Surface Piercing vs. Dermal Anchors

I struck up this conversation with a gal who made a comment on a post I made about surface piercings. She wrote:

… I'm getting a five point star surface piercing/s on my right hip in a few days :] gotta talk it over with my piercer but should be cool to go :] ...

I asked her:

Has your piercer been clear with you that the surface piercings are unlikely to stay long-term and that you will most probably end up with scarring instead of jewelry there?

Her reply:

Yeah I've been told that before. I knew it wasn't going to be long term/permanent anyways. Does a surface piercing count as one that goes under the skin, with two balls on each end? because I was thinking of doing that instead of where you can only see one ball. Does that make sense? Sorry if I'm confusing you but id like to get more background info before I get it done. thank you

I provided her with some additional information and I hope it will make her decide to take more time figuring out the best course of action:

I'm DONE!!!

As of Friday, January16, 2009, I'm done with the manuscript. The front and back covers have been completed, and it is being sent to the printers this week. Whew! I'm so excited that it is complete and that I'll be able to hold a copy of the finished product in my tattooed little hands soon! After I completed the project of providing the correct page numbers for each of the cross-references in the book, I took it for a spin: I got to read it. Since it was a final draft there was very little to change or correct, so it was the first time that I'd actually READ the book, rather than worked on it, which is quite different. I'm happy to report that I enjoyed reading it, and that I feel very proud of it. I didn't really know what I'd think of it by the time it got published. And there were plenty of times I was sure it never would get done; it was a long and winding journey. Now that it is a finished product, I can definitely say I've never read anything else like it. ; ) I can't wait for some other people to read it and let me know what they think... Soon enough. I'm absolutely certain many piercers won't agree with everything I've written. But it clearly states at the front of the book:
Substantive research studies, statistical analyses, and other definitive resource materials related to modern piercing are in short supply; therefore, the information, practices, and procedures described in this book are largely based on my own extensive, clinical experience. I’ve integrated industry standards where they exist, but there is still precious little that is truly standard, so my opinions are a primary component of many chapters.
I'm off for a vacation to visit with my family and to attend a board meeting for the Association of Professional Piercers.

The Nitty Gritty

My editor, Lisa, sent me back my manuscript one last time (in .pdf format) so I could look it over and put in the correct page numbers for all of the cross-references throughout the book. Much of the information is quite interrelated. To avoid redundancy (it still came in at a higher word count than planned) there are areas where it says, for example: See "Overstimulation, Sensation, and Desensitization,” page 257, for related information." But since the page numbers continued to change until the final version, the manuscript says, See "Overstimulation, Sensation, and Desensitization,” page XX, for related information." My job now is to go through, and insert the correct page number so that all of the cross-references are properly identified. It is a big job! I'd better get back to it...

VCH Healing Problems & Inverted Nipples

I received this email recently:

I am considering piercing my breasts. I have inverted nipples however and I am wondering if you feel this would prevent a successful piercing for me. Previously, I had a sternum piercing which rejected. I currently have a VCH, which is still healing.  I assume I must be a slow healer since the VCH was done about four months ago, and I still am doing my salt water soaks to keep it from being sore. I would appreciate any advice or thoughts you might have. My piercing was done by a member of the APP. Thank you again for your time, Dawn

Dawn, My goodness! That is slow healing--the VCH usually heals in closer to 4 weeks, not months! Have you tried changing your VCH jewelry or the care product you're using on it? After that long a period of time, I think something should be changed. Have you considered trying emu oil? It can be very effective for healing problem piercings (and those that are doing well, too). Are you wearing a bar or a ring? What material? I wouldn't say a history of a rejected sternum piercing is indicative a tendency toward troubled healing--surface piercings such as these often have problems. The VCH is another matter. If it is determined that your jewelry is of good quality, the piercing properly placed and cared for, then you simply may not be a good candidate for piercings. Here is a brief section from my book about piercing inverted nipples:

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.

Free Shipping!

A friend of mine who lives in Toronto just ordered a copy of The Piercing Bible and told me that is giving FREE SHIPPING when you pre-order my book from this link to Also they are giving a 32% discount off the cover price, which is amazing. If you own a body art studio or other retail business and wish to sell my book, you'd need to order 10  or more copies from my publisher to receive this a better discount, once the book is released in mid-March!

Happy New Year: 2009!

The changing of the calendar year is an opportunity for reflecting on the past year, and experiencing gratitude for the good things. It is also a wonderful chance to make a fresh start going forward into the new one. For me, 2008 was fantastic in part because it was the year I finally got my book deal to publish The Piercing Bible. That was a biggie (especially since I'd been working on the book for literally years already). Keep your focus positive. Dreams do come true--I'm living proof! Wishing everyone out there a joyful and peaceful 2009.

Piercing Videos: Feedback

I just received some email from a woman who watched some videos of me performing piercings from here:
Hi Elayne, I found a few videos that I needed to watch! I purchased the nipple piercing and the triangle piercing and enjoyed them very much. They are very honest and informative. I think that if a person with no piercings wanted to learn, they would see a correct representation of the process. For a person who already has piercings, there is plenty of great advice!
So, my videos are worth seeing, and they have something for you, whether you're new to piercings or already have some.
Syndicate content