February 28th, 2013
I received a message from someone who got a lip piercing and was concerned about how it was healing:
Hi! 8 days ago I got my lip pierced professionally. I was pierced with the standard gauge at 16g stud. My cleaning regimen goes like this: Every morning after my first smoke and breakfast, I brush my teeth, do a 50/50 mouthwash with water and Listerine, and clean the outside with antibacterial soap. When I get out of the shower I do a sea-salt soak for 3-5 minutes depending on how it feels. These actions are per my piercer. After I eat or smoke I swish sea-salt water. I do the morning regimen before bed, skipping the last sea-salt soak. My problem resides on the inside of my lip where the back of the stud sits against my lip. I'm trying not to panic, but I am known to overcook things when I notice something weird going on on/in my body. What I SEE looks like a small mound of scar tissue; it's not very red and there is no leakage other than small amounts of lymph. I should tell you that this scar tissue (or whatever it might be) is aiding in the back of the stud leaving a mark where it sits. What I FEEL is a small lump under the skin just next to my piercing. If I show anyone what I am feeling, they would not see it as it is impossible to see under the scar tissue. It worries me because I don't want to take it out or get rid of it. It looks pretty and I love it. I wouldn't think it is because my long stud is too short because it sticks out a ways in front.
May 20th, 2012
I received a message from someone who got a lip piercing and was concerned about experiencing numbness in the area:
(Photos below show a normal range of sizes and placements for a side lip placement with ring--with initial jewelry that allows for swelling.)
I got a lower side lip piercing yesterday (captive bead ring) and it now feels like there is numbness around the piercing canal (the lip itself and skin around the piercing are not numb). There is a little redness around the outside opening and a little pain, though I haven't spotted any pus, and movement is in no way impaired.
My cleaning regimen is standard.
My question is: is numbness normal? If so, will it go away eventually? If not, what should I do?
Thank you for your help (your book is an invaluable resource).
December 27th, 2011
I got this message from a piercee who is having trouble with a labret (lip) piercing:
I got my labret pierced on the 3rd of december, and in the last couple days the skin on the inside of my piercing has grown (like a white flap on the bottom of the disc about 1mm tall) that rests next to the disc. i don't know whether it would be growing over it, i have a 10mm long stem which i thought is long enough, but i would still like your opinion
I told her that if she thinks the tissue is growing over the jewelry, she should should see her piercer IMMEDIATELY for a jewelry change! I also explained that I couldn't really evaluate a piercing without seeing it--or at least a photo or two. I requested that she send some clear, close up images, and I received these (below). They do show that the post is long enough so she is not in danger of the jewelry becoming embedded (which is a risk when a piercing is healing if the jewelry is too short).
July 12th, 2010
What can you do if you like the look of a vertical labret, but like many individuals, you do not have the full, pouty lips required to support a vertical surface piercing safely and with stability?
This is not a vertical lip piercing--it is a traditional placement using a custom-bent circular barbell!
There is a likelihood of migration or rejection and a high risk of scarring with any lip surface placement. But a custom-bent C-ring or U-ring is a safe and comfortable alternative for many piercees who wear labrets. This is a small diameter circular barbell that is widened so that it is C-shaped (or U-shaped, depending on anatomy) rather than round. This will conform to your lip and help to avoid jewelry contact with your teeth or gums. There is a wide range of fit possibilities based on the way it is bent to accommodate individual anatomy. Sometimes an asymmetrical bend is used. This style may satisfy you if you like the look of a vertical lip (surface) piercing but don’t want to face its risks of scarring and migration. The jewelry can give you the same appearance (one ball on top of your lip and the other right beneath it), but with the versatility of a traditional labret.
It sometimes takes a few attempts with different styles and sizes of jewelry to deter- mine what works best for your labret piercing. The mouth is a dynamic area that moves and changes shape considerably when you speak, smile, and eat. No wonder comfort- ably accommodating a static piece of metal there is so challenging.
February 25th, 2010
Wow! I ran across this video of a woman with lip plates drinking water. It is fascinating to see how incredibly large her piercings are stretched (both upper and lower lips). I can also see that there has been no thinning of the tissue, which often occurs when stretching is done too quickly.
It looks like drinking is a bit of a challenge, and I imagine eating is too, but I'm completely fascinated. It isn't a modification I'd want for myself, however. The little 14 gauge hole in my lip is just fine for me.
November 4th, 2009
I had an exchange with a reader about cheek piercings:
Hello im Jessica from the UK. I have recently had my cheeks pierced by my partner who is a proffesional body piercer for purely piercing in the UK. We read your story about your cheeks and i took it all into account. I did lots of other research especially on BME. We understood the complications but i have wanted them done since i was 12 im now 18. He pierced them perfectly no further back then the first molar like you said. I picked up your book today to have a snoop at how long they will stay swollen i had them dont on halloween they've already started to go down :). But i was quite annoyed when i looked into your book and all it said was cheeks are unrecomendible and your worst story. this was NOT the information i expected from someone as good as you. Please get in touch with some information you didn't place in the book. thank you,
I replied: Jessika, After what happened to me I can't recommend that cheek piercings be done. If your piercings in front of the first molar, then you can consider them lip piercings and refer to the information in pages 111-117. The bulk of initial swelling should be down in the first 2-4 weeks, though some swelling could remain for longer. If you have other specific questions, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them. What did you want to know. Elayne Her surprised and much more pleasant response to me (admitting that she didn't think I'd respond):