Piercing Questions

Piercing Risks to Teenagers

I was asked to provide some information about risks of piercings specifically as regards teenagers (14 and up). Below are the questions and answers:

 

Q: What are some associated health risks that teens may be more exposed to when their piercing is healing?

 

A: Some teens pierce themselves or have a friend do it, or go to a piercer who is unethical (piercing minors without parental consent). In all of these situations, the risk of infection is MUCH higher than if they go to a professional studio and get pierced by a qualified practitioner. Sterilization equipment is expensive, and it is required for safe piercing. The piercing "kits" that are advertised as sterile do NOT provide everything needed for a safe piercing. These situations are all recipes for disaster. One of the likely problems is that the piercing won't end up in the right spot. When this takes place, it doesn't look good, and it won't heal well. Piercings that are not placed properly to the individual anatomy have a tendency to become irritated or infected; the can migrate and reject, and cause tissue discoloration and/or excessive scarring. Poor quality jewelry can cause the same problems. And teens are frequently on a tight budget, which means they often buy jewelry that is poor in quality

Body Jewelry for Smiley Piercings

I got this message from a girl seeking advice about jewelry for her smiley piercing:

Hi I'm D.,
I was wondering if you could help me out with something, although I'm not sure if this is a type of help you can give. I have my smiley pierced and I recently snagged it a little. Which I have noticed it might have torn little enough to not bother me, but enough that it is now sitting a tiny bit lower then when initially pierced. Was sitting on the lower gum line. Now I can just barely feel it touching some tooth.

Now I know these ones are pretty risky as far as migration goes, but I'm madly in love with it and want to do anything to keep it without risk. My problem is it is now causing one of my front teeth to be incredibly sensitive and this was never a problem before. I know I can go smaller in diameter as far as the captive bead ring goes, or just flat out switch to a bent barbell which I want to avoid the barbell unless it's my only option.

So I've spent the last week trying to find somewhere that has a CBR with a silicone or silicone like bead instead of surgical steel to protect my teeth more if rubbing happens. I know they make them commonly in larger gauges and the smallest I can seem to find is a 10g. I definitely DO NOT want to put anything bigger then the 18g I have now.

Don't want to lose my pretty piercing, and with bigger sizes it's pretty much inevitable. What I'm so slowly getting at is do you have any idea where I could find some? Preferably the internet if possible, if not that's okay too. Or maybe somewhere I can custom order it? I hope you can help! By the way I looove your site! You're awesome! Talk to you soon.

The Ins and Outs of Body Jewelry (For Genital Piercings)

I recently received a message from the owner of an adult boutique who is interested in carrying body jewelry:


Hi Elayne, I own a lingerie boutique in a small town and have many customers ask me for body jewelry, particularly for hood piercings. I was not familiar with the many types of piercings until I found your website while researching body jewelry. Thanks for posting all the wonderful information! But I am still trying to figure out which type and size of body jewelry I should research and recommend for my customers. Labret studs? Rings? Any info to get me started in the right direction would be so appreciated!
Thanks, G.

My reply:

Nostril Piercing: Placement is Important!

I got this message from a woman who is unhappy with the placement of her nostril piercing:

Hi Elayne,
After reading your impressive profile I feel a little silly with my question. But due to my vanity :), here goes: I am a 45-year-old mother of three. My husband and I lived in Switzerland back in 2000 where piercing was huge (or at least seemed more acceptable). I had always wanted my nose pierced (nostril) but was a little fearful (pain/infection/scarring). So, for the past 10 or so years I have just worn stickers or magnets.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, my 8-year-old daughter and I had a date to get her ears pierced (and my nose!). Yay!

We went to a highly reputable piercing studio, but to my disappointment they weren't that great with placement. They did put a dot on my nose, and at the time I questioned the placement but since they were the "pros", I trusted their judgement.

Oh Elayne, I could kick myself. Who knows maybe I just need to get used to it, but every time I look in the mirror, the peircing looks like it needs to be picked off. It just seems too close to the tip of my nose.

It seems when I'm talking to people they can't take thier eyes off my nose. Whereas before, I was looked in the eye and maybe given a positive comment about my "peircing").

I'm now debating to just take the thing out (before it scars) and start over, or just forget about it all together. Sigh.

Questions: If I do decide to try a re-do, do I need to wait for this peircing to completely heal? Also, I have been cleaning it thoroughly in the morning with surgical soap, and saline in the evening. I'm wondering if it will scar and look funny with a new peircing beside it. I just want to move the peircing 1.5 - 2mm back.
Anyhow, I'd love to hear your feedback.

Thanks Elayne!
P.

Septum Piercing Questions

I received a question about a tender septum piercing:

Hi Elayne,
I have had my septum pierced for three months. i am having issues with it. There is no discharge from it or crusties on the jewelry but it is very tender to the touch and very difficult when cleaning to start rotating the jewelry.

Thanks! T.

Hi T.,

Oral Aftercare Products

I received this message from a piercer:

Hey Elayne! I know you hear this all the time but you are amazing! I love the piercing bible and your blog is such a great resource! I have an aftercare question for you, any information you can provide would be such a help. Im a piercer and I recommend Biotene to all my clients with oral piercings, Today I did a piercing on a client who is a representative for Listerine Zero, We spent quite a while discussing the both Biotene and Listerine Zero, She told me Listerine Zero contains four different essential oils and no alcohol but can kill germs, Biotene cannot. I compared the ingredients and they share the same common main indgredients(propylene glycol, sodium benzoate, poloxamer 407 etc etc) but they have many different indgredients. She gave me a case of Listerine Zero, really nice of her, anyways before I start recommending it to clients I'd like your thoughts? My concern is since we recommend clients rinse 4-5 times a day and listerine zero has the ability to kill germs could this to irritating to a fresh piercing? Would you recommend I dilute the Listerine Zero with water to make it milder? I trust your opinion and I hope to hear back from you! thanks for reading this Elayne! M.

My reply:

Navel (Belly) Piercing and Weight

I got this message from a Facebook Friend:


Hello,
I hope it's ok to ask a quick question...do you think size 14-15 is too chubby to get a belly button piercing? I'm about 5'5" and 175lbs, if that makes any difference. I'm on my high school's tennis team which practices every day, so my size might go down in the next couple months. Do you think my current size would be ok to be pierced, or would you recommend waiting until I slim down? Thanks so much!

Megan

 

This is my reply:

Hi Megan,

Below is a  section from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing that answers your question.

Navel Piercing: Weight and Weight Loss Regardless of your weight, if your navel folds in and disappears when you sit down, this is a good reason to select a different piercing. Wearing jewelry on this type of build causes mechanical stresses that guarantee healing complications. If you have a horizontal crease across the area even when you are standing, you are unsuited to navel piercing for the same reason. Some heavy people are still able to get navel piercings because body size isn’t as key a factor as your configuration in the area of the piercing. However, the diminished blood supply caused by excess abdominal fat does make healing more difficult. If you are diabetic and carry excess weight in this area, navel piercings are inadvisable because complications are to be expected and can be more serious.

If you are planning to lose weight, the overall shape of your navel area is still the primary consideration when deciding whether to postpone piercing. A protruding beer belly is generally suited to navel piercing because usually the area gets smaller with weight loss, but maintains the same basic contour.

Cheek Piercing Question

I received a question from a piercee who had gotten her cheeks pierced:


I got my cheeks pierced last Saturday. It didn't hurt at all and I was really happy with them because I had been wanting it done for so long. They aren't too far back, they are perfect. BUT.. the next day they were really swollen and have been getting more and more swollen everyday. The balls on the inside of my mouth are digging into my cheeks and I have no way to contact my piercer since I lost her card and it was done at a street fair and that is gone now. When i push the ball from the inside out, puss comes out.  It's a yellowish white color. All around the piercings on the outside is hard. I really don't want to take the piercings out since I have wanted them for so long and spent so much money on getting them done. I can't even go to a local shop because nobody around here does cheek piercings. (Nobody ever wanted to pierce them for me in the shops because of the risks, that's why I think it was so expensive) I also heard that if it is infected, (which I really hope it isn't) taking out the piercing could trap the infection inside when the hole closes... I've been cleaning them with saline solution and rinsing my mouth with water and the salt that the piercer gave me, and I am also taking Ibuprofen for the swelling and eating lots of ice and putting ice on my cheeks. I really need your advice! Thanks.

My reply:

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