Piercer Questions

The Piercing Bible Featured

The subject of body jewelry as it relates to airport security was discussed on the Travelite Blog. This is what it said by way of introducing me as the expert quoted in the article:
One person who would know is professional body piercer Elayne Angel. Elayne is not only covered in various forms of ink and metal herself, but she is also one of the pioneers in professional body piercing, a field she personally helped expand decades ago. Elayne has served multiple terms on the board of the Association of Professional Piercers as an advocate for field safety, and her most recent project has been authoring The Piercing Bible, the definitive guide for consumers and professional body piercers.
Check it out. There's lots of great information througout the site, and if you travel, be assured you'll find plenty of great tips and ideas.

Question From A Piercer

I just received this email from a piercer:
I am a regular reader of your advice in Pain Magazine and I am a huge fan of your recent book.  You have made me a better piercer...
I'm one of the only piercers in my area not looking for a quick buck.  My question to you is, how do I stop all this negativity in the profession in my area?  I believe that what really matters in this is our clients. I want to see them get the safest best piercing the first time around. I am often fixing many of these piercings these guys are doing and coming to find out that I'm being bad talked about, but in the end, I'm the one who is fixing their work.  I appericiate your time and again your book was an amazing source of information that all piercees should read prior to getting pierced. Thanks again,   Jeff
This is my reply: Hi Jeff, Thanks for the positive feedback--I appreciate it, and I'm glad to know that my work has been helpful to you. Unfortunately, the problem you describe is very common. I actually had a nearby piercer telling people that my studio reused needles and didn't sterilize anything, and that we were filthy and didn't know what we were doing! He told people that if they'd been pierced in my studio, they probably had AIDS and Hepatitis from it! My "bad neighbor" piercer had actually maligned me so much that I had people who had been fed the slanderous statements sign affidavits about what he said, and contacted an attorney who issued him a "cease and desist" letter! When people came in--sometimes concerned about what they'd been told, I simply behaved my usual professional way and educated them about the hygiene and sterilization procedures that were used in the studio.

The Piercing Bible is Doing Its Job

I got an email that made me feel that my book doing what it is supposed to do:
HI, my name is N. I'm 21 years old and I'm interested and fascinated with piercing. So I asked my self, "why not become a professional piercer?". After reading Elayne Angel's book titled "The Piercing Bible", I decided to stop watching videos at you-tube of how to pierce and not buy a piercing kit on-line.
I want to become a professional, I want to make people have a great first or second or eighth-ten time piercing experience great. So, can you please help me find a mentor in L.A, CA? PLEASE!!

Cheek Piercings

I received an email from a piercer who wanted to know about the safety of performing "dimple" or cheek piercings:
I have heard horror stories that piercing someone cheeks can hit a wrong nerve on someone. I was wondering if that was true? I was taught that there is no danger in doing this piercing?  Do you have a set measurement that you use on people as to make sure not to do any damage? I'm really uncomfortable performing any sort of piercing if there is a very big risk involved.
I explained that I no longer do cheek piercings due to the WORST complications that ever happened to somebody I pierced. For better or worse, it happened to me. In my book you can read the detailed explanation of why I don't do cheek piercings beyond the first molar. The areas of concern are the parotid duct and gland, rather than a particular nerve. I let her know she might be able to preview the story about it on page 119 of my book here on google books. She called her client who had been interested in getting cheek piercings to decline, and then she emailed me again in understandable frustration:
UHHHHHHHHHHH PEOPLE PISS ME OFF!!!!!!!!!!!! So I called my client back today and told her very nicely that I was no longer offering cheek piercings and explained to her why and even told her about the story in her book..... You know what her response was to this??? "Well do you know anyone else in the area that does them?" ??? WTF!!!!! Hello didn't I just tell you a horror story and explain to you WHAT can happen!!! uhhhhhhhhhh I just don't get people sometimes!!!
We can lead people to good information, but it doesn't mean they'll use it. Or in this case, I can't help thinking, "We can't educate people who don't have half a brain."

Piercing Lactating Nipples?

I received this email from a piercer:

I written you before on the topic of aftercare products, and the use of pierced ear antiseptic and am proud to say the studio I work in now carries Satin! Anyway the purpose of this email is to address piercing lactating nipples. Over the weekend I had a very nice young lady request to have her nipples pierced, as we began the "paperwork" she informed me she was no longer breastfeeding but was still lactating. I have never encountered this before, so I phoned some of my  fellow piercers with a few more years under their belts, and asked some information. As it turns out this young lady was already at one of our studios on the other side of town and was told no. The other piercers and I all agreed, because we do not fully know what complications could arise that we would not do it. I told the young lady this, and explained why I wasn't comfortable preforming the procedure. I also explained that there could be a potential for mastitis, and suggested she speak with her doctor, or other piercing friendly medical staff. She promptly left in search of another piercer that would do the piercing for her. With all your years of experience, have you ever encountered this before? I've had little to no luck finding information on the Internet and wondered if you could shed some light on this. Thank you for your time, Myke The Piercing Lounge, Madison, WI www.piercingmadison.com

I told Myke that he was correct in declining to pierce someone who is actively lactating and directed him to this information from my book, with info on this point at the very bottom:

Nape Piercings

I received this email from a piercer today:
Loved your article in PAIN magazine this month. It still surprises me how many clients will ask if its ok to heal their piercings with rubbing alcohol or peroxide!! I had one girl ask if it was ok to put liquid bandage over her freshly pierced nipples!! I don't offer surface percings in my studio because I have seen so many pictures of them rejecting but my friend is begging me to do the nape of his neck. Do you have any suggestions for the correct jewelry or tips for that piercing that would give me a better chance with not having it reject?
Hi Meghan, Thanks for your email. I'm not big on surface piercings myself, but there is one area that I will routinely do: the nape of the neck! Though if the tissue is not pliable, I decline. If the skin pinches up well, I make a wide piercing (usually over an inch; generally 1 1/4") and insert Tygon tubing. I most commonly use 12 or 10 gauge. There are some tricks to using it. Because the tubing is so flexible, it is kind of like trying to feed cooked spaghetti through a piercing, which obviously wouldn't be easy! So, I insert the tip of a small insertion taper (18 gauge) securely into the lumen of the tubing as far as it will go. This gives me a solid end that makes it easy to do the jewelry transfer. Important note: Tygon tubing is sold by gauge but may not be the exact measurement of your needle of the same size. If the Tygon is marginally larger, you won't get it through the piercing unless you use a needle of the next larger gauge (or half-gauge). To make the tubing into a barbell: depending on the size of the lumen, you can press-fit ornamental ends made for threadless body jewelry by Neometal. The 16 ga ends work great in the 14 gauge tubing.

Surface Piercings

I received this question in the comments section of one of my posts:

I have a question. For surface piercings, which kind of barbells are suitable?

My reply: On some types of tissue and on certain areas of the body, it won't matter WHAT style of jewelry you use--the body simply won't accept jewelry in all locations. Here is an excerpt from The Piercing Bible about surface piercings:

The Piercer's Reply

This is the piercer's response to my reply about piercing a client in the hospital:
Angel, Thank you so very much for the prompt response to my situation :)  After thinking about it over the weekend, and reading your response, I agree with you wholeheartedly - I don't believe that I will do the piercings unless she can come to my studio after she recovers fully from her surgery (she's getting a hysterectomy).  The thought of her getting a nosocomial infection did cross my mind, too - I don't want to be liable for an infection she caught at the hospital!  Sometimes my passion about the public getting a safe and beautiful piercing clouds my judgement LOL  Thank you so much for your advice!  I will let you know how my next conversation with her turns out if she returns or calls today :) Thanks again!
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