homemade tattoo

Monday October 29th, 2007 @ 3:48 AM

Filed under: Tattoos

About a year ago in a stupid, art school-inflicted lapse of judgment, I gave myself a homemade tattoo using an X-acto knife and India Ink. Completely and utterly stupid, I know, but I was not in my normal frame of mind that day. Anyway, most of it fell out but it’s mostly still there. On one part of my ankle where there isn’t much ink, though, I’ve had this itchy sensation. It’s come and gone and hasn’t been too bad or anything so I let it go but tonight I scratched it and it burned a little. The skin is rough as well. Is this an infection or something I need to seek medical attention for, or is it just something stupid I have to live with? And would I be able to see my regular tattoo artist for advice or should I just see a doctor? Thanks.

X-acto Knife? daaaaamn! Whatever happened to the back in the day method of using a safety pin or sewing needle or something? hahaha we all have lapse in judgment from time to time.

Personally I’d say your best bet is to consult with a doctor/dermatologist and have them analyze the tissue. So that by going to see a doctor/dermatologist you’ll be able to get a more accurate answer and potentially something to deal with the situation.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | Comments

Help my poor Lobes!

Monday October 29th, 2007 @ 3:44 AM

Filed under: Ear

I have had my ears at a 9/16 for four years and decided it was time to move on to 5/8. I bought some plugs and couldn’t get them in so I made the mistake of buying silicone eyelets. They felt fine, just mild burning which I thought was just the stretch. After 2 days I couldn’t take the pulsing and burning and knew this wasn’t right. Long story short the eyelets had stuck to my inside lobes. After taking them out my ears were swollen and bleeding with clear liquid dripping out. I cleaned them very well before bed and woke up with my lobes actually crusted together. After a long sea salt soak the only jewelry I could get in were a pair of 0g tapers. A week later now, and my ears are slowly getting better with mild swelling and soreness although it seems like the hole has shrunk to a 0g! I’m wondering what I can do to get my lobes back to the way they were and how long I should wait to try and stretch again?

The wonderful joys of stretching with silicone jewelry. Sorry to hear of the trouble you’ve had involving this matter, it doesn’t sound very fun at all.

In regards to how you can get your lobes back to the size you were at and waiting periods,etc you can be directed to the previous entries involving stretching:

Waiting Time

Stretched Ear Jewellery

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 5 Comments

Chapped lips and vertical labrets

Monday October 29th, 2007 @ 3:16 AM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek

I got my vertical labret piercing 2 days ago, and the piercer said not to use chapstick or anything because it could irritate the piercing, and to just sit it out and the chapped lips would go away. Well, my chapped lips are driving me crazy and I am just picking away at them which cannot be good for the piercing either. Can you give me any remedies?

Lots and lots of water. Chapped lips are often a result of the body being dehydrated and not getting the amount of daily water intake it requires. I would strongly advise to not drink anything else other than water for the next couple weeks. As often caffeinated drinks(Soda, Coffee,etc) tends to dry the body out.

Usually if you can start drinking nothing but water for awhile it will keep your body hydrated and not be so dry and chapped. Also try not to chew/pick away at the chapped lips as that can increase swelling and problems with you healing piercings.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 8 Comments

Closing stretched lobes

Monday October 29th, 2007 @ 3:06 AM

Filed under: Ear

I had stretched my lobes to 00ga, but now a job opportunity that I cannot pass up has required me to remove the jewelry. My question: what are the best/easiest/most effective methods for closing up lobe fistulas?

Fastest/Easiest means of closing up the fistula - Visit a plastic surgeon and have them close it up via a surgical procedure.

Sadly though this procedure usually costs a pretty penny (usually around $500 a lobe from what I hear, plus or minus some money there) and is a route not many go down, due to the cost.

Another option is to take your jewelry out and massage them daily with an essential oil like: Vitamin E, Neem Oil, Jojoba Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil,etc. Do a deep tissue massage once or twice daily and simply do not put any other jewelry in your lobes.

Now depending on the person, as each individual varies, this might enable the holes to close up a lot or it might not close up hardly at all. But I’d say it’s better to try and let them close up on their own before going down the road of re-constructive surgery. So do the deep tissue massages daily for a couple weeks and see how much the holes downsize.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 99 Comments

Nose pierced with a gun

Monday October 29th, 2007 @ 2:57 AM

Filed under: Nose

I want to get my nose pierced, and the place I was planning on getting it done at uses a gun to pierce it.

Some people have told me that it is better if the place uses a needle.

Does it make much of a difference?

For starters if you look into the Health Board Protocols that cover Body Piercing, in pretty much states that Piercing Guns should NOT be used on anything on the body, other than ear lobes. So not sure where you’re located but call your Health Department and ask if they allow this sort of invasive cosmetic procedure to be done with a piercing gun, chances are they’ll say no. To which if that’s how they answer, then gladly give up the name of the location that you know of that does nostril piercings with guns.

The facts of the matter have been mentioned many times before on BME here are some of the following articles done via BME

Do piercing guns suck? BME reviews the Studex System 75

Piercing guns are blasphemy!

Those two articles delve into the whole concept of body piercing with piercing guns.

For a quick short answer if you don’t want to read those Piercing Guns are: 1) Inaccurate 2) Often Jam 3) Dirty 4) Create A LOT of Blunt Force Trauma.

Not only that but quite often most individuals offering piercings with a piercing gun, have had virtually zero training (ok so some have a couple hours video training and playing on friends) when it comes to properly doing a piercing. Where as proper professional piercers often have anywhere from 6 months to 2 years of apprenticeship training. As well as proper experienced professional piercers will either use a custom bent nostril screw, that they bend to properly fit your nose. Or they will use a labret style piece of jewelry either internally threaded or threadless style.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 5 Comments

Oral piercings.

Monday October 29th, 2007 @ 2:49 AM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek

One of my friends really want a lip piercing, but she is afraid this will damage her teeth. I know about teflon-jewelry and all, but does that eliminate all risk? And a while ago a friend told me that tongue piercings were a bad idea, because no matter what jewelry you put in, the bacteria in your mouth would act on the jewelry, resulting in cavities. Is it right, or BS?

The situation involving bacteria reacting to the jewelry resulting in cavities, I’d be inclined to say it BS. As there are always a plethora of various bacteria within your mouth.

Unfortunately there is ALWAYS the risk of damage to a persons teeth and gums when they obtain an oral piercing. The only way to combat against this is by making sure you are wearing snug/fitted jewelry at all times. This means get it pierced let the swelling go down and switch to a shorter post,etc. As the longer the jewelry the more it’s going to impact against your teeth and gums.

Jewelry like PTFE (Teflon) and BioPlast/BioFlex (Polysulfones),etc although they are soft and flexible they still has a solid hard mass form about them when made into jewelry. They are not “soft and squishy” at all which would be the only type of material that might prevent tooth and gum damage. So although this material is flexible it still is hard and rigid (the balls, flat disc portion of labret studs,etc) as well and can still damage your teeth and gums.

So ideally the ONLY way to try and combat this is as soon as the swelling goes down, to get fitted with a snug fitted piece of jewelry. However depending on placement,etc this problem can still occur, it might just be prolonged/delayed.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 2 Comments

Dermal Anchor gone bad!

Sunday October 28th, 2007 @ 11:50 PM

Filed under: Surface/Unusual

Hey, thanks a bunch for the answer Lori.

Well, I did find a piercer in Adelaide who had recently started doing Dermal Anchors. Me being excited I of course wanted to get one.

My friend had her belly done and that was fine. It was my time, from what i had researched about dermal anchors and just from my observations while being pierced i thought it would be fine. He did the piercing slid one foot in than the second and i heard a “click” i saw the threading poking out of my skin, the piercing than went on to tell me that there was an extension he had to unscrew to be able to screw the top on.

He undid the extension, by this time i wasn’t actually watching but i saw there was quite a bit of blood. Within a few minutes he had lost the tip of the piercing that poke out the skin under my skin, he was unable to find it even after using the same needle to make small incisions into my arm to try and find it.

They sent me off to a Medical clinic where i than had x-rays to find the jewellery under my skin than i had to have it cut out of me, stitched up and now ill be left with a nifty little scar.

They ended up trying to throw the blame on me telling me that it got stuck under some fatty tissue and that its not there fault and it couldnt be helped?

Now im no expert but is that really suppose to happen when done properly?

Thanks a lot for any help!

To the Constant Reader, this is in reference to this post regarding artists in South Australia.

What a dreadful experience, you poor thing! Of course it was not your fault, it was absolutely the piercer’s fault, and I’m horrified at the lack of professionalism involved from that studio to even blame you or claim that it could possibly be anything other than the piercer screwing up the procedure. I can only hope that at the very least, you didn’t pay a cent for any part of the procedure, and they should’ve paid your costs of the medical treatment (I assume that Medicare would’ve covered part of it). If you were out of pocket for any part of that experience, I’d personally be consulting solicitors about the experience right about now - but hey, I’m from the States originally, that’s kind of how we roll over there.

Again, I repeat (and add one more piece of information) to my advice from the previous post: When researching new/super trendy/technically difficult techniques such as dermal anchoring:
Ask the artist if they do them and how many they’ve done, how the procedure is performed and to explain what techniques they are using (if they screw it into a threaded taper for more leverage to insert it, they need to bloody well hang onto it with haemostats while unscrewing the taper and putting on the attachment, or else you get a very real risk of Exhibit A up above), how they learned to perform the procedure, how many they’ve removed and at what point in the healing process, what their success rate is, and for pictures of fresh and healed work. I also suggest you enquire as to who manufactures the jewellery they’re using, as there are a tonne of low-quality jewellery manufacturers in Asia flooding the market with poorly polished, garbage 316 steel copies of the high-quality titanium Industrial Strength microdermals, and that junk jewellery is dirt-cheap enough that I’d imagine all the bargain-basement mall piercers will be offering microdermal procedures at low, low prices. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for.

Again, I can give you artists in almost every state or territory of Australia who’ve done lots of microdermals and have portfolios of their work to show you, EXCEPT South Australia and Tasmania. Do your research and wrap your head around the idea that it may well be something you’ll need to travel to have done well - you must be going on holiday somewhere at some point, yes?

Best of luck with the healing and treat that scar with Mederma so it’s not too bad! :)

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Posted by Lori St.Leone | Permalink | 16 Comments

Piercing studios

Sunday October 28th, 2007 @ 9:05 PM

Filed under: Piercing

In your honest opinion, what do you think of those “mall boutigues” who advertise for cheap piercings. I have always driven over half an hour away to get my piercings because I trust the piercer at this particular studio, but would I be making a huge mistake going to a studio closer to home advertising for $20 piercings?

Asking most piercers about “mall boutiques” who offer super cheap piercings is like asking the Jewish people how they feel about the Nazi Germany era.

Things you need to ask about these “mall boutiques” is the following:

1) Piercing Training - How was this person offering piercings trained? No Training? A weeks training? A month? Longer?

2) Methods Of Piercing - Needle or Gun?

3) Aftercare - Do they provide you with sound verbal and written documentation of how to take care of it? Not just shove you a nice bottle of Ear Piercing Care (ie: BZK aka Benzalkonium Chloride which is a strong disinfectant and shouldn’t be used to heal a piercing)

4) Jewelry - Are they using proper high quality Internally Threaded (Anatometal, Industrial Strength,etc) or Threadless (NeoMetal) jewelry that is classified as implant grade? (ie: ASTM F-138 316LVM Stainless Steel or ASTM F136 6Al-4V ELI Titanium) or are they using the cheapest jewelry they can find?

5) Other Training - Do they have certification in Bloodborne Pathogens/Infection Control as well as First-Aid & CPR?

6) Proof of Work - Do they have a portfolio that displays a lot of their work? Is it healed work or fresh and bloody?

These are but a few small but very important things to ask when people consider these mall boutiques…Quite often the people offering the piercings at these places fail on a number of these questions.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 12 Comments

bigger guage in an eyebrow piercing?

Sunday October 28th, 2007 @ 8:49 PM

Filed under: Eyebrow/Bridge, Piercing

I got my eyebrow pierced for the first time in August 2004, and switched the ring several months later, in spring 2005. I was very unaware at the time and just randomly shoved in a ring that was way, way bigger both in gauge and diameter, and the piercing rejected not long after.

I got it repierced in January this year, and switched the piercing several weeks later to a ring that was either the same size or (possibly, I forget) smaller than the original. I had no problems switching and now can even remove it daily (for a new, piercing-free job) and slip it back in at night no problem. But a little while ago I dropped the bead down the drain and have since been trying to find a new ring, with little success–my ring is 18 guage with a 5/16 diameter, and no one seems to make cute rings that size! The only ones I can find are either dull or not my style. I did see a totally cute one at 16 gauge and 3/8 diameter, and I was wondering what you think the risk would be if I started using this one, going up in size just a tad, considering that for most of the week I don’t even wear it, and the hole seems pretty well-healed? Would it get all messed up again, or do you think I would be in the clear?


Dear Poster,

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For example you might find rings to be “cute”, yet if you ask my personal opinion they are not cute, but to each their own right?

In terms of cute however what is it that you find cute in certain rings? As there are not many other ways to make a ring other than have it in a ring shape. Are you referring to colours? attachments? Not really sure what you’re referring to by that statement as to me a ring is a ring they come in many colors, different size beads, different TYPES of beads,etc.

But to answer the question about the 16ga 3/8″ ring. I’d advise taking it to an high quality piercing studio for an experienced piercer to analyze the ring as well as the entry and exit points of the piercing, to determine if it is a suitable option. I personally am inclined to say it would not be an ideal thing since you’re wearing a 18ga 5/16″ ring in the piercing currently. The reason I say this is because 3/8″ is a bigger diameter than 5/16″ which could potentially lead to problems in the future. The more ring there is, the greater the chance for catching/snagging the piercing,etc, which can of course lead to migration and sadly rejection.

So my only concern with this is that it’s a larger diameter, not that it’s a larger gauge size…However sometimes with larger gauge sizes problems could also arise if your anatomy is not suited for that size. Sometimes 18ga work best, while other times 16ga will be ideal and even 14ga can be the jewelry gauge size of choice for the person,etc.

So yeah in closing I’d say if anything purchase a 16ga 5/16″ ring from a piercing studio and have the piercer taper it in for you. However it’s going to require you to keep it in for awhile to allow the body to become used to that size. You won’t want to try and taper it in and then remove it the very next day for work.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | Comments

Septum crusties?

Saturday October 27th, 2007 @ 8:51 PM

Filed under: Nose

I had my septum pierced last Thursday and I love it. But it seems that every morning (or even a few hours after I clean it) there are snot crusties, rather than just blood or lymph. Nobody ever mentions any long-term crusty involvement and I was just wondering if I have to deal with this kind of thing forever, since it kind of hurts.

Hmm, I s’pose I assume that it’s common sense that jewellery worn inside the nose will tend to collect dried nasal mucus and have to be cleaned on a semi-regular basis - much as, one hopes, you clean the inside of your nose! ;) Of course, your piercing won’t always be sore and cleaning it won’t be uncomfortable once the piercing has a chance to heal a bit, and it does become routine after blowing one’s nose to kind of give a little extra love to your jewellery with the tissue, to remove any extra junk from the piercings. Just be patient, I assure you that it will get easier within a month or two! :)

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Posted by Lori St.Leone | Permalink | 3 Comments

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