Piercing FAQ

Piercing FAQ

Do piercing hurt?

Not nearly as much as you might think! In fact, the actual piercing is so brief that the worst part is the preceding mental anxiety and fear. And, no matter how the piercing felt, almost everyone who gets pierced can’t help but laugh or smile when it’s over. Don’t get me wrong, piercing is not a painless experience–but pain is completely relative to the individual and the pain incurred during a piercing is nothing that the average person can’t handle. Remember: the piercing process only lasts a split second, while the new addition to your body can be enjoyed as long as you like!

How old do you need to be to get a piercing?

16 years old for most piercings. If you are under the age of 16 then a parental consent form must be signed. All below the belt piercings/exotic piercings and nipple piercings you must be 18 years of age.

What can and can’t you do during the healing period?

Basically, treat your piercing like what it is: a wound. Would you play rough sports or have rough sexual encounters if you were wounded? Would you irritate a wound that is trying to heal? You should treat your fresh piercings as gently as possible–at all times, at all costs. This will insure that your body is healing your new piercing at the fastest rate possible. And always remember to wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap before touching your healing piercing, don’t just randomly play with it. Stay out of hot tubs and swimming pools, especially public ones for at least 3-4 weeks.

How long before you can change the starter jewelry?

In accordance with healing, this time period can vary from person to person. There are two things to consider: the initial and full healing periods. The initial healing period is that time when the body creates a nice layer of skin between you and the starter jewelry. The full healing period is when the new piercing is entirely healed. Now, when deciding how long to wait before changing your jewelry you have to remember that you don’t want to reopen the wound. This will delay your healing process and require intense aftercare to prevent possible infection. And when you change your jewelry you are going to irritate your new piercing—no matter how gentle you are. So, my advice is to wait until the piercing is no longer tender (meaning, you can play with your piercing without experiencing ANY discomfort). At this point you can consider changing your jewelry. However, use as much care as possible when changing your jewelry for the first time! Usual recommended time is 3 months. Also remember to use clean sterilized jewelry. Jewelry is coming from all parts of the world now and you don’t know the sanitary conditions in which it was made or who handled it until it got to you. Never share jewelry.

Why do you have to start with stainless steel, titanium or gold jewelry?

These are the best materials to prevent adverse reactions to the new object in your body. There will be plenty of time for the fun involved with changing your jewelry to express yourself or reflect your personal style. Try to enjoy each stage of your new piercing and understand that the better you treat your new piercing/s, the sooner you’ll be able to sport new jewelry.

For how long can you keep your jewelry?

This depends. Each piercing has a different lifespan without jewelry. For example, a removed tongue barbell to go to the dentist may start to close up within an hour and a half. On the other hand, earlobe jewelry can be kept out for days without having your holes shrink or close-up. Bottom line, if you have to remove your jewelry, get a retainer. This will prevent any chance of losing the piercing. And retainers are made with clear lucite, flesh colored or clear acrylic ends. So hiding your piercing or keeping your piercing open shouldn’t be an issue.

Will a piercing heighten sensitivity to the pierced area?

Yes. While all piercings will make you more aware of the pierced area, there are definitely some piercings that heighten sensitivity more than others. Typically, these include the tongue, nipples, and genitals. As a piercer I have heard everything from “erotic stimulation” to “instant orgasm.” Now, I cannot guarantee that one of these three types of piercings will make you shudder in sexual or sensual delight; but, I will say that I have never heard anyone say that one of these three types of piercings did not enhance sensitivity.

Should you use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean your piercing?

DO NOT use any type of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean your piercing. Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are not meant for cleaning piercings, and will only irritate, complicate, and delay the healing process. Both products dry out all the new skin cells that are trying to form for a healed piercing. Proper instructions for healing piercings can be found under the Aftercare section.

What should you do if your piercing is red and seems to be infected?

First, make sure that you are NOT using alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or Polysporin (longer than a week). The largest amount of complaints come from those who use these products to heal their piercings. Second, make sure that you are only using antibacterial or antimicrobial soap and/or sea salts to clean your piercing. Proper instructions for healing piercings can be found under the Aftercare section. Remember, piercings such as the navel and nipple tend to get irritated easily because they are in active areas of the body. So be careful not to pull on your jewelry while the piercing is still healing.

How long should you wait before stretching your piercing?

It’s a good idea to wait at least 3 times as long as the healing period before attempting to stretch. This is only a General Rule, so sometimes you can go faster, sometimes slower. It’s always a good idea to let your piercer do the stretching as the right tools for the job make it a lot easier. Patience is a virtue, stretch at a normal pace…when your body wants you too.

Will you have a problem breast feeding if your nipples are pierced?

As long as the piercing/s are well healed one would not have a problem with breast feeding. The nipple has plenty of cells of mammary glands. If the piercing is at the base of the nipple, jewelry doesn’t matter. A lot of people choose barbells so they can remove them during the great feed. If the piercings are not healed, take’em out, and then get them re-pierced after you are done breast feeding.

How do you insert new jewelry?

Inserting new jewelery should only be done in a healed piercing. Make sure the jewelry has been sterilized and not worn by anyone else. A warm shower or bath will make inserting the new jewelry much easier. Or book an appointment with me and I can help you out.

What is “migration?”

Curved bars, when placed properly, are the one type of jewelry that is least likely to be rejected. Rejection is usually caused by “back pressure” often caused by using straight bars, or simply the body refusing to accept the piercing. Rings can get knocked around quite a bit and that irritation can trigger and cause rejection. In fact, any piercing, if it received enough trauma, can be rejected. Infection and allergy/sensitivity are also types of irritation and can lead to rejection. Some piercing will “migrate” to a more comfortable setting without being rejected. Eyebrows that are pierced too deeply will often migrate to a more comfortable position and stop. This is common with Guiches, Frenums, Brows and even Navels. You can tell a piercing is rejecting when the skin is pink (not infection) and sometimes tender. The holes begin to get closer together leaving a thin scar in their wake. This can happen extremely quickly or over a long period of time. And it can happen to a brand new piercing or one that is 5 years old.

Will the hole in a cartilage piercing close back up?

As long as there is no complications during the healing process, and/or obscene amounts of scar tissue, the piercing will close. It may leave the remnants of discoloration, but that too will fade over time.

What should you do if you have a scar tissue bump around your piercing?

You should: Massage the tissue while you’re in the shower letting very hot water run over it to help break up the scar tissue, stimulating new skin growth.Try dabbing a small amount of Vitamin E oil on the piercing several times a day. Vitamin E helps break down scar tissue. If this doesn’t work AFTER a few weeks give cortisone cream a try.

Piercings at the mall with a gun…

Getting pierced with a piercing-gun is very unhealthy for your body. A piercing-gun inflicts blunt trauma force to the body which increases the chance for infection and an unpleasant healing process. ALL piercings should be performed with a hollow, surgical steel tribevel needle. This will alleviate the problem of “blowout” (having a volcano-like build-up of flesh around the exit hole of you piercing) and decrease chances for infection. The first such problem is the risk of contracting disease. Most guns have plastic parts which cannot be properly sterilized, giving rise to the possibility of spreading bacterial infections, or more serious blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and C. The second problem has to do with the shape and composition of the jewelry itself and the force applied by it to the earlobe (or any body part), making healing difficult. These guns were first manufactured to tag livestock, and inflict unnecessary blunt trauma to the tissue. The studs used by the guns have clasps which trap bacteria and which, when combined with the too-short post used by the jewelry, compress the tissue. This does not allow for proper swelling, makes cleaning the site difficult, and reduces the availability of oxygen to the wound. In addition, the metal used for most of the gunned jewelry is of inferior quality and may inhibit healing by causing contact dermatitis or nickel allergies. The best and safest option for any piercing, including earlobes, is to patronize a professional body piercer like myself. I have the proper training to perform safe piercings, unlike most physicians, and certainly unlike the poorly trained clerks piercing people in malls. Professional piercers like myself observe proper sterile procedures, use a single-use, sharp needle which does not damage tissue, and good quality body jewelry made specifically for safe and speedy healing.