How to remove captive bead ring (a.k.a, damn liars)

Monday November 5th, 2007 @ 3:04 PM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek

So, I currently have a captive bead ring in my lip. When I got it the piercer told me that I would easily be able to remove it myself. Well, i finally tried… and it was not easy and did not happen. I looked it up online and it said to use pliers… but im wondering if theres a less scary, less damaging way?

Also, my friend loosened his (i.e. stretched the ring more) so that he can more easily pop the ball in and out. I’m wondering if this is an okay thing to do?

Note: I changed the original title on this to make it a bit more relevant

If a captive bead is a smaller (thinner) gauge, they can often be inserted and removed by hand. How easy this can be done depends a bit on how tightly the bead was inserted into the ring as well as the quality of the metal the ring is made from. If the ring is made of 316LVM stainless steel that has been properly annealed (heated up and cooled down, which softens it), popping the bead in and out should be pretty easy. If the ring hasn’t been annealed, it can be very hard to pop the bead in and our without ring-opening pliers.

Whether the ring is annealed or not, you should be able to adjust the gap where the bead sits so you can remove the bead more easily with just your hands. However, if the ring is not annealed, you will probably need a pair of ring opening pliers to adjust the gap. if you don’t have access to a pair, any piercer should be able to make the adjustment for you.

Disposable latex or nitrile gloves that fit your hands well can often make the jewelry easier to work with as it will give you a better grip on everything. At the very least, wash your hands with soap and water to help remove oils from your fingers, so everything will be a little less slippery.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 2 Comments

Irritating Medusa

Saturday November 3rd, 2007 @ 12:54 AM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek

I’ve had my medusa (aka upper middle lip) for about 2 years now and it has refused to heal. I get a small infection every now and then to one side of the hole. This just involves a small pustule forming under the skin, more often than not it’ll leak out on its own accord but I’m left with a swollen lip and goop coming out. I also experience a lot of crusties. I salt soak it twice a day and I’ve been putting vitamin e cream around the area (I have very dehydrated skin). I’ve also changed the jewelry to a different metal twice but that didn’t help. When I take the jewelry out I notice a patch of very different textured skin on that side…that may or may not be scar tissue. I’m reluctant to remove and heal it for some stupid reason, but if that is my only option I’ll take it. It’s just really annoying and I know that putting up with it for 2 years seems really absurd. Any suggestions as to what is causing it and how I can fix it?

I’d be willing to bet a body part (although not one I need for piercing) that the problems you are having are related to how the jewelry is sitting in your piercing. After 2 years of never fully healing, the most likely problem is that your jewelry is causing continual irritation/pressure to the piercing, which is preventing it from healing full and is causing the recurring bump/”pustule”.

No amount of salt soaking or anything else you put on the piercing will help if you’re suffering from a mechanical irritation. Think of it like this: if you have a cut on your arm and you constantly poke it, play with it and pick the scab, your body is going to have a very hard time healing it. Your piercing is also a wound your body has to heal, and if it’s constantly irritated, your body has a very hard time doing that. Until you relieve the irritation, everything else you try is really just treating the symptom and not the problem.

While i think that jewelry causing irritation is the likely culprit, it is also possible your body simply doesn’t like the placement of the piercing. Perhaps your upper lip webbing is thicker and the piercing going through that connective tissue is causing the irritation.

Either way, it may be necessary to remove the piercing to get everything to calm down. However, a trip to a reputable piercer in your area is probably in order. Being able to see and feel your piercing will go a long ways in figuring out how to proceed. Best of luck.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 1 Comment

Problem with labret piercing

Saturday November 3rd, 2007 @ 12:44 AM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek

I got my labret pierced about 2 1/2 weeks ago . It was a little swolen at first and i thought this was normal. Now its like a bump all around the stud in the piercing and im alittle worried that it wont go away its been like this for a while now is this normal and if not can it be fixed?

Without being able to see your piercing, it’s going to be nearly impossible to say with much certainty exactly what is going on. However, in my experience, when piercings start “acting up” that quickly after the piercing is done, it’s almost always either a badly-placed piercing and/or the jewelry is the wrong size. In the case of a lip piercing, my guess is that the initial jewelry wasn’t quite long enough to accommodate the swelling, which caused additional irritation and even more swelling, and has no contributed to the “bump” you are seeing.

My suggestion would be go visit a reputable piercer in your area and have them look at it. They should be better able to tell you what needs to be done to return your piercing to the land happiness.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 1 Comment

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

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

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

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