Right so first off, Im Katie. I like tea - 3 sugars, skimmed milk & lots of it. Make me a cup and I'm your friend for life.
Piercing and photography are my main passions in life.
I have a slight obsession with horror movies and Momiji dolls.
I love Russell Brand and hair metal
Right, so I created this blog to give people the information o body piercings that I could never find when beginning my piercing journey!
I would like to stress, I am in no way a professional piercer, all information is purely from personal experience and information I have picked up through the years
Anonymous said: Approximately, what is the chance of an earlobe piercing getting infected?
I couldn’t give you actual figures on that, but if an earlobe piercing was done with a gun that’s normally (but not all the time) when earlobe piercings get infected.
It also sometimes depends on the age, it’s more likely a young child will get infected ear lobes since they often play with the new piercings and get bacteria in the new fistula.
You can usually tell if its infected since it may display signs like -
Soreness around the area or pain when touched
Pus (usually yellow with an infection) coming from the fistula.
Now. I would like to state again I am not a professional piercer, but this is what I have always found helps.
Firstly, do not take the jewellery out, if you do have an infection in your piercing then it will get trapped inside if the jewellery is taken out and the hole left to close up. And taking the earring out, and reinserting it all the time will push dirt and bacteria through the piercing causing infection
If you can, and can, and are not allergic to any of the ingredients, take some ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling and pain you may have.
I would usually say to soak your ear in a warm salt solution, I would usually find a small clean sterile tub to fill with solution and simply put your earlobe into the solution (you may feel a little silly with your earlobe in a tub but it really does help!), this will help clean the piercing, and soaking it in warm salt solution will draw the dirt out. The use a dry, clean control pad or qtip to gently get rid of any nasty stuff that has been draw out of the piercing. Don’t poke around it since this will irritate the piercing.
Try doing this for a week, if the infection doesn’t even start to go away then go to your doctors and they may prescribe you antibiotics for any infection.
I really hope this help, but please remember I am not a piercer or doctor. These are just methods that have worked for me.
Anonymous said: Hello, I really want to get a skin diver or something done on the back of my neck, (maybe 2 like snake bites) or 3 going down my neck in a line. But im so scared ill catch them or they wont heal properly and that were there in such a hard place to reach they wont be cleaned well enough, what would you suggest? thanks.
Sorry it’s a late reply I’ve just got back off holiday!
Yes any type of nape piercing runs the risk of being pulled, but I have been told that with skin divers especially, the best method to heal is the LITHA method, which is just leave it the hell alone!
I would honestly suggest, just from experience, micro dermals would be best since skin divers do have a nasty tendency of being knocked out a whole lot easier.
If you do get them, just try to keep them covered for the first few days for them to settle, and if you have long hair keep that up away from your fresh piercings since you don’t want it getting caught plus your hair may have some bacteria on it and you wouldn’t want any chance of them getting infected.
Also, if you wear them, necklaces. Keep them off for a while for the same reasons as with your hair.
Just keep going to your piercer and aking him to check it out to make sure it’s healing okay and most importantly, don’t play with it!
That’s all the info I have for you, I hope it has helped!
Right so this is obviously one of the most important things when it comes to piercing’s and that is – AFTERCARE!
Now as we all know, after getting our lovely new piercing’s you (should!) get an aftercare sheet which details how to look after your lovely new sparkle. But. Also, as we all know these can get ripped/ lost/ drawn on/ eaten etc.
This is purely the aftercare that I receive and follow with any and every piercing I get, but it in no way substitutes the guidance and advice of a professional piercer and if you are worried about a new piercing, you should go back to your piercer to get it checked out.
First and foremost, always wash your hands before going anywhere near your new piercing, and unless you are cleaning it you shouldn’t be touching it anyway. Do NOT change the jewellery until the piercing is fully healed, and don’t let anyone else touch it / get bodily fluids on it (sounds gross but it happens!) Taking Zinc tablets can help decrease healing time and reduce any swelling you experience, but please remember to read the label on any medication you take and do not take if you are allergic to any of the ingredients and do not exceed the recommended dose (thought I’d put that in, I don’t want anyone shouting at me for taking my advice and shouting at me for being allergic!)
Right, so coming to the cleaning. Soak and clean you new piercing, twice daily. Its recommended you clean before a shower so the clean water can rinse off any residue left – if your not on your way to the shower simple wipe down with fresh, clean water after your soak.
The recommended cleansers are -
Sea salt dissolved in hot water, and allowed to cool. (¼ teaspoon to 120ml of water)
Antibacterial hand-wash or feminine hygiene products (as these are PH balanced and contain no soap)
Saline solution (the ready made sort you can buy – make sure it does not contain Benzalkonium chloride or Benzethoium chloride. Alot of commercial cleaners contain this such as “Studex”)
This one Im never to sure on but – Savlon wound wash (spray bottle with a pink top) use sparingly and only if you think there is a problem with your piercing, if so return to your piercer. Note – DO NOT use normal cream savlon, its too thick and will stop air getting to the piercing.
Do NOT NOT NOT!!! Use products such as hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. No surgical spirit or TCP. These can remove oils from the skin and hinder healing by killing off the new growing cells.
After soaking in warm water for a minute or so, gently rub the lather (or solution on cotton buds) with clean fingers (or apply sea salt solution on cotton) to the area surrounding (and including) the piercing/jewellery and remove all ‘crusty bits’ from the area with a clean, dry cotton bud (NEVER pick any ‘crusties’ off with fingernails!) DO NOT force the jewellery to move through the hole, or twist it, unless it will move freely. Make sure you remove all soap from the piercing and jewellery by rinsing thoroughly with clean warm water, You can then use a clean, dry cotton ball to dry it, but I alwasy find it best to allow it to air dry, it just causes that little bit less irritation.
Do expect your piercing to be sore and tender for a week or so but it will settle down. Also, do expect to see a certain amount or clear / white/ pale yellow discharge for a while, do not worry this isnt an infection. But as always if you are worried see your piercer. Signs of infection do include a bright red ring around the piercing site, burning pain when touching and cleaning the piercing. If you think you have an infection DO NOT remove the jewellery. It will pull the infection into the forming fistula and since the piercing will heal, the infection will get “trapped” inside. If the pain is too bad to handle do visit your doctor. They will probably prescribe anti-biotic (Note – If they do ell you to remove the piercing, since many doctors do not have good knowledge of piercing just gently mention to them the jewellery shouldn’t be removed)
Be aware that ALL piercing’s can migrate or “grow out” and there is a chance that with some people, piercing’s just refuse to heal. the chances of this happening can be minimised by avoiding knocks and bumps to the area, following aftercare and not fiddling / pulling it/ changing the jewellery before the piercing is healed.
Any piercing can leave a scar but they can be minimised by using Bio-oil. Makeup, hair-care products and perfumes can all irritate new piercing’s so try to avoid them as best as you can. And piercing’s heal better when exposed to air, so try not to keep them covered.
For tounge - Use an alcohol free mouthwash to rinse the inside of your piercing. you should rinse your piercing after EVERYTHING you eat/ drink/ smoke for ATLEAST the first 1-2 weeks of getting your piercing, but continue to clean you piercing regularly after this. With tongue piercing’s especially, you will experience a certain amount of swelling which will make it difficult to eat and talk for a while. Taking Ibuprofen tablets can help reduce swelling again please remember to read the label on any medication you take and do not take if you are allergic to any of the ingredients and do not exceed the recommended dose. The swelling will subside after a week or so. The jewellery you were fitted with is long enough to allow for any swelling, and it is recommended that you change your tongue bar for a shorter one 1-2 weeks after having it pierced. This will make it easier to eat/speak and avoid damage to your teeth, wearing acrylic jewellery on the inside of your mouth will minimise tooth damage too. But please, see your piercer to have this done.
For lip – use the same instructions as shown above for the outside of the piercing (salt soaks etc) and the same as above for tongue piercing’s for the inside of the piercing.
For most oral piercing’s, stick to eating soft foods such as ice cream (yay!), soup, yoghurt etc. Please avoid spicy foods and alcohol for the first week of piercing since they will irritate the piercing. You may notice a slight yellowish/ white furry coating on your tongue, or even some bruising (black/purple/yellow); this is normal. Use your toothbrush to gently brush away the coating. It will stop doing this shortly after having the bar changed for a shorter one. Some discharge may be visible around each side of the piercing, this is normal.
It is advised to buy new jewellery every 6 months for any oral piercing (unless changing it regularly) as the jewellery can get scratched and harbour bacteria (causing bad breath)
For cheek - Cheek piercings are not very often seen due to there tricky nature. They should be cared for the same as lip piercings. Mouthwash the sideside and salt solution the outside. Please see my other note “Cheek piercings” for more information on them.
Ear piercings tend to be pretty tricky to clean, for these all you should use is your salt solution. Be aware, they do tend to get knocked alot, and you would be surprised how much you sleep on them. Make sure you clean anything that goes near your ears that could be harbouring bacteria such as your phone. For a while if you have long hair try to avoid it being on your new piercing, and do NOT allow your hair to get wrapped around the jewellery of your new piercing.
Try to also keep any surfaces your head rests on, such as your pillow, as clean as you can. Try and change your pillowcase on a daily basis - or as described in “The Piercing Bible” by Elayne Angel, there is the T-shirt trick. You simply put a T-shirt over your pillow, You sleep on one side, next day flip it over, day after turn it inside out, day after flip it over again. This gives you a clean surface to sleep on for 4 days, and is easier than changing your pillowcase everyday!
With ear piercings, thhere is no clothing etc covering it so you may tend to touch it without even realising it, please make sure you don not touch or play with it for an uneventful healing. Do not get any hair-care products in / on your new piercing, also be carful not to snag the jewellery with your hairbrush since this will tug it and cause irritation. Please note, that if it an cartilage piercing it takes a great deal of patience to heal. Sometimes, the piercing can seem healed and then regress, just be patient.
Nipple / navel piercing’s
Nipple piercing’s tend to heal a lot faster on males than females, as they rarely wear clothing directly over the piecing site (i.e no bra) Navel piercing’s can be a pain in the bum to heal due to the constant movement in the area. In some cases it can take well over a year to fully heal a navel piercing. You need patience especially with a navel piercing. Avoid tight clothing and let it breathe as much as possible. Be aware that they can easily migrate, but a good way to avoid this is to avoid wearing dangly jewellery and avoiding knocks and bumps.
Genital (male & female)
In the case of genital iercings they can bleed for up to 12 hours after the piercing. For males, wearing jockey-type shorts will hold everything still and minimise movement. If you are worried about this, please come back and see your piercer about it, contact your GP or hospital if you need help urgently. Always wear clean underwear during healing. Tight clothing/underwear can irritate the piercing and increase the healing time. Avoid contact with other people’s body fluids (saliva, sweat. semen, etc.) during healing. Avoid sexual intercourse for 2-4 weeks after having a genital piercing done. When the piercing has healed, take extra care to make sure that condoms aren’t torn or weakened by the jewellery, using a water-based lubricant such as KY Jelly will minimise the risk of a condom tearing. If you plan on stretching the piercing, make sure it is fully healed before doing so.
Surface piercings / Microdermals/ Skindivers
All 3 of these types of piercing’s are very tricky to heal and they all come with a higher risk of rejection and migration – If you think this is happening return to your piercer to possibly have it removed, this will reduce the scarring left. Avoid tight clothing over the piercing and do NOT fiddle with them. One of the best methods for these piercing’s is the LITHA method – Leave It The Hell Alone!! On these piercing’s the actual jewellery should not (and really cannot) be removed (as in just changing the jewellery) but the balls and screw on disks can be changed after a few months of having them pierced, the only exception to this is skin divers – the top of these are fixed.
Use salt water twice daily to clean the piercing’s and drying carefully is essential.
Surface piercing’s can look very angry for a few months after first having them pierced – return to your piercer if your concerned. Microdermals and skin divers heal alor quicker than surface piercings but can be knocked and pulled out very easily, if you are in an environment where you think you piercing is in danger of being knocked or pulled out wear a plaster or other protective barrier over it, But it is essential for these piercing to breathe.
If you are planning n getting many microdermals or skin divers then please, just get one at first as a “test” to see how you heal with them.
Now, these are just a guideline for healing times. Its all down to your body and how well you heal, heaing times are also increased if you are ill or if there has been trauma to the piercing.
Please remember, just because your piercing isnt red, crusty, swolle, sore etc does NOT mean its healed. If in doubt rturn to your piercer for a check up.
Ear cartilage - 3 - 9 months
Earlobe - 4 - 8 wees
Bottom lip - 6 - 8 weeks
Upper lip - 2 - 3 months
Nostril - 3 - 4 months
Septum - 4 - 8 weeks
Tounge / tounge tip - 4 - 8 weeks
Lingual frenulum (Smiley, frowny & tounge web) - 4 - 8 weeks
Eyebrow - 6 - 8 weeks
Teardrop - 3 - 4 months
Bridge (erl) - 4 - 6 months
Bindi (vertical bridge) - 4 - 6 months
Nipple (female) - 6 - 9 months
Nipple (male) - 3 - 4 months
Navel - 6 - 9 months
Prince Albert (Male genital) - 4 - 8 weeks
Clitoral hood (vertical) VCH (Female genital) - 4 - 8 weeks
Clitoral hood (Horizonalal) HCH (Female genital) - 6 - 8 weeks
Clitoris (Female genital) - 4 - 8 weeks
Guiche (Male & Female, more common on men) - 3 - 4 months
Pubic (Male & female, more common on men) - 3 - 4 months
Scrotum (Male genital) - 3 - 4 months
Triangle (female genital) - 3 - 4 months
Ampallang & Apadravya (male genital) - 6 - 9 months
Christina (Female genital) - 6 - 9 months
Princess Diana (Female genital) - 4 - 8 weeks
Reverse Prince Albert (Male genital) - 4 - 6 months
Foreskin (Male genital) - 2 - 3 months
Forchette (Female genital) - 6 - 8 weeks
Frenum (Male genital) - 3 - 4 months
Lorum - 3 - 4 months
If planning on stretching a piercing, wait for it to heal fully and then give it a least another month before starting to stretch. Ask your piercer for advice on stretching and how best to prepare for it.
Hope this helps!
Now, we have all seen the signs in certain shops advertising ear piercing’s, and yes they are cheap but are the risks really worth it?
Now, this is a subject that really makes my blood boil, In this blog I will be putting forward points as to why I believe gun piercing’s to be so dangerous – Now please remember this is my opinion and I do try and back up with as many facts as possible.
I hope this educate people as to why they are dangerous.
Firstly, a piercing gun cannot be sterilised. They are made of metal but have a plastic coating so if properly vacuum autoclaved it would melt – Thus the actual gun cannot be sterilised. Yes, I know that the studs have a disposable plastic casing around them, but the actual gun is NOT sterile. Would you have a doctor use a scalpel if the handle was dirty? No.
Why I hear you asking, is it so important the gun should be cleaned – Well. Obviously you want anything going near your body during the course of getting a piercing to be sterile but, During the actual piercing procedure airborne microbes are pushed up into the gun which could be potentially very dangerous. With needles they are single use and always sterile.
During the procedure.
Now, many people reading this will of had a piercing (more than likely earlobes) done with a gun and I can honestly say I am one of them. I had my ears pierced with a gun at 12 years old before I had the knowledge I have now.
The way a piercing is done with a gun is the gun uses blunt pressure to push the stud through the tissue and this creates a lot more swelling and trauma to the site than a needle piercing’s would. The jewellery that is used in gun piercing’s is not long enough to allow adequate room for swelling and increased blood flow.
The stud and back simply crush the tissue between them until the “sharp end” (which is about 1/100th as sharp as a needle) simple clicks into place with the horrible butterfly back used. This smashed through any tissue that is in the way. Whereas a needle parts the tissue it is going through with the bevel (sharp end) which is much safer, plus your piercer can choose the right length of jewellery you need to allow for swelling and such, piercers also use a normal barbell for ear piercing’s which do not use the butterfly backs which can trap any infections, germs and bacteria in them.
Now yes, I do understand that gun piercing’s are seen as cheaper and more convenient that going to a proper studio. But it is always worth seeking out a professional studio since they will be in a clean room (unlike at Claires accessories) and use sterile equipment, so paying a few extra quid is a lot better in the long run. The only “up side” for a gun piercing is they are arguably quicker, but a professional piercer can pierce your ear quicker than a gun, but then has to insert the jewellery so the overall time is a tiny bit longer, but well worth the extra 5 mins.
Looking more into the jewellery used with gun piercing’s. They are normally not very good quality and nowhere near long enough to allow for the swelling and such, I do believe the standard length used it about 6mm whereas a professional piercer normally uses about 10mm. The jewellery is usually nickel plated and coated in 9ct gold or sterling silver – both of which are porous metal unsuitable to be used in fresh piercing’s. The backs have a very large surface which gives bacteria lots of places to hide, unlike a smooth barbell or ball closure ring. The backs are often uncomfortable to sleep on and the backs usually stab you in the neck whilst sleeping.
The “training” people get to use guns is often gained on a hirdressing course and usually takes about an hour – Yes an hour. Thats one hour experience compared to professional piercers who go through years of training to preform piercings. Also on these “courses” they are not given any training on the lymphatic (immune) system, and circulatory system. They are also not given any training on sterilisation or proper aftercare.
Also remeber - piercing guns were orginally designed to tag cattle.
Now, these so called “piercers” are narrow minded and do not see what they are doing as, yes a very minor, surgical procedure. I have seen in many places using guns they do not even wear a pair of gloves performing the piercing’s. Also, piercing’s using guns are usually (I will not say all the time) wonky and unevenly spaced. And the aftercare given is terrible, and the “aftercare” solution given usually contains Benzalkonium chloride or Benzethoium chloride, these are antiseptics and disinfectants and are designed to kill and inhibit the growth of germs BUT they do not effectively clean the skin. And NEVER go by the Claires aftercare sheet – trust me, I’ve read one.
Now, not saying that every piercing studio will have a strict NO GUNS policy, but most will still offer to do lobes with a needle, but the majority of gun users are in hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons and Clairs Accessories.
Piercing earlobes with a piercing gun is bad enough, but I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how dangerous it is to pierce any other area (especially cartilage) with a gun, it damages the fleshy earlobe enough let alone the blunt pressure it will put on cartilage.
Now, you my be wondering, if piercing guns are so bad why are they legal? The simple answer is the law will not touch body piercing with a stick and anything they DO legalise is not policied properly – if at all.
I have mentioned Claires Accessories a lot in this blog, I have nothing against the actual Claires stores or products, only there gun policy. To Claires, its more about money they get from gun piercings, Its cheap. Since they use a pair of (poor quality) ear piercing studs, a few squirts of disinfectant to attempt to clean – NOT sterilise the gun and the surgical spirit used to clean the piercing (NEVER use surgical spirit on your skin its like bleach) along with the sheet that instructs you to turn the piercings, which is a BAD idea since it causes more trauma, swelling and bleeding to the area and all this costs them anout ￡2. And I know that Claires offer a “free” ear piercing when you buy the starter pack which consists of the so called “aftercare”, sheet and pair of studs (which vary in style and price) the starter pack costs about ￡10 upwards – depending on the style of studs you pick.
Now, ￡10 for a gun piercing’s or, at least at the studio I visit regularly who have a strict NO GUNS policy, is ￡15 for a pair using a sterile needle in a clean room and using correct jewellery – which would you prefer?
okay so, needle piercing’s are often snubbed because people are scared of needles, this is simply combated just tell your piercer and he/she will often keep the needle out of your sight and take you through breathing techniques to help relax you. they will often advise you to close your eyes and will tell you when they are doing the piercing. I know some people have a real fear of needles, but then you cant get any piercing if your scared of needles right?
Needle piercing hurt much less than gun piercings. the healing time for a needle piercing on the lobes is about 2-3 months, with a Claires gun its about 6 weeks (notice this is the length of the summer holidays? moneymoneymoney)
So lastely, please do NOT flood this blog with “well ive had all my piercings done with guns and they are fine” ect You see, yes needle piercing can also swell and get infected but the risk is much less likely than with a gun. And the damage done (if any) is not permanent or extensive. Proper aftercare is required with any piercing, failure to follow it can easily result in a poorly piercing,weather done with a gun or needle.
Gloves anyone? This is so unhygenic, you wouldnt expect any other piercing to be done where your piercer wasnt wearing gloves would you?
A lovely example of a very common probem with gun piercings … That is the horrible butterfly back becoming embedded into the back of the ear, many proffesional piercers are very used to having to dig these out the beck of lobes.
And this is what the butterfly back looks like when its been dug out .. All lovely bits of body tissue, blood and lymph fluid stuck in and around it … Lovely huh?
Nice little close up diagram of a piercng gun … I personally wouldnt want something used on my body that has the word “trigger” included.
You can read other articles on gun piercing at the links below:
I hope this educates, even just one person, against gun piercings.