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!


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):


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

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


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.


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


(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


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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)

Is it infected, or just irritated?

You wouldn’t believe how many times a week we get messages, phone calls and visits from clients with ‘infected piercings’.

9.9999 times out of 10, their piercings are simply irritated.

Signs of infection in piercings include:

  • Excess swelling
  • Redness around the piercing
  • Bleeding
  • Pus (brown, green and/or bloody secretion)
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Pierced area is hot to the touch


If you have an actual infection, trust us, you will know about it! The only way to get rid of an infection is with treatment from a doctor or healthcare professional, usually with a short course of antibiotics.

If you’re unsure if your piercing is infected PLEASE SEE US BEFORE SEEING THE DOCTOR (unless all signs of infection are present).

Doctors aren’t trained, educated or knowledgeable when it comes to piercings. They WILL tell you it’s infected, whether it is or not.

Antibiotics should only be used if you really need them, and unfortunately, too many piercees are prescribed antibiotics for infections that aren’t even there.

Okay. So, you’re worried about your piercing. It’s a little sore, red, has some crusties and is hard to sleep on. This means it’s either still in the early stages of healing, or it’s simply irritated.


Common reasons for piercings getting irritated include:

  • Touching and playing with the piercing
  • Using harsh soaps and or products on the piercing (e.g: TCP or alcohol)
  • Irritation from skin or hair products (creams, shampoos, hair spray, perfume, etc)
  • Sleeping on the piercing
  • Wrong jewellery type, style, material or length
  • Changing jewellery too soon or too often
  • Improper placement or angle of the piercing

Irritated piercings that are left too long without an intervention can later lead to problems such as migration, rejection and hypertrophic scarring (bumps).

Different piercings take different lengths of time to heal, so it is always best to research your piercing beforehand and/or have a chat with us about the piercing you want, prior to having it pierced. We provide full aftercare information on how to best look after your piercing to avoid irritation and infection.

All piercings in our studio are performed by trained professionals who, from constant up-to-date research, are extremely knowledgeable in all forms of body piercing. Use them! Ask them questions, ask to see portfolios! All piercings are performed in a high-standard hygienic environment, using one-use sterile blade needles, sterilised tools and pre-sterilised high-quality jewellery for ALL clients. Your jewellery and needle/s are just for you and have never touched another body, giving you peace of mind that you are safe from potential infections.

Not just in our studio, but in any piercing studio, 99.9% of the time, an infected piercing is down to poor aftercare, not the piercer/studio. 

Your body heals the piercing, cleaning it simply removes any germs and dirt which have gathered throughout the day.

Hands off, keep clean and have a happy piercing!

God Forbid someone thinks I’m GAY!?’

Summer is here and it’s almost the holidays – which means it’s prime time for the kiddies to get their earlobes pierced ready for September and getting some new bling to show off alongside those crop tops and booty shorts.

You’d think that choosing which side/where to have a piercing is a pretty simple endeavour. It’s really not.

One of the most commonly asked questions we get, primarily with single earlobe piercings (generally boys/men) is “Which side is the gay side?”.

The same applies for nose piercings. “Which is the gay/boy/girl/lesbian/butch side?”

It’s a myth. No one is going to shun you for having a nose piercing on the side you want it, or if your little Tommy gets his right earlobe pierced as opposed to his left.


2017 is a whole new world to what it was when piercing first became a common thing amongst the general public, rather than just those damn punks and goths with their nose rings and eyebrow bars!

There IS NO gay/boy/girl/lesbian/dog/cat/farmer/cashier side.

When you come into the studio, you have the freedom to choose WHICHEVER side you want to be pierced. We simply want you to have a piercing that you’re happy with, whether it’s socially perceived as ‘on the gay side’ or not. If you ask us which side you should have (as to avoid the dreaded gay side or opposite gender side), we will simply tell you to choose whichever you’d prefer aesthetically and maybe do a little facepalm.


And anyway… Why is ‘gay’ such a bad thing to be perceived as? Trust us, there are far worse things people can think of you. Not to mention… It’s kinda offensive and awkward.

Twist & shout…

Remember the old wives tale of twisting your earrings when cleaning them with dettol/alcohol? Or did the “trained piercers” at the ‘world’s leading ear piercing specialists’ tell you to twist your earrings whilst dousing in a special 3 week miracle lotion?

Forget that!


We know dettol, alcohol, surgical spirit, TCP and all those lotions and potions are bad for our piercings, but what about the twisting?

As your piercing heals, it will secrete a clear/white/yellowish fluid which, when dried, is commonly known as crusties. This is a normal part of the healing process! If the piercing jewellery is twisted whilst cleaning, these crusties can go into the healing channel around the jewellery (fistula) and tear the delicate skin. This not only hurts like a MOFO, but it slows down the healing of your piercing.


(the picture above is an example of crusties. if your piercing is oozing brown/green/yellow/bloody liquid, see your piercer for a check-up to make sure it’s not a sign of infection)


Sea Salt Soaks are amazing on their own. Simply soak the piercing so that the crusties go soft and gently wipe/rinse them away. Leave the jewellery in place as it is – if you REALLY need to move the jewellery (forward or back, for example), ensure ALL crusties are completely gone and remember – CLEAN HANDS!


Of course, if you ARE worried about your piercing, unsure how to look after it or have any other questions whilst your piercing is healing, please get in touch!

We are always happy to help & advise.