Category Archives: Piercing

My Scariest Piercing List

5 Scary Piercings

There’s a few piercings out there that have honestly scared me for some time. Both from seeing other people have them done and the thought of ever having to do them myself, to the point where I probably would refuse to because of the risks they impose and how I feel about them. This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t ever be done, there are some amazing body piercing practitioners out there that have done and will do these piercings, but if you are going to have it done then the right and proper people need to be sought out to ensure that they are done properly and well, with the least amount of risk and most amount of knowledge. It’s not that I would ever wish to talk people out of getting the piercings done that they want, but I would definitely give them the positives and negatives to each one and point them in the direction of the correct people. Below are my personal top 5 no no piercings.

5) Clavicle Piercing

Deep Clavicle piercings scare me very much, just because, I don’t really understand the need for them. I think the clavicle area of the body is one of the most beautiful on the body and I completely understand why someone would want to emphasise this by adding jewellery to the area. But the very same look can be achieved with a pair of microdermals or through other methods.

A deep clavicle piercing is intended to be pierced beneath the bone of the clavicle itself and then to emerge on the other side of the bone through the skin. In effect it makes a massive loop beneath the bone. However it is a very deep piercing encountering much more body tissue than necessary. The depth adds to the length of healing time for the piercing and leads to the possibility of hitting something it shouldn’t as the body vessels and structures can’t be as thoroughly checked as other piercings on the surface of the body.

Finally, I have only ever seen a clavicle done with a bendy PTFE bar, and because of the depth of the piercing and the movement of the body, the bar extends out of the skin and is pulled back in with the flex and reflex of the bone and muscle structure of the area of the body. This makes the piercing bar move in and out of the skin which makes it look unsettled, and increases the stress of the piercing entry and exit holes and can cause them to inflame sporadically through the life span of the piercing.

 

4) Nasalang Piercing

A Nasalang piercing goes from one side of the nose to the other. It’s not necessarily scary as far as piercing it, it is a fairly straight forward piercing, as there’s nothing in it’s way, it just seems completely pointless. At the end of the day, the very same effect can be made by having two high nostril piercings in the same area and it can still look like a nasalang piercing, if this is your desired effect. It just doesn’t flow with the body to have a severe straight bar straight through the nasal cavity, not to mention it will slow healing down because of the back and forth tug on both sides of the barbell in place. It might help in teaching people to stop picking their nose though, depends how far you can get your finger up.

 

3) Uvula Piercing

This piercing is on this list for a couple of reasons really. Once again, I have seen one happy and healed and the bearer was very happy with it. My concern is not with the healing and living with the piercing, as once it is healed, there are little complications, it is more the completing of the procedure that bothers me.

I have heard of people training their gag reflex with lollipops and toothbrushes, training them to rest on the uvula and learning to not gag on reflex in order to make the piercing a much easier procedure for client and practitioner.

However, my main concern lies in the space that the procedure must be performed, it is small, it is dark and it is tight, and though uvulas can be trained to not force a gag, they are in the mouth for that very reason and so there is always the possibility that pressure on it for long periods could still cause the gag reflex to kick in. This is whilst someone can have a set of forceps in their mouth, a sharp needle, a tiny and swallowable barbell or ring, and an additional swallowable ball regardless of the jewellery in use. We all know how fiddly the smaller pieces of jewellery are at the best of times in your own fingers at close proximity, but at such a distance, between tools that are not ambidextrous with the threat of dropping something, not onto the floor but into someones throat, I’m not sure the positives outweigh the risks for me personally.

 

2) Mandible Piercing

This selection isn’t because I think the piercing placement is bad, I’ve seen mandible piercings look phenomenal healed, but I also know how hideous the healing process is and how specific the piercing route needs to be to ensure it does actually eventually heal. Once pierced, the piercing will often drip with saliva for some time throughout the healing period. I’ve heard of it merely dripping and I’ve heard of it seeping. Either way, not sexy.

Beneath the tongue we have a set of tonsils (yes we have more than one set) and a set of glands which supply the mouth with saliva. Both of these sets of internal equipment are very important and not to be ruptured or pierced through. Therefore, when piercing the mandible, the piercer must know exactly what they are doing along with the anatomy of the mouth. So very much can go so very wrong otherwise, but then this is true with a lack of knowledge with any piercing placement on the body.

1) Eyelid Piercing

I remember first seeing an eyelid piercing online and all I could think was; it makes my eyes hurt. I also saw one in person at Derby Tattoo Convention a couple of years back and the girl with it seemed very happy with the piercing. Suffice to say that it had been done recently and her eye was very sore and swollen because of the piercing, I couldn’t tell whether this had reduced much since it had been done.

I think it just scares me because of how much I value my sight. Without it I couldn’t do what I do for a living, nor could I create the art and things I love to do in my spare time. I’m not suggesting that eyelid piercings can blind you by any means, but I personally cannot quantify introducing an open wound, and the possibility of that much additional harmful bacteria, to an area of my body that is so very significant to my day to day life. Let alone how irritating it must be to be able to see it out of the corner of your eye all the time. But then again, I said the same about my first set of glasses and now I love them, so maybe it works the same. I just know how annoyed I get when I get the tiniest hair in my eye and how immediate my requirement is to GET IT OUT, that I don’t know how anyone can live with a piece of metal constantly rubbing against their eyeball.


Aftercare Solutions – Piercing

Ok so we’ve had a lot of people coming into the studio and getting in touch recently about their piercings flaring up. Yes this can be because of the change of weather, sometimes piercings do not react well to extreme cold and warm temperature changes. Best thing to do is to return to a twice daily cleaning routine as follows:

Use 8oz of boiled water, or a large mugs worth, mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or rock salt mixed together and allowed to cool but use as hot as you can take it without scalding yourself. 

Use a cotton wool bud or pad submerged in the solution, to clean both front and back of the piercing. In addition, use a cotton wool pad which has been squeezed of the excess solution to hold directly over the piercing as a hot salt compress. Do this until the water has cooled. Repeat process twice a day.

Often, the cold temperatures cause fluid to build up within a piercing and cause soreness or even a small growth to occur on a piercing. tHis will be solved with the above instructions. However it will not work over night, keep cleaning and look after your piercing, the happier they are, the happier you will be.

Good luck, and happy winter everyone 😀


Piercing of the Month – the Humble Helix


The helix piercing has long been fashionable with many different members of society, a discreet and twee piercing that can be plotted to sit perfectly within ones ear, worn by men and women alike, and considered to be a ‘beginner’ piercing for those venturing into the world of body modification. Alternatively, the humble helix can be devised into a magnificent piercing project with a spectrum of outcomes, all of which are visually interesting and effective.

A traditional helix piercing is considered to be a piercing which sits anywhere within this purple area. More commonly they sit closer to the rim, often in the small indentation found just before the ear begins to curl forward on itself. A vertical Helix piercing however, sits along the same area, however is pierced vertically through the rim of the ear itself, as apposed to back to front through the ear. This gives a completely different, but as effective an effect as a set of traditional helix piercings. Two vertical helix piercings compromise to form an industrial piercing.

Whether you are new to piercing or are a wisened master, the Helix piercing should not be underestimated. It can be worn with a multitude of different pieces of jewellery, can be changed into part of an orbital piercing (though it is best to plan this when getting the piercing initially) and is a fairly good healer for a cartilage piercing.

Average healing time is 3-6 months depending on how well you look after it.

Best Aftercare: is 1/4 teaspoon sea or rock salt mixed with 8oz boiled water, allowed to cool slightly, but used as hot as possible without scalding. USe a cotton wool bud or pad to clean around both back and front of the piercing. Clean twice a day.


The Alternative Piercing Name Confusion

Over the years I have come across all sorts of different and alternative names for piercings. Some seemed obvious at what they referred to, some completely baffled me as to what they were and genuinely required some research. I have been stumped by customers, who couldn’t elaborate on what they meant because they had no more information. For example, what follows happened over the phone, (just to make matters more difficult), about 3 years ago when I was working as a counter assistant in a piercing and modification studio:

Phone rings

Me: Hello, how can I help

Customer: Hi there, I was wondering if do a Cleopatra piercing.

Me: A what now?

Customer: A Cleopatra piercing

Me: Ok, can you describe what it is? There’s a lot of piercings with different names.

Customer: Well it’s a male genital piercing.

Me: Ok is it on the head of the penis?

Customer: Yes, it comes out of the head and the urethra.

Me: Does the hole through the head come out on the bottom side of the penis?

Customer: No, the top

Me: Ah so it’s a Reverse Prince Albert Piercing

Customer: No it’s a Cleopatra Piercing.

Story of my life.

Anyway, here is a list with descriptions of piercings with alternative names and slight differences where applicable.  (The linked photos are not my own work)

Angel Bites – also known as a double Madonna piercing, one either side of the upper lip. Pierced with labrets

Angel Kiss – this one was a new one on me, but it turns out that an Angel Kiss is in fact a Vertical Labret Piercing. Pierced with a curved barbell.

Ashley – also known as a Central Lip Piercing. An Ashley is pierced from the front of the centre of the upper or lower lip, and emerges horizontally on the other side of the lip inside the mouth.

Austin – an Austin Piercing is also known as a Nasal Tip Piercing and requires a stretched Septum Piercing for the bar to exit from the alternative side to the nasal tip. The alternative for those without a stretched Septum is a Rhino Piercing which is a slanted piercing pierced from inside the nose on one side of the Septum and out through the nasal tip.

Christinaa piercing which begins at the top of the opening of the female genitals, just above the clitoral hood, in the natural arc there, and then is pierced fairly deep and rises up out of the pubic mound. The length of this piercing is both anatomy dependent and jewellery dependent and is usually pierced with a curved or staple bar. Also known as a Venus Piercing or a Catherine Piercing. It’s other guise is as a Rageina Piercing, however this name is dependent on the clitoris hood being missing, underdeveloped or removed. A Christina can also be confused with a Nefertiti Piercing which is like a Vertical Clitoral Hood Piercing that spans further into a Christina Piercing.

Clavicle – also known as a Collarbone Piercing. A Clavicle piercing traditionally sits beneath the bone of the collarbone and is a very deep piercing, however these can be emulated with Surface Piercings cleverly placed, or a multiple of Dermal Anchor Piercings placed to look like a Clavicle.

Cleopatra – Reverse PA (see above)

Clitoris – fairly self explanatory, however it is often confused with a Vertical Clitoral Hood which is a much more common and less risky piercing than piercing the Clitoris itself. Clitoral piercings can be known as a Christina, however this version of a Christina is named after Queen Christina and is not the version found on the pubic mound.

Dahlias – are inner cheek piercings, and can be worn one on either side of the mouth or just a single one one one side. More commonly pierced with labrets, they can be pierced and worn with rings, though this risks tearing because of the pressure from the movement of the mouth around it.

Earl – also known as a Bridge piercing and an be pierced with a barbell or a ring.

Frenulum – is the tiny bit of skin which connects the inside of the lip to the gum line on both the upper and lower lip. Also known as a Scrumper or Smiley on the upper lip and a Frowny on the lower lip.

Layne – also known as a pubic mound piercing, however a Layne Piercing traditionally lies horizontally along the pubic mound, whereas a Pubic Mound Piercing more commonly lies vertically along the pubic mound.

Lorem – exactly the same as a Frenum Piercing, but lies very low on the shaft of the penis.

Madonna – is a piercing on one side of the upper lip, mean to emulate a beauty spot. Also known as a Chrome Crawford, Marilyn Piercing, Monroe Piercing and a Beauty Mark Piercing. Pierced with a a labret though a ring can be worn.

Medusa – which is a piercing that sits in the natural dent on the centre of the upper lip. Also known as a Filtrum Piercing.

Nape – a piercing on the back of the neck, normally centered but can be placed anywhere down the back of the neck. Also known as a Neck Piercing  or the Oblongata Piercing. These can be done with surface bars or dermal implants, and can be used either alone or in multiples to create a pattern.

Nick – not strictly a Cheek Piercing as the cheek piercing, is pierced beneath the cheek glans through the smallest amount of flesh in the area. A Nick on the other hand, exits the body in the same place as the cheek on the inside of the mouth, but outside, emerges on the top of the cheek, where an Anti Eyebrow Piercing would be placed.

Pinna – exactly the same thing as a Helix Piercing

Septril – sometimes confused with a Nasalang Piercing. The Nasalang piercing goes from one nostril, through the septum and out the other nostril, horizontally across the nose causing a triple piercing. Whereas the Septril Piercing lies horizontally across the nose, but does not emerge on the inside of the nostril at any point and is considered one single piercing.

Snake Bites – a pair of labret piercings on the lower lip line, placed symmetrically on either side of the lower lip. Snake bites can be placed anywhere along the lip line, as long as it’s partner is symmetrically balanced on the other side of the lip line. When a pair of snake bites gets very close towards the centre of a lip, they then become Vampire Bites. Can be pierced with labrets or rings.

(Vampire Bites also have their own derivation as a pair of dermal piercings or a surface piercing on the side of the neck)

Spider Bites – a pair of labrets pierced close together on one side of the lip. a Pair of spider bites can be worn with two pairs of the close pair of piercings on either side of the lip. Spider bites can be worn on the top or bottom lip and can be pierced with labrets or rings.

Sprung – another very new one to me, I only came across this one very recently and then found out that it is merely a Mandible Piercing  which is a bar that runs through the lower jaw and out beneath the chin.

UFO – very similar to an Orbital Piercing however not strictly the same. An orbital is a ring that sits through two piercings that have been pierced to work with a single ring, commonly on the ear. Whereas a UFO Piercing traditionally lies through a two Inner Helix Piercings and a Rook Piercing.