piercing care

Irritated Apadravya Piercing

I received this message today:


Irritated ApadravyaHello Elayne, I was recently cleaning my apadravya and noticed that I have what looks like a tear or some sort of injury on the head of my penis. My piercing is fairly new, I believe it is 4 months old. I don't know if this is simply because it's still fresh or if I have something more serious to deal with. I have been sexually active but I haven't done anything rough or overexerting. I have worn protection and I haven't had any pain during sex. I have included a picture of the wound. It doesn't hurt, but it is (VERY SLIGHTLY) more tender to the touch than the rest of my penis. If you could respond to this ASAP then I would greatly appreciate it. This has been worrying me a lot. Thank you very much.

Oral Aftercare Products

I received this message from a piercer:

Hey Elayne! I know you hear this all the time but you are amazing! I love the piercing bible and your blog is such a great resource! I have an aftercare question for you, any information you can provide would be such a help. Im a piercer and I recommend Biotene to all my clients with oral piercings, Today I did a piercing on a client who is a representative for Listerine Zero, We spent quite a while discussing the both Biotene and Listerine Zero, She told me Listerine Zero contains four different essential oils and no alcohol but can kill germs, Biotene cannot. I compared the ingredients and they share the same common main indgredients(propylene glycol, sodium benzoate, poloxamer 407 etc etc) but they have many different indgredients. She gave me a case of Listerine Zero, really nice of her, anyways before I start recommending it to clients I'd like your thoughts? My concern is since we recommend clients rinse 4-5 times a day and listerine zero has the ability to kill germs could this to irritating to a fresh piercing? Would you recommend I dilute the Listerine Zero with water to make it milder? I trust your opinion and I hope to hear back from you! thanks for reading this Elayne! M.

My reply:

Advising Clients on Navel Piercing Aftercare

I got this message from a piercer who is concerned about her clients:


I was wondering what are your thoughts on healing time on navel Piercings? At the shop i work at we have ton of parents with minors getting their navels pierced and plan on swimming at lakes,pools, hot tubs. We try and educate them as much as we can but I feel like it's not getting through to them even college-adults aren't listening to our advice is there any suggestion on what we should do? (we talk to them about it first then hand out the basic care information.

Thanks, P.

Hi P.,

I describe the healing time for navel piercings as 6-9 months. They're likely to have some ups and downs and seem healed off and on within that time, but they can expect to be in an ongoing healing phase for an extended period of time.

Bleeding Industrial Piercing

I received this message via email:


Hi Elayne,
I am having a situation with a piercing I did. Sunday afternoon I did an industrial piercing on a girl named Alex. I'm still an apprentice but this was the 10th industrial piercing I've done and I have never had a problem with any of them up until now.

Alex called me this afternoon, 2 days later, complaining that her piercing is bleeding and she can't get it to stop. It hardly bled when I pierced it, and up until last night when the bleeding started, she said that it was healing just fine. It wasn't sore, red, no signs of infection, and didn't hurt at all. First thing I did was try to figure out how the bleeding started. She said she took 500mg of ibuprofen and the bleeding started shortly after that. I understand that a side effect of ibuprofen is blood thinning but unless she was already bleeding I didn't think the ibuprofen would cause her to start. I just thought it would make it a bit harder to get the bleeding to stop if she did happen to start bleeding. Am I wrong about this?

She also said she thinks she accidentally rolled over onto it in her sleep which would make more sense except that it started bleeding before she went to bed. Is it possible she is just not telling me that she bumped it or something, or is it normal for industrial piercings to randomly start bleeding days later?

Positive Feedback

I received this message from a piercer:

"Elayne, I have been studying your book since we last chatted in the fall and it has definately helped improve my piercings and brought more people in for information on care. You have a great talent and I wish you well. Thanks again, Kelly Diamond"

It is so exciting and gratifying when I hear that my book is helping people to get better piercings or do them!

Over-Reacting (and Over-Cleaning)

I got this message from a gal I pierced in NY:
I just wanted to thank you for my beautiful piercing, I'm so happy with it, but I am a bit concerned that it may be getting infected. Perhaps I'm just overreacting, but its really really tender and sore, and its been about three days and I also noticed a small dot of discharge that was a light yellow today for the first time. I've been following all of your directions and keeping everything clean and sanitary, so I'm not really sure what went wrong. I'm really afraid, but if you can tell me what steps I can take steps now to possibly reverse the infection and what else I can do besides the sea salt baths and antibacterial soap, I'd really appreciate it. I read the chapter in your book about Trouble and Trouble shooting but since my symptoms weren't as severe, it didn't seem to really pertain to me. Please help if you can! Sincerely,
B.
I referred her to some relevant pages in my book (182-183 "What to Expect") because this portion explains that some secretion, redness, and tenderness are all perfectly normal in a new piercing! And they can last throughout the healing period...
I also advised her that one of the worst things she can do is over-clean. I told her to try to relax and follow the instructions I'd given her for aftercare and to review them in the book.
She wrote back:
Thanks Elayne, I guess I was just over reacting but I appreciate your help! I read all of the pages and a few other chapters in your book and everything reassured me that what I'm experiencing is normal. I think that the problem was that I was over cleaning my piercing, but now I feel much better and not so much pain and tenderness.

Apprentice Interrupted

Today I got an interesting email from an aspiring piercer:
My name is Jordan and I was an apprentice up until a few days ago. I got your book and started reading "How To Choose A Piercer" and the piercing and aftercare techniques and realized that the person that I was learning from was not a skilled piercer. He was recommending baby shampoo as his sole aftercare product! I looked up the ingredients and among fragrances and surfactants were other irritants that were both genotoxic and cytotoxic! So I wanted to thank you because in reading the book twice I increased my knowledge tenfold! My girlfriend and I literally read your book together in bed :) Also the other day I was on the Rings of Desire site and saw that you used to sell autographed posters? Where was I?!? haha :) I'd love an autographed picture or poster! Would Love to hear from you soon!
Hi Jordan, Thanks for your email. I'm so glad to hear that my book has proven to be helpful to you, and that you took the time to let me know about it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad piercers out there, and plenty of them are taking on apprentices to create yet more untrained, unskilled practitioners. My hope is that my book will help to elevate the whole industry. By creating educated consumers, it helps put those hacks out of business. I didn't imagine it was going to be the kind of book couples read in bed together!  That kind of feedback sure puts a big smile on my face. You can get an autographed poster by ordering one through LeRoi. I'll be at their studio in Manhattan June 26-28 having a book signing and doing piercings. I've had a box of posters shipped there, and I can sign one for you and have it shipped out.

Outer Labia Piercing Jewelry

I received a question about initial jewelry for outer labia piercings, and it led me to make a few comments about piercing aftercare, too.

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