July 2nd, 2012
I got a message from a woman who had a really bad cheek piercing experience:
I recently had an awful experience with some cheek piercings. Long story short, after 2 days of what I decided was an unjustifiable amount of swelling on my right side I went back to the piercer to ask them to change out the bar which just wasn't able to cope with it. After some time, which was partially spent trying to find some way to blame me for the swelling, they agreed to change it. Immediately my face started gushing out blood, the woman who took it out blanched and leapt away from me while the other ran from the room to call an ambulance. I just can't stress how very much blood was coming out, both congealed from 2 days of sitting under the skin and fresh.
I had done some rather substantial research on cheek piercings prior and although people did mention that there was a chance of hitting a vein I never actually came across any stories of this happening, most people finishing the warning with 'it's nearly impossible though'. I was wondering if you've heard any stories similar to this and if there were any long term affects I should be wary of. At the moment it seems fairly superficial, some bruising and the healing opening but I can't seem to shake a kind of not-quite-but-nearly-numb, stiffness in my cheek. My doctor, not seen this before, could only prescribe me some antibiotics and tell me to come back if I don't feel any improvement.
May 25th, 2012
I was asked a question recently that I hadn't heard before:
At one of the tattoo shops I work in, one of the apprentice tattoo artists wants me to pierce a helix on both ears. No problemo. However he has "cauliflower ear" in both. I've been doing some research about specifically what causes it, also I've talked with him about it. He told me that he used to be a boxer, which is somewhat common. But he never had them drained.
I have never pierced a cauliflower ear, and honestly I've never been presented with this question. So I'm curious to know if its something that I should or should not do ? I'm also curious to know what your experience is, and what you think. :) Thanks.
That's an awesome question! It is one I have never been asked before. And in all my years of experience, I've never had a request to pierce an ear that has been injured in this way.
From my understanding of the situation, I'd be very wary about piercing such anatomy. As I imagine you know, the condition itself results from the surface tissue being separated from the cartilage, and is a problem that is caused by a lack of vascularity. To me that would indicate that the healing capacity of the area is even worse than usual (and we all know cartilage is rather finicky when it comes to healing).
If he can bring you a doctor's note that says piercing is not medically contraindicated in his case, I'd consider it. Short of that, I'd personally stay away from an area that is highly likely to be problematic healing.
January 16th, 2012
I received a question about a very unusual piercing placement:
Can you get a piercing on the heel of your foot????????
I wouldn't recommend it. And even if you managed to do it, it would be VERY unlikely to be successful. The tissue there is dense and tight with little or no pinchable flesh. Piercings in such areas is very seldom remain for long--the body simply ejects the jewelry.
Importantly, a piercing in such an area would also have a significantly higher risk of infection than traditionally placed body piercings because of its proximity to the floor where dirt and germs are more abundant
I have seen a very rare placement of a piercing actually behind the achilles tendon the ankle (see Photo, courtesy of Jim Ward and PFIQ Magazine.) Suffice it to say, such a piercing has grave risks including potential for loss of function of the limb.
If you want to get pierced, please select a safer area of your body.
Elayne Angel, Author
The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
President, Association of Professional Piercers
August 1st, 2009
I received this message from a woman interested in getting a dangerous genital piercing:
I have been looking into a piercing for quite a while now, but it is a rather rare one. I have asked two different piercers about it and was refered to you.
I am told that you are one of the best and can give me the best opinion/advice. While looking at genital piercings, I saw a Nefertiti and I am now set on it. It is a combination of a christina and a vertical hood. I need to know what you think of it and who you would recommend.
I am 98% positive I have correct anatomy for it however they were both concerned about a flexible bar and the fact that it is so long. My friends mom is an OR nurse and looked into the bar and said it was alright. If you could look into it I would greatly appreciate it. I have done some of my own before and could attempt it but am worried about getting it straight and the correct needle and would rather have a professional do it.
I know you are probably busy but this would mean a lot to me as it is my "dream" piercing. If you could either tell me what your opinion is or give me a number and times I could reach you it would be awesome. If you do not want to I understand, but would like to know that so I am not waiting for a reply. Thank you very much for your time.
Thanks for your email.
The reason I don't cover the Nefertiti or the Isabella piercings on my webpage is because I don't do them; I consider them too risky. (I do however, have an actual clitoris piercing, and will do those on women who are anatomically suited. I say this by way of explaining that it isn't just the intensity of the piercing itself that is my concern.)