June 25th, 2012
I received a message from a girl who was interested in becoming a piercer:
I've been interested in becoming a piercing artist for a while and have asked about apprenticeships, but have had no luck until today when one of the artists at a nearby shop said that he would apprentice me for one hundred dollars a week. Should I consider this? Would a reputable place ask for this or are they just interested in getting my money?
This is something I'm serious about doing and am willing to do anything for at this point.
June 25th, 2012
I received this message:
I got my vch done about a week and a half ago. I have several ear piercings but no body piercings. I'm 40 and going through some big changes in my life. A friend gave me a gift certificate to a local shop, which I researched and I thought this a good time and place to do a vch.
The healing process has been pretty standard. Salt soaks, ice and neutragena soap. However, I've noticed that it's swollen on the left side of the piercing. And it's incredible itchy - not on the piercing itself but around it. It's not oozey or overly red or painful (at all) just itchy and lopsidedly swollen.
I'm just wondering if I should take it out or if it's too soon to tell.
I've read that you advise people with piercing questions. I understand if this is wrong info.
Close up showing irritation
June 16th, 2012
I received a question about tongue piercing risks:
I wanted to ask about the tongue piercing. I've been doing research on it and I see that there are prons and cons of having it. I've done my research but I do value your opinion and expertise on any type piercing. Despite of everything that I've read and heard, (negative comments..i.e., chipped front teeth, nerve damage in the tongue, a permanent lisp) is there any reason a 44 yr young lady shouldn't get a tongue ring? Also, how do you feel about PTFE or Bioplast in the tongue after it's healed?
Take your time answering me back. I'm in no rush and I know you're busy. In the meantime, take care and God bless! T.
May 30th, 2012
I recently received this message from a woman who requested a vertical clitoral hood (VCH) piercing but was given a surface piercing instead:
I came across your website when I was contemplating getting a VCH piercing. I found it to be a great source of information on this type of piercing and it ultimately made me decide to go through with it. Even though I understood where the correct placement of the piercing should be, when I finally decided to get the piercing a few months ago, I ended up getting pierced with forceps which resulted in an improperly placed surface VCH piercing. Unfortunately, I was wrong to assume that because I had gotten pierced by this same piercer on two separate occasions and was happy with the outcome, that he would know the correct placement of the VCH. It is also unfortunate that he has pierced many women this way. Now I'm left with a piercing that I am unhappy with and question what would be the best way to go about letting them know it was not done properly. Do you have any suggestions as to what action I should take to let the piercer know?
Also, the piercing can at times cause a sharp pain, especially when the jewelry tugs at the top hole, even though I have had it since February and it's healed. Is this caused by the improper placement and should I remove the piercing?
Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond. Your knowledge is greatly appreciated.
May 28th, 2012
I received a message from a woman who had a really bad experience getting a triangle piercing.Then she went to one of the piercers I referred to (Becky Dill of Cold Steel in San Francisco) and had a much better experience!
Last September, l while in Monterey, CA, I got a Triangle piercing at the local XX XX studio. A reputable establishment with an experienced piercer. I'd spoken to him twice before actually going to get the piercing and I was convinced of his knowledge. Although, an eyebrow was raised when he mentioned use of a captive ring for the piercing. He re-assured me that it's worked on a number of occasions.
On the day I went, I was accompanied by a friend who was getting a VCH. As it was her it was her first genital piercing, she was quite nervous. I'd gotten my VCH pierced several years earlier, so, I was a lot less apprehensive, calm even. The piercer was informative and talked her through each step of the process. Really nothing of note when it came to her piercing.
As he prepared me for the Triangle he took his time, a little longer than I expected. A possible reasoning, is that he stated that my skin was possibly too "thin" in that area. During the piercing, I prepared for a similar sensation as that I'd experienced during my VCH piercing, maybe slightly more intense. And initially, that's exactly what I felt. *Deep breathe in, deep breathe out, penetration, of the needle, of course, :) relax* After relaxing, thinking that the piercing was done, I felt a sharp, intense pain that caught me off guard and caused me to jump, as he continued pushing through. I was not at all prepared for that sensation, and being that I jumped, I apologized for my unexpected movement mid-piercing.
May 25th, 2012
I received a message from a woman who was concerned about her "VCH piercing"
I got a vch 2 wks ago and when I initially got the piercing, it was very snug and didn't move much, I couldn't even see it when I stood straight up. I clean it 3 times a day with sea salt in water but now it slides either all the way down or all the way up. It doesn't seem to be much tissue there any more and the curved bar I have sticks out prominently, so much I rolled over on it in my sleep last night and pulled it. Could it have been done wrong? I'm really worried it won't turn out right, please give me some insight.
I requested a photo, then got this message:
Infortunately, when I got home and went to use the bathroom, I pulled my pants down and my barbell fell out. My piercing had ripped out. This picture is 2 weeks after I got it.
Do you think the same thing would happen if I have it redone? What did I do wong?
Unfortunately, you weren't given a VCH piercing (assuming that's what you requested). Yours was more like a Christina, which is placed above the hood at the lower portion of the pubic mound. It was far above your hood instead of through it. I marked your photo to show you where the bottom part of the jewelry should have been resting. Your piercer was off by MILES!
May 25th, 2012
I was asked a question recently that I hadn't heard before:
At one of the tattoo shops I work in, one of the apprentice tattoo artists wants me to pierce a helix on both ears. No problemo. However he has "cauliflower ear" in both. I've been doing some research about specifically what causes it, also I've talked with him about it. He told me that he used to be a boxer, which is somewhat common. But he never had them drained.
I have never pierced a cauliflower ear, and honestly I've never been presented with this question. So I'm curious to know if its something that I should or should not do ? I'm also curious to know what your experience is, and what you think. :) Thanks.
That's an awesome question! It is one I have never been asked before. And in all my years of experience, I've never had a request to pierce an ear that has been injured in this way.
From my understanding of the situation, I'd be very wary about piercing such anatomy. As I imagine you know, the condition itself results from the surface tissue being separated from the cartilage, and is a problem that is caused by a lack of vascularity. To me that would indicate that the healing capacity of the area is even worse than usual (and we all know cartilage is rather finicky when it comes to healing).
If he can bring you a doctor's note that says piercing is not medically contraindicated in his case, I'd consider it. Short of that, I'd personally stay away from an area that is highly likely to be problematic healing.
May 19th, 2012
I received a photo from a woman who found my website after getting her Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) piercing done. She thought something didn't seem right with it. This is my response:
It might be in the right spot. I'd need to see it from underneath to be sure. See attachment that shows a shallow VCH piercing with the optimal placement marked.
Also, your bar is far longer than it needs to be. This can cause discomfort and also excess trauma, which can delay healing and cause complications such as scarring.
Further, the bar looks like it may be thiner than the safe minimum size (14 gauge), and the balls are very small, which could result in embedding. I would suggest you get a shorter bar in, and one that has larger balls than what you're wearing now.
Even if the jewelry is thinner than it should be, I would advise you to wait until the piercing has fully healed and settled (at least 3 months) before getting a thicker piece of jewelry put in. It would not need to be repierced to do that. This tissue is quite malleable and stretchy and can go up in size quite easily. A piercer can do it with a device called an insertion taper. It might feel somewhat tight or pinchy, but if you stretch it slowly enough, it will not cause damage or need to reheal.
Are you following the aftercare as suggested here?