April 28th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who had questions about navel piercing and pregnancy:
Hi! I've just gotten my belly pierced 2 days ago. Now I'm worried that it'll leave a scar because this morning I was positive that I'm pregnant. Should I take it off now? Because I googled and it appears to me that the belly button looks ugly when pregnant and the scar looks bad. What should I do?
Yes, if you're pregnant the jewelry should be removed and the piercing abandoned ASAP.
This is a section about "retiring" a piercing from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
Retiring a Piercing
Retiring a piercing is permanently removing your jewelry and abandoning the hole. Though body piercing has the potential to be a lifelong adornment, there is no doubt that a piercing—especially one that hasn’t been stretched too fast or large—is easier to be rid of than most other body modifications.
It is best to retire your piercing when it is in good health. A notable exception is when you have a rejecting piercing in which the jewelry has migrated too close to the surface. The main risk of removing jewelry is the potential to trap an infection inside. If there is any purulent drainage (pus), pain, inflammation, or suspected infection, do not abandon your piercing. See “Leave Jewelry In!” page 202, and subsequent sections for more information.
If your piercing is fine but you have decided the time has come to get rid of it, simply wash your hands and the area, open your jewelry, and remove it. A little bit of water-based lubricant such as K-Y Jelly can help to make the transition smooth. Wash the area daily when you bathe. Abandoning a piercing is that simple.
Here's another section that is relevant to your issue about healing a piercing during pregnancy:
April 26th, 2013
Hi Ms. Angel,
Hope you are well. You did my triangle piercing last year in Philly and I'd like to remove it for a few hours. Do you think it would be a problem to put it back in? BTW, I love it!
There's a chance if you remove it you won't be able to reinsert it. On some women, this can happen instantaneously with triangle piercings, because of the way I manipulate the clitoral shaft to rest in front of the jewelry. There's a possibility it could slip back and block the channel even if the piercing is well established. I've had some very distressed clients who found out the hard way that it just couldn't be reinserted, even after the briefest removal.
Since you love it, maybe you can avoid taking it out?
Or, at the very least, I'd strongly suggest you get an insertion taper before you do so. That can help you to reinsert it with less difficulty or trauma. You can get them here:
I'd suggest the one for threaded jewelry in the 12 gauge (which is the most common size I use and should be what you're wearing unless we discussed some other size, or you have stretched up since I pierced you).
Information that will be very helpful to you is located in Chapter 17 of my book, The Piercing Bible. Here's a brief excerpt that should prove useful if you decide to do any jewelry changes (or try out brief removal):
Insertion Tapers for Jewelry Changes
April 23rd, 2013
I performed a consultation for a man who abandoned an Apadravya piercing:
I have had an Apadravya in for 11 years. I believe it was originally pierced as a 10G and then stretched to an 8G.
An apadravya piercing
It is time to take it out. I took it out about 48 hours ago. I almost feel like my penis is now more in danger than it was when I had the barbell in. And am curious to know if the holes will eventually close up or if an 8 Gage is too big of a gap or maybe too much time has passed to allow this to happen. Like a doctor couldn't cauterize the hole to gap it, right?
Maybe too much worrying going on in my head. I just don't want these new un-covererd holes from getting infected and I almost want to pump someone full of baby juice at somepoint. So this tripple pee spray is not the spread I want.
Thank you for any and all information.
Thanks for listening.
When abandoned, a piercing that old won't "heal" per se, but it is very likely to shrink. Your piercing has "epithelialized" as cells have grown to line the channel making it a sealed hole within your body. So it isn't an opening wound, but a channel all to itself (a "fistula"). This is assuming, of course, that you weren't experiencing irritation, a flare-up, or other problem, which can indicate that there is open tissue.
This is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
Will It Close?
April 21st, 2013
I performed a consultation for a piercee whose initial jewelry in her nipple piercing was too short:
I got my nipple pierced last night and I think it maybe too small its 14g and 9/16". I am doing the sea salt soaks. Just concerned thats the bar is too small.
The bar is definitely too short for your build! You must visit your piercer ASAP to have it changed for a longer bar. Hopefully the jewelry is internally threaded or the piercer has an insertion taper that will screw onto the existing bar to avoid passing threads through your freshly pierced tissue. See below.
Throughout healing, there should be a millimeter or two of the post showing on each side when your nipple is relaxed out to its widest dimension.
Only after you are fully healed should you consider wearing a bar snug enough that the balls are right up against the tissue.
Here's the information I suggest for aftercare: http://piercingbible.com/piercing-care
Below is a section from The Piercing Bible about embedded jewelry:
April 19th, 2013
I received a message from a man who experienced healing problems after getting his ear cartilage pierced by a piercing gun:
I on a whim got my cartilage pierced at Clare's Saturday afternoon and it was doing really well up until today. I know the piercing gun is bad. i think I either irritated it or its showing signs of infection. Today when I woke up I cleaned it with theIr solution and I took a shower this afternoon and did the following:
1. After washing my scalp I used the Bronners Lavender to clean my ear (thinks its too harsh for me).
2. After I got out the shower I used their cleaning solution and spayed some h2ocean on it.
3. It felted irritated so I soaked it in chamomile but I put 1/8 tsp of sea salt in the water and let it soak.
Well since then its red, burning, and throbs off and on. I attached a pic and I would value your opinion.
Thanks for your message. You're OVERCLEANING with too many products. You only need one soap and some saline. Did you dilute the Dr. Bronner's? I suggest using their "baby mild unscented" formula.
These are the care instructions I suggest: http://piercingbible.com/piercing-care
Here is information on the saline soaks: http://piercingbible.com/saline-soaks
April 15th, 2013
I received a message from a man who was concerned about his apadravya piercing:
I love my aprydavya, but I have been having problems with it lately. I have been doing the sea salt solution (1 teaspoon per cup of distilled water). It has been irritated over the past two weeks and was not getting better with the nightly salt soaks of 20 minutes. Also, I think I may have screwed up with making a batch of the solution, storing it in a separate container and poring it into another container to soak as opposed to making a fresh batch every time Now I make a fresh batch of the solution, but do you think I should see a doctor about the irritation? Also, do you think that the jewelry may be too long? When wearing tighter pants, it really contorts the angle and I think that is were the irritation started.
I have attached photos.
It doesn't look worthy of a doctor visit to me. It may be from trauma, as you mentioned in your message. You'll need to check your own jewelry fit. When you're fully erect, if there is still extra room then you can and should get a shorter post put in.
April 13th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was worried about her new VCH piercing:
I have been searching the internet for two days now trying to decide what to do, so I finally decided to ask for some advice. I just got my VCH piercing the other day, and everything went alright. But the next day it seemed I developed a yeast infection. I woke up the next morning and my lymph node near my groin area was HUGE and very sore. My piercing is a bit tender, but there is no redness or pus or any sign of infection.
Does this mean there is bacteria in my piercing? Should I take it out or would that make it worse? I have been going back and forth about just taking it out anyways, but I'm scared it might irritate it more. Will just simply cleaning it daily solve the problem, or should I contact a doctor? My anxiety is through the roof and I have been worried about it constantly. If you could give me any advice at all I would greatly appreciate it.
Is it possible that something else (sexual activity?) caused your symptoms? It isn't uncommon that people will give their unpierced parts a final sendoff before piercing and may engage in more sexual activity than normal. A piercing isn't apt to cause yeast infections (though overly strong soap can.)
Your swollen glands could indicate a problem. Though they may just be overreacting to the foreign object. I'm not a doctor and I can't even see you, so it is hard to help.
However if the piercing is infected, then quality jewelry of an appropriate size and material should be left in place to allow for drainage. Though you descirbe the piercing as not being inflamed, so I really don't know what's warong, or that it is entirely related to the new piercing.
Do you have a fever? If so, then I would definitely suggest a visit to the doctor right away.
April 11th, 2013
I received a message from yet another woman who got a surface piercing instead of the VCH she paid for:
I got my VCH piercing done yesterday and upon further inspection of the piercing and seeing the pictures on your site, I have come to the realisation that it is indeed a surface piercing.
It is only a day old so I know I shouldn't change it but I want to know, once it has healed, should I change it or just leave it? From where it is placed, I could put the new bar in from the top and it should leave from the bottom.
Many thanks for your help. I live in the UK so I am not able to visit you as I'd like.
Yes, it is just a surface piercing that doesn't go under your hood at all. You really should remove it IMMEDIATELY. You are in danger of the jewelry becoming embedded. And it is really NO WHERE CLOSE to where it should be placed.
Even if the jewelry that was inserted fit (or you changed for jewelry that does), such surface piercings tend to have healing issues such as migration, scarring, and/or rejection. Even when properly fitting jewelry is placed this way, getting it out sooner is better than later, as scar tissue is naturally formed if you allow it to remain.
I put an arrow on your photo to show where the jewelry should be coming out from UNDERNEATH your hood. If you need help to remove it, go right away. It will only get harder to take out the longer you leave it in place.