The Piercing Bible
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.
March 4th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was concerned about her new Forward Helix piercing:
Hi there! I got my forward helix and snug done on February 5th and the healing for the forward helix isn't going as smoothly as I'd planned. I have several other ear piercings but this one feels sore, hurts to smile or move my mouth, and has blood crusties coming out. My piercer used a hoop instead of a barbell for the jewelry, could that be the source of my problem? The snug is healing beautifully with no problems and I have my industrial in the other ear which gave me no problems as well.
If the cause of the problem is from the hoop, would it be safe to change it right away then?
The piercing is still brand new; you need to give it a little time to settle in. Blood and secretions aren't indicative of any problem at this stage, and neither is discomfort or even pain.
I have put hoops in on many occasions in that location and everything has healed up just fine. I think you need to just give it some time (assuming the jewelry is high quality). The fit looks appropriate, and so the initial jewelry should be left in for at least a few months before changing it.
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 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.
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 24th, 2013
I received a message from a piercee who was concerned about her nipple piercing, which appeared to be migrating:
I had both nipples done back in August. The one had to be removed about 3 months later because of rejection and now I think the other is doing the same.
I have been under a lot of stress but I'm just not sure. It's not in the same place anymore.
Yes, sorry-that does appear to be migration.
Did you use the same jewelry the first time?
I noticed your jewelry appears to have a matte finish and that can cause problems, especially in a new/healing piercing. Initial jewelry should have a super-smooth, high polish mirror finish for safety. It is unclear whether the ring would have been wide enough for optimal safety when the piercing was new. The part of a ring that passes through the tissue should be relatively straight.
You should probably go ahead and remove that ring now to avoid further tissue damage.