body jewelry

Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) with Inappropriate Jewelry (Long Post, Small Balls)

I received a photo from a woman who found my website after getting her Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) piercing done. She thought something didn't seem right with it. This is my response:

VCH with Overly Long Bar with Tiny BallsIt might be in the right spot. I'd need to see it from underneath to be sure. See attachment that shows a shallow VCH piercing with the optimal placement marked.

Also, your bar is far longer than it needs to be. This can cause discomfort and also excess trauma, which can delay healing and cause complications such as scarring.

Further, the bar looks like it may be thiner than the safe minimum size (14 gauge), and the balls are very small, which could result in embedding. I would suggest you get a shorter bar in, and one that has larger balls than what you're wearing now.

Even if the jewelry is thinner than it should be, I would advise you to wait until the piercing has fully healed and settled (at least 3 months) before getting a thicker piece of jewelry put in. It would not need to be repierced to do that. This tissue is quite malleable and stretchy and can go up in size quite easily. A piercer can do it with a device called an insertion taper. It might feel somewhat tight or pinchy, but if you stretch it slowly enough, it will not cause damage or need to reheal.

Are you following the aftercare as suggested here?

Underside of VCH Piercing with arrow marked for optimal placement

Prince Albert Problem (with photos)

I recently got a message from a man who was having some trouble with his Prince Albert piercing:

Thanks for the great site, and your book.

I got a PA 5 weeks ago, ¾” inch  captive ball stainless steal ring, 8g.  I am uncircumcised.  Placement etc. was fine, but it soon became clear that the ring was a wee bit too small in diameter and causing pain during erections.  On the advice of my piercer I waited a few weeks to have it changed, he felt it might mostly be initial swelling and he was reluctant to swap out jewelry too soon.  I eventually, at 3 weeks in, had the ring changed to a 7/8” which seems to be the perfect size. After-care throughout has been washing with mild soap once/day, and 2 or 3 sea-salt soaks per day. I also put a small dab of emu oil on after the soaks.

Problem: about a week ago I developed a bump along the edge of the  piercing hole.  It is not warm or red, looks like a small blister, no hint of puss or other fluids.  It is about 1mm thick, and goes around about ¼ of the circumference of the piercing. No signs of infection etc., but this "blister" is very sensitive, feels like being poked with a needle every time anything touches it.  Otherwise the PA is pain-free, but that one tiny bump is certainly hurting!

Possible complications is that I’ve had the flu for a few days, so my immune system is no doubt busy.  I’m also a cyclist and have been biking to work (the bus got too expensive).  While I did take two weeks off the bike after getting pierced and felt no pain or discomfort while cycling, I may have added insult to injury.

What do you think this painful little bugger is?  Other than the warm soaks and staying off the bike, any advice for getting rid of it, or at least making it less painful?

Thanks for your help!  I’d like Mr. Happy to stop being Mr. Ouchy!

My reply:

Insertion Tapers and Stimulating VCH Jewelry

I reveived a message recently:

Dear Elayne,
I got my VCH done last June by Kellan at infinite in Philly and I've been very pleased with it. He was a great and professional piercer, he calmed me down and talked me through it. I got a curved barbell but I've decided I want try out some different jewelry. Do you have any ideas for styles to increase stimulation?

Also, next month I have to have a test and my doctor said I have to take the jewelry out. How long can I leave it out for? I can't get back to Infinite any time soon. Thank you so much! A.

My reply:

Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) Piercing Placement Question


Thank you for your blog and insight. When I decided on a VCH piercing I researched your blog and found infinate piercings in Philly to be reputable and only about 2 hours away from me. I had her done at the end of October. They were excellent, professional, clean...wonderful experience.
VCH with Straight BarbellVCH with Straight Barbell

I guess my question to you is now that I feel I've healed, when I look at correct vch piercings mine looks different. It seems to stick out more than others.

Now I do realize anotomy is different so I try not to let it bother me, however it appears correct from the view I sent, according to your dots I see you mark on others photos. The side view shows it doesn't seem flush with the skin like others are. (She likes to lean to one side...ha) Could it possibly be pierced wrong? Perhaps I need a larger gauge. I was pierced at 12 and just ordered a 10 to stretch so perhaps that may help? Thanks for your time.

Piercer's Questions on PTFE, Ampallang and Apadravya Piercings & More

I recently had an exchange of correspondence with a piercer who asked some interesting questions:

I have been piercing for 10 years now in a shop where my husband is the awesome tattoo artist. I just want to be yet another one to thank you for all of your tireless dedication to this industry. I just had a quick question about surface piercings done with polytetrafluoroethylene. At first when these surface piercings became the thing to do around here, I would perform them with the traditional bars for hips, clavicals, Madisons-you name it. I stuck them all with bars. Now this new material seems so much better for healing and does not leave the same scars that the bars do. I just wanted to get your opinion on it. Which is better, the polytetrafluoroethylene or the traditional surface bars?

Labret (Lip) Piercing Problem--Excess Scar Tissue Formation

I got this message from a piercee who is having trouble with  a labret (lip) piercing:

I got my labret pierced on the 3rd of december, and in the last couple days the skin on the inside of my piercing has grown (like a white flap on the bottom of the disc about 1mm tall) that rests next to the disc. i don't know whether it would be growing over it, i have a 10mm long stem which i thought is long enough, but i would still like your opinion

I told her that if she thinks the tissue is growing over the jewelry, she should should see her piercer IMMEDIATELY for a jewelry change! I also explained that I couldn't really evaluate a piercing without seeing it--or at least a photo or two. I requested that she send some clear, close up images, and I received these (below). They do show that the post is long enough so she is not in danger of the jewelry becoming embedded (which is a risk when a piercing is healing if the jewelry is too short).

Labret piercing with sufficient extra length for safetyLabret piercing: scar tissue on interior 

Changing Barbells to Rings in Nipple Piercings

I received a message from a woman whose nipples I pierced and she had questions about changing the jewelry:

Hello Elayne! I got my nipples pierced by you last year when you were at Obscurities, Dallas. I just want to let you know that this is my favorite piercing yet! They healed so beautifully! So after a year I was wondering if getting my jewelry changed to rings instead of barbells would be possible. If I did do the jewelry change (meaning I got to a piercer to get them changed, I'm kinda chicken in that situation) would my nipples once again become tender as they get used to the new jewelry? I still clean them daily. Your input would mean a lot to me! Thank you again for everything you have done! S.

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

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