Stretching reverse PA

Sunday June 22nd, 2008 @ 12:22 AM

Filed under: Male Genital

I got a reverse PA about 3 years ago (10 ga, 7/32 balls) and it’s been so trouble free (after break-in) that I kinda forgot about it. Only now I’m thinking about sizing up to 8 ga, is it too late? If so, is it ok to keep the 10 ga but go up to 1/4 balls? Thanks for your help.

You shouldn’t have any problem stretching the piercing at this point…at least no more trouble than stretching a reverse PA is in general. If you decide to stay at a 10ga, putting 1/4″ balls on the jewelry shouldn’t be a problem either.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | Comments

Piercer wrong?

Sunday June 22nd, 2008 @ 12:04 AM

Filed under: Navel

i went with my cousin today to get her navel pierced and i think the woman was wrong with a bunch of things she said

*a CBR and a curved barbell heal equally well (doesn’t the CBR get caught more?)

*you can use table salt to clean it

*twist/rotate the jewelry at least 10 times twice a day when you clean it

she was just rude in general, she treated us like idiots and her personally was just awful (she seriously said she’s right and everyone else is wrong), i was going to get a piercing too but decided against it because i didn’t want her to touch me

also 2 questions I’m really not sure on but don’t trust her

*how long before you can swim in a private pool?

*after the swelling goes down does the jewelry in a tragus piercing need to be changed to something shorter?


can you recommend a good piercer and tattoo artist in the Philadelphia area?

I was tempted to pass this question up, since I think much of what is asked has been answered before. Then I decided it was important for people to see what you did…which was not get pierced by someone you were uncomfortable with. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard stories similar to yours (rude piercer, sketchy information, bad overall attitude etc.), except it ends with the person saying, “But I let them pierce me anyway.” Most of the time I’m hearing the story because I’m trying to help the person with a troublesome piercing.

People…please…don’t hesitate to leave a studio if you are being treated poorly or getting a bad vibe or simply don’t feel comfortable. Even though the piercer is the “expert” in the situation, it doesn’t give them the right to treat you like crap. Don’t put up with it.

Okay, on to your specific questions:

1) Captive Bead Rings do not heal the same as curved barbells Curved barbells heal significantly faster in almost (there are always exceptions) all cases. It’s as simple as that.

2) You can use table salt to clean a piercing. It’s probably not the ideal thing, but there are many worse things you could use. I’d rather have one of my clients mix a salt water solution using table salt than I would have them cleaning their piercing with soap al of the time.

3) The moving it 10 time, twice-per-day thing is very wrong. That’s horrible advice. Moving the jewelry frequently irritates the piercing as well as increases the chances of dragging nasties back into the piercing.

4) I typically suggest avoiding hot tubes, lakes and swimming pools (even private ones) for about a month. If you’re going to go in one before that, I suggest covering it with a water-proof bandage.

5) The jewelry in a tragus piercing doesn’t absolutely have to be shortened. Most people do shorten it because they like the way a snug-fitting piece of jewelry looks better than one with extra room on it. In some cases, if the jewelry is left long, it can interfere with healing because it moves around too much. That doesn’t happen too frequently though.

Sorry for being so long-winded.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 5 Comments

navel piercing rejection 2x

Friday June 20th, 2008 @ 9:16 PM

Filed under: Navel

I had my navel pierced 2 times and both times the piercing surfaced. My friend (who is a kick ass piercer) suggested that I try a micro dermal implant for my navel. I would really like a navel piercing. Am I just destined to not have one or should I lose some weight first? Other plus sized women have navel rings. What should I do?

With Navel Piercings, the problem isn’t so much about you being “plus sized” or “skinny”,etc. The problem is if you’re simply an ideal candidate for a navel piercing. Any piercer worth their salt will analyze the navel area of each person looking to potentially get it pierced. They should be doing so by having the individual in the following positions: Sit, Stand, Lying down. If your navel area collapses, if there’s creasing occurring,etc then your navel piercing will be potentially open for complications afterwards.

Without having you here in the studio though, I unfortunately am unable to provide any further insight. However do know that even a Microdermal can be prone to complications as well, depending on how your navel is.

Perhaps you’re better suited for a larger gauge size piece of jewelry. Perhaps you need a slightly longer piece of jewelry then what you’ve had in? Perhaps you are better suited for a J-Bar not a Navel Bar? Perhaps you might even be better suited for a Microdermal?

But in order to assess the situation further its something that would have to be analyzed and troubleshooted in person, not over the internet.

Also just out of curiosity why did your “kick ass piercer friend” suggest a microdermal? Even with friends who are piercers, you need to ask WHY they think that would work over what hasn’t been working. Anyone can suggest something, but the main concern is if its backed by logical facts and reason, or not?

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | Comments


Friday June 20th, 2008 @ 9:06 PM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek


I have just read your post about bioplast, and was wondering what alternative you would reccomend. I had my side labret pierced 2 weeks ago and the first week was good, but the second I found myself biting the bar by accident. I even chipped a little bit off my tooth, and even worse, the second time I bit it so hard the ball got pulled under my skin, which was quite a disgusting experience. To save my teeth I thought it would be best to get a bioplast bar…also to save my job as my boss did not like the look of my latest piercing and I told him I would meet him halfway and not take it out, but put something less visible in there.

Obviously its quite a new piercing, but I’m quite worried now about the bioplast bar, is there some other kind of retainer you would recommend?



Thank you for actually taking the time to research through AskBME to then make a informed question on something that is perhaps not already answered. It helps make the AskBME staff members days just so much easier when people do what you did :)

There is a couple reasons why you could be experiencing what you are experiencing. 1) The piercings are not placed in the ideal position and thus enabling you to easily bite down on the discs/posts if you’re not careful (ie: while eating,etc) 2) It could simply be yourself and the natural human instinct to want to nibble on/play with the piercing. When I had my tongue piercings and my labret piercings, I was always getting called out on the fact I would play with them, even though I didn’t realize I was.

However the problem with you getting the BioPlast jewelry is this…If you are currently chewing/biting on your jewelry, you’re going to do the exact same thing with the BioPlast. Which the result of the occasional gnaw/bite on a plastic bar, is that you’re going to break the disc portion clean off. I see it happen all the time, with customers that come in looking for more bioplast. Essentially if you purchased a BioPlast labret stud, it would be a “money pit” for you , as you would be buying one every month or so depending on how often you bite down on the bar.

For something less visible, and in a fresh piercing (2 weeks old), I would strongly suggest you look into purchasing a Quartz Labret Retainer. Quartz Glass is a strong durable glass that’s autoclaveable and has had relatively great success in fresh piercings.

However the hard part is going to be your ability to try and focus yourself into not biting down on the jewelry, if you’re doing so by way of “playing with it”. But if its a result of placement, then the only way to resolve the problem would be to re-adjust the placement by letting it heal up and re-doing the piercing in a better position.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 5 Comments

Two questions

Friday June 20th, 2008 @ 12:11 AM

Filed under: Piercing

I have a couple questions both regarding piercing relate stuff. So here goes.

1. This is more for my peace of mind than anything else. I have a friend who decided to get a helix piercing in both ears. He requested that the piercing studs be pushed through the cartilage. This brings me unrest because I really don’t have the whole story. He does say that the lady who did it is a professional. However he is 16 years old. I do know that the law out here in Arizona is that to get conventional piercings you have to have parental consent and the parent has to be present. Now, his mom or dad could have given him consent. The lady did recommend the H2Ocean spray for piercings. However, I am having a hard time believing that a professional would accept a request to push the stud through. Should I still be concerned or should I let it go?

2. I am a body art enthusiast and I would really love to see a ban on the piercing gun here in the states. What I’m wondering is how I would go about doing that and if it would be acceptable to get professional artists in on it? If I do decide to get professionals, how would I approach them about this?

It’s nice to see you are concerned for your friend’s well-being. However, my suggestion is to simply let it go. At this point it’s a matter of he-said, she-said in terms of what actually happened. Whatever “damage” is was done, is done. Involving the health department (or appropriate regulatory agency) might be an option, but it would most certainly require your friend to get involved since it was done to him. I doubt your friend is going to want to get involved in that sort of thing.

The best thing you can do is try to educate the rest of your friend on why that sort of thing is inappropriate. You might not be able to get all of them to listen to you, but even one less person have substandard work done is a step in the right direction.

I’m a little afraid I’m going to sound like Captain Pessimist, but when it comes to the ear piercing gun stuff, my suggestion is the same as before…let it go. I don’t mean to downplay the awfulness of ear piercing guns…I’m a huge opponent of them and have been for years and years. Unfortunately, when it comes to getting ear piercing guns banned, as with many things that are regulated/legislated…money talks.

The ear piercing gun manufacturers have their own association/lobby group. They have put their money/influence into play a number of times, in various places throughout the country, during the 12 years I’ve been piercing. I’m not aware of any legislation that has succeeded in completely banning the use of ear piercing guns. Some places have managed to pass regulations that limit their use, but even those still typically allow the use of the gun anywhere on the ear. If you stop to consider that there are probably 1 to 4 places that do ear piercings with ear piercing guns in every mall in America (and that’s just one country), you can see why the ear piercing gun manufacturers put everything they can into fighting regulations that are going to hinder their sales potential.

At one point in my career I considered ear piercing guns the scourge of the earth. While I still think they suck, at this point, I am much more concerned about the 15 other “professional piercer” in my city that are piercing people with 29 cent pieces of jewelry made from who-knows-what kind of metal, imported from overseas…than I am about ear piercing guns.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 6 Comments

Strange Smell

Thursday June 19th, 2008 @ 7:26 PM

Filed under: Ear

I have had 00g lobes for about 8 months and there is still a white substance gathering around the jewelry and it smellsreally bad. What can I do to stop this?

This is easily remedied - remove your jewellery and clean the lobe and the jewellery. It’s that simple.

The funk is trapped normal excretia that oxidises on contact with the air and gives you that lovely smell when you move your jewellery. Good old-fashioned soap and water on a regular basis will keep this under control. Another option is to switch to organics like wood. The porous material will absorb the sebum so it doesn’t become trapped and go rancid.

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Posted by Tiff Badhairdo | Permalink | 2 Comments

Large guage tongue

Thursday June 19th, 2008 @ 9:38 AM

Filed under: Tongue

I’ve been stretching my tongue over the past year or so, and have found myself stuck at 00 guage. I can’t… for the life of me… find any bigger jewelry that will work for my tongue anywhere. I’ve asked my local artist, and he doesn’t know where I would find anything either, without it costing an arm and a leg. Any suggestions?

Well I know where to obtain jewelry that won’t cost you an arm and a leg…But it’ll cost you your testicles/ovaries and eyes. So not really sure which you’d rather part with, either way somebody is walking away with a piece of you.

Heres the reality of the situation…Yo’re at 00ga and guess what? Chances are a lot of the basic “metal” jewelry you’re probably looking at, IS going to cost a fair bit of cash. Mainly because guess why? It’s a big chunk of solid metal that goes into making that piece of jewelry for you.

One option potentially is obtaining a PTFE piece of jewelry from a reputable supplier/manufacturer.

But here’s the thing…In order to rock and roll you gotta play to play…Which means if you can’t find “cheap jewelry” sometimes you’re just gonna have to do the right thing and suck it up and pay the price for the right jewelry.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 1 Comment


Thursday June 19th, 2008 @ 9:30 AM

Filed under: Culture

Let me just start by saying i love this website. putting that aside i just wanted to ask something. I love piercing, scar and tatoo but would never do one. I live in Oporto, Portugal and i would like to know what its needed to actually make tatoos, piercings, scar and implants. I what to know what kind of instruction you need to know to actually make any of the things i refered above. i want to be a bodymoder as a sidejob (im studying animation in college). I want to know if there is some sort of bodymod school in my town, and would also like to know what is legal and illegal in bodymoding in portugal. i await your response axiously

Yours truly


Koro…Let me just say this rather baffles me, not to mention boils my blood.

You would NEVER get a piercing, scarification piece or a tattoo, yet you want to do this to other people, as a side job?

Can we say just a lil disrespectful to the many already working within this industry? If you have absolutely NO interest in obtaining any of the work yourself, what makes you think you should be doing it yourself?

Body Modification is NOT a “side job”…There is no “bod mod school of the arts”…No certificate programs or anything…You either do it because you have the passion and love for it, or you simply don’t.

In regards to what is legal and illegal in Portugal your best bet is to do your own leg work and contact health departments, read city/country laws involving tattooing, piercing, etc. In my personal opinion I feel that if someone is willing to pick up a scalpel, implants,whatever…They should be medically licensed to do so, which means going to med school and getting the damn certificate…But hey that’s just my personal opinion.

Maybe you didn’t mean your question to come off disrespectful but as I said the reality is this type of job is NOT a “side job” and when individuals come out of the woodworks saying they want to do it as “side jobs”, its a slap in the face to all of us who do it 24/7 a week, 365 days a year.

My advice to you is this…If you have no interest in obtaining ANY body modifications…Stick with the Animation course you’re taking in College and don’t even consider for one second attempting to do anything body modification related, unless you’re willing to put EVERYTHING into it.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 20 Comments

Quality Black Jewellery

Thursday June 19th, 2008 @ 9:17 AM

Filed under: Piercing

Hey there,

It seems that piercers almost universally say that the black PVD coated steel is total crap and shouldn’t be worn in piercings at all, especially not in fresh ones - I’ve worn this in my ears and septum for a long time with no problems - but if you could shed any light on why this is regarded to be crap, I’d greatly appreciate it.


A while back I talked to Tom Brazda about this, and the alternative seems to be Niobium jewellery, which is high-quality and safe for fresh piercings (he pierced my lip with a quality black niobium piece he made and my head hasn’t fallen off.. yet), but this presents a problem - it’s pretty much impossible to get a hold of this stuff, even the most simple CBRs, let alone labret posts or anything less common.

So my question is - where the hell can I get a hold of good black niobium jewellery? Any other material that’s high-quality and black would suffice. None of the respted companies like Anatometal seem to carry it, but maybe I just don’t know where to look - can anyone on AskBME help me out?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Ah yes Tom Brazda…All blessings be to he of immense knowledge….For without him I know not where I would be today lol

The issue is this with the jewelry you’re mentioning, its PVD coated. Essentially what this means in long form is: Physical vapor deposition. Essentially that is how the material is created to look black and the major issue with the material is that it can chip quite easily in your mouth, if you change the jewelry often,etc. I’ve seen the jewelry chipped damaged, I’ve seen the integrity of the black coating compromised and slight variance in coloring,etc.

In fresh piercings you have to consider wether the jewelry is Implant Grade specifications or not, which the pvd coated material is not. Now it has Bio-Compatible ratings on it, but still ideally in fresh piercings you should either obtain Implant Grade 316LVM Stainless Steel or Implant Grade Titanium.

Niobium is unfortunately not “Implant Grade” but its used often among the piercing community with alright results….Personally I’m of the mindset though that I’d rather use implant grade materials then anything that’s simply “bio-compatible”…Another issue with Niobium is that its a rather brittle metal from what I recall, so it’s rather hard to work with.

Also just pointing it out here, Anatometal DOES work with Niobium although its set limitations on what sizes,etc it uses. I believe mainly it has to do with the creation of internal threading being an issue within the 14ga and 16ga realm and how brittle/hard Niobium is to work with. If it was external threading its not an issue, but high quality companies that are going to make the jewelry correctly, don’t do external threading. But I’m pretty positive Anatometal works with 12ga and larger niobium barbells,etc. They also make CBR’s in 14ga if I remember correctly,etc.

Since you said Tom made/got/pierced you, are you still in the Toronto area? If so I’d say pay him a visit and he can easily track down what exactly you’re looking for.

But yeah simply put I’m not a fan of the black pvd coated jewelry, at least in piercings that are under a year old. And even then you’ll want to wear them as costume jewelry and not regularly. A Niobium piece of jewelry with a perfect polish is ideally what you’ll want to be looking for.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 1 Comment

Removed navel piercing

Wednesday June 18th, 2008 @ 7:02 PM

Filed under: Navel

I had a standard navel piercing done about 5 years ago now. Last year, after a little while of not loving it and repeatedly losing jewelry out of it, I took it as a sign and stopped putting jewelry back in. Both the top and bottom holes closed up very quickly, probably because of a bit of irritation it had at the time due to jewelry falling out, the hole shrinking a bit before I replaced it, and therefore stretching the piercing as I forced it back it. Anyways my question is about the fistula. I can still feel it there under the skin. Like I have a tunnel of flesh there that’s sealed on both sides. Will that ever go away? It’s been about a year since I took the jewelry out and it still feels just as ‘there’ as it did in the beginning. It’s not a huge deal, but for some some reason it being there just irks me. I almost want to get it pierced again just to give it a purpose, haha.

Thank you!

Yes it will. It may become softer over time and you may be able to aid that process by massaging with a nourishing product like vitamin E oil, but I’m afraid it is a part of you now.

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Posted by Tiff Badhairdo | Permalink | Comments

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