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Piercing F.A.Q

 

Body Piercing FAQ

1.Is it gonna 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!

2. How long will it take to heal?
That depends. Each area of the body has its own unique healing period and process. Oral and oral/facial piercings tend to heal fastest, while others tend to heal a bit slower. To see healing time of your piercing please click here and look for your piercing 


3. What if a shop doesn't seem clean and my piercer isn't wearing gloves, isn't using pouched needles and jewelry, or simply being unpleasant when I ask questions?
Get up and walk out! There's no longer any reason to put up with inferior and unsafe shops and piercers. So, if a shop seems to appear unprofessional, there's no reason to feel as though, "I guess I'm getting pierced here or nowhere." Try and do some research before choosing a shop or piercer. Ask around and determine what shops have solid reputations for being sterile, quality, and friendly.

4. What can and can't I 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.

5. How long before I can change the 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 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!

6. Why do I 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. But you don't want to lose your piercing because you have no patience. So, try to enjoy each stage of your new piercing and understand that better you treat your new holes, the sooner you’ll be able to show-off your new piercing.

7. For how long can I keep out my jewelry?
This depends. Each piercing has a different lifespan without jewelry. Bottom line, if you have to remove your jewelry, contact your piercer about retainers. This will prevent any chance of losing the piercing. And retainers are made with clear lucite, flesh colored or clear acrylic ends, and other styles of "hideable" accessories. So hiding your piercing shouldn't be an issue. And for athletes, a flexible material can be used such as Tygon.

8. Will a piercing heighten sensitivity in the pierced area?
Possibly. 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. 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.

9. I think my piercing is infected ... what should I do?
There are several different things that can be wrong with your piercing. Most commonly, you may have an irritation or adverse reaction to the jewelry. Please contact the piercer at the shop in which you were pierced. If you are in a new location, contact your local professional piercer or shop. If you still don’t feel satisfied, or if the complications persist, please contact your personal physician or schedule to see a local doctor.

10. Is piercing some new “fad” or “trend”?
No!! Piercing has been around since early man. It has been practiced in nearly every culture all over the world for thousands of years. The reason why some journalists call piercing a “fad” or “trend” is either because they don’t get around much.

11. Should I "spin" my jewelry when cleaning a new piercing, or will this drag bacteria into the wound and delay healing?
We believe that "spinning" the jewelry will drag dried matter and bacteria into the wound and possibly damage healing tissue. We really suggest minimal handling of the jewelry.

12. Should I use alcohol to clean my piercing?
DO NOT use any type of alcohol, peroxide, ointment, or ear care solution to clean your piercing. Alcohol or any of these is not meant for internal use, and will only irritate and further complicate the healing process. Using rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide they over dry the skin and hinder the process healing.

13. My piercing is red and seems to be infected ... what can I do?
First, make sure that you are NOT using Bactine, alcohol, or Neosporin. The largest amount of complaints come from those who use these products to heal their piercings. Second, make sure that you are only using anitbacterial or antimicrobial soap and sea salt to clean your piercing. Third make sure there is nothing causing tension or pressure on the piercing (i.e. sleeping on the piercing, tight pants, belts, hats, etc.) Fourth avoid any cosmetic products in or around the piercing site. 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.

14. How long should I wait before stretching my piercing?
It's always a good idea to let your piercer do the stetching 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.

15. Will I have a problem breast feeding if my nipples are pierced?
As long as the piercing are well healed one would not have a problem with breast feeding. The nipple has plenty of cells of mammory glands. If the piercings are not healed, take them out.

16. How do I insert new jewelry?
1) Wash both your hands and the piercing with antibacterial soap (3-5 minutes.) Then lube the end of the jewelry with a water based lubricant. 2) Pinch the skin adjacent to the piercing and insert one end of the body jewelry into one hole of the piercing. 3) While inserting the body jewelry, massage the opposite hole with a finger from the hand that was originally pinching. 4) Continue inserting and massaging until you feel the body jewelry exiting the piercing 5) Stop massaging and gently finish inserting the body jewelry. 6) Either screw on or clip in your accessory. 7) If you have a captive bead ring accessory, place one groove on one side of the ring and push the accessory toward the ring while pushing the ring toward the accessory. There are two qualities of captives "annealed"- which do not need any types of tools as the properties of the steel is soft being able to open and close them with your fingers, and not annealed captives- which you might need tools to open or close them. 8) Once your accessory is screwed on or snapped in, clean your body jewelry one more time to reduce chances for infection.

17. What is a keloid??
Keloid scars are raised blister- or pimple-like formations of scar tissue which form in or around a piercing. Keloids may be red, itchy, and inflamed, and may change size over time. Keloids seem to occur most frequently in ear piercings (both lobe and cartilage) and nostril piercings. Labret, nipple, and navel piercings have also been known to be affected. There is no way to predict whether or not a keloid scar will develop in a particular piercing - a first or second lobe piercing may heal perfectly, but the next piercing will flare up into scar tissue. The piercing technique used (piercing gun, hollow piercing needle) may or may not make a difference, different people have had different and vast experiences.
Irritation of the piercing during healing, such as changing jewelry before the piercing has fully healed or pulling or tearing of the piercing, may increase the likelihood of scar tissue developing. With cartilage piercings, scar tissue is more likely to form if the ring is too small in diameter for the length of the piercing, or if the stud is too short, which is often the case of sleeper studs with butterfly clip backs installed with a piercing gun.
Bacterial infections can also irritate the piercing enough for a small lump of scar tissue to form.


18. How do I treat keloids?
Removing the jewelry at the first signs of keloid formation and allowing the piercing to heal closed will often get rid of the keloid, or minimize its size.
Existing and healed keloid scars can be removed surgically, under local anesthetic, by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Surgical removal of the scar tissue does not gaurantee that more scar tissue will not form.
Scar tissue may also be injected with cortisone or other steroids. A large or deep scar may require more than one session. The cortisone acts to shrink and break down the scar tissue. Possible side effects of cortisone injections are unwanted hair growth, yeast infections, and other steroid- related side effects.
Some people have reported diminished keloids with the application of tea tree oil, available in most health food and organic stores.
Vitamin E, applied during healing, may decrease the formation or chance of formation of scar tissue.
Several piercers have recommended the application of a paste of distilled water and aspirin, for 20 minutes twice a day.
Some dermatologist say that once a keloid begins to form, the presence of the jewelry will continue to irritate the area and the scar tissue will continue to grow until the jewelry is removed. Cortisone or steroid injections with the jewelry in place may help shrink the keloid some, but that with jewelry present, the keloid will never completely disappear. Also, the injections tend not to work so well in cartilage layers. The advice is to remove the jewelry. The tendency to form deep scar tissue is hereditary.

19. My tongue is really white and there seems to be a whitish ring around my piercing ... what should I do?
This is often caused by too much mouth wash. If you are using mouth wash too frequently and/or it contains alcohol example listerene, it can destroy the layer of healthy bacteria on the top of your tongue. Switch to an alcohol free mouthwash and limit rinsing 4-6 times a day for 30 seconds.

20. My nipple piercings puss and end up crudding up and have to cleanse a few times daily to keep clear of this crusting. It never seems to go away no matter how long i've had them or the cleanser i use. What should I do?
Please try this: Mix 1/8 teaspoons of Non Iodized Sea Salt to 8 oz. of distilled water. Pour 1 cup (8oz) into a disposable cup and heat it in a microwave until very warm. Soak your piercings for 5-10 minutes. Do this 2/day and you should see a huge difference. Remember, NO TOUCHING. There is no need to rotate the rings if you're soaking. The crusty matter will probably keep appearing for 2-6 months.

21. On the bottom of my tongue piercing, right where the barbell comes out, there is a ring around the bar. Like scar tissue?.
It sounds scar tissue. This is not too uncommon. It is usually caused from mechanical stress or too much movement. I would suggest that you get your barbell downsized and that alone should alieviate the irritation.

22. What is migration?.
Curved barbells, 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 also cause rejection. In fact, any piercing, 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, ebrows and 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 an old piercing.

23. I want to get my cartilage pierced but dont want a huge hole in my ear forever. If I wear jewelry in it for a year or longer and then decided to take it out, will the hole 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 reminents of discoloration, but that too will fade over time.

 24. Where can I get sea salt and what brand do you recommend?
We always have "Sea salt spray" available, a piercing studio that does not offer piercing aftercare is not a piercing shop period.(do not get pierce there). That means they do not care about you piercing.
There are many different brands of sea salt sprays. We have tried many. There is not such a thing as one aftercare for everyone. What work best for your friend , might not work for you. We recommend Sea salt spray by Piercemania. if, you can not make your own sea salt soak mixed at home. As the ingredients are all organic even the preservative. 
If you are far away from our "Ink Point Studios", and you need to get some "Sea salt spray". There is a product that you can get on your local drugstore/pharmacy. It is called "wound care Solution" by Blairex. This is the only product on earth that does not have any preservatives, any other products that we have seen on the market either the mix is too strong or the preservative is synthetic.(always read the label) 
There are many piercing aftercare products out there that claim "contains magic medicine" that will heal your piercing in less time, or they use a medical terminology - do not be fooled by marketing tactics. example Lysozyme used as medicine.
What is Lysozyme and where do we find it?. Our immune system produce lysozyme naturally like a cellular guardian. Lysozyme protects us from the ever-present danger of bacterial infection. It is a small enzyme that attacks the protective cell walls of bacteria. Bacteria build a tough skin of carbohydrate chains, interlocked by short peptide strands, that braces their delicate membrane against the cell's high osmotic pressure. Lysozyme breaks these carbohydrate chains, destroying the structural integrity of the cell wall. The bacteria burst under their own internal pressure.
The First Antibiotic._ Alexander Fleming discovered lysozyme during a deliberate search for medical antibiotics. Over a period of years, he added everything that he could think of to bacterial cultures, looking for anything that would slow their growth. He discovered lysozyme by chance. One day, when he had a cold, he added a drop of mucus to the culture and, much to his surprise, it killed the bacteria. He had discovered one of our own natural defenses against infection. Unfortunately, lysozyme is a large molecule that is not particularly useful as a drug. It can be applied topically, but cannot rid the entire body of disease, because it is too large to travel between cells. Fortunately, Fleming continued his search, finding a true antibiotic drug five years later: penicillin.
Lysozyme protects many places that are rich in potential food for bacterial growth. It was the first enzyme ever to have its structure solved--you can find it in PDB entry 2lyz. Our tears and mucus contain lysozyme to resist infection of our exposed surfaces. Our blood is the worst place to have bacteria grow, as they would be delivered to all corners of the body. In the blood, lysozyme provides some protection, along with the more powerful methods employed by the immune system.

25. Do you see puss? (thick, white, liquid, sometimes tinted pink, yellow and even green). Is it swollen? Is it warm to the touch?. Is it red and inflamed? Does it hurt?
"Yes" to these could indicate infection. Bacteria or another irritant has caused an infection or a response from you body that resembles an infection. See your doctor if your piercers instructions don't help within 3-5 days.

26. Is there a hard knot under the piercing? (like a marble under the skin) Is it warm to the touch? Does it hurt? Is it red and inflamed? Does puss sometimes ooze out?
"Yes" to these could indicate an abscess. An infection is trapped and could burst. Don't squeeze it and don't remove the jewelry until your doctor tells you to. See a doctor immediately, this could become very serious!

27. Is there a bump next to the piercing? (like a pimple) Is it red and inflamed? Does puss sometimes ooze out? Is it tender near the bump?
"Yes" to these could indicate a follicular cyst. Something is stuck inside the piercing or a pore or follicle near the piercing is blocked. Hot soaks should take care of it very quickly.

28. Is the skin tight and shiny? Is there a rash? Does the rash seem to "flow" downward? Does the piercing seem moist or wet constantly? (clear moisture)
"Yes" to these could indicate a chemical reaction. Simply stop using your cleaning agent and try sea salt soaks. Results should be almost instant.

29. Is the skin tight and shiny? Do the holes seem to be enlarged? Does it itch? Does the piercing seem moist or wet constantly? (clear moisture) Is the skin tender?
"Yes" to these could indicate a metal reaction. Simply change to a different metal. Results will be almost instant.

30. Is the skin darkening around the piercing? Does it hurt? Are the ends of the jewelry tight against the piercing?
"Yes" to these could indicate constriction, that your jewelry is too tight. A larger diameter should fix the problem. visit the studio.

31. Is there a "volcano" of skin forming around the jewelry? (this extra skin isn't tender) Is the piercing tender? Is the piercing inflamed? Is the skin darkening around the piercing?
"Yes" to these could indicate a keloid do to irritation or friction. Is the jewelry to long? Are your clothes rubbing a lot? Are you physically active? visit the studio to find a solution…it may take time to find a comfortable solution.

32. I really need "help!". What should I do?
No matter how much valuable information you may find on the Internet, there is no substitute for a visual diagnosis -- which can be given best by your local studio. If you are uncomfortable with your piercer's opinion in any way, please consider visiting another piercer in your area (ideally, someone with a good reputation). If you still feel uncomfortable, please visit your physician. Keep in mind, though: some doctors are knowledgeable about piercings and some are not.

33. I just removed the jewelry in one of my piercings and I want the hole to close up as best as possible ... what should I do?
You should: Massage the tissue while you're in the shower letting very hot water run over it and help break up the scar tissue, stimulating new skin growth.

34. What's the deal with Gly Oxide?
It can destroy the layer of "good" bacterial on the back of your tongue which can allow thrush to take hold. Salt water or a mild mouthwash alcohol-free or Biotene is all you need.

35. I'm thinking about stretching my piercings. How do I do it?
Visit the studio for a consultation. Going to fast or just shoving jewelry in could cause a lot of damage and possibly make it harder, or impossible, to stretch again.

36. Can't I just get pierced with a ear-gun at the jewelry store?
Getting pierced with a piercing-gun is very unhealthy for your body. A piercing-gun inflicts blunt force trauma 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.
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 any 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 a professional piercing studio. Certainly unlike the poorly trained clerks piercing people at jewelry stores. Professional piercers 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.

37.About Tongue Piercing!!!Can i damage, Chip my teeth ?
Sure you can damage your teeth, if you use surgical steel ball. Fractured teeth are a common problem for people with oral piercings using metal round ball ends.
People chip teeth on tongue piercings while eating, sleeping, talking and simply chewing on the jewelry.
The fracture can be confined to the enamel of your tooth or may go deep into your tooth, which may require a root canal or extraction. The solution will be to use a material call "medproflex" which protects your gums and teeth. You can get pierced with this material as it is safe for autoclave, and for healing.

38.Navel shapes and what jewelry "Ink Point Studio" recommends for initial piercing.
Every navel is different, but we will talk about some "Navel shapes". Do not let anyone tell you that you have to get pierced with 1 type of jewelry.a)From the shapes of the jewelry b)quality of the metal c)Internally or externally threaded jewelry, should be explained to you by the shop/studio. If the shop/studio can not explain or does not have (A,B,C mentioned above)for initial piercing. Run away, keep searching for a better place.


1.Navel Type: Not quite an outey as you can see the area just above the main hollow has a lip, the piercing would be no problem with little chance of it growing out. The navel piercing should be done with a curved belly bar as the area is very flat, a ring would sit to one side throwing the piercing crooked after a few weeks. jewellery: An ideal piece for this navel piercing would be something flattish to stop the belly bar rocking from left to right giving it lateral stability. Healing estimate: This navel is very open allowing for good air circulation, it is also higher than the belt line. With regular light cleaning and sensible jewellery the belly piercing should settle within 6/8 weeks and be completely healed inside 6 months (this is assuming the person leads a healthy lifestyle).

2.Navel Type:This thin oval shape navel is suitable for piercing with either a belly ring or a curved belly bar with a 5mm ball or gemstone. A bigger ball or navel seating would hamper the healing as the ball would be rubbing on the left and right side of the navel and add forward pressure making it more likely to grow out. jewellery: An ideal piece for this navel would be any of ball closure rings size 10mm or 11mm. If I was to use a curved navel bar, the open oval, mini or a small 5mm solitaire or double gem could be used. After healing any of the belly droppers would also suit. For piercing, the body jewellery (if using a curved belly bar) would have to be slightly more curved than normal to take away any pressure so that it does not grow out. Healing estimate: This navel is not very deep. Using the correct navel jewellery it should have reasonable air circulation, it is also higher than the belt line. With regular light cleaning and sensible piercing jewellery it should settle within 6/8 weeks and be completely healed inside 8 months (this is assuming the person leads a healthy lifestyle)
3.Navel type: This navel is a classic outey - not really suitable for piercing at the top. There is more room and a small lip of skin at the bottom of the navel. I would recommend the navel piercing to be done at the bottom "a downey". However this is still not ideal but by using a small belly ring or small navel bar could be possible. There are cases were this navel shape can not be pierced. jewellery: This is (not a pretty navel) and desperately need hiding. Once healed I would recommend shields as this has a flat and is big enough to hide it. The shield would cover the navel with the ball being underneath at the bottom. Healing estimate: This navel is open offering good circulation of air. It should heal up quickly settling in approx 6/8 weeks. It should be completely healed inside 6/8 months (this is assuming the person leads a healthy lifestyle).

4.Navel type: This navel is probably one of the most common shapes and ideal for piercing with a wide range of jewellery. It is not too deep and quite open. The only thing I would be concerned about is putting in something too heavy. The flesh above the navel looks quite soft with not much strength so putting in something that weighed more than 5 grams could stretch the skin downwards. I would recommend a curved belly bar rather than a belly ring. jewellery: We have more than 1000 designs for this type of navel. Healing estimate: This navel is normal, using suitable jewellery it should settle within 6/8 weeks. It should be completely healed inside 5/6 months (this is assuming the person leads a healthy lifestyle).


5.Navel type: Half moon with a smooth drop down from the navel. This is probably the most versatile of navels and very common. It is nice belly to pierce and will heal well as the air circulation around the piercing is good as there is no hollow for bacteria to hide in. jewellery: Big range of design at store. Healing estimate: This navel is normal, using suitable body jewellery it should settle within 6/8 weeks. It should be completely healed inside 5/6 months (this is assuming the person leads a healthy lifestyle).

39.Over Cleaning!
Over cleaning, Many people think that if cleaning once or twice a day is good then six or seven is better, its not. You should clean your piercing only twice a day.

40.Can I use Neosporin on my Piercing?
Using Neosporin ,Triple antibiotic ointment, or any gel based cleaner. They stop oxygen from getting to the piercing and increases healing time.