How to get a piercing 101

In this week’s blog post, we’re going to educate you on how to get a piercing!

So, first of all, you’ve decided you want an ‘x,y,z’ piercing. You’ve had something substantial to eat and drink on the day of the piercing along with a shower/bath and you’re on the way to the studio.

First, when you arrive, you’ll need to fill out a consent form. This is an important part of getting a piercing! The form will consist mainly of a little information and risks about piercings, your details such as phone number for our records and a little health questionnaire to check that you’re fit and healthy and able to be pierced!

The golden rule from this point onwards:

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Stay chill and calm. The more stressed and anxious you are, your heart rate will go up, your breathing will become shallow and it’ll make you feel 10 times more nervous! Deep breathing and remembering that you want this piercing and are willing to endure the second or 2 of pain, can really help ease the mind.

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With that all done, you’ll be taken upstairs to the private piercing room with your piercer. You’ll take a seat on our piercing bench whilst the piercer has a brief chat with you about the piercing you’re after, such as; healing times, tips for that particular piercing, jewellery options and just general chit chat while they prepare the equipment and tools.

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Once you’ve chosen the jewellery and you’re ready to get started, the piercer will thoroughly clean the area to be pierced. Then, depending on the piercing you’re having, the piercer will mark the area, usually with a small dot or T shape. You’ll have a chance to see the mark in the mirror and change it if you’re unhappy with it. Once you’re happy and the piercer is ready, the piercing procedure will begin!

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Congrats! At this point, you’ll now have a fresh new piercing! 

The piercer will explain further any information you may need to know, primarily regarding aftercare and timescales for downsizing/check-ups (depending on the piercing). Before you leave, this aftercare information will be given to you in written form to take away with you.

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Post-piercing, it’s important to look after yourself for the rest of the day. We always recommend bringing a sugary drink, like Lucozade, to the piercing anyway but eating and drinking plenty of sugary things after a piercing can help keep your blood sugar up if it takes a tumble. Remember that your body has just been injured, and whereas it may not be a massive trauma, you may be a bit more fragile.

The only thing left to do now is to keep your piercing happy and clean!

If you follow the aftercare advice we give you and come straight back to us if you have any issues, problems or questions, your piercing should heal swiftly and easily!

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As always, if there’s anything we’ve missed that you’d like to know more about, or you just have a few questions, message us on social media, come and see us at the studio or give us a call on: 01226 340065.

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Piercing Trends 2017 – EARS!

Summer is pretty much over, but the piercing trends keep on flowing!

It may not be the weather for showing off your blingy mid-drift, but there’s plenty of other statement piercings that can be on show all year round!

EARS!

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Ears are definitely one of, if not the most popular places to get pierced. Pick a spot on your ear and there’s a name and piercing for it! But, with every individuals’ ears being so unique, it’s useful to think practically when choosing your next ear piercing.

Do you have enough anatomy/skin/cartilage for that piercing?

Will it interfere with any piercings you already have?

Will your planned piercings be aesthetically pleasing on your ear shape or around your existing piercings?

Most don’t think that much of it, but it’s interesting to have a look at your own ears and see how much they differ from even your siblings or parents! As with most piercings, we want them to complement and enhance what we have so placement and jewellery choice can mean the difference between any old regular upper ear/helix piercing and something that looks unique and fitting to your ear!

For some, less IS more! For others… THE MORE THE BETTER!

Whatever your style, aesthetic, goals, etc, there’ll be something out there that enhances that!

We ESPECIALLY looooove this rad lady’s ears! Just because you have an ear-full, doesn’t mean it has to look hefty and punk-ish.. CLEARLY! Whether you like sparkles, gold, opals, gems, chains, colours, rings, studs, chains or spikes, you can completely customise your body and accessorise it however the hell you like!

One thing we always stress, don’t out-right copy someone else’s piercings. By that, we don’t mean that just because Sally from level 2 hair & beauty college has her nose pierced, that you can’t.

We simply mean, choose your piercings based on YOU: what you like, what you want to look like, how your anatomy is/is shaped/etc. You’ll end up with a more unique, fitting and aesthetically pleasing outcome!

We’re always happy to discuss ideas, show you jewellery and placement options and work with you to achieve the look you want, whilst keeping it realistic and as unique as you are.

Don’t be a Veruca Salt…

“I WANT BIG 20MM LOBES BUT I WANT THEM NOOOOOW!”

Doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. Stretching takes time and patience. Stretching too fast can lead to some pretty grim consequences… Which we will document below!

“But my uncle’s best mate’s daughter’s boyfriend stretched his ear to 10mm in 3 days!”

“But my bestie’s cousin’s god-daughter stretched hers in a month and hers is fine!!!”

Good for them, they’re very lucky!

We can’t tell you what you can and can’t do, we can only recommend and advise. We just PLEASE ask that if you ask us, then choose to ignore our professional advice, we cannot be blamed if any of the following events happen to you and there’s a 99% chance we won’t be able to do anything to fix it for you.

 

Outcome #1 – Blowout

You’ve probably seen gross photos of blown-out earlobes online many times before. Some blow-outs are less severe than others and can SOMETIMES be rectified by stopping stretching, down-sizing and waiting! Some, however, can only be sorted by surgery/reconstruction by a surgeon or body modification studio.

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Ain’t too pretty to look at, right? These are blow-outs, and they’re caused by stretching too fast and/or jumping sizes. As you insert the taper, the hole will slowly stretch to that size, but if your ear isn’t settled at its current size, what basically happens is the fistula (inside of the hole) is pushed outwards, creating a ring/ridge of scar tissue. The top photo is from stretching too fast and only wearing tapers – which weighs the ear down and angles the hole, which makes the blow-out worse.

Believe it or not, blow-outs like these are really really common! And that’s not a good thing.

 

Outcome #2 – Tearing

Your skin has the ability to stretch, however, this must be done slowly and carefully. Stretching the skin too fast or jumping sizes (not doing it gradually) can cause it to tear. It’s quite common with larger gauge stretched lobes, as the skin thins out as you stretch anyway, which makes it more and more delicate. If your lobe is already thin/thinning and you rush your stretching, there’s a chance it will put too much pressure onto the hole and rip.

Once this happens, the only way you’ll get your ear back to normal is by reconstruction.

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Outcome #3 – Thinning/Unevenness 

Before tearing/ripping comes thinning. Obviously, as your ear is stretched larger, the lobe around the stretched hole will thin, but there are ways are means around this to still have a healthy stretched lobe. The thinner the skin gets, the slower you should stretch and take extra care when doing so to avoid tearing/ripping. Some folks are blessed with big chunky lobes which can get to 30mm+ before starting to thin, but if you have relatively petite lobes, it’s important to keep an eye on the condition of the stretched skin and take precautions to aid the process – such as massaging the ear with Vitamin E Oil, Emu oil or similar.

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We hope you’re all feeling a little queasy after reading this post, ’cause we sure do!

We’re not here to preach or tell anyone they can’t do something, we simply want to educate our clients, give our professional advice and help you achieve healthy, happy piercings and modifications!

Way too many clients walk through our door with problems to do with stretching that could have been easily fixed or avoided. Way too many clients ask for stretching advice and then ignore it and get upset when their ear blows out or tears, too. But again, we can only advise!

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If there’s something we haven’t covered that you’d like to know or have any other piercing questions, come and see us! Or send us a message on our social media pages, email taattoobodypiercers@gmail.com or call us 01226 340065 – we’re happy to help.

 

Earlobe stretching for dummies

 There are lots of conflicting opinions on the correct way to stretch, mainly by the general public sharing their personal, not professional opinions. So here you go, we’re making this blog post from a professional point of view – while trying to keep it simple and informative, as opposed to scare mongering and boringness. This addition to the blog will contain a step by step guide on how to stretch, riiiiight from the beginning with itty bitty lobes (but of course, the rule is generally the same no matter how big or small you’re at).

(This method is the most common – tapering)

Step 1:

So, you’ve had your ears pierced AT LEAST 4 months and they’re well healed and happy – congrats, you’re ready to start stretching. Most standard earrings are around 1mm in thickness, and most piercers will pierce lobes at a 1.2mm thickness as standard. If you’re unsure at all, an experienced piercer will be able to check what size jewellery you currently have and what first taper size you will need. Usually, a 1.6mm taper will be the first size to start at – these can be purchased at most piercing studios or ‘alternative’ stores.

Step 2:

To make stretching easier and more comfortable, start with a hot bath/shower – it can really benefit blood flow to the lobes and soften the tissue. After a hot soak, massaging the lobes with vitamin E oil or Emu oil can not only increase blood flow to the area, but the act of massaging the tissue makes it softer and more malleable, making stretching tonnes easier for the skin to handle. Massaging the lobes for 2-3 minutes or until the tissue is warm will save you heaps of time in the long haul and help your lobes stay as healthy as possible throughout the stretching process – meaning they’re more likely to keep optimum condition and thickness, even if stretched to larger sizes (20mm+).

Step 3:

Make sure to have clean hands before starting the process. Then you’ll need lube. Lots of lube. Squeeze a blob of lube onto the back of a clean hand or surface and lightly massage a small amount into the lobe just like with the essential oil of choice. A minute or two will suffice. Next, dip the thinner end of the taper into the lube (top tip; use around a pea sized blob on the end of the taper rather than lubing the whole taper – this can make the taper super slippy and hard to grip).

Step 4:

The most important rule of stretching: listen to your body. Insert the taper into the piercing thin-end first. Slowly push the taper through the ear until the thicker end is through. This process should NOT hurt, at most, it may feel like a burning sensation or a small nip, accompanied by maybe a dull ache/throb afterwards.

Step 5:

WAIT! We recommend leaving AT LEAST a month or two between stretches.

Once your earlobe is at around 4mm, it’s easier to find tunnels/plugs to wear at general alternative stores and studios. From around 4mm+, follow the same steps, but after inserting the taper, it’s important to wear tunnels/plugs while the lobe settles instead of a taper.

At smaller sizes, tapers don’t tend to weigh your ear down all that much, but the larger the taper, the heavier it will be – it’ll weigh down the ear and dangle downwards rather than straight through the hole.

All you need to do is leave the taper in for a few minutes to let your ear settle slightly, then really swiftly but gently place the end of the jewellery against the front side of the taper (largest part) and push the taper out of the ear (backwards) with the jewellery.

Now you’ll have replaced the taper with a nice piece of jewellery!

Revert back to step 5 – WAIT!

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That’s about all for our initial stretching post! We’ll have more stretching-related blog posts coming up, such as different methods of stretching, sizes and jewellery!

There’s nothing wrong with being thick!

Not many people know the difference between the thickness of different jewellery pieces and types, as well as what gauge (thickness) should be worn and where.

So! We’re going to make it as simple as possible and explain it as best we can in this blog post!

1.2mm (16g):

1.2mm thickness is probably the most universal size of jewellery, used in most piercings. We don’t recommend wearing thinner jewellery because the possibility of cheese-wiring is greater (basically, where the thin jewellery gradually pulls and creates a slit from the piercing) and because usually, the material used isn’t good quality to wear in your body.

Some of the most common 1.2mm piercings would include; helix, tragus, rook, lobes, lips and nose.

1.6mm (14g):

Some piercings benefit from a heavier gauge (thicker jewellery) and aren’t suited to smaller 1.2mm, such as; nipples, navels, tongues and scaffold/industrials. The jewellery doesn’t necessarily LOOK thicker, but the benefits it has on your piercings make it necessary.

Some piercings can be pierced at either thickness, depending on the type of aesthetic you’re going for! Such as;

Septum, Eyebrow, Genitals and Conch.

Some people (particularly ladies) prefer a daintier look, whereas more alternative individuals and commonly men, opt for larger gauge jewellery.

Ok so we’ve been over the basics of sizes, but how can you tell the difference?

Here’s a nose piercing with a 1.2mm ring (BCR):

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Here’s a nose piercing with a ‘wire’ ring:

 (commonly bought from stores such as Argos, Claires and jewellers)

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For some people, it’s hard to see a difference. You can get smaller, dainty 1.2mm rings for nose piercings, without them being thin wire.

Problems with wrong gauge jewellery tend to be cheese-wiring of the skin around the pierced hole and hypertrophic scarring (bumps) – especially on nose piercings! But this can happen to any piercing if improper jewellery is worn for an extended period of time.

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(Picture above is an example of the cheese-wire effect)

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(Picture above is a nose piercing with hypertrophic scarring (bump) on the top part of the piercing where it’s become irritated from the nose wire)

Another problem, which again, commonly happens with nose piercings, is that the fistula (piercing hole/tunnel) shrinks to the size of the wire/thin jewellery. This can happen in a matter of days, to months or sometimes years.

But what this means is, if you buy a new piece of jewellery for your piercing that is larger than the wire/thinner piece, the chances of putting appropriate sized jewellery in are slim, unless the piercing is stretched back up to a correct size.

The aim of this blog post? Please think about your jewellery choices!

Is it appropriate for the piercing? Is it the right size? Will it fit? Will it be unpractical? Can I change it myself?

We sell a wide range of body jewellery at the studio for all piercings and can assist you in making a decision. If you don’t find anything you fancy at the studio, we will happily make a note of what appropriate jewellery you can get for your piercing (thickness, length, style, material, etc).

 

Genital Piercing 101

So you’re fancying blinging your bits?

It can be quite a shy subject for some, so let us break the ice for you with a little blog post aaaaall about lady flowers and trouser sausages!

Most people tend to see female genital piercings as

“CLIT” PIERCINGS

There is more to the female genital anatomy than the clitoris, which we thought would be quite obvious to anyone who has ever seen under the undies of a lady.

The clitoris can very very rarely be pierced, as it has to be a substantial size, which most women don’t have. Not only that, but it takes a long time of specialist training, education on the anatomy and experience to even attempt a clitoris piercing, to avoid damage to the important nerves.

There are many different placements in the female anatomy to choose from. Some are very much anatomy dependent, such as Vertical Clitoral Hood piercings. We will always check that you are a suitable candidate before starting the procedure.

We always suggest researching the piercings you want beforehand anyway, but especially so with genital piercings. They’re a big decision and in an important area, which means aftercare needs to be even more strict to avoid any complications!

PENIS

As for the blokes, the same goes, there’s a variety of different placements and options for genital piercings. Some are anatomy dependent, and some are best performed on circumcised anatomies, such as Dydoes for example.

We will always cater our advice and aftercare to each individual with both male and female genital piercings, to give you the happiest and healthiest piercing possible!

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And if you’re a bit shy, don’t worry, we have a private piercing room upstairs in our studio and our piercing team are both females. Most genital piercing procedures will be carried out by both piercers, to make your experience as smooth and quick as possible! We always say, treat us as you would a doctor or nurse – we have seen hundreds of genitals in a purely professional environment and our main priority is to make you feel as comfortable and happy as possible in our piercing room!

Most genital piercing procedures will be carried out by both piercers, to make your experience as smooth and quick as possible! We always say, treat us as you would a doctor or nurse – we have seen hundreds of genitals in a purely professional environment and our main priority is to make you feel as comfortable and happy as possible in our piercing room!

AFTERCARE:

The best way to clean your new genital piercing is in the shower. If possible, avoid baths altogether until the piercing has healed to avoid excess water submersion & irritation from soaps.

Use fresh water in the shower to soften any crusties, then soak the area with a sea salt solution for a few minutes before patting dry. (1/4 Teaspoon of Sea/Rock Salt in a large mug of boiled water).

Soap products aren’t usually necessary to clean genital piercings, as there is an abundance of healthy bacteria in the genital region which you don’t want to destroy.

You are not restricted from sexual activity, however strict precautions and aftercare should be followed to avoid potential infection. Do not let your new piercing come into contact with any foreign bodily fluids (this includes saliva as well as semen). Condoms and dental guards should be used for the first few weeks.

Healing times vary person to person, but most genital piercings have an average healing time of 2 – 4 months.

How to care for your piercings this summer!

So, the kids have broken up from school/college, you’re off to Benidorm for a cheeky week away in the sunshine and you’ve just got your belly button pierced to show off around the pool.

But, an irritated, sore or infected piercing can be a really big downer on your holiday.

So here we are, with a bit of quick info on how to keep your piercings happy this summer!

Pools:

Ideally, a fresh piercing should be allowed to heal at least partially before exposing it to swimming pools. But you didn’t know this beforehand and you booked your trip abroad on a whim with a week’s notice… Don’t panic!

If you REALLY can’t avoid taking a dip in the pool, make sure you take precautions to protect your new piercing. If you can avoid submerging the piercing in the water for a long period of time – do so! A quick dip is generally fine, but prolonged submersion in water (even baths) can interfere with your body’s healing process. When you get out, rinse your piercing gently but thoroughly with fresh water or ideally, a sea salt water soak. The last thing you want for your new piercing is chlorine and public germs sitting and festering on your fresh piercing.

Again, however, we highly recommend letting your new piercing finish healing before exposing it to any potential infection or irritation risks!

Sun/Sunbathing:

Do you enjoy vegetating on a sun lounger getting a lovely bronze tan? No problem! If you’re planning on catching some rays for an extended period of time, try and cover your piercing for this time. A sterile gauze pad/dressing secured with medical tape is usually best, or a loose, breathable bandage if necessary. Sunburn + fresh/healing piercings

Sunburn + fresh/healing piercings is NOT FUN!

Plus, if the area around even a healed piercing gets sunburnt to the point of skin peeling, the raw skin can introduce infection to the area and potentially spread to your piercing.

This can be avoided by taking extra care & cleaning the area at least daily until the skin heals and settles.

We don’t need to lecture you on the necessity of suncream/lotion, but when you’re lathering yourself up, be extra careful to avoid the direct area around your new piercing!

Hygiene & Sweating:

We shouldn’t need to tell you that when it’s hot out, you’ll sweat more, which means you need to shower/bathe more frequently.

But when you have a fresh/healing piercing, hygiene is important! Keeping a pierced area dry really does help the healing process along, so it’s important to make sure you wash away all the sweat and oils you’ve secreted throughout the day!

 

 


 

 

If you’re unsure of anything and have questions, please don’t hesitate to message us or come in and see us for some advice.

If you happen to be abroad/away and can’t get to us, you can call the studio on 01226 340065, text/call us on our mobile 07905179248, email us at taattoobodypiercers@gmail.com or send us a message on our Facebook page or Instagram!

 

*Depending on individual circumstances and specific piercings, advice will/can differ slightly. Coming into the studio to let us have a look is always the best option, as we can troubleshoot and advise much easier when we can see the problem. If you can, sending a photo via email or social media is another option.

(more often than not, we’ll ask for at least a photo so we can assess and advise)