I hope you all are well and enjoyed your extra hour in bed last weekend (if you are in the UK that is!)
Today is the day before my 29th Birthday, and what better way to celebrate than by talking about piercings – one of my favourite things. Or, in my case, 28 of my favourite things.
I’ve seen a few people now getting into the multiple ear piercing trend and as piercings are something I am passionate about, and something I’ve been into for quite some time, I wanted to add my most recent piercing experience and some of my top tips.
My latest piercing is one that I have been talking about getting for getting on for 4 years. I had my right nostril pierced in May 2011 (I know this because my best friend Fairuza recently unearthed the film she took of me getting it done) and not long after that I started wanting to get a second one done, on the same side, next to my existing nostril piercing.
As with nearly all my piercings, I decided to get it done in Brighton at Punktured as I know they always do a wonderful job and it was a nice excuse for Fairuza and I to spend the day together by the seaside having a lovely time. We have both been going to get piercings done at Punktured for over a decade – longer than we have actually been friends!
Punktured was busy as usual on a Saturday, but we had booked the appointment in advance to make sure we weren’t disappointed. We went to the counter and booked ourselves in, chose which jewellery we wanted to be pierced with and filled in the forms saying that we were not under the influence of alcohol and we basically understood what we were about to let ourselves in for.
We were taken in to the piercing room, which smelt comfortingly clean and sterile, and I opted to go first. Beth (the lovely piercer!) explained what was about to happen – she was going to mark up my nose with potential positions for the new piercing, clamp my nose and then she would do the piercing. We moved the position a few times (piercers should be happy to keep moving the placement until you are happy unless there is a reason you can’t have a piercing in a certain location) and then, when I was happy I sat in the big dentist chair and waited.
Then for the piercing itself, Beth put the clamp on my nostril to hold my nose still and keep it in place so the piercing would be in the correct place, gave me a handful of tissues for watery eyes and then opened up the needle. She lined up the needle with the piercing site, told me to take a deep breath in, and as I slowly released the breath she pierced my nose. It was a short sharp pain and my right eye immediately filled with water. Beth went to get the jewellery and again with a deep breath in, she inserted the jewellery as I breathed out and it was all done.
Anyone who knows me will know I am a sneezer. I went for a job interview once and the interviewer asked me 3 words people I have previously worked with would use to describe me and one of them was sneezy. He thought I was kidding. I was not. When I do anything to my eyebrows – wax, pluck or thread – I always sneeze so after the piercing it was no surprise that I sneezed.
As always, my piercing experience at Punktured was brilliant. The staff are always lovely (and they remembered us which was really touching), they are super knowledgable and they are genuinely fun. I would highly recommend Punktured to anyone especially if you are nervous or new to piercings.
So now I have shared my experience with you I wanted to share some tips and advice based upon my personal experience. I would just like to say that I am NOT a trained body piercer nor would I claim to be an expert but I have had approximately 50 piercings in my time so I feel like I have some knowledge that I should share. I don’t want to sound like I am saying I was ahead of the trend or that people just getting into it are lame or anything like that, but as something I have had quite a lot of experience with I want to make sure people are doing things in the safest way possible.
I am, personally, quite strongly against the use of piercing guns. I find the piercings are actually more painful and they leave a larger amount of scar tissue behind. A piercer I once went to once compared piercing with a needle and with a gun like this: “Would you rather use a knife or a spoon to cut a steak?” Using a gun is effectively pushing a fairly blunt piece of metal through flesh as opposed to the very sharp point of a needle.
Does the piercing studio look clean? It sounds like an obvious question but you are essentially having someone put a foreign body into your body and you don’t want to add an infection to that. Usually cleanliness is accompanied by a smell that I always describe as being like the dentist. Not only should the studio itself be clean, but the piercer should wear gloves which they should be changing regularly after they have touched things and the jewellery and needles should be sealed before use to ensure they are sterile.
Your piercer should supply you with an aftercare sheet to tell you how to look after your new piercing. The basics are: don’t touch it for 24 hours and when you do make sure your hands are clean, clean it twice a day with a saline solution (you can buy these or make your own – I would use 1/3 of a tsp of sea salt in a large mug) and don’t change the jewellery for 4 months. Jewellery changes are different for oral piercings as their healing is different and the jewellery is changed to accommodate swellings.
Jewellery used should be smooth and have as few places for dirt to hide as possible. You don’t want something that germs can harbour in or that is fiddly to clean. It should also be long enough to allow for swelling. If the jewellery is too short, this can make the swelling worse and jewellery can be lost inside a the body.
What are the risks of infection or scarring? Should you follow the aftercare properly, the risks of infection are extremely low. However, if you piercing should start looking red, inflamed or feel hot to the touch do seek the advice of your piercer or doctor as these could be signs of infection. As for scarring, if you take the jewellery out you will be left with a small hole. There is also something called Hypertrophic scarring which is a build up of scar tissue at the piercing site that (usually) looks like a lump. Fairuza and I both recommend using a camomile tea bag soaked in saline solution (as per above instructions) to help with hypertrophic scarring. I’ve had it on a few piercings and they have all cleared up fine.
My biggest piece of advice is if you have any worries at all to speak to your piercing studio because they will be able to help.
I hope that you have found this post useful, even if just to see pictures of some more unusual ear piercings that are available.
If you have any questions about piercings or anything like that, please feel free to comment or tweet me and I will be more than happy to discuss!
Stay Safe and Wonderful!