Piercer Questions

Piercing From Home Without An Apprenticehsip

I received a message from a woman who had a question about certain legalities of piercing:


Hello my name is T and I've been piercing out of my home for the past 4 years and i have a problem. im starting to save money and build a business but someone is trying to bring me down. im currently creating a facebook page for my new business and an employee from a tattoo shop said he reported me to the police for piercing out of my home. ive been doing this for more than 4 years and i looked up on the internet for the state of pennsylvania you dont need a license to tattoo/pierce but hes telling me to get an apprenticeship. do i need that?

My reply:

T.,

I don't know anything about your local laws, but I know a great deal about professional piercing and I must say that it absolutely should take place out of a proper studio and not a home.

You can find out about the personal and environmental criteria set as an industry standard by the Association of Professional Piercers in the application for membership on this page: http://www.safepiercing.org/join-the-app/types-of-memberships/

You must have an autoclave that is spore tested regularly by an outside service, a separate enclosed area for piercing, a seperate steriliztion room, and much more.

Learning to Pierce- A Piercing Apprentice

I got a question from an aspiring piercer:

I really love all that you do for the piercing industry. And with that being said i am just starting out in the piercing industry. I've just recieved my piercing license. And was wanting to know where you get your tools and piercing supplies from. And if you would know of anyone in the Lincoln or Omaha Nebraska area who you would recommend to try to get an apprentership with.
Thank You,
Mi.

Bleeding and Bruised Tongue Piercing

I received a message from a woman who had concerns about her recent tongue piercing:

bruised tongue after piercingOkay so I got my tongue pierced Tuesday and this is how it looks not on Friday. Is that just bruising? Is it normal? It bleeds whenever I sleep so I think I'm just biting it...my boyfriend had his pierced a couple months ago and it healed completely different...do I need to go see the piercer?

My reply:
Bleeding, bruising and swelling are all normal consequences of piercing. I couldn't tell for sure, but it didn't look very swollen, so it seems yours is doing the first of the two more than the last. It is more common for the tongue to swell instead, but your reaction isn't necessarily abnormal.

That said, it couldn't hurt to pay  your piercer a visit. They ca get a lot clearer look at it than I can from here.

Is this the oral aftercare instructions you're following?

Here are some additonal suggestions from The Piercing Bible that could prove helpful to you:

 

  1. Aftercare for Oral Piercings

Piercers: Earning a Living Wage?

I recently received this message from a reader who is an apprentice:

Hello! I bought your book at barnes and noble, also I have recently began a piercing apprenticeship and your book has helped very much! Thank you! Although I do have a question that I just can't seem to find an answer for...

...I plan to be a professional body piercer full time once my apprenticeship is complete, but do professional piercers (after completing the apprenticeship) generally make enough money to survive and live off of doing this alone?  How much does a newer piercer generally make in a year, on a commissioned basis (50/50 split)? Or Will I need a second job?

I figured you were the expert, and it couldn't hurt to ask.  Thanks so much!!!

My reply:

Hi J.,

Glad to hear that my book has been helpful for you.

I  know many, many piercers who make a living from the job. But...there can be big differences in how busy studios are (and thus earning potential) dependent upon geographic region, local economy and quantity and quality of competition, and countless other factors.

So, I can speak
only from experience within my studio, Rings of Desire, which was in New Orleans (it closed after Hurricane Katrina and I moved to Mexico).

My employees were well compensated and definitely earned a living by being piercers. I even provided them with medical insurance and other benefits like paid vacation time! However, I paid a salary, as I wanted my staff to be equally rewarded for sweeping, mopping, and tidying jewelry displays as they were for piercing.

Piercer's Questions on PTFE, Ampallang and Apadravya Piercings & More

I recently had an exchange of correspondence with a piercer who asked some interesting questions:

I have been piercing for 10 years now in a shop where my husband is the awesome tattoo artist. I just want to be yet another one to thank you for all of your tireless dedication to this industry. I just had a quick question about surface piercings done with polytetrafluoroethylene. At first when these surface piercings became the thing to do around here, I would perform them with the traditional bars for hips, clavicals, Madisons-you name it. I stuck them all with bars. Now this new material seems so much better for healing and does not leave the same scars that the bars do. I just wanted to get your opinion on it. Which is better, the polytetrafluoroethylene or the traditional surface bars?

Advising Clients on Navel Piercing Aftercare

I got this message from a piercer who is concerned about her clients:


I was wondering what are your thoughts on healing time on navel Piercings? At the shop i work at we have ton of parents with minors getting their navels pierced and plan on swimming at lakes,pools, hot tubs. We try and educate them as much as we can but I feel like it's not getting through to them even college-adults aren't listening to our advice is there any suggestion on what we should do? (we talk to them about it first then hand out the basic care information.

Thanks, P.

Hi P.,

I describe the healing time for navel piercings as 6-9 months. They're likely to have some ups and downs and seem healed off and on within that time, but they can expect to be in an ongoing healing phase for an extended period of time.

Sterile Saline Pads for Piercing Procedures

I got a great question from a colleague I know from the annual conferences for the Association of Professional Piercers:

Hey Elayne

Piercing question - Betadine leaves a brown mess, what do you clean it off with so people don't leave with a big yellow/brown patch on their face? Alcohol wipes?
 
Peace, C.

Hi C.,

No! Not alcohol--that could sting if it gets too close to the new piercing and is far too harsh for a fresh piercing. And removing the unattractive coloration isn't just an aesthetic issue. Iodine should be removed from the skin after the piercing is done to prevent any irritation.

I use these awesome sterile saline pads that come individually wrapped in foil packets. It is the BEST part of a piercing, because when you put it on, it cools the area and is very effective to help relieve any stinging or heat sensations. The pads feel almost as though they have been refrigerated, but that's just how they feel when they come out of the packet.

Cheek Piercing Advice

I received this message from someone who clearly is in need of serious advice:

Subject: Piercing Question

"Elayne.....I'm an ameutar piercer and have excepted a client who wants her dimples pierced. she has chubby cheeks, but otherwise no reason not to go ahead with the piercing. I am not sure how to go about the procedure and were I should properly pierce. Can you share some advice?"

I sent him the page from my book The Piercing Bible called "The Worst Piercing Story" and it is all about cheek piercing:

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