cheek piercing

More Cheek Piercing Dangers

I got a message from a woman who had a really bad cheek piercing experience:


I recently had an awful experience with some cheek piercings. Long story short, after 2 days of what I decided was an unjustifiable amount of swelling on my right side I went back to the piercer to ask them to change out the bar which just wasn't able to cope with it. After some time, which was partially spent trying to find some way to blame me for the swelling, they agreed to change it. Immediately my face started gushing out blood, the woman who took it out blanched and leapt away from me while the other ran from the room to call an ambulance. I just can't stress how very much blood was coming out, both congealed from 2 days of sitting under the skin and fresh.

I had done some rather substantial research on cheek piercings prior and although people did mention that there was a chance of hitting a vein I never actually came across any stories of this happening, most people finishing the warning with 'it's nearly impossible though'. I was wondering if you've heard any stories similar to this and if there were any long term affects I should be wary of. At the moment it seems fairly superficial, some bruising and the healing opening but I can't seem to shake a kind of not-quite-but-nearly-numb, stiffness in my cheek. My doctor, not seen this before, could only prescribe me some antibiotics and tell me to come back if I don't feel any improvement.
Thank you.


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:

Cheek Piercing Advice

I received this message from someone who clearly is in need of serious advice:

Subject: Piercing Question

"Elayne.....I'm an ameutar piercer and have excepted a client who wants her dimples pierced. she has chubby cheeks, but otherwise no reason not to go ahead with the piercing. I am not sure how to go about the procedure and were I should properly pierce. Can you share some advice?"

I sent him the page from my book The Piercing Bible called "The Worst Piercing Story" and it is all about cheek piercing:

Questions About Cheek Piercings

I had an exchange with a reader about cheek piercings:

Hello im Jessica from the UK. I have recently had my cheeks pierced by my partner who is a proffesional body piercer for purely piercing in the UK. We read your story about your cheeks and i took it all into account. I did lots of other research especially on BME. We understood the complications but i have wanted them done since i was 12 im now 18. He pierced them perfectly no further back then the first molar like you said. I picked up your book today to have a snoop at how long they will stay swollen i had them dont on halloween they've already started to go down :). But i was quite annoyed when i looked into your book and all it said was cheeks are unrecomendible and your worst story. this was NOT the information i expected from someone as good as you. Please get in touch with some information you didn't place in the book. thank you,

I replied: Jessika, After what happened to me I can't recommend that cheek piercings be done. If your piercings in front of the first molar, then you can consider them lip piercings and refer to the information in pages 111-117. The bulk of initial swelling should be down in the first 2-4 weeks, though some swelling could remain for longer. If you have other specific questions, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them. What did you want to know. Elayne Her surprised and much more pleasant response to me (admitting that she didn't think I'd respond):

Cheek Piercings

I received an email from a piercer who wanted to know about the safety of performing "dimple" or cheek piercings:
I have heard horror stories that piercing someone cheeks can hit a wrong nerve on someone. I was wondering if that was true? I was taught that there is no danger in doing this piercing?  Do you have a set measurement that you use on people as to make sure not to do any damage? I'm really uncomfortable performing any sort of piercing if there is a very big risk involved.
I explained that I no longer do cheek piercings due to the WORST complications that ever happened to somebody I pierced. For better or worse, it happened to me. In my book you can read the detailed explanation of why I don't do cheek piercings beyond the first molar. The areas of concern are the parotid duct and gland, rather than a particular nerve. I let her know she might be able to preview the story about it on page 119 of my book here on google books. She called her client who had been interested in getting cheek piercings to decline, and then she emailed me again in understandable frustration:
UHHHHHHHHHHH PEOPLE PISS ME OFF!!!!!!!!!!!! So I called my client back today and told her very nicely that I was no longer offering cheek piercings and explained to her why and even told her about the story in her book..... You know what her response was to this??? "Well do you know anyone else in the area that does them?" ??? WTF!!!!! Hello didn't I just tell you a horror story and explain to you WHAT can happen!!! uhhhhhhhhhh I just don't get people sometimes!!!
We can lead people to good information, but it doesn't mean they'll use it. Or in this case, I can't help thinking, "We can't educate people who don't have half a brain."
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