Piercer Questions

Septum Piercing Procedure

I received this message from a Facebook friend:


Hey Elayne, i just yesterday did a septum and I'm used to doing them with either septum clamps or just a needle and cork. I am not a big fan of the clamps cause I have found that they just plain hurt! So I almost always use the needle and cork method. I have heard recently that using a receiving tube for the procedure was very easy and comfortable..so I tried this method last night on a client and it was a mess..now granted its my responsibility to control my needle no matter what..

well this guy sneezed four times and moved around like a fish out of water..so the piercing was completely off and had to be redone..2nd time around he sat fine and it was still extremely off..at this point I just went back to my old method and used a cork and needle and the final product was just as it should be.

My question is this: Why is there so many good things i am hearing of the receiving tube method for septum's? Is there a secret that i am not aware of that makes it better or am i just misinformed? I have done more research and I'm still reading rave reviews of that method..does an angled receiving tube make a difference as opposed to a flat one?


My reply:

Question about Hepatitis Vaccines

I received this question from someone who works in a body art studio:

Hi Elayne, do you advise for or against Hepatitis B vaccinations for piercers and artists? if so would you advise getting A+B or just B?

Thanks for your time. S.

Hi S.,

Well I think it is wise to get the Hep B vaccine, given that there is potential for needlesticks in our work and Hep B is a bloodborne pathogen.

Also, in the US there is a law involved: wherever there is potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens, an employer has to offer the vaccine to his/her employees and pay for it--and allow them to get it during business hours (OSHA ruling). And the employer must document it. If the vaccine is declined, a declination from must be filed with the employee records.

Since Hep A is not transmitted through blood, it isn't as necessary for a piercer.


Have you taken a bloodborne pathogens class? There's lots of good information in them. I recommend the industry specific class given by David Vidra and associates through Health Educators. In fact, I just took it recently, and it was fantastic.

Hope this is helpful,
Elayne

A Technique Question from a Piercer

I received this message from a Facebook friend:

Elayne, Let me begin this note by telling you that I am a huge fan of yours, and I am extremely thankful for all the hard work that you, Jim Ward, Doug Malloy, Paul King and so many others have done for the industry we are in. If it weren't for you and others like you, body piercing would be no where near where it is now, so THANK YOU!!!
Now then, my question to you:


I have been piercing professionally for 6 years, a good career so far but only a few steps in comparison to yours... When I first began, I used the "piggy-backing" method I saw in your recent video post. I have since moved on and now pierce with like sized jewelry and needles. I was under the impression that the method described was amateur and generally looked down upon, and yet here I see a MASTER PIERCER using it. Now please don't get me wrong, your title of master piercer is correct and very well deserved, I just find it strange. So I come to you with thisa humble question, why do you prefer this method? I have found that the piercings tend to bleed too much when using this method. Are there benefits that I am unaware of? Thank you for your time and any info will be appreciated.


By the way, the "bible" is one of the books in my modification collection that I am most proud of, and I consult it regularly so thank you!!!!

A fan and fellow body modifier, -J.

My reply:

Bleeding Industrial Piercing

I received this message via email:


Hi Elayne,
I am having a situation with a piercing I did. Sunday afternoon I did an industrial piercing on a girl named Alex. I'm still an apprentice but this was the 10th industrial piercing I've done and I have never had a problem with any of them up until now.

Alex called me this afternoon, 2 days later, complaining that her piercing is bleeding and she can't get it to stop. It hardly bled when I pierced it, and up until last night when the bleeding started, she said that it was healing just fine. It wasn't sore, red, no signs of infection, and didn't hurt at all. First thing I did was try to figure out how the bleeding started. She said she took 500mg of ibuprofen and the bleeding started shortly after that. I understand that a side effect of ibuprofen is blood thinning but unless she was already bleeding I didn't think the ibuprofen would cause her to start. I just thought it would make it a bit harder to get the bleeding to stop if she did happen to start bleeding. Am I wrong about this?

She also said she thinks she accidentally rolled over onto it in her sleep which would make more sense except that it started bleeding before she went to bed. Is it possible she is just not telling me that she bumped it or something, or is it normal for industrial piercings to randomly start bleeding days later?

Phlebotomy and Piercing

I received this message from a Facebook friend:

A few years back I decided to go through a phlebotomy program at a local college. I was wondering (while I know one can not learn how to be a "piercer" through Phlebotomy, and that an apprenticeship is key, as I have done mine a while back) what you thought about the sterilization practices? Do you find the practices of a phlebotomist are condusive to the practices of a body piercer? Do you feel it could help, or hinder?  (I know that a lot of the medical field is anti body modification).
Thanks again for your time,
~S


Hi S.,

Ah. Well, obviously you're already into piercing, so I'm not concerned that a medical education of any type would turn you against it. So that's not an issue.

My concern is how poor the cross-contamination practices often are in medical settings--especially phlebotomy. When I get my blood drawn, I almost always have to request a glove change following the phlebotomist touching the sharps container and then trying to touch the site my stick, or some such.... I can say with certainty that the procedures we followed in my studio for hygiene and cross-contamination control are clearly much stricter than what is put into practice by most phlebotomists.

So, if you're able to maintain the level of sanitation and hygiene required of a safe piercer, then I'm sure additional experience with needles and bodies can only be a good thing!

Piercing: Training Is Needed

I got this message from someone who wants to be a piercer but seems to have a misguided idea on how to go about it:

I want to become a piercer... well, I wanted to ask if you knew a great web site that sells good kit or tools especially for microdermals... It's hard to find something safe on the net... and when I think it's safe I can't buy cause I'm not a professionnal... Well, before to practice and learn I want to buy all that I need to start the project... hope you will help me, it's gonna be very appreciated...

Have a nice day!!

Hi there,

I'm afraid I can't advocate that course of action and there's are good reasons why quality piercing gear is not sold to individuals who are not professionals. Here's some information from The Piercing Bible:

Piercing: Not a Do-It-yourself (DIY) Hobby
At the beginning of the modern piercing movement, few competent practitioners were available. Lacking pros to help, people who felt the urge lanced their own bodies with heated sewing needles or common earrings. Even today, amateur or unethical hack piercers can be found who will pierce anything on anyone, badly. Young teenagers who cannot obtain parental permission for a piercing and those who cannot easily afford professional services in a studio often take this route.

Many online shops sell piercing kits, which advertise that they come with “complete instructions” and are “easy to use.” Wrong! These are no safer than a home root-canal kit and must be avoided. A DIY piercing is often poorly placed and has a greatly increased risk of infection and other problems. Piercing studios are common now, so there is no longer any excuse for shoddy piercings.

Piercing Minors

Since long before any states had legislation to give piercers guidance, I always enforced a strong policy about piercing minors: Without exception, the parent or legal guardian must be present with the minor to sign the release form. Each party must have a valid photo ID* . If the parent's last name and/or address is different from the minor's, there must be legal documentation to prove the relationship. (Birth certificate, divorce papers, adoption papers, marriage certificate). Court papers are required to prove a relationship with a legal guardian. • I do not pierce minors below the neck with the exception of the navel. I will pierce earlobes only, on individuals between 12 and 16 years of age. •I will not pierce children under the age of 12. • If you are under 18 but legally married I can pierce you in the state of Louisiana. You need to bring your marriage license along with valid photo ID*. • If you are a legally emancipated minor I can pierce you in the state of Louisiana. You need to bring court papers along with a valid photo ID*. Some problems I have found with piercing minors:

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