Scarring on Vertical Lip piercing

Friday October 12th, 2007 @ 5:48 AM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek, Piercing

For the past month and a half or so, I’ve been dealing with a rather large and painful lump on the top hole of my vertical lip piercing. I got it pierced in June and it was going fine until this thing showed up. It did get infected, but seemed to clear up. After the lump still didn’t go away, I went to the doctor and got put on antibiotics, which I still have 2 days left of. I’ve been doing sea salt soaks and have recently been using a small amount of tea tree oil.

Is there anything else I should be doing? I really don’t want to lose the piercing.

Finally, someone with a picture, thank you. As pictures definitely help us be able to analyze what’s going on better.

Its hard to say however from the picture what specifically is the problem. It could be placement or it could be the jewelry’s gauge size?

Do you play with this piercing a fair bit? ie: sucking on the top bead, etc? Have you caught it on things occasionally?

As for infection, define infection? What type of discharge was occurring? Infected piercings are usually very inflamed (red and swollen) as well as contains a thick greenish discharge.

It appears to me there has just been some sort of impact to the pierced location, perhaps if it was indeed an infection, this impact is what caused the infection. I’d personally suggest using the sea salt solution twice a day for 10 minutes each time. Also in terms of water to use the ideal type is distilled water, instead of regular tap water, filtered water or boiled water. The solution should be mixed 1/4 teaspoon to 8oz of distilled water which is either at room temp. or slightly above room temp.

To conclude: keep doing the sea salt soaks twice daily for 10 minutes each soak. Also is the jewelry 16ga or 14ga? You might require a 14ga to give it more stability, if it’s a 16ga piece of jewelry. Also consider placement as a possibility, the pathway of the piercing might be causing stress on the top hole. But without a in-person inspection of this, it’s really hard to say.

Also know that although some people can have success with tea tree oil, quite often it’s far too harsh a product to use on a piercing, it’s most commonly viewed as an Anti-Fungal essential oil. Something like 100% Pure Neem Oil might yield better results.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 21 Comments


Friday October 12th, 2007 @ 1:07 AM

Filed under: Uncategorized

So might be a weird question, but I have a few ear piercings (right ear: tragus and rook, left ear: inner conch) that I wear barbells in all the time. I have the darndest time finding headphones for my iPod that don’t give me ear blisters because of my piercings (I didn’t have blister problems before I had the piercings with the same headphones). The most comfortable ones I’ve found thus far are the ones that come with the iPod; I’ve tried the ones that go inside the ear (hurt my tragus piercing, which is relatively new), the ones that loop around (bugged my conch), and ones like the old school Walkman ones (too much pressure on my rook, which is finicky to begin with despite being 3 years old and totally healed).

So does anyone know of any piercing-friendly headphones for smallish ears?

You guys rock.

One thing would be to instead of wearing a barbell in your tragus, to switch it to a labret stud. That way the flat back of the stud gets put against the back of your tragus, instead of having the bead there. That can elevate the problem with the tragus piercing and enable you to wear one of the various ear bud type headphones.

The other option is hip swanky DJ style headphones if you don’t want the retro look of the old school headphones. ;)

Personally I have this problem as well with headphones, even though I have no cartilage piercings. Headphones are really something that should require customization to fit the persons ear shape comfortably. But sadly nobody does that due to probably the expense among other things as well.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 12 Comments

Can a nape piercing be done if the skin is very tight?

Thursday October 11th, 2007 @ 9:57 PM

Filed under: Piercing, Surface/Unusual

I was planning on getting a nape piercing fairly soon but just noticed something tonight. I look at all these videos of the procedures and everyones neck seems to be quite loose. My problem is I can barely pinch the skin with my head up. Once I move my head down there is like no room for a piece of metal under my skin. This definitely puts a damper on my plans. Any advice?

The best idea for you to do is to seek out a qualified piercer who is capable of doing surface piercings with both methods (Freehand with Needle as well as Dermal Punch And Taper), provided you live in a location that does not have a ban on piercers using medical devices such as dermal punches.

So as I said make sure you find a very qualified artist who can analyze the tissue. An ethical piercer will listen to your claims and take you to the procedure room to do a consultation and investigate the matter. If they instantly jump on the idea of doing the work on you without even looking at your nape and analyzing it, go elsewhere. If you mind replying in the comments section with your location, perhaps I or one of the other QOD Staff,etc could direct you where to go. Or perhaps you already have a piercer who you go to, that is knowledgeable enough. If that’s the case make some available time to visit and have them look at your nape.

It might also suck but you must be prepared to deal with the potential situation, that you just might not be suited for a nape piercing, although that’s rare. If you aren’t suitable for a nape piercing, then as we often let clients know, there’s MANY other places to be pierced. :)

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 6 Comments

Stretched Ear Jewellery?

Thursday October 11th, 2007 @ 9:19 PM

Filed under: Ear, Piercing

I have a BIG problem with allergies and my stretched ear! My ear WAS stretched up to 0ga, with no complications and all with acrylic jewellery, but unfortunately it flared up and I switched to wood (dunno what type).

It got worse! So I’ve downsized now back to 4ga, and my ear is constantly flaky, dry, itchy and VERY sore. I am allergic to nickel and stainless steel won’t work with me. I can’t find ANY jewellery in titanium…Obviously, I’m now reacting to the acrylic, wood hasn’t worked, and I honestly don’t know what else to try!

I’ve heard glass is pretty hypoallergenic, I’m also in the UK, so materials aren’t that readily available either :(

Any ideas would be lovely, thankyou very much! I don’t want to loose my stretched ear!


Dear Kitty,

You essentially went from bad to worse with your stretching practices. First off the acrylic currently used in the Body Piercing/Jewelry scene is made for cold storage, in warmer temps it will release toxic vapours which can irritate. Also know that the majority of most commonly sold acrylic cannot be autoclaved(sterilized), which means it is not safe to stretch with and wear long term.

You then switched to wood which is even worse as its very porous material and can harbor a lot of harmful bacteria around the wound. This can lead to seriously irritated piercings if not full blown infections.

As per your statement you can’t find ANY Titanium jewelry and you’re in the UK, you must not be looking hard enough my dear. As the EU Nickel Directive states all piercing jewelry must be nickel free steel or it must be Titanium. One of the biggest jewelry suppliers in the world is called Wild Cat and their main headquarters is located in the UK, same with another one called Cold Steel. Both companies distribute both steel and titanium body jewelry.

As for your allergy to nickel although it is common in the UK, something about the water source if I remember correctly. But one way of finding out if you are really allergic is by wearing a pair of buttoned up jeans (Levis 501’s,etc) or wearing a watch with a stainless steel backing. If you develop a rash from those items then you might very well indeed have an allergy. If you do not react from these materials I’d be inclined to say the locations where you’re buying your jewelry from, are not purchasing proper quality jewelry.

So in closing stop using the materials you’re using and switch to Titanium. Believe it or not but it IS readily available in the UK, due to the EU Nickel Directive that is in place. You may also use Pyrex Glass as well. But what you need to really make sure of is that you are only stretching one size at a time and using sterilized pieces of jewelry as well as a water-based lubricant.

Personally I tell clients they do not need to actively stretch their lobe piercings, as the piercings will naturally stretch themselves. I just tell them to have patience and wait anywhere from 6 months to a year, even more, and you should easily be able to slide the next size up right in. This method truly saves people from having to deal with tears, blow outs,etc.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 20 Comments

Bad jewelry and crushed aspirin?

Wednesday October 10th, 2007 @ 10:08 PM

Filed under: Ear, Piercing

This is sort of a two-part question.

I have a 14ga helix spiral that’s about three months old. It’s still giving me a little bit of trouble and seems like it has a little while to go before healing completely. When I asked a local piercer about it, he told me my piercer should have never used the spiral for the initial jewelry and that there was no way I could heal it correctly. Would you agree?

Also, this same piercer told me that to treat the little bit of hypertrophic scarring forming around one of the holes, I should apply a paste of water and crushed aspirin every night directly to the piercing for three weeks. Thoughts/opinions? I’m not sure if that’s good advice or not. Thanks!

The thing surrounding these spiral projects is that they absolutely require precise angles, so not to apply pressure to the pathways.

I bet if you removed the jewelry and put barbells or labret studs in instead, the hypertrophic scarring will go away. Once they are gone you can then consult with a qualified piercer who can establish the angles of the pathway and custom order jewelry with the angles needed.

As for the piercer who advised you to crush aspirin and mix with water, I truly hope he is not an American. As by stating that he is putting himself at risk by giving such medical advice to people. In theory it could work due to the acetylsalicylic acid, but it’s not ideal for this problem. The reason being if the angles are off, they’re off, and nothing will help. As there will always be pressure applied to the area, causing the scar tissue to form every single time.

As I said the best option is to just convert the spiral into individual piercings with either barbells or labret studs. Do warm sea salt soaks and allow the hypertrophic scarring to go down. Once it’s gone you can then have a piercer analyze the angles and figure out a custom made spiral piece suited specifically for you.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 19 Comments

Nipple crustiessss

Wednesday October 10th, 2007 @ 9:42 PM

Filed under: Nipple, Piercing

Hi there,

I got my nipples pierced in the early part of this year (the first one in March, the second in April). They are still forming crusties and recently the second of the two formed bloody crusties (I know, pleasant!). I took them both out last night to clean the bars and the nipples themselves and the smell was awful! I go through all the aftercare rituals as I should and can’t work out what the problem is, any ideas? Thanks a lot!

In order to troubleshoot this problem correctly, more information is required. We would need to know what gauge (thickness the jewelry is) to evaluate the situation better. If we are to simply go by the law of averages, I’d be inclined to say the barbells you have in your nipples are 14ga. From there however we need to determine what metal the jewelry is made out of: A) Stainless Steel or B) Titanium; as well as if it’s implant grade material or not, with a mirror finish.

Also what are the current aftercare rituals that you’re going through? As there are many different views on aftercare techniques.

To give a simplistic answer to your question “crusties” are quite often a mix of dead skin cells, body oils(sweat,etc) combined together. This occurs when the body realizes it has foreign material in the body, so it generates skin cells to seal up the hole. But due to the fact that you have jewelry is in the body, that matter has no other option but to expel from the wound.

As for the bleeding this is why I asked about the gauge size. The reason being because if it’s too thin a piece of jewelry and are prone to catching it, playing with it,etc then tears can occur resulting in the creation of the skin cells (crusties) as well as bleeding due to the irritation/tearing.

Everyone’s anatomy is different some people require 14ga jewelry, while others might require 12ga or 10ga+. It’s all based on the individuals development of their nipple.

As for aftercare protocols the best option is to use a very simple mild liquid castile (vegetable oil) based soap in the shower. As well as using a Sterile Saline Wound Wash (Blairex Wound Wash).

If the problem persists after all this I’d be inclined to suggest stretching to a larger size barbell then what you currently have and make sure the jewelry being used is Internally Threaded Implant Grade Stainless Steel or Implant Grade Titanium with a mirror finish.

Also if the bleeding and crusty matter is developing overnight, you might want to try wearing a snug shirt while sleeping. As you might be catching it on the bedsheets while you move around in your sleep at night. Also look to clothing that you are wearing that might be the cause of this irritation as well.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 6 Comments

The New QOD…

Wednesday October 10th, 2007 @ 4:36 PM

Filed under: Uncategorized

… definitely makes me happy. It’s very neat and I like the layout.

But here’s my question: is BME back now that things are changing or is stuff still being fixed one day at a time? Thank you guys for being so patient through the whole thing :)


Well Bathory, BME never left, it’s really that simple. The new QOD has been in development for months, all staff members have been silently playing with the initial version since September and we even had a few beta testers. That said, the old QOD was a legacy system that simply had to be replaced. The internet grows, evolves, and we have to be adaptable for the future.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin

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Posted by AskBME | Permalink | 3 Comments

Welcome to AskBME the New BMEzine QOD!

Wednesday October 10th, 2007 @ 5:23 AM

Filed under: Uncategorized

Welcome QOD viewers! AskBME is the new wordpress-based QOD system for BMEzine, complete with all the things you’ve come to love about the old QOD, but now with everything you love about wordpress - comments, categories, stats, and more!

Go ahead and register for an account to reserve your favourite internet alias now, before someone else does. Then you’re free to submit questions to AskBME, and fully prepared for those follow-up comments and questions.

Some of our staff members are still in the process of getting their accounts and personal information together, but for now we’ve got two great and talented panel members awaiting your questions on body modification.

Also, we’re looking for some modblog-esque images for our header image. Got some inspiration and a digital camera? Send your photos to [email protected] with the subject “AskBME Header Image”.

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Posted by AskBME | Permalink | Comments

…bdsm thing) because i don’t wanna let my partner down?

Tuesday October 9th, 2007 @ 12:58 AM

Filed under: Piercing

I know this is a really stupid question, but I’m planning on getting my nipples pierced in two weeks and I don’t really wanna ask my piercer this, but how long would you have to wait to participate in ‘torture play’ (the whole bdsm thing) because i don’t wanna let my partner down?

A long time. Basically, until the piercings are completely totally fully healed. which on average takes around a year. They’ll stop annoying you and being crusty way before this, but if you mess with them too much, they’ll flare up again.

However, if you’re careful, you can find ways of doing nipple torture without upsetting the existing piercing, by pinching/clamping/play piercing the tissue behind or in front of the piercing,…or i’m sure there’s other ways i’ve not thought of yet.

If you get your nipples pierced at as large a gauge your piercer feels will fit your anatomy, with properly fitting titanium barbells, ensure to soak them before and after any play, and make sure your partner has clean hands when he/she touches them, you’ll minimise the healing time, but realitically you should be prepared to leave your nipples alone for as long as it takes for them to heal fully. Nipple piercings aren’t the easiest thing out there to heal, and causing them additional trauma just isn’t a good idea. However, there’s plenty of other body areas you can focus on with your bdsm play while your nipples are healing…and its definitely worth the wait to be able to have a pair of well healed large gauge piercings to play with.

- Vampy

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Posted by AskBME | Permalink | 1 Comment

Is there any way to get the hole to close up?

Sunday October 7th, 2007 @ 4:06 PM

Filed under: Piercing

Five years ago I got a 6ga PA done. The placement was bad for my anatomy and I took it out within three months because it was migrating. The hole remains. Is there any way to get the hole to close up? Is surgery a viable alternative?

Surgery is indeed your best option in this case, done by someone who knows what they are doing! The basic idea is that the skin on the edges of the hole is either removed, or cut in such a way that it will heal back together, closing up the hole.

If you can get this done by a doctor, this is by far your best option, otherwise an experienced surgical mod practitioner may be able to help you out. DIY jobs are best avoided, as even ignoring the problems you’ll have creating a sterile field to work from, you’re more likely to end up with a lump of scar tissue in place of the hole.

- Vampy

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Posted by AskBME | Permalink | Comments

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