Ok, so let’s talk about this picture I’ve seen making it’s way around the interwebs lately. This, boys and girls, is a dead earlobe. Now this picture is not meant to imply that everyone who wears silicone in their earlobes, or stretches with it, will have this kind of problem. Far from it. Silicone is worn in healthy earlobes by many people. We’ve covered that stretching with silicone is bad a idea and can cause damage to a piercing, but damage of this extent is not typical.
This, right here, is blatant neglect. The original problem could very well have been stretching with silicone, or stretching too fast. The dead tissue was caused by ignoring immediate damage, and neglecting the problem it caused. Blood flow was compromised in the earlobe, and the tissue died leaving this scabby mess. Damage of this level took a lot of time, there would have been numerous chances to stop the problem and heal the earlobe, but apparently this person was a stubborn idiot.
In short, use some common sense and if you have a problem with your piercing get it checked out by a piercer. 99% of problems can be resolved if you do the right things with it, and you do them early on. Is it really worth losing your earlobe because you feel too embarrassed / lazy / indifferent to have someone look at your piercing and tell you how to fix it?
I was using the taping method to stretch, one layer every other day, but the edges of the hole became sore and slightly irritated (no cuts or anything) so I removed 3-4 layers of tape, but now my plug keeps falling out. Helpful advice?
- Well, if you were using the tape to stretch and now your…
Why your average polymer clay design is bad for your lobes, and your health!
Here’s a good article that breaks down the ingredients of polymer clay:
Basic points of the article:The qualities of polymer clay are due to its primary ingredient, polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—a type of plastic also known as vinyl. PVC is considered the most toxic plastic. During manufacture and when burned, PVC creates a highly toxic byproduct called dioxin, a potent carcinogen and endocrine disruptor.
In the case of soft PVC, such as that used in polymer clay, phthalates are added to make the PVC pliable. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that have been linked with birth defects, reproductive problems, liver and thyroid damage and other health problems. Some are believed to cause cancer.
Because of these qualities, those who work with polymer clay should protect themselves with gloves, a designated work area for clay only that is frequently cleaned, and a respirator when baking (curing) the clay. Fortunately manufacturers of the clays have begun reworking the ingredients and most now have less toxic plasticizers, as is required by CPSC CPSIA. Most people will probably think, “Kids put things in their mouths, I don’t. I’m not using the clay when it’s uncured, I’m wearing it after it’s cured.”
Well, if polymer clay isn’t properly cured, the clay will remain moist on the inside which gives these toxins a chance to leech outward to the wearable portions of jewelry. It can happen really easily because even cured polymer clay is porous. The good news is that the Art & Creative Materials Institute teamed with Duke University Medical Center wanted to address safety concerns [source: http://duketox.mc.duke.edu/recenttoxissues.htm ] and found that irritation is most likely to occur through ingestion and not skin contact.
To summarize, properly handled/cured polymer clay should not be of danger to those that use or wear it. But because these studies were conducted in scientific settings that do not involve body modification, it is important to consider that piercings involve sensitive or compromised tissue. The safest choice is to wear the (properly cured) clay through eyelets of another material. Properly cured clay will be firm with a bit of give, but not flexible enough to bend, and of course not burnt or browned. The precaution I believe to be most important is keeping raw clay in a separated area from finished jewelry and materials. Changing gloves during production can help prevent toxins from uncured clay to transfer onto the wearable area of finished jewelry.
As for “glazed” or “glossed” polymer clay, check out the ingredients. A popular Sculpey brand glaze has this on the label:WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. WARNING: May be harmful if swallowed. Contains: N-METHYL PYRROLIDONE
Many others choose to use an Acrylic Coating spray fixative. We wear acrylic, so that sounds friendly, right? Here is a popular Krylon brand’s warning label:CAUTIONS CONTAINS ACETONE, HYDROCARBON PROPELLANTS, TOLUENE, ETHYL 3-ETHOXYPROPIONATE, MEDIUM AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS … Causes eye, skin, nose and throat irritation. Avoid contact with eyes and skin.Wash hands after using.
It also lists the same California birth defect chemical warning. Moral of the story, skip the glazes, take caution with unglazed clay, never use this material in unhealed piercings, and choose a retailer that knows how to keep you safe.
Think twice before you buy polymer clay from Etsy, a friend, or someone else who doesn’t undertake the specified standards that have to be done in order for polymer clay to be safe.
Written by the amazing BabyPie of BabyPieTattoo
If you’re going to called jewellery for stretched ears, ‘gauges’, then using that logic (It’s measured in a gauge, therefore it’s named a gauge), you must also call shoes ‘sizes’, drinks must be called ‘litres’, clothes must also be called ‘sizes’. Fruit sold by the pound, becomes known as ‘pound/s’. You can no longer buy sugar, you have to call it ‘kilograms’
Also, the gauge system only goes to 00g, so after that, and up until 1”, they must be called ‘fraction-of-inches. After that, they become known as ‘SICK INCHES’. Small jewellery is also measured by the gauge system (as well as in mm) so, anyone with a piercing has SICK GAUGES.
Surely this explains as to why we don’t refer to plugs, tunnels, eyelets, earskins, the stretched lobe themselves, as gauges.
You don’t have speedometers in your ears.
stretched my flesh holes up again..
I’m in so much fucking pain, eeeeeeeugh.
That’s a new one. Never heard stretched lobes being called ‘flesh holes’ before. Technically a pore is a ‘flesh hole’, as are my nostrils, urethra, anus, ear canals, tear ducts.
I mean, pain is understandable if you’re trying to stretch your tear ducts, but stretching your ear lobes should never, ever hurt.
- * me: why'd you take out your tunnels?
- * hot guy: why'd I take out my gauges?
- * me: ..... never mind.
My ears absolutely refuse to stretch up from a 2 to a 0.
I’m gonna murder someone.
It’s been 2 months now, and I’ve tried 3 times.
I’m so beyond tired of waiting.
You’re forgetting the almighty, magical and mystical 1g or 7mm. These can easily be bought from your local reputable piercing shop, or online at www.bodyartforms.com. A 2mm jump is too big for all ears, which is why your ears won’t stretch, despite waiting a good amount of time. Buy something single flared, in titanium, surgical steel or glass, and you should be good to go!