March 28th, 2013
I received a message from an apprentice piercer asking about jewelry for an ampallang piercing:
Hello Ms. Angel,
My name is F. I am an apprentice piercer and I have a married couple coming in and they both want to get pierced. The Husband (uncircumcised) is adamant on getting an Ampallang, but he wants a hoop for the initial Piercing. I can not find any information online or through other piercers if this is safe. I would really appreciate your advise.
What about your mentor? If you're an apprentice, there has to be an expert you're studying under, right? What does he or she have to say….? If you do not have anyone to guide you through such advanced piercings, you MUST refuse!
If someone came to me with that request, my response would be, "No, I'm sorry--I won't use a ring for initial jewelry in that area. My experience allows me to be certain that would not be safe or helpful for healing. I can start it using a bar, and after you are fully healed you can explore other jewelry options."
In any case when it comes to dealing with clients, you're in charge. Regardless of how "adamant" somebody is, it is up to you to always stand by your ethics and only do piercings for which you are qualified, and to refuse to participate in any piercings (or jewelry selections) that are a bad idea.
Just say "no." If they say they'll go elsewhere for it--that's fine. You can't be responsible for their bad decisions, but you can be responsible for avoiding making your own. I always tell people, "Any piercer who is wiling to do that does not care about your safety, wellbeing, or the success of your piercing--only your money. I DO care, which is the reason I'm going to refuse to do anything that is a bad idea."
March 6th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who wanted to try another navel piercing after two rejections:
Hello there, hope all is well. I am currently 27 years old and had my navel pierced when I was 17 and again when I was 19. Both times I kept the piercing in for over a year, cleaning and treating it, but it would not heal (and kept cycling between infected and not infected). I’m left with this horrid scar and I’m getting an itch to pierce it again. I’d only do it if I knew of a material that my body wouldn’t reject, but I don’t. Clearly “surgical steel” isn’t working. I’m assuming it’s the nickel in it.
I don't know if the piercers were members of the APP. However I can tell you that I first got pierced in May 2003, took it out (due to it not healing, keloids forming, and constantly having to treat it) in Jan 2004. When I went to get it re-pierced in June 2004, the piercer told me that the previous guy didn’t take enough skin when he pierced me, thus it was too far out and refused to heal. However, the same thing happened with this piercing, and thus I took it out about 8-10 months after that.
BOTH piercings were done with externally threaded surgical steel.
The area does not fold in when I sit, however I do remember the jewelry getting caught onto my jeans a lot when I sat/stood. Of course I tried to avoid that as much as possible, but sometimes I’d forget.
March 2nd, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was concerned about her navel piercing:
Yesterday was my 3 month mark with my navel piercing. I've been through hell and back with this thing but I am not giving up!!! I adore this piercing and I don't want to take it out!
I got a granuloma on the bottom hole of my piercing about a month ago. It's healing, slowly but surely. I apply tea tree oil to it 2-3 times a day and it has decreased in size.
Lately I have noticed my bar hanging out a bit more. I know that usually happens since the piercing bars are longer to accommodate for swelling of the piercing. However, I am worried it is hanging too much. I have seen pictures on Google of navel piercings that look much, much shallower than mine. I still have quite a thick amount of skin in between my balls. The reason for my concern is that right behind my top hole, there is a purple dot. I am wondering if that is where my hole used to be and it is moving?
Should I put in a smaller bar? I think I may have a little scratch on the bottom of my bar, but I can't quite tell...maybe you can?
Thanks for your help!!!
The piercing looks quite normal for its age, and there is an appropriate amount of tissue between the entry and exit holes.
The darkened appearance can be perfectly routine during healing.
This is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
February 26th, 2013
I received a message from a piercee who was concerned about her severely troubled navel piercing:
I've had a belly piercing since sept 2011 and it has refused to heal. At first, I thought it was because I hadnt changed the ring, but then I did n it became worse. I dont know what 2 do, n I dont want 2 take it off cos I've grown accustomed to it. Bt now it brings out yellow pus, n it itches n looks like its about to fall off. Please what do I do? And if push comes to shove and I have to take it off, when it heals, can I get another piercing? Thanks a lot And I also want to know if I cn repierce it after it heals if I unfortunately have to take it off. Thank you very much.
You're having a serious problem there. I believe part of it is from poor quality jewelry, and part of it is that your piercing is too shallow. It is clearly on its way out.
I HIGHLY suggest you do some saline soaks to foster drainage. You don't want to trap any infection inside when you abandon the piercing.
Information on saline soaks is here: http://piercingbible.com/saline-soaks
February 21st, 2013
I recieved a message from a woman whose new navel piercing didn't look the way she had hoped it would:
I had this done yesterday and was wondering if it looks this way because im too fat or did the guy mess up and should of pierced me further OUT of my belly button. I got this in hopes that it would help me feel more confident about myself but instead I feel so much worse. I mean my belly button ate the whole bottom part.
Thanks for your message. Did the piercer stand you up to mark the placement? That usually helps a skilled piercer to mark a piercing that will show better when you're standing as the baseline. Naturally, it looks different when your body is in different positions….
If you're not happy with your new piercing, you should consider removing it. You may want to talk to the piercer first about a possible repiercing in a more forward placement for the underside, and the top commensurately further from the edge of the lip (like I marked on your photo).
Another option is to change the jewelry to a j-curve.
You can get them here if your piercer doesn't stock them:
February 19th, 2013
I got a message from a piercee who was concerned about his new navel piercing:
Hi! I got my navel pierced ten days ago and it's still really red and tender. I bumped it pretty hard about a week ago and then again just last night. I came home from work last night and there was blood crusted on the bottom and I was really concerned, so on my way home I bought an eye patch and did my salt soak and then slept with the eyepatch on it (I'm a stomach sleeper and the eye patch prevents me from rolling over for some reason) and it felt a little less tender today, but when I came home from work tonight, I sat down to look at my piercing, and there was blood and pus! The lighting in my bathroom is really yellow so I couldn't tell how yellow it was (but it was definitely not green or dark yellow). The top hole is especially tender to the touch. I'm just paranoid about the possibility of it being infected, migrating, or possibly even rejecting! I would love for you to take a look at these pictures (I had just done my salt soak so there's a big ring and it's a little flush from the warm water) and tell me if it looks overly inflamed for being so new, if I should go to the doctor, or if I should just keep doing what I'm doing because it's normal. Thank you so much!
Also, I got it pierced at Club Tattoo and the guy who did it had a really nice portfolio. And is it ok to sleep with the eye patch on or will that hinder the airing out? Thank you!
Given the recent trauma, and how new the piercing is, I'd say it is looking pretty normal.
February 13th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was concerned about the placement of her navel piercing:
Thanks for your time.
I recently read your book and then went out and did the opposite of what I should have done. I was on holiday and eager to get new piercings. Yesterday I went to the only piercer in the area, after receiving a recomendation from someone (I had no access to the internet or any other way to research the piercer). I wasn't aware of the price until the end, but she only charged me NZ$60 for 2 nipple and one naval piercing. The naval piercing is now concerning me, the placement seems to high, and it seems a little crooked also. I am worried that the placement of the lower exit hole above my belly button instead of inside it is causing the lower ball to put pressure on the piercing and will cause it to migrate or reject. I've attached some photos for you to see. I plan on seeing a trusted piercer ASAP to evaluate the piercing. Any advice or If you have any recommendations for piercers in Auckland, NZ that would be appreciated.
You're correct; your piercing is not properly placed. That's an abdominal surface piercing--not a navel piercing. In a properly placed piercing, the bottom of the jewelry comes out beneath that natural lip. Even if it were properly placed, I would not suggest you use that jewelry. That ball is too large to wear on a fresh piercing, and should be reserved for a healed piercing only. The navel takes 6 months or longer to heal.
I would strongly suggest you remove it ASAP to minimize scarring. You should allow the wound to heal completely and for the tissue to normalize before seeking another piercing in that area.
February 10th, 2013
I received a message from an apprentice piercer who was concerned about the placement of a Vertical Clit Hood piercing he recently performed:
I'm an apprenticing piercer and my fiancee agreed to come in for a supervised VCH piercing with my instructor. I'm pretty positive that we ended up with a surface piercing rather than a genuine, and correct VCH. I explained my concerns to my instructor and she assured me that it was done correctly, but I'm pretty certain this is incorrect.
We did the q-tip test ahead of time and utilized a NRT for the procedure, so I'm a little uncertain as to how we ended up where we are. Secondarily, the jewelry the piercer selected is far too short (easily remedied). The piercee is very uncomfortable and sore.
I'm inclined to have her remove the jewelry and begin healing, but wanted a second opinion before doing so.
I'm glad you contacted me. That jewelry absolutely needs to come out before it gets embedded. And, since the piercing is not placed properly, I would not advise that even properly sized jewelry be reinserted.
You're correct: that is a surface piercing, not a VCH. I marked the photo with an arrow to indicate where the jewelry should be coming from (underneath the hood, against the clitoris).
How long have you been engaged in your apprenticeship and how carefully did you check into this mentor's qualifications? I have grave concerns for your education if this is representative of her work as an instructor--especially if she tried to tell you this was in any way "correct."