January 7th, 2009
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.
December 28th, 2008
I received this question in the comments section of one of my posts:
I have a question. For surface piercings, which kind of barbells are suitable?
My reply: On some types of tissue and on certain areas of the body, it won't matter WHAT style of jewelry you use--the body simply won't accept jewelry in all locations. Here is an excerpt from The Piercing Bible about surface piercings:
December 13th, 2008
Liz wrote back with some additional questions:
Elayne - Thanks so much for responding so quickly! I have your book on pre-order with Amazon, and look forward to devouring it! I really hesitate to try any kind of steel - I have had my ears pierced since I was 8, and to this day can't get near anything less than 14k (other than sterling) in my ears without major irritation and discharge, even bleeding. My wedding ring is white gold, and even after wearing it for 14 years, I still sometimes get a rashy irritation under the band from the nickel in the alloy. Can you tell me any more about the alloy used in 14k that makes it piercing compatible? Even the gold earrings I wear turn red over time where they contact my skin - presumably from my body oxidizing the trace copper in the yellow gold alloy. Who knows. Obviously something I need to do more research on - I had no gold would pose its own complications. I hope the attached pics are ok - the q-tip was a bit tricky, and as it is a self-portrait, kind of blurry. It's a standard generic q-tip. If you need better detail or a different angle or something, I can try to re-do the photos later this weekend (if I can get my toddler to nap). Thanks again - LizLiz, I know my book will provide you with a great deal of information that will prove most helpful to you. There is a big chapter on jewelry and you will learn all about the different materials. For healing, you may decide to go with titanium or even bioplast or PTFE (inert plastics). Implant grade steel and titanium have alloys that meet certain standards, but gold does not have an implant designation. Gold alloys are proprietary mixes, so there are no assurances like the "mill certificates" provided by manufacturers of implant grade steel and titanium.
December 13th, 2008
Today I received this query in the comments section of one of my posts:
HI! I am 44, and have been considering a VCH for a while now, and find that most of the research I have done has led me to you and Rings of Desire. I appreciate your expertise, and any time you could give to address my questions. Hubby and I will be attempting the q-tip test today, and I hope to email you a pic of that for your expert advice (if that's ok). I have no real local resources (small midwestern town). 1. How do I determine what size jewelry to buy? I need to use 14k gold (metal allergy issues with anything else) and I assume not all shops carry 14k. Maybe that's a bad assumption, but I'm guessing I'll buy in advance and take it to the shop with me -
2. Will I be able to change the jewelry myself (or can my hubby) if i want to increase size, or will I need to return to my piercer? 3. I've heard the phrase "growing out" - what exactly does that mean? Thank you so much for your time! I look forward to hearing from you, and would love to know if you would look at my photos, if hubby can get any good ones! All best, LizHi Liz, Sounds like you have LOTS of questions that will all be answered in detail by my book. You can pre-order it at a discount on Amazon.com. Below you will find some brief answers to your questions to tide you over: 1. I would not suggest buying jewelry in advance. A piercer with a quality studio will stock a wide range of suitable styles, sizes, and materials. You should not need to determine the size--your piercer should know EXACTLY what you need for your build and suggest the size for you.
September 5th, 2008
Question: Dear Angel, After having my Clitoral Hood pierced 3 times already in the last five years (VCH every time), I am now looking at the 4th time and would like your advice. My first VCH was pierced in Australia and the piercer used a ring instead of a barbell. While very stimulating for the first few weeks, the ring eventually became uncomfortable (twisting) and also started to grow out (move to the bottom end of my clitoral hood so I took it out). My second VCH was pierced in New Zealand and never really did anything for me. It was a barbell, but I felt that it was placed too high and eventually I took it out since my partner back then did not like it. My third VCH was an "engagement piercing" along with nipple piercings when I got engaged to my husband. Again a barbell and while slightly more sensation then with the second it never stimulated me as much as the first VCH had done the first few weeks. Due to an operation I had to remove the piercing last year and before I knew it the whole had grown closed. I am now looking to go for my 4th but since my experiences with the VCH so far have been only lukewarm (except for a first few great weeks with #1) i would be interested to find out if my anatomy is suitable for a Triangle or even clitoris piercing. Can you help me? Answer: Did you have a professional piercer check (by using a small gauge insertion taper first) to see if the channel had merely shrunk rather than closed? It is not uncommon that a VCH, once healed, can remain open without jewelry in place. They do tend to shrink down, but there may not be a need to re-pierce if the channel is still there. Also, depending on the amount of scar tissue that may have formed as a result of multiple piercings, it may be difficult to have another one placed in the area. I also have some questions for you: did you ever wear a ring in any of the subsequent piercings after the initial one? Maybe it was an issue of the jewelry styles rather than the piercings?