Piercing Questions

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!

Nipple Piercing Placement

This is an email exchange I had with a piercer who had some questions about his own nipple piercings:


Hi Elayne,

We spoke recently on facebook, I had just finished my piercing apprenticeship. I have a question regarding nipple piercing and since I'm not terribly experienced I figured I'd consult the greatest expert I know: you.

During my apprenticeship, I had my nipples pierced. I have larger nipples which are not very distinctive, ie my nipple blends into my areola creating the appearance of a very large nipple. Anyway, it's been 5 months and they are not completely healed- they still crust up and are a bit scabby at the fistula exit points. My new boss and I were discussing it and after examining them, he thinks that since the piercing goes slightly into my areola that they will never heal and that I might as well retire them.

I, naturally, having withstood the pain of having them pierced and dealing with healing for the past 5 months am not going to retire them without knowing for certain whether or not they are heal-able. After consulting your book and researching the issue a bit more, I disagree with my boss and I think I can heal the piercings. Perhaps this is just stubbornness/wishful thinking, but I really do not want to lose these piercings. As a trustworthy expert, I am asking for your advice. Thank you for your time.


My reply:

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


Navel Piercings and Belly Size

I've answered literally thousands of questions about piercings, but this was the first time I've ever been asked this particular question:


Hi Elayne,

Good morning ! I have a quick question. I am interested in having my navel pierced. I was told by a friend of mine that navel piercing would help reduce the overall belly.

I am really not sure of this & wanted to hear your expert advice. My current waist is 38 inches & if the above said info is true I am definately looking forward to have the piercing done.

Please let me know your thoughts on the same ....

Warm Regards,
Ignatius


My reply:

Hi Ignatius,

If you are asking whether a navel piercing will cause you to lose weight or reduce the dimensions of your abdomen, the answer is no. There's absolutely no reason why a navel piercing would have that effect. Also, navel piercing can make it a little more challenging to be physically active, especially during initial healing, and that certainly wouldn't help with weight loss.

Should you be interested in getting the piercing for aesthetic reasons, here's some practical information from The Piercing Bible:

Tongue Piercing Aftermath

I just received a brief message about tongue piercing:

Hi!
A few days ago I got my tongue pierced and I am still very swollen. What can I do for that?

Thank you, Liz

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