ear piercing

A Technique Question from a Piercer

I received this message from a Facebook friend:

Elayne, Let me begin this note by telling you that I am a huge fan of yours, and I am extremely thankful for all the hard work that you, Jim Ward, Doug Malloy, Paul King and so many others have done for the industry we are in. If it weren't for you and others like you, body piercing would be no where near where it is now, so THANK YOU!!!
Now then, my question to you:


I have been piercing professionally for 6 years, a good career so far but only a few steps in comparison to yours... When I first began, I used the "piggy-backing" method I saw in your recent video post. I have since moved on and now pierce with like sized jewelry and needles. I was under the impression that the method described was amateur and generally looked down upon, and yet here I see a MASTER PIERCER using it. Now please don't get me wrong, your title of master piercer is correct and very well deserved, I just find it strange. So I come to you with thisa humble question, why do you prefer this method? I have found that the piercings tend to bleed too much when using this method. Are there benefits that I am unaware of? Thank you for your time and any info will be appreciated.


By the way, the "bible" is one of the books in my modification collection that I am most proud of, and I consult it regularly so thank you!!!!

A fan and fellow body modifier, -J.

My reply:

Ear Stud Guns

There was an article on the ABC news website about what parents permit their kids to do. It discussed matters like staying out at night, using cell phones, surfing the web--and ear piercing. Interestingly, it said that parents would let their girls get ear piercings as young as 9, and  27 percent of parents said ear-piercing is OK for girls younger than 6 – no other item scored more than 1 percent in that category. Another 20 percent say ear-piercing is appropriate between ages 6 and 11.

Knowing exactly how and where much of this early piercing takes place, I left the following comment:

Parents should know that ear piercing (while quite socially acceptable for young girls these days) is not without its own risks. Especially if the piercing is done by a gun at a kiosk or mall. According to "The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing" (Random House, May 2009):

"These gadgets were originally invented for tagging cattle and other animals, and later adapted for use on humans. The gun forces a pointy earring through the skin, which causes more tissue trauma and discomfort than the razor-sharp needle used by body piercers. The one-size post length does not “fit all” and cannot accommodate a plump earlobe or any swelling; it is certainly not long enough to be worn in a body piercing. The stud earring typically employs a butterfly-style clasp that can inhibit the healing process and increase the risk of infection by compressing the tissue, limiting circulation, and trapping secretions and bacteria."

The book then goes on to describe how disease transmission can take place:

Helping Today's Youth

I just got this message from a reader:

Hey,
I love your book! I got my nose pierced at 14...still love it, never a dull moment :) I'm getting my industrial in a few months for my 16th birthday, and your book helped me learn what to do to prepare for a more advanced piercing and gave me more info on the piercings I've already got. So just wanted to say thanks :)
Megan

I replied:

Hi Megan,
Wow! You've gotten an early start. Glad to hear that my book has proved helpful in preparing you for your next piercing. I'm delighted to help. Thanks for the positive feedback; I appreciate it.
Take care and be safe,
Elayne


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