Piercing Questions

Hip Piercings

I recently received this email message:

I'm going into the military in a few months, and i want to get my hips pierced before i go. I was wondering if when i took the jewel off, if you could see the post of hip piercings?


My reply:


My best professional suggestion is sound advice: don't bother to get these piercings.

They're notoriously difficult to heal and frequently people end up with scars rather than healed piercings. Further, you will not be able to safely wear the surface bars (the type of jewelry most commonly used in that area) without some type of threaded ends on the jewelry--discs, gems, or something else. You won't be able to completely hide them, and the physical activity that you'll be required to engage in during basic training will cause nothing but problems.

This one works better in fantasy than reality. Sorry...

Sincerely,
Elayne

Irritation in Initial Piercing Site From Repiercing

Here's a message I received recently from a piercer who works in the studio of an old friend:

Hi Elayne!

I have been piercing for four years and came across something today I was wondering if you could help me with. A girl came into the shop today with her medusa pierced (about 2 months old), after having it previously pierced before, complaining that her old piercing site, a little big higher than the current piercing, would swell up with fluid (I assume to be lymph?) and drain a significant amount when she put pressure on it.

She also added her nipples were repierced about 2 years ago, and occasionally her old piercing sites would do the same thing.

I guess I've never really encountered this before. I suggested sea salt soaks and hot compressions to help. Is this sound advice? Do you know why something like that would happen? Could the fluid buildup be independent of the new piercing? Any advice would be awesome :)

Thank you so very much,
B.

My reply:

Nostril Piercing Help

This inquiry (like so many others I post) was also from a Facebook Friend:

Hi Elayne,i got a question for u. I've got my nose piercing long time ago,a year...until now didn't heal,i always have this bump on top,red sometimes bleeding. All i use is H2Ocean and emu oil,but....nothing.This is my second time i've it done,and i use14k white gold .I have read in your book all about aftercare...but i guess something is wrong with my piercing or i do something wrong. Maybe i should take it out?


My reply:

Hi Kristina,


Have you ever tried a different material or jewelry style? Are you wearing a nostril screw? If so, was it custom bent to fit your nose? If it wasn't bent for you, then it is possible you're wearing a "right-bend" piece of jewelry on the left side of your nose (or vice-versa). Also, if the post is too short, or too long, that can cause problems with healing.

I'd strongly suggest you try a jewelry change before abandoning your piercing. Here's a section from The Piercing Bible about nostril screws:

Apprentice Appreciation

I got this message from an apprentice who was given my book on her first day at work:

I am an apprentice piercing artist here in northern Michigan and I have to say your book has honestly become my bible! It is with me at all times at work. I have to thank you for writing this book and making it available. My boss handed it to me my first day of work when I was busy milling through piercing supply catalogs, by the end of that night I had read the entire book. I am currently reading it again actually!

I have just typed up all of my aftercare sheets, and they all have a simple comment at the bottom "This aftercare program contains information obtained from "The Piercing Bible" by Elayne Angel." I hope this little comment catches my customers interest to read your book as well :)

I am hoping to become APP certified and I am doing everything in my power to become the best piercer I can, thank you!
- Jenn

My reply:

Vertical Lip Piercing Option

What can you do if you like the look of a vertical labret, but like many individuals, you do not have the full, pouty lips required to support a vertical surface piercing safely and with stability?  

Lip Piercing  (not vertical!)

This is not a vertical lip piercing--it is a traditional placement using a custom-bent circular barbell!

There is a likelihood of migration or rejection and a high risk of scarring with any lip surface placement. But a custom-bent C-ring or U-ring is a safe and comfortable alternative for many piercees who wear labrets. This is a small diameter circular barbell that is widened so that it is C-shaped (or U-shaped, depending on anatomy) rather than round. This will conform to your lip and help to avoid jewelry contact with your teeth or gums. There is a wide range of fit possibilities based on the way it is bent to accommodate individual anatomy. Sometimes an asymmetrical bend is used. This style may satisfy you if you like the look of a vertical lip (surface) piercing but don’t want to face its risks of scarring and migration. The jewelry can give you the same appearance (one ball on top of your lip and the other right beneath it), but with the versatility of a traditional labret.

It sometimes takes a few attempts with different styles and sizes of jewelry to deter- mine what works best for your labret piercing. The mouth is a dynamic area that moves and changes shape considerably when you speak, smile, and eat. No wonder comfort- ably accommodating a static piece of metal there is so challenging.

Helping a Future Piercing Apprentice


Here's my exchange with a young man who plans to seek an apprenticeship for body piercing:

Can you tell me if there is anyone in the Kansas City Missouri area who might be taking on an apprentice?  Also, I am 25 years old.  Is it too late for me to start learning?  I am committed to taking the CPR, blood pathogen classes, and I am going to buy your book as soon as I hear back from you.  Thanks in advance for your time!

Questions About Nipple Piercings

I received this message about nipple piercings:

I was given your book "The Piercing Bible" as a birthday gift this year, I love it! The information is great,and exactly what I have been looking for. I got my nipple spierced about 4.5 years ago after my divorce, a gift to self and I have no regrets, 12 guage rings.

I have 2 questions for you, first i do keep the nipple rings very clean use liquid antibacterial soap in the shower and cleam them well. But they are still constatly looking goopy, meaning there is a lot of really thick white gunk that smells bad. I had heard that perhaps Sterling silver or gold my not cause this effect.

If you have any thoughts that would be great. Also is it cool if a straight guy has a navel ring?

Thanks, Andrew


My reply:

Caring For Acrylic Body Jewelry

I received this message today:

Hi,
First and foremost I would like to say that you have a good looking and very informative site, which is somewhat hard to come accross in the piercing industry. I saw that on your blog area you answer Q & A's from your readers.

I have many customers that ask me questions about acrylic jewelry and proper ways to clean them. Searching on the internet for a answer to this question seems a little tough and many suggest using a mild soap and towel dry the jewelry.  As a piercer, how do you recommend to sanitize acrylic jewelry?


Thank you! :)

Chris Grucelski


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