Piercing Questions

Help For Piercing Problems (and more)

You probably wouldn't even believe how many messages I get on a daily basis from people who have questions and concerns about piercings and nowhere to find reliable and factual information. So, I have been offering "online consults" regarding anatomical suitability for body piercings, and for people who are experiencing piercing problems. 

In order to faciliate this process, I've had new, easy-to-use forms created for this website.

For an anatomy consult, visit this page: http://www.piercingbible.com/anatomy-consultations

For a piercing problem consult, go to this one: http://www.piercingbible.com/piercing-problem-consultation

You simply fill out all of the fields and click the "Book a Consultation" button, which will bring you to PayPal, where you can pay the $10.00 fee using a credit card or your PayPal account. It doesn't get easier than that!

I do always say that if you feel your piercer is competent, it is best to visit them, as they can see you in person. However, my experience shows that many people do not have access to top-notch piercing services, and they end up needing expert help. And that's what I'm here for.

Healing A Lip Piercing

I received a message from someone who got a lip piercing and was concerned about how it was healing:

Hi! 8 days ago I got my lip pierced professionally. I was pierced with the standard gauge at 16g stud. My cleaning regimen goes like this: Every morning after my first smoke and breakfast, I brush my teeth, do a 50/50 mouthwash with water and Listerine, and clean the outside with antibacterial soap. When I get out of the shower I do a sea-salt soak for 3-5 minutes depending on how it feels. These actions are per my piercer. After I eat or smoke I swish sea-salt water. I do the morning regimen before bed, skipping the last sea-salt soak.  My problem resides on the inside of my lip where the back of the stud sits against my lip. I'm trying not to panic, but I am known to overcook things when I notice something weird going on on/in my body. What I SEE looks like a small mound of scar tissue; it's not very red and there is no leakage other than small amounts of lymph. I should tell you that this scar tissue (or whatever it might be) is aiding in the back of the stud leaving a mark where it sits. What I FEEL is a small lump under the skin just next to my piercing. If I show anyone what I am feeling, they would not see it as it is impossible to see under the scar tissue. It worries me because I don't want to take it out or get rid of it. It looks pretty and I love it. I wouldn't think it is because my long stud is too short because it sticks out a ways in front.

Body Piercing Problems and Stress

I received a message from a piercee who couldn't figure out why her old, established piercings were acting up:

I have several piercings all different ages some for as many as 10 years or more and not had any problems. Recently they have all began to migrate and reject and I don't understand why. Can you tell me why this would happen all of the sudden and at such volume after years of no problems at all?

My response:
Are you experiencing some kind of excessive stress right now? That can cause problems with healed piercings. If not, I'd suggest a visit to a doctor for a thorough check up. After a long history of stability, if your piercings are acting up that could indicate a health problem of some sort. Here is some information on how stress can affect you.

Please keep me posted!

She did just that, and contacted me again about three months later:

I emailed you a while ago regarding my migrating piercings. After some observation and doctor visits it was in fact due to high stress levels as you suspected.

Quality Body Jewelry vs. Junk Novelty Body Jewelry (For Hood or Bellybutton)

I received a message from a woma who wanted to put a "belly button ring" in her  vertical clitoral hood (VCH) piercing.

I just have a quick question. I got my VCH done back in the beginning of June. I was just wondering if it was safe to put a standard belly button ring in the VCH piercing, or does it require a completely different kind of ring? I was also wondering if it would be too soon to change it? It's been a very painless process and I was able to be sexually active a week after getting it pierced with no complications. Thanks for you time.

My reply:

Nipple Healing Problems and Solutions

Below is my correspondence with a young woman who is having trouble healing her nipple piercings. They've been taking an extended period of time to heal, and get bumps (possibly localized piercing pimples) periodically:

Nipple Piercing with Gemstone BarbellI've had my nipple piercings for over a year now, and they're still healing, which is fine with me, however they keep forming bumps. The bumps will appear for awhile, go away, and then come back; it's been doing this for about 3-4 months now (and gets worse when i'm menstruating). I also believe that they may have migrated from the original position they were pierced in. I've considered retiring them for the past two months, but I'm just not sure if they're being fussy or if I should actually retire them. Any help you could give would be amazing!

I have read through the troubleshooting part of the Piercing Bible again to see what I could do to help these bumps; i've been very consistent with warm saline soaks, i've been massaging emu oil onto the area at least once a day, i've tried chamomile teabag compresses, one piercer suggested I try neem oil (which worked for a bit, but stopped helping after awhile), and I very briefly applied peroxide to the bumps (less than a week) to see if that would help them disappear. They do seem to get smaller and go away, every now and then, but they keep coming back.

Surface Anchors or Surface Piercings


Hello Elayne,

I would really love to have your opinion and thoughts on my "future piercings". I have been contemplating a new piercing for quite some time now. I am thinking about getting four Micro Dermal Anchors on my chest. I will enclose a link/image to the exact placement of the dermals at the end of my message. I stumbled across your wonderful website after doing a lot of endless research. I think that it's awesome that you actually take the time to respond to all of us who message you in need of help or wanting questions answered ! Please forgive me as I have a few loaded questions for you ! I also wanted to say that after much investigation there is literally (or almost) next to no one in the state of North Carolina that I would remotely trust to do these piercings. After cross referencing with the Association of Professional Piercers and lots of thought, I have chosen to travel almost six hours to Immaculate Body Piercing of Columbia, SC. To my delight, I have just learned they are also on your list of Piercer Referrals!(Yay!).

I apologize ahead of time for this being so long. Sorry!

Navel Piercing Problem

I received a message from a guy about his friend's navel piercing he was concerned about (for good cause):


Hi Elayne, My friend has had her bellybutton pierced for about 7 months and its Infected and she won't take I out so I was wondering what to do for her?

Navel Piercing Problem

You could drive her to a high quality piercer, and possibly also a doctor! Fortunately, it looks as though the problem is still localized. But infection can spread to affect a wider area. If that happens, she really should see a doctor.

Based on how it looks, her piercing is going to reject. That reddened appearance form entry to exit is a very bad sign. It indicates that the tissue holding the jewelry in has been affected and is not healthy.

If she wants to try to preserve the piercing she must get the hanging jewelry out of there right away. Hanging or dangling jewelry should never be worn on a healing piercing or one that is experiencing problems. Navel piercings frequently take 6-9 months to heal, and hanging jewelry should be avoided during that entire time.

She should put in high quality, mirror finsih, internally threaded jewelry that fits properly. Also, the bar she's wearing is far too long, and that will cause problems as well, including excess trauma.

Further, she should care for it according to accepted practice:
http://piercingbible.com/piercing-care
and do saline soaks at least twice daily:
http://piercingbible.com/saline-soaks

Even if she does everything I suggest, there still may be no saving it.

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