

Edit: Found an old post with healing times for piercings. Need to delete the post but the information is here for reference

Ear piercing = 5-6 weeks
Eyebrows = 6-8 weeks
Lip piercing = 6-8 weeks
Navel (belly button) = 3-6 months
Nipple = 10-12 weeks
Nose = 12 weeks
Surface piercings = 8-10 weeks (skin divers and dermal anchors are included in this)
Tongue piercing = 3 weeks
Male genital = 4-8 weeks (depending on the type and placement)
Female genital = 4-8 weeks (depending on the type and placement)

All times are approximate and vary from person to person. If in doubt please ask your piercer.
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Re: Piercings
« Reply #2 on: 06 Oct 10 / 01:17 PM »
Ah yes, rejection. Here's a helpful Wiki entry with some good photos and descriptions of the signs of rejection.

Mathurine- you say you tried skin divers, have you looked into microdermals? They're a lot more secure and they heal better in a lot of cases. Obviously there's always a rejection risk, but the plates help to keep them more stable.
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #3 on: 06 Oct 10 / 01:58 PM »
Another great thread so as with the tattoos one I have made this into an FAQ and stickied it - cheers again :D
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #4 on: 06 Oct 10 / 04:05 PM »
I read that bit about piercing guns and it has made me feel sick!!!
 

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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #5 on: 06 Oct 10 / 04:06 PM »
Which is precisely why they should be made illegal. It's terrible.
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #6 on: 06 Oct 10 / 10:59 PM »
Quote
Mathurine- you say you tried skin divers, have you looked into microdermals?

Actually it was micro-dermals I just couldn't think of the dang word for it lol! The one with the little "foot" with a hole in it. Anything below the neck on me just runs away! Why does my body hate me so much? *cry, cry*
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #7 on: 07 Oct 10 / 08:28 PM »
the best to heal for me is my eyebrow as it does not move and is in clear air all the time. I have found I can only wear titanium. I have tried bioplast and 18carat gold and my labret monroe (which had healed ) went redafter2 days. My microdermal in my3rd eye has healed up fine, no signs of regetion so far. My nose has been a pain though I put make up on and got some on my piercing by mistake. It swelled up and I had to remove my nose wire as it was tight. I put a sterilsed nose ring in and it oozed alot. I thing the wire was stopping drainage. It has healed up a lot better, then I saw you should not have a bcr which causes movement which I agree so I changed it too a labret. The swelling has gone it is just red around the piercing with some blood. This is a good thing as the blood aids healing and washes the wound outIt looks and feels alot better as it is not moving. I will soak with saline daily as not to disturb the healing scab.

for some reason cartiledge piercings go not work well with me as I had a upper ear pinner piercing 13 years ago I was told to wash with tea tree oil and told touse savalon wound wash which I now know irritate to wound. It got infected and I needed antibiotics and antibiotic cream. So that put me off piercing for years.

 When I was skinny 11 years ago I had a belly piercing it healed OK but was always red around it. I went to check with a different piercer who said the jewelery was too heavy and I had to pay to have it swapped. I took it out when I got pregnant. I had it fot1 year it was always red around it now I know it was because they did not use titanium

I am sorry for my long rant

sorry for this rant
 

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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #8 on: 07 Oct 10 / 10:26 PM »
Which is precisely why they should be made illegal. It's terrible.

I had my nose pierced with a gun about 12yrs ago,not a nice experience,felt like I`d been punched in the nose by Mike Tyson  :o! Ive still got the piercing but am limited in what I can wear in it, I might get it re-done properly.

Edit from Matty: double post so I removed the second post
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #9 on: 08 Oct 10 / 10:34 AM »
My nose piercing kept threatening to close up on me. I have since found out that plenty of other people had this same experience, particularly with nose piercing. Whether noses take longer to heal or what I don't know. I ended up moving my piercing up from a 1.0 to a 1.2 and although it felt bruised for a while it's settled beautifully now and I have no trouble with it. I have no idea if the larger size actually worked or if after all this time it finally settled down but it doesn't threaten to cose if I leave a ring out for a day or two, I can get the jewellery back in really easy.
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #10 on: 08 Oct 10 / 11:43 AM »
I was pierced with a 1.2 gauge for my nose
 

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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #11 on: 10 Oct 10 / 01:54 AM »
Ive nver had my nose piercing close up on me,it is at least 1.2 not sure exactly what size, cos it was done with a gun.So maybe larger is better  ;)
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #12 on: 15 Oct 10 / 12:29 PM »
Dear god... I have been piercing 9 years now and I swear the amount of people I meet who just will not let go of their piercings once they start to migrate is unreal! I have had people comein and the jewellery is literally hanging on by a thread and they still argue with me that its fine.

Please accept defeat people! haha its perfectly fine you can let it heal (Bio oil is a god send during this stage) and have the piercing done again!

Also Im the same as Mathurine, I cannot have piercings below the neck they just will not stay my body hates it. Again accept defeat. 8 belly button piercings later you have to realise its just not working surely?!

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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #13 on: 18 Oct 10 / 01:41 PM »
Hehe, so true!

Three nipple piercing attempts here - you'd think I'd come up with a less painful piercing to re-try huh? Dunno why I feel that my nipple should be pierced, probably because my other boobie dumpling has a tattoo so I want to "even out" things. lol!
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #14 on: 18 Oct 10 / 05:57 PM »
Following on from my previous comment, I just watched a video of a couple of people getting pierced, and I feel like I'm going to hurl!  It really makes me want to take out my lip piercing...
 

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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #15 on: 17 Mar 11 / 10:29 PM »
Well i had my ears and nose pierced about 20 years ago, and in those days all they ever used was piercing guns!! Tattoo and piercing shops were non existent.. Thank god we have moved on since then..

However it does scare me when my just turned 16 year old niece wants to get piercings done, and just say's "oh i'll go along to claires", they'll do it for me.. that i have to put the foot down and be the sensible aunty.. !!
 

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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #16 on: 18 Mar 11 / 02:31 PM »
My neice worked at Claire's and one of the reason's she left (among many others) was the attitude that they have towards sterilizing the piercing equipment. It was cleaned but she said it wasn't cleaned properly to her way of thinking and when she tried to correct them they said it was ok.
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #17 on: 28 Mar 11 / 02:54 PM »
I had my ears pierced at Claires when i was about 9 yrs old with a gun, well i should say guns. 2 of them attacked me at the same time, and then one gun got stuck in my ear which resulted in a lot of twisting and turning.

Needless to say this left me very traumatised!

I have since had them done with needles, pierced at 2.4mm, and even though the size was a lot larger, it was a much more pleasant experience.

I even know someone who had their cartliage pierced with a gun! :O i don't know how it is even still legal??
 

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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #18 on: 31 Mar 11 / 08:06 PM »
My cartliage was pierced with a gun and after putting up with it for 7years I finally took it out last week, and it was such as struggle to do it too. It also looked like it had stained or rotted the metal in the earring in the part that was in my ear.

It never ever ever healed, it was gooey and green and black whenever you tried to clean it so I left it alone for a long time which stopped the gooey green and black but it was annoying me and I thought well, I used to be huge on ear piercings but I'm moving on to others and I've had it 7years and it cost me 3 so why not just sack it off. I have a weird triangle shape scar on my ear but otherwise no harm done thank god! Not even those little bumps you can sometimes get when pierced with a gun.
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #19 on: 31 Mar 11 / 09:15 PM »
Ive nver had my nose piercing close up on me,it is at least 1.2 not sure exactly what size, cos it was done with a gun.So maybe larger is better  ;)

Was just re-reading through the piercing info,just put a new horseshoe ring in my nose and its 1.6mm :o.
Was pierced with gun about 13yrs ago and i havent stretched it.Wonder what size the gun pierces at??
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #20 on: 31 Mar 11 / 10:20 PM »
Wow! I left my nose ring out for a couple of days and had the devil of a job getting another ring back in, both were 1.2mm's. Thankfully today my nose has stopped throbbing but I've had mine pierced for 18 years now and it's taken at least 24hrs to get it used to a ring again.
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #21 on: 31 Mar 11 / 11:30 PM »
Wow! I left my nose ring out for a couple of days and had the devil of a job getting another ring back in, both were 1.2mm's. Thankfully today my nose has stopped throbbing but I've had mine pierced for 18 years now and it's taken at least 24hrs to get it used to a ring again.

blinkin eck,I left mine out for couple weeks once and it went through just the same as usual !! Weird how different people are
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #22 on: 31 Mar 11 / 11:32 PM »
same when I had lwr labret pierced at 1.2,i accidently used a 1.6 and didnt even notice,I must be stretchy loo
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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #23 on: 06 Nov 11 / 05:08 PM »
Is itching a sign of healing or infection? *worry*
 

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Re: FAQ: Piercings
« Reply #24 on: 06 Nov 11 / 05:23 PM »
Healing, generally. If it gets red, swollen and hot to the touch, those are pretty sure signs of an infection - you should see a doctor about this as you'll need antibiotics. Some redness and swelling is normal when the piercing is still fresh, though these should subside after a few days. Bad-smelling gunk coming out of it is a bad sign too, but a white-ish substance is normal.
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