My housemate, after a night out, invited a guy who works in a local scene shop (Blue Banana) back to ours. I complained about their piercing because they use guns "only" for ears and nose. I tried to explain the danger of piercing guns and they were having non of it, saying guns were more accurate. It's so sad how uneducated people are when it comes to piercings. Why don't they listen?? Loving the blog :)
From what I’ve seen of anything from Blue Banana locations is that nobody should go there ever. Ever. E.v.e.r.
purchasing body jewelry from Hot Topic is WRONG. I bought a set of 12g plugs from them and my earlobes swelled up and the plugs were stuck in my ears.Hot Topic does not or ever will have quality jewelry. Do NOT buy cheap Hot Topic jewelry EVER.
They do however, sell Kaos and the glass isn’t too bad (sometimes can get pretty wonky tho).
But yeah, I wouldn’t ever buy metal or acrylic from them unless I was planning to wear it through and eyelet or something. Especially with a nickel allergy… >.<
This took place while I was staying with my back-then boyfriend in Adelaide, Australia. I lived in a suburb (I don’t recall seeing ANYONE with tattoos; those that were considered “alternative” were merely teens with too much black make-up), and the only place to get piercings were the jewelry store in a mall an hour away.
Back then I did not research nor know about how bad piercing guns are.
I decided to get the top part of my ear cartilage pierced, and didn’t think twice when I saw the shop used piercing guns.
So, I got the piercing, and loads of swelling and pain followed. The absolute worst part was the healing process, as my skin wanted to heal OVER the piercing. I had a little bubble of skin filled with blood sitting atop the piercing, and nothing helped. Needless to say, the jewelry “piercer” didn’t provide any tips to aftercare apart from “don’t sleep on it, don’t let your hair rub on it.”
The stud I had in didn’t even allow for swelling because the lock on the back was tight, and the staff very short.
Eventually I got so scared that it’d have to be surgically removed (I was there on a tourist visa; no health insurance) that I had to take it out.
At some point I went back to get the other ear done too, but the exact same thing happened.
My ears did heal perfectly once the jewelry was removed - but I want to help spread the word; IF you are getting pierced anywhere… say NO to guns!
SUBMITTER’S COMMENT: This was my first cartilage piercing done with a needle. I got this piercing done at Steady Tattoo in Minneapolis over a year ago. The piercer asked me what kind of jewelry I wanted for the hole—in which I believe he shouldn’t had asked me. He should have told me that I should get the straight barbell for my new piercing. I went ahead with the hoop ring. My pierced cartilage was fine until around three months later. I developed the bump in the picture. I thought it was normal since the previous piercing I got, developed a small bump but it went away on its own. It has been over a year and the bump is still there. Sometimes it hurts, others it doesn’t. I still get clear discharge that dries into crusties. I’ve notice that sometimes the bump gets smaller. I’ve been trying to find good, reputable piercing shops in Puerto Rico to advice me on the piercing, but it’s really hard. I don’t know what else to do aside from the saline soaks.
WHAT’S AWFUL: Getting a hoop ring for a cartilage piercing.
HOW CAN IT BE FIXED: Maybe replace my hoop ring with a straight barbell, unless it’s pointless. Keep doing saline soaks and hope for the best.
Seriously, take your own advice and try a straight barbell. :)
It angers me when people jump down your throat, just because they've had a "good experience" with being pierced with a gun. I got my first and second lobe piercings pierced with a gun. My first holes when I was 11 and my mum didn't know better. My second holes when I was 19 and I didn't know the dangers of piercing guns. Just because I was lucky and didn't have infections, doesn't mean it was the best way to do it! I'll never let a piercing gun go near my children when I have them!
can you guys please make a tattoo FAQ >,< mainly about how to take care of it when it's healing ect. it would be very much appreciated, thankyou for your time! <3
So I asked hayley because, frankly, I don’t know that much about actually HEALING tattoos (which is why, unless it’s obviously infected, I leave the advice questions about tattoos alone). I know what they should look like, what to look for in an artist, etc etc. But basically what she says is that there are many, perfectly fine, ways to heal tattoos. However, if you don’t follow your artists instructions, they won’t do free touch-ups and get grumpy.
Submitter’s Comment: First of all, sorry if my English isn’t good, I’m not a native speaker.
I got my industrial done in October, 2012. I went to a “reputable” piercing studio near my house to get it done. I was told that the barbell was “high quality stainless steel”, the first week was healing normally, like a normal piercing, after the first week it started to get very swollen and itchy, “It may be healing” I thought, but every day my ear became more swollen and the itchiness didn’t let me sleep, until one morning I woke up and find my ear was like twice the size swollen, and EXTREMELY itchy (like in the photo).
Until I decided to go to the doctor and find out that the stainless steel barbell I was pierced was what caused the allergy. The doctor prescribed me some antibiotics to avoid infection, some pills to prevent the allergy to spread through my whole ear and a cream, so the itchiness could disappear. Nowadays, I have a nice and healthy ear again, but I still can feel the scars where my industrial used to be.
What’s Awful: I was pierced with a low quality “jewelry” which caused me the allergy.
How it can be fixed: Get pierced with jewelry that the piercing studio knows what material is made of, not materials made of God knows what.
MODERATOR COMMENT: 1. your english is better than quite a lot of native speakers.
2. Note to all: Stainless Steel is pretty much never “high quality” unless it’s Anatometal or Industrial strength. (Iirc, Neometal and BVLA don’t work with steel at all.) If you’re getting pierced with steel and don’t know if it’s Anatometal or IS, ask for titanium jewelry. I know outside the US Anato and IS are hard to come by in quite a lot of places, so asking for Ti is your next best bet.
I’m gonna add that not all titanium is created equally, it has different grades just like steel… Even “bad” jewelry companies work in titanium. There are also more companies than just Anatometal & Industrial Strength that deal in high-quality steel jewelry. There’s more to jewelry than just the metal, you want something that is made properly with a good surface finish that isn’t covered in tool marks. Your best bet is to just go to a GOOD shop that uses good jewelry, that knows the grade of the metal they’re using. You can always ask them to special-order from a better company or order it yourself from a site like BAF. You can find more information about metal quality and what to ask for on the APP’s website under their minimum standards for jewelry. Basically, for steel you want to hear “F138” and for titanium you want to hear “F136.” Neither metal is just flat-out better than the other, it all depends on the quality of the piece.
In that article you linked us to about the trans-gum piercing by shannon larratt, he said the trans-gum piercing "actually is reckless and a terrible idea." He may be a proponent for misunderstood piercings, but he definitely does not support that type of piercing.
That was the point of linking the article. That even someone who is down for unconventional modification thinks it’s a bad idea. :x
Sorry if anyone else misunderstood my intention with that! My bad!
i desperately want to learn how to and start piercing people, although its not suggest i have pierced myself a couple of times and none have rejected nor gotten infected due to careful cleaning and proper “technique” or what little i have. where should i start looking? does one have to be a certain age before being allowed to pierce people? and last of all where could i find synthetic skin to practice on without the consequences of screwing up somebodies body?
Piercing is about so much more than just being able to stick a needle through something. Find yourself a good apprenticeship under a good (I cannot stress this enough, don’t just jump at the first opportunity you get) piercer, and they will get you started on the right path. It’s not necessarily an “easy” industry to get into, since everyone and their mother wants to be a piercer.
In the meantime, all I can suggest is doing some research. Find all the information you can, and read it three times. Use your internet resources! Comb through BME, blog posts by industry professionals, back issues of The Point. I know reading and learning is ~boring~, but if you’re looking for an exciting action-packed glamor job, you’re checking out the wrong industry.
DISCLAIMER: In case someone somehow reads my post wrong, I would like to point out that DOING THE RESEARCH I SUGGESTED DOES NOT MAKE YOU A PIERCER. IT DOESN’T EVEN NECESSARILY MAKE YOU QUALIFIED TO DISH OUT YOUR OWN PIERCING ADVICE. LEAVE IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS.
I have several tattoos, a few of them done by a close friend of mine (I know, I know, they were from a few years ago) and surprisingly, they’re pretty good. I like them, at least.
This story, oddly enough, isn’t about his work though but a shop in my area that actually has a great reputation. I got my first tattoo there, right when I turned 18. Its a goofy looking skull that looks more like Jack Skellington than anything else, and took about 20 minutes. I was a bit confused as to why that cost me 70$ but I figured hell, I’m happy with it, no reason to really complain.
About a year later my boyfriend offered to pay for my second tattoo, ‘Live Before You Die’ on my left forearm. I’d wanted it for about a year, contemplated it and when I still wanted it, he offered as a birthday gift. I went back to the same shop, set a date, saw the lettering he drew up and felt pretty confident.
Everything was normal at first, I was incredibly shocked how painless it was though, an about 20 minutes in he went to wipe the ink off and all of the lettering went with it.
He just kinda stared at my arm and the needle, shrugged and went back to it. Next time he wiped the ink, the same thing happened. Apparently the needle was in BACkWARDS.
So he effectively tenderized the shit out of my arm before actually getting the ink in. Halfway through he switched to a bigger needle and at that point I was outright sobbing because it was so sore.
About four years later, I’m amazed how well it healed, but it wasn’t easy. Out of the seven I have, its the ONLY one that ever scabbed and got horribly sore. There are a few weird bubbly spots on it still, and while I’m happy with how it looks in spite of that, I can’t imagine ever going back there again.
SUBMITTER’S COMMENT: This was a random dude I had on facebook. Just the tip of the ice berg. He works in one of the worst shops in the city, and brags about doing the most “outrageous” work he can think of. He is very experienced and his work is sterile - but that’s about where the positives stop. He has a creative mind, but not even nearly enough knowledge on anatomy or body modification to utilise it. Other work of his includes corset piercings using CBR’s, multiple piercings crammed so close together they’ll never settle (we’re talking 6 in one case), nipple piercings intentionally done so deep they’re in the areola, piercing through the fatty part of a finger between the first two knuckles using a circular barbell… you get the idea.
WHAT’S AWFUL: In this particular one, it’s GUM piercings. Through the gum between teeth. Common sense alone can point out how intensive the potential dental damage is.
HOW IT CAN BE FIXED: Take it out. Never let him attempt his “creative” work on you again. Also go to a dentist to get whatever damage he’s already caused fixed.
Just gonna point out that a lot of corsets are done with CBRs by reputable piercers; they’re usually only meant to be temporary anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.
I know this subject is up for a lot of interpretation, whether you consider these things “awful mods” or just “different, possibly misunderstood mods.”
Someone submitted about "My Tattoo Addiction" - One of the things that annoyed me about it was it featured a girl who had set up a professional studio in her home, which makes it look like it's okay to tattoo people at home, or go and get tattoos from someone at home, not warning the veiwers that most of the people who tattoo from home aren't licensed and have NO health and safety standards at all, which will (as we all know) give poor quality work, and health risks..
The thing is last week I went to a piercing/tattoo shop to have my septum done. I feel like it may be too low and now that the scab has gone the holes appear to be crooked. What do you think? What should I do? Thank you in advance.
MODERATOR COMMENT: Well, because you included a picture, I’ll post it anyway even though you’re “anon at email@example.com” and usually we won’t respond to questions that don’t have an asker we can directly contact.
Anyway, I can’t tell you for sure, but it does look kind of low and a bit off center. The off center part could just be how your jewelry is sitting. However, where it should be in your nose is NOT in any cartilage. It should sit in your “sweet spot”. If you pinch your septum between your fingers you’ll feel this little area where it’s JUST skin. It’s between the outer part of your septum, and the cartilage that goes up your septum in the center. I think you’ll know what I’m talking about if you feel your septum. If it’s not pierced in the sweet spot or where you’re happy with it, i’d take it out and get it redone somewhere better.
i had been wanting a conch piercing, so i went to get one at the place i get all my piercings done. it’s a very clean place, they autoclave everything, use gloves and needles, etc. i got my 2 previous helix piercings there, and they were both healing really nicely.
anyway, i got the piercing and it hurt so much less than i though it would. it hardly hurt on the way home and for the first five days, i could barely tell it was even there.
then it started to get sore and hurt. i thought it was just part of the healing process, so i just continued with the twice-daily sea salt soaks. however, it started getting worse and worse. after around 3 days, the pain was so bad that i was popping ibuprofens every couple of hours. my entire conch and anti-tragus area was swollen and red. it started oozing yellowish pus after a few days. the pain got so bad that i could’t focus on doing anything.
i asked my mom to take me to the emergency room, and despite me trying to explain how you’re not supposed to take the earring out as that can cause an abscess, the doctor and my mom made me take it out. then the doctor made me lie down and proceeded to try and push all the pus out. it was the most excruciating pain i have ever experienced in my whole life. i knew they were going to do something painful and i was telling myself i wouldn’t cry, but i ended up screaming and crying. then they gave me antibiotics and really strong painkillers.
for the next three days, i was still in extreme pain and my ear was still very swollen and full of pus. when i went to see an ENT, she sliced the back open so the abscess could drain. i was still in constant pain for around a week before it started to feel a little better. it’s been getting better since then, but my ear still looks far from normal.
i honestly don’t know what i did wrong, and how i got that horrible infection.
MODERATOR COMMENT: Sometimes weird unfortunate shit happens. :/ It’s okay to take out the jewelry if you’re on anti-biotics. If it were really really bad, the doctor who lanced it the first time (or even the second) would have put a tube in there anyway so it could drain. At least I hope they would… Anything could’ve happened to cause that (probably post-piercing if they’re as clean as you say). The world is gross and anything could’ve just flown into your ear and gotten all up in the piercing and then BAM you’re in lots of pain. Sorry that happened to you. :/
Submitter Comment: Tumblr ‘famous’ user Daisy Lola often preaches about “respecting tattoo culture” and will not hesitate to pass judgement on the placement and quality of other people’s tattoos, but apparently those “rules” apply to everyone except her. Having once taken a stance against scratcher tattoos, we see the hypocrite in its natural habitat, getting a scratcher tattoo in a very unsanitary looking environment. Admitting your shitty tattoo is shitty does not detract from the fact you don’t think there is anything “wrong” with getting tattooed by someone who etched some shaky lettering into your knees.
What’s Awful: NO GLOVES, being done at home on a chair that is likely ripe with bacteria by someone who is not a professional; in fact this was allegedly their second tattoo. Real apprentices practice on fruit for a reason but #YOLO and all that.
Titanium is a lightweight metal that is ideal for people with concerns about nickel sensitivity. This material can be anodized to create jewelry of different colors without affecting the safety. Look for implant certified titanium (6Al4V ELI) that is ASTM F-136 compliant or ISO 5832-3 compliant, or commercially pure titanium that is ASTM F-67 compliant. http://www.safepiercing.org/piercing/jewelry-for-initial-piercings/
There are many, many different titanium alloys, but for the sake of body piercing you will primarily hear about three of them.
The two that are acceptable for initial piercings due to them having an implant grade designation are F-136, and F-67, as mentioned above.
Titanium that is 6AL 4V ELI means it is made from 90% titanium, 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium. ELI means “extra low interstitial”.
ASTM F-67 is commercially pure titanium, meaning it is unalloyed.
Both of these materials have been tested and approved for medical implantation if manufactured according to the specifications set forth by the ASTM (American Society for Testing & Materials) or ISO.
The third type of titanium the piercing industry has heard about, especially in the past few years is G23 titanium.
Contrary to what some companies are leading consumers to believe, G23 is not an implant grade of titanium.
Brian Skellie wrote an article about G23 titanium and how it pertains (or rather, doesn’t) to body piercing.
SUBMITTERS COMMENT: Saw this on my Facebook Newsfeed, honestly not a surprise. This is the same girl I submitted the story for a while ago, the one who kept her jewelry around her pet rats! She pierces herself a lot, so again, no surprise, but this is the first time she’s posted a photo.
(As a quick side note, the large pinchers are her second holes, and she’s gone from a 6g to whatever size that is, in under a month, she just doesn’t have photos to really show all that much about it.)
WHAT’S AWFUL: Well, that’s an unsanitary sewing needle through her ear. It’s not a proper instrument to pierce with, and the string can’t be doing any good either.
HOW IT CAN BE FIXED: Take that needle out of there! And stop piercing yourself, and others, with improper, unsanitary ‘tools’!
Submitter comment: When I was 14, I witnessed one girl from my school piercing another girl’s ear with a thumbtack. To make matters worse, this occurred in the restroom of a local public swimming pool.
What’s awful: what isn’t?? Thumbtack aside, if you’re looking for a sterile environment, a damp mouldy pool restroom is not it.
How it can be fixed: well, I’m fairly sure said girl removed the piercing and got it done by a professional. By some miracle, there was no associated infection. Just don’t do it kids!
When I was around 10 years old I finally wore my mother down and she allowed me to get my ears pierced. We had just moved away from my hometown and I wasn’t dealing with it very well, so this was sort of my “reward”/birthday present.
The place was immaculate, sterilized completely and staffed with individuals who had earned more First Aid/pathogen certificates than one should be able to in a life time. The piercer sat me down on the edge of the chair and pulled on his rubber gloves. He then pulled out what looked like a plastic “U” in a secure baggie.
I didn’t know piercing guns– even disposable ones– were bad. My mother had gotten her ears pierced in the late 1950s by a girlfriend, so I doubt she’d even seen one before. All I knew was that what happened next was- to this day- the most painful thing that I have ever felt. If the piercer used anything to numb my ear it clearly wasn’t doing its job, and his demeanor wasn’t helping. “Close your eyes and think of something nice.” KA-CHUNK.
It took months for my ears to heal to a point where I could change the earring out. I distinctly remember being able to break off plates of dried blood from the post and I was unable to sleep on my sides for weeks. To this day- 17 years later- I still get inflammation from the holes.
Who was this horrible piercer? MY PEDIATRICIAN. Just goes to show you, you can be pierced in the cleanest spot imaginable, by someone with multiple degrees in health and safety, and piercings can still go wrong.
I got my ears pierced at Claire's two years ago. I did the research on the dangers of getting pierced with a gun in an non-sterilized environment, but I still decided to get my ears done at Claire's for one reason only: I was scared that I wouldn't be able to afford a piercing at a fancy professional shop. Apparently professional places charge the same prices as the stores that use a gun....
And even if they charged a bit more, I’d still go to a pro over some piercing-gun-wielding-untrained-mall-girl (or boy, I guess). The only reason I got mine done at a mall was because I was 13 and didn’t know. If I had done research on why piercing guns are bad, I would have said fuck no to that crazy shit no matter the cost.