Piercer Questions

Nape Piercings

I received this email from a piercer today:
Loved your article in PAIN magazine this month. It still surprises me how many clients will ask if its ok to heal their piercings with rubbing alcohol or peroxide!! I had one girl ask if it was ok to put liquid bandage over her freshly pierced nipples!! I don't offer surface percings in my studio because I have seen so many pictures of them rejecting but my friend is begging me to do the nape of his neck. Do you have any suggestions for the correct jewelry or tips for that piercing that would give me a better chance with not having it reject?
Hi Meghan, Thanks for your email. I'm not big on surface piercings myself, but there is one area that I will routinely do: the nape of the neck! Though if the tissue is not pliable, I decline. If the skin pinches up well, I make a wide piercing (usually over an inch; generally 1 1/4") and insert Tygon tubing. I most commonly use 12 or 10 gauge. There are some tricks to using it. Because the tubing is so flexible, it is kind of like trying to feed cooked spaghetti through a piercing, which obviously wouldn't be easy! So, I insert the tip of a small insertion taper (18 gauge) securely into the lumen of the tubing as far as it will go. This gives me a solid end that makes it easy to do the jewelry transfer. Important note: Tygon tubing is sold by gauge but may not be the exact measurement of your needle of the same size. If the Tygon is marginally larger, you won't get it through the piercing unless you use a needle of the next larger gauge (or half-gauge). To make the tubing into a barbell: depending on the size of the lumen, you can press-fit ornamental ends made for threadless body jewelry by Neometal. The 16 ga ends work great in the 14 gauge tubing.

The Piercer's Reply

This is the piercer's response to my reply about piercing a client in the hospital:
Angel, Thank you so very much for the prompt response to my situation :)  After thinking about it over the weekend, and reading your response, I agree with you wholeheartedly - I don't believe that I will do the piercings unless she can come to my studio after she recovers fully from her surgery (she's getting a hysterectomy).  The thought of her getting a nosocomial infection did cross my mind, too - I don't want to be liable for an infection she caught at the hospital!  Sometimes my passion about the public getting a safe and beautiful piercing clouds my judgement LOL  Thank you so much for your advice!  I will let you know how my next conversation with her turns out if she returns or calls today :) Thanks again!

Question From A Piercer

This is a question from a piercer who is concerned about doing the right thing:
I would like to ask some advice from you, as I've had a weird request from a client this afternoon.  She is going into surgery this next week, and her surgeon told her that he would do her nipple piercings for her while she is under anesthesia if she could bring in the jewelry.  Of course, I was leary of wanting to sell the jewelry and encourage a possibly botched piercing. She also told me that the doctor suggested that a licensed piercer come in and do her piercings while she was under anesthesia (I would be concerned about any legal & ethical questions/ramifications resulting from piercing one under anesthesia-even if agreed upon in paperwork).  I would be open to piercing in a hospital setting, but, not sure if this is a route I would want to take?   I hate being put in a position where I would really prefer her to come to my studio and get pierced, but am afraid that she'll get the piercing anyway by someone who hasn't been trained to pierce.  (Her reason for doing it while under anesthesia is that she's had 2 very bad experiences with past nipple piercings.)  I guess we can't "save" all of them, but, what would be your best advice for a situation like this? *N*
Hi N, Well, that's not necessarily an easy question to answer. I believe you will need to decide the best course of action for yourself under the specific circumstances. I'm willing to tell you what my response would be in this situation: I wouldn't do it. I think you're correct; we can't "save" all of them. We can do our very best to educate and inform potential clients. As someone put it, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink." I'm afraid piercees are the same way. You can provide them with sound facts and information, but they may not put it to good use.
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