June 2013

Navel Piercing Problems: "Granuloma" or "Hypergranulation Tissue"?

I received a message from a woman who has an unhealed navel piercing that is showing signs of developing granuloma:

Hi! My navel piercing is about 2 and a half months old. I irritated it at first from playing with it (I know-big no no) but it cleared up when I stopped touching it and cleaned with H2Ocean. I quickly ran out of the solution and stopped cleaning it about a month ago. I ocassionally do sea salt soaks but only when it flares up. I've been taking my ring out a lot lately (another no no) and I recently (about 2 days ago) noticed this pink/red fleshy bubble/growth coming out of the bottom hole of my navel piercing. It is squishy, moves easily, doesn't hurt, but bleeds easily. It looks a lot worse than it feels. It secretes lymph and often sticks itself to the bottom ball on my ring. I ordered some H2Ocean and tea tree oil the other day to try and get rid of it. For now, I put 3% hydrogen peroxide on it 2x a day and do a sea salt soak. I just don't know whether it is a granuloma or hypergranulation? It freaks me out because it's kind of large. Probably half the size of a pea. What can I do to make it go away? How long will it take? Will I have to abandon my piercing? I love it and I don't want to take it out!!! I have attached quite a few pictures!

Thank you so much! -A

Navel piercing with Hypergranulation Navel piercing with Hypergranulation

Wheelchair User and Genital Piercings

I received a message from a wheelchair user who is considering genital piercing:

Hi Elayne, I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) and I use a power wheelchair so I sit 16-18 hrs a day. I'm in my early 50's. My Dr is against tattoos let alone piercings, but I want both. I've just had several surgeries and I expect to have more surgery in four months. I want to know the risks of getting my clit pierced and whether it is a bad idea for me. I'm a currently single lesbian with a healthy sex life.  I'm a disability rights advocate, and I usually find a way to do the things I want to do. But I like to know what I'm getting myself in for and whether it's possible. Any help you can give me will help.

Thanks,

N

My response:

Hi N,

Thanks for your message and your interest.

There are a few considerations as to whether genital piercing is appropriate in your circumstances.

One of the most important deciding factors is the configuration of your local anatomy. Have you read about the different genital piercing options?

http://piercingbible.com/female-genital-piercings

Compared to the range of other female genital piercings, clitoris piercing is very rare:

http://piercingbible.com/clitoris-piercing

Another is whether you have any issues with incontinence? That could potentially cause healing problems for a genital piercing.

If not, and you're anatomically suited to the piercing you desire, and you are able to provide consistent aftercare as explained here:

Female Nipple Piercing Placement on Small Anatomy

 

I received a message from a woman who had questions about nipple piercing placement on small anatomy:

Hi Elayne,

I've read your blog for quite some time now, and I've found it to be very informative and interesting, and has given me enough knowledge to get some genital piercings, all of which have turned out great. I've wanted to have my nipples pierced for quite some time, but I'm concerned about the risks involved with doing so on less than ideal anatomy. As you can see in the pictures, my nipples are quite small and not well-defined. Even when they do become "hard", they hardly stick away from the rest of the areola. I know that piercing even inverted nipples is possible which gives me some confidence, but I'm still wary of having it done. 

My main concerns are: 

-Would this end up having the same risks as a surface piercing (namely in their tendency towards rejection)?

-Would the standard 14 gauge be appropriate in my case (not sure if it would be too large)?

Thanks for any help! Please feel free to use the pictures/message on your website if you feel it might be of assistance to others in the same situation.

Small nipple with ruler

Small nipple resting

My response:

Hello Y,

I'm so glad to hear that my information has been helpful to you!

Frenum Healing Problems

I received a message from a man who was experiencing healing problems with a new frenum piercing:

Dear Elayne,

I'd like your input on a piercing.  I got a 8g frenum piercing done 3 weeks ago by a fairly reputable piercer in Washington DC.  I had some personal references and saw some of her work.  

In any event, I have been having some healing problems.  While the marking was spot on, once the piercing was done it was slightly crooked.  That wasn't much of an issue for me, but the bigger issue was that one side (the exit side) appears to have been done shallow.  Looking at the piercing, the side that is healing fine you cannot see an outline of the piercing, but on the "bad" side it seems like the bar passes close to the surface for the last 1/8 inch or so before it exits.  From the first day it was pierced you could see an outline of the bar (as if about a 2-3mm tube of skin was surrounding the bar just before it exited), and the skin has since the day it was pierced felt taut there.  A few days later it was raw around the outside of that side while rest of the piercing felt fine.  That side has in the past few days taken to crusting and emitting a lot of milky goo when I give it salt soaks (2x daily since I got the piercing).  It also has started to feel a little prickly (a pinching sensation every now and then).

The little red area by the silver ball end is the skin area that has always felt taut/raw.  I have also tried to show how the area behind/around the "bad" side looks.

Besides the regular see salt regimen, I have tried vitamin E and switching to a larger ball (the blue one) on the opposite end of the bar in the hopes of taking pressure off of the irritated area.

Nipple Piercings and Gynecomastia (Medical Condition)

I received a message from a man who had questions about the effects of nipple piercing on breasts with Gynecomastia:

Hey Elayne, my name is L.

I'm a piercer and tattoo apprentice. First I want you to know that you and your book are astoundingly impressive. Your resume alone is quite intimidating. I thought I was hot shit when I was one of the first people I knew to rock a gauged earing, but to work at the first piercing shop, and to see these piercings and jewelry to come to fruition.. Just wow.

I also understand that there must of been some Struggles being a pioneer. Just wanted you to know how much I respect you.

So I wanted to get in touch with you about a VERY important question to me. I have gynocomastia or however you spell it. Its not easy to talk about- I have puffy nipples, were talking half spheres. Its embarassing and humiliating with a shirt on, let alone no shirt. I've tried, believe me, to get over it. I'm not sure if my torso has ever been hit by direct sunlight. I have to be with a significant other an incredible amount of time to take my shirt off.

I was reading your section of the nipple piercings. first off I don't have mine done. I'm a little confused because on page 128 you say the piercing can cause the nipple to stay erect (which for me would KEEP THEM SHRUNK!!!!! :)) but on page 131 you speak of post nipple development and mention swelling. I've looked into plastic surgery and its almost forever out of my price range as well as a strong chance it will come back.

My question is, could it keep my nipples hard which would be shrunk for me, and is there a way to try and achieve that or is it a probability. I just wanna be comfortable in my own Skin. Thank you in advanced soo much for replying and even more for your contributions to the world.            

My response:

Hi L.

Prince Albert (PA) Male Genital Piercing Metal Reaction

 

I received a message from a man who abandoned his new Prince Albert (PA) piercing due to symptoms of metal reaction and wanted to get repierced: 

Hi Ms Elayne Angel,

I am sorry to bother you but I have a piercing question and I am getting such a wide variety of answers; I thought I'd go to the source.

I had a PA and had a bad metal reaction and had to remove it after 5 1/2 weeks. I plan to get it redone but was wondering what steps to take to get ready for the re-piercing and how long I should wait. 

The answers have varied from 2 weeks to 3-4 months. 

I was just wanting to clear up the confusion. 

Thank you for your time and I appreciate all you have contributed to the art of body modification. I have your book and it is a great book.

By chance are you planning any trips to the Charlotte NC area anytime soon?

Thanks in advance,

M.

My response:     

Hi M.

Thanks for the positive feedback about my book; I really appreciate it and I'm glad to hear your opinion about it.

Well, the "confusion" can be attributed to the fact that it really depends on your body and how quickly you recover from the effects of the first piercing and the reaction you experienced. I have a number of questions for you and it is important to find out exactly what went wrong the first time before having the piercing redone. When you repierce, you must do something different or you can expect the same problematic results.

Do Not Be a Guinea Pig for a Triangle (Female Genital) Piercing!

I received a message from a woman who was worried about getting a genital piercing from an inexperienced piercer:

Hi Elayne.

I went to my piercer about getting a hch in addition to my vch. Unfortunately, I can't due to a vessel, but she said that she could do a triangle. I'm a little Concerned because I'm fairly small down there (she had to modify my vch because of it) and she's never done one before. She knows how and showed me where it would be placed and took her time showing and explaining how it would be done. Everything seemed about right with how you explained it, but once again she's never done it. I trust her, but I know the piercer should be experienced.. But how would she get experience if she doesn't get te chance? I just need your advice on this, is there anything I need to make sure of? The only thing is that we decided to use a ring instead of the curved barbell (because I absolutely abhor the standard jewelry for the triangle, it just looks like a septum piercing for my vagina... Which isn't what I'm going for)

My response:

Hi.

If it were my vulva, especially if I were small built (meaning passing a needle through the wrong part could do debilitating damage), I most definitely would NOT let her do it. Even experienced piercers learn by networking and sharing with other piercers. She should have a colleague who is experienced at triangle piercings walk her through it on a few IDEAL clients first--not someone who is small built. That would be something only for a true expert to do, not a first-timer!

Frenum Healing Problems

 

Here's a consultation I recently performed for a man who was experiencing healing problems with his new frenum piercing:

Dear Elayne,

I'd like your input on a piercing. I got a 8g frenum piercing done 3 weeks ago by a fairly reputable piercer.  I had some personal references and saw some of her work.  

In any event, I have been having some healing problems.  While the marking was spot on, once the piercing was done it was slightly crooked.  That wasn't much of an issue for me, but the bigger issue was that one side (the exit side) appears to have been done shallow.  

Looking at the piercing, the side that is healing fine you cannot see an outline of the piercing, but on the "bad" side it seems like the bar passes close to the surface for the last 1/8 inch or so before it exits.  From the first day it was pierced you could see an outline of the bar (as if about a 2-3mm tube of skin was surrounding the bar just before it exited), and the skin has since the day it was pierced felt taut there.  A few days later it was raw around the outside of that side while rest of the piercing felt fine. 

That side has in the past few days taken to crusting and emitting a lot of milky goo when I give it salt soaks (2x daily since I got the piercing).  It also has started to feel a little prickly (a pinching sensation every now and then).

The little red area by the silver ball end is the skin area that has always felt taut/raw.  I have also tried to show how the area behind/around the "bad" side looks.

Besides the regular see salt regimen, I have tried vitamin E and switching to a larger ball (the blue one) on the opposite end of the bar in the hopes of taking pressure off of the irritated area.