March 24th, 2013
This message is from a woman who has an improperly placed (surface )Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) piercing on top of a previously rejected site:
Hello again Elayne, here is an image of my botched VCH piercing AGAIN.
I emailed you a while ago referring the misplacement and worry about migration. I've had this worry since I emailed you the second time around and I've been watching my piercing like a hawk and cleaning it regularly!
Like last time it's still quite tender and sore and itchy like its still healing. I don't know whether the skin is too thin and it's pushing it out or that's normal or the light or what! I'm so worried because my last one grew out and has left two pieces of scarring and I really don't want this to do it again but I love my piercing and want to keep it :(
I've got a horrible feeling your going to tell me to take it out so is there any chance you could recommend any good pierces for this as I cannot afford another botched job as I would most definitely want to get this done again! I live in the south west of England.
Please help me!
I'm sorry, but it is likely that you will, in fact, have to remove the jewelry. It is a surface piercing and those often are unsuccessful. If it hasn't been settling in well since you last contacted me, then that is a bad sign for the future… Also the more scar tissue you generate through attempting to heal it, the harder it could be to get a properly placed one in the future--and to successfully heal it. I do suggest you remove it, especially if you have hopes of trying again with a better piercer.
March 22nd, 2013
I recieved a message from a woman who was concerned about the odor of her healed nipple piercings:
I am a female that has a nipple piercing from a reliable professional piercer who you recommend.
I have fairly large nipples and he used a large gage post for my piercing. I experienced many months of bloody leakage that finally healed. My piercing is over 2 years old, but now I have a daily discharge of white fluid that has an odor. I want to have an attractive piercing that isn’t stinky. Could I schedule a consultation to review my situation and possible options? Do I need to just remove my piercing? Can I exchange it for another gage? Can I change it out for a different piece of jewelry? I love having my nipple pierced and how it feels, but the drainage is really a bother. I hope you can advise me on my options.
Thanks for your message. If you've had your piercing for over 2 years and the discharge is smelly, I believe I know what you need. An appointment with me is not required. You're welcome to change your jewelry, but that is not required and is unlikely to have any effect on this particular situation.
The excerpt below is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing, and it explains the issue:
Sebum is a substance from your oil glands that collects in healed piercing channels. It is a naturally occurring product of the body, containing fat, keratin (a fibrous protein), and cellular material. The purpose of sebum is to protect your skin and hair, keep it moisturized, and to inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the skin. People sometimes mistake it for pus, but it is more solid and cheeselike and has a distinctive rotten odor that reflects the dead cellular debris it contains.
March 20th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who wondered if her water consumption could affect the healing process:
OMG! Let me start off by saying that I'm so excited that you have an advice column sort of thing. I have had your book for years, and I've always wanted to ask you questions. Anywho I've had my nipple piercing done for about 6 months. It still crusts up, and I know that it has not completely healed. It used to have previous issues until I had my piercer change the barbell to a longer one. I still use salt water soaks every time it gets irritated, but I've noticed that as I've been drinking a lot of water it has stopped crusting up as much. Is this because I'm in the final stages of healing or the amount of water I've been drinking?
Thanks for your message. I haven't ever heard of increased water consumption being responsible for a major healing effect. That said, being hydrated is important for overall health and well being, so it couldn't hurt to continue drinking a lot of water.
And, you may find (as described in my book) that you will have ups and downs over time. You may have stopped crusting now, and whether you drink a lot of water or not, you may have more secretion once again. Don't be surprised by that cycle.
March 16th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was considering a VCH piercing but had questions about wearing jewelry during childbirth:
For the bridal shower of my wedding one of my best friends raised money for me to get my VCH done. I had been thinking about it for awhile. I have had one child and do not get the same sensation now as I did before having my child during sex. Well its almost a year after my wedding and still no piercing. I am one of those that needs extensive research before committing to anything. Anyways my question relates to childbirth. I want to know if I would have to take out my piercing for childbirth, and if I do have to would it close up? Would I have to get it pierced again? I want to have more children. And I really want to know before I commit to this piercing if having more children will mean getting this piercing more than once. Any feedback will be appreciated, as I have not found anything helpful from Google. Thank you in advance.
Thanks for your message. This is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
March 14th, 2013
I received a message from a piercee who had concerns about her new Vertical Clit Hood piercing:
I did my research and went ahead and got what I thought is a VCH piercing. Hardly hurt! Didn't bleed that much either! The lady I saw was lovely, appeared experienced, knowledgeable and professional in terms of procedure, after-care and placement. She used a needle receiving tube.
However I was comparing it to pictures on your blog and I think I am now one of those eight out of ten women with a surface piercing. =( My hood is quite shallow which I guess is why the area pierced (front view) looks quite small... (And my jewelry seems a bit long!) But... when I had a look underneath the exit pt for the piercing is not quite at the bottom of the hood! Can you enlighten? Am i being picky or do i need to take it out and try take two??
Because of the length of the jewelry, the bottom ball does rest on my clitoris, but I'm worried about the piercing growing out (migrating). I had this done two days ago so I haven't been able to test it out yet!
Thank you so much! Please tour Australia at some point! =)
You definitely have a VCH surface piercing--it is NOT properly placed. The jewelry does not come out from under your hood where a VCH piercing should be located. And, it is in a small amount of tissue (between the entry and exit holes), and very likely to migrate and reject and scar. Sorry….
My suggestion is that you try to get your money back and abandon the piercing.
March 12th, 2013
Here's a recent consultation I performed for a woman whose Vertical Clit Hood piercing was developing scar tissue:
I've had a VCH piercing for just over 9 weeks now and seem to be having some problems with it. This is my second attempt at a VCH because the first time I had it done, it was improperly placed too shallow (even though the piercer used a NRT) and it was only a 16g externally threaded curved barbell. I took that one out after two weeks, gave it a month to heal, then drove a little farther to a much more reputable piercing studio. Before settling on this particular studio, I purchased and read your book, educating myself as much as possible so I didn't get another botched job. The second piercing was so much better! I felt really comfortable with the piercer's knowledge and she did everything "by the book". This time, I was pierced with a 12g, 5/8" straight SS barbell internally threaded (anatometal brand). I asked her why she piercers with a straight barbell rather than curved and she said in her experience women tend to enjoy the straight barbell more (herself included). After scrutinizing the piercing from every angle when I got home, I was very happy with the placement and started the healing process.
I healed the piercing by doing sea salt soaks (1/4 tsp non-iodized sea salt to 1 cup of filtered water) twice a day for the first four weeks, then continued once a day until the piercing was no longer tender (about 6 weeks after being pierced). I will admit there was a 4 day period where I didn't do any soaks 2 weeks after getting pierced due to being away from home.
March 10th, 2013
Here's a recent consultation I performed for a woman who needed assistance with determining the best placement for a nostril piercing:
I have a placement dilemma. For years, I’ve secretly admired nose piercings but was too afraid to get a piercing of my own until about 4 months ago. I was initially apprehensive due to being employed in a white collar work setting and being over 40 years old. I did tons of research and decided to go for it-especially after learning that there is a variety of “discreet” jewelry, to avoid having to remove my piercing while at work.
Upon arriving at the tattoo/piercing studio, I had already envisioned where I wanted the placement on my left nostril to be. I assumed that by requesting that the placement be madenear the lower part of my nostril & back-it would be an ideal way for the placement to be discreet.
Well, after looking at my placement over and over again. I feel that I did not choose an ideal or flattering spot for the piercing. I have since taken out my nose jewelry to let the piercing close, so that I can have it re-pierced.
Elayne, I have enclosed some pictures for you to assess the “best” placement location.
I've indicated what I believe would be the best placement for your nostril piercing on the photos you provided. One shows just a small circle for the placement I would describe as an ideal aesthetic for your anatomy. Let me know if you have additional questions.
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.