question about placement, jewelry, and aftercare

Sunday June 3rd, 2012 @ 3:12 AM

Filed under: Nipple

I have a few concerns about getting my nipples pierced and I know it probably wasn’t the best idea to look up botched and infected piercings, but I did. It put me off just a little, but I figured I would ask to put my mind at ease. It’s been a while since I’ve had a piercing done I don’t remember what type of jewelry (stainless steel, titanium, etc.) I used. I’ve never had an infection or a reaction to the type of metal with any piercings before and this is one of my major concerns. I’ve read that titanium is best, but I just want to make sure.

A few other questions:

- What is a common gauge size for a nipple piercing?

- Is it best to go to a piercer who uses clamps or no clamps?

- Where is the correct placement for a nipple piercing? (That way I can check to see if it’s marked correctly.)

-(My last question) I’m going to the same studio that has done all my other piercings and tattoos and I’ve never had a problem with any of them. They are very clean and professional. With going to a clean studio and using the right jewelry and taking care of the piercing properly, is there really a moderate to high risk of infection? I’ve come across some photos of mastitis among other horror stories and it really made me rethink this.

It’s fantastic to read from viewers who actually want to get the best for their piercings and are willing to do some ground work before getting it done. Lets get onto your questions!

1) Internally threaded titanium is the best thing you can get for a piercing, its hypoallergenic and light (it also comes in fun colors too!). Titanium has an ‘oxide layer’ which allows the piercing to breathe and heal much faster than other metals, which is why its great for nipples as they can take up to 6-9months to fully heal.

2) Personally I do nearly all nipples as 12g, however 14g is fine too. It depends on your piercer and your anatomy.

3) Again, I can only talk from personal experience, but I would prefer to be pierced by a free-hand body piercer. Clamps can lead to more bruising, an unintentionally deep piercing and generally hurt more. Saying that, I know many great piercers who use clamps and its really whatever they are more comfortable with.

4) The correct placement is right where the nipple ends and the aerola (the outside of your nipple) starts. Too deep and they are very problematic to heal, to shallow and they can grow out. Personally I draw lines to get the correct angle, however choose depth ‘on the fly’ as I find it easier to find the exact spot without marks getting in the way. Again - this is just me. Your best bet is to look at your piercers portfolio of fresh and HEALED nipple piercings to determine if they know what they are doing.

5) Infection in a nipple piercing is actually quite rare, assuming you follow the correct aftercare and get pierced by a clean piercer using sterile instruments and jewellery. It doesn’t mean that the piercing wont weep yellow fluid, which is totally normal during healing and NOT a sign of infection.

The main thing to remember is find a piercer you are comfortable with and that you know you will be able to go back and let them have a look if you have any concerns. I freely allow customers to come in for free ‘check-ups’ on their piercings to ensure they are doing well and help put them at ease.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | 1 Comment


Saturday May 26th, 2012 @ 11:03 PM

Filed under: Ear

So I got this tragus piercing about 2 months ago and it is not going well. I love my piercing but it has gotten quite infected. I wash it at least twice a day with antibacterial and soak it in a saline solution at least once a day. I don’t know what else to do! I’m just really frustrated with it. Any advice?

Firstly, thanks for supplying the picture - it helps us figure out whats going on SO much easier.

Let’s start by clarifing a couple things, you don’t have an infection - you have a large build up of a form of scar called hypertropic scar tissue.

There can be a number of solutions to hypertropic scar tissue, everybody reacts differently to them and not all of work for everyone. Saying that, there is normally a single reason to WHY it is forming - and that should be your first focus.

I strongly think that it has formed from a poor choice of initial jewellery, in my opinion tragus piercings should ALWAYS be pierced with a straight ‘labret’ barbell. This lets the piercing heal much quicker and stops pressure from developing on the entrance and exit of the piercing, which is a very common irritation that causes scar tissue to form.

The very first thing you should do is go into a reputable piercing studio (perhaps where you got it done at) and get a straight barbell put in there - with enough room to not squish the scar tissue, but not too much as to get it caught all the time.  The next thing to do would be to try and reduce the scar.

Personally I do warm herbal chamomile tea bag soaks on my scar tissue with fantastic result, all you do is make a cup of chamomile tea and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Then you put the entire tea-bag (when its warm, NOT hot!) on the whole piercing and just let it soak. I generally tilt my head towards the tea bag, so it doesn’t run down into your ear or anything - but its totally safe for your body.

Everyone has different results with scar reduction, you also NEED to make sure you aren’t irritating it in other ways (or it will just get worse).  Make sure that you are sleeping flat on your back, or your other side. Make sure your hair isn’t getting caught up in it and continue to do 2x a day warm saline soaks along with the chamomile - nothing else.

Best of luck on your scar reduction journey!

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | 1 Comment

Stretching for Gauges/tubes

Saturday May 26th, 2012 @ 5:08 PM

Filed under: Ear


I just got my ears pierced, with a size 22g I believe, about 5 weeks ago. Right, now I have just a hoop and ball 20g in them, but honestly I am so confused about all this XD

You think I wouldn’t be confused because it is just stretching them, but everyone is saying something different!!

I want to stretch to at least a 5g but I have the following questions:

Is it okay to skip (minor) sizes (like skip 20g to 16g)?

How long do I need to wait before changing sizes?

Tapers are easiest to stretch with, right?

But everyone gives me different answers! I hope you guys can give me a straight answer, you seem to know what the hell you’re doing XD Any other advice on this would be great, since I am kinda clueless~

Kay, Thanks!

For your next stretch you should be ok going from a 20g to a 16g but after that make sure to take it one size at a time. Body jewelry generally goes in increments of 2, so after 16 you have 14 then 12 etc. As far as time between stretches I recommend a min of 6 weeks between sizes. At the smaller sizes tapering is always an easy method and will probably be the best since you are only planning on going to a 5g.

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Posted by Ryan Mills | Permalink | Comments

Nipple not healing correctly?

Saturday May 26th, 2012 @ 4:57 PM

Filed under: Nipple

Hi there,

I had my nipples pierced on January 14th 2012 with a 14g barbell (not sure of the metal off the top of my head). My left one is healing fine but the right one looks interesting. Every day it changes - sometimes it looks clean and other times it crusts over, which then sticks to my bra and then movement can rip off the crust which leaves a big red angry piece of skin. The pictures don’t display much of the redness but the area touching the ball of the barbell sometimes gets a deep bloody red in comparison to the light pink nipple when this happens. I don’t know how to make it stop sticking - should I bandage it? It seems to heal okay if the scabbing isn’t being pulled off. I also think the bar is too short in comparison to the left (which has about 1-2mm of room where this has none and sinks in a bit) so should I get a slightly longer one put in? What kind of soaks should I do to help (shot glass sea salt mixes, heat presses or saline solution)?

It sound like you need a new piece of jewelry. I would suggest a longer barbell as you guessed as well as upgrading to a titanium piece of jewelry. As far as the scabbing goes you might want to think about wearing a non stick Tefla bandage over your piercing so your bra doesn’t irritate the piercing.

As far as aftercare I recommend a sea salt/saline soak twice a day for 5 minutes at a time. The shot glass method works great for nipples.

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Posted by Ryan Mills | Permalink | Comments

white ink in Dallas

Saturday May 26th, 2012 @ 4:44 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

I’m wanting to get a white ink tattoo. With all the research I’ve done on them, I know I need to go to an artist that has done at least a few of these successfully. Any suggestions in Dallas? Short of calling different places and flat out asking, this was the best way I know of at least getting a starting point in the right direction.

It just so happens I work and run a shop here in Dallas and I have some very talented artists working here. DFW has a ton of talented artists to choose from and if I had to pick a few I would recommend my shop Eastside Tattoo of course. Suffer city has some amazing artists as does Hold Fast and Last Angels. Hope that helps point you in the right direction.

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Posted by Ryan Mills | Permalink | Comments

Suspension: Likelihood of an embolism or Aneurysm

Saturday May 26th, 2012 @ 10:20 AM

Filed under: Suspension

Greetings and salutations BME. As the ages escalate ever increasingly I begin asking more questions concerning myself and the world. My question to the Fascinating BME is this…

How likely is one to receive an aneurysm or an embolism from performing an act of suspension? I have telescoped the Internet in finding the answer to this question; however I am unable to become satisfied with what I have thus far found.

Being unable to find information I had asked some Med students for any information they could offer. The one Med student I had asked explained to me that there is no true way of knowing, in theory however anything can happen. He went into explanation of a ‘worst case scenario’. In effect this is what he had to say…

With out sufficient hydration, tissue under the skin would dry out; upon drying out lesions may occur and as a result the likelihood of an aneurysm with it. With enough electrolytes and H2o any air under the skin and between the muscle should be reintroduced into the body’s system one molecule at a time, the greater the hydration the better and safer.

I must be perfectly honest, I am scared of possibly something going wrong. Is this a worth fearing? Is it possible that there is simply not enough information available to a possible aneurysm? or embolism? Regardless of the research available; I would like to have BME’s opinion on this, it seems very undissected- and thus I feel I must ask. Statistically speaking, there seems to be no research done on fatalities or suspension incidents. Has anyone died from an act of human body suspension? Direct or indirect? I do not see enough evidence.

Many Regards to BME and the community.


Let me start by saying that I am NOT a medical professional. I don’t even play one on BME. With that out of the way I can relate to you what I do know and hopefully steer you straight. 

An aneurysm and an embolism are two very different things. An aneurysm is when there is a weakness in the wall of a blood vessel, causing it to abnormally balloon. Noone knows what causes aneurysms but we do know some factors that play roles. Things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, etc. (suspension so far doesn’t play a known factor, :) , or to be more technical skin lacerations and trauma aren’t a known factor).

An embolism however is when an air  bubble or blood clot or other object travels thru the blood stream and becomes stuck in a passage. I’m assuming your real worry is air being introduced into a blood vessel. Suspension doesn’t work like that. When skin separates from fatty tissue a pocket is created that air will be drawn into, however it is not injected as a foreign body in your blood stream, which would be necessary for an embolism. The air that is introduced (subcutaneous emphysema) is harmless and easily reabsorbed into the body thru tissue. Subcutaneous Emphysema and Embolisms are NOT the same thing.

So to answer the question of how likely an aneurism or embolism is to happen due to suspension, the answer is simple based on current knowledge, not at all. Your fears are completely unfounded and as far as recorded history tells us it has never happened so far. Although yes, anything can happen. You could be struck by lightning whir suspending, but that doesn’t mean lightning strikes are a danger of suspension.

Now, as to your next question concerning death. No, as far as I or anyone knows, noone has ever died during a suspension. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, shock can be a life threatening condition and with the rigging I’ve seen out there in some substandard teams there is a possibility of a fall from height that could induce death. 
But no, it hasn’t happened yet to the thousands of thousands of people who suspend and it hopefully will never happen. 

To keep this trend going, support good suspension teams and demand that ones who don’t perform up to standard raise their level of operations. If that happens then not only would it never have happened before but we can make it so that it will never happen in the future.

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Posted by cere | Permalink | Comments

Antibiotics & Piercings?

Saturday May 26th, 2012 @ 3:41 AM

Filed under: Female Genital

I got the Christina piercing about a month ago. All is well and good with it, However, I have an infection totally un-related to the piercing and was wondering if any Antibiotics given to me will effect the piercing in anyway?

It shouldn’t slow down, nor speed up the healing of your piercing - however keep in mind that antibiotics kill not only bad but also good bacteria found on your body. This can open your body up for other sorts of other problems.

I have noticed that sometimes when I am on antibiotics, that some of my (very well healed) piercings kind of ‘play up’. It’s most likely due to the fact that I’m healing the actual infection, however it’s not uncommon to actually slow down your healing and cause redness or migration in your piercing.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments


Friday May 25th, 2012 @ 9:47 AM

Filed under: Suspension

I’m a 19 year old body modification enthusiast. For about a year now I have been interested in participating in a suspension but I have no clue where to find a group that does suspensions. Is there a website for finding suspension groups or could anyone tell me who to contact? I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area. The only group I know of is Steve Haworth’s but not sure whether or not it is open to first timers or the public for that matter.

Anything would help. Thank you.

There absolutely is. For a pretty comprehensive list of suspension groups by location has it covered. It doesn’t have every group and it also makes no claims for any group listed so definitely do your homework researching a group before suspending with them.
Looking over the list it seems that in Arizona Steve’s group is the only one listed. I’ve seen Steve work and let me tell you, he is honestly one of the best coaches/guides that I’ve worked with.
As for whether they are open to the public or first timers the only way to find out is to ask! Every group works differently so it’s best to always ask each individual group on how they operate!

One more note, if for some reason Life suspended doesnt work out you’re not too far away from Ascension located in New Mexico or the Las Vegas Suspension Syndicate in Nevada.

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Posted by cere | Permalink | Comments


Thursday May 24th, 2012 @ 12:40 AM

Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m looking for someone who can loosen or sever the ligaments holding up the arches in my feet, for a new form of body modification. I became attracted to flat feet at an all-boys boarding school 30 years ago, where I was abused. I never married because of this attraction, and I would appreciate any help you can give me. I live in New Jersey and can travel to New York City. Thank you.

Something like this would be out of the realm of body modification, I would suggest to see a specialist doctor and explain what you want to get done.

It can be very difficult to find a doctor who will be willing to do a non-required medical procedure like this, however I think that it may be your only real option.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

Venom Tongue piercing sinking?

Wednesday May 23rd, 2012 @ 8:05 AM

Filed under: Tongue

I got my venom tongue piercings 15 days ago. The first week i had it my right piercing started bleeding whenever i did anything, so i went in and got the bars changed and the bleeding stopped, but now the piercing is sinking (or at least looks like it) and there is a blister thing in the crater and its really freaking me out, so i went back in and she said it was normal and that it looked fine but its really bothering me :( is it normal?

I’m not really sure how shorter bars wouldn’t have helped with bleeding, but it does appear that your bar is too short.

I would suggest to go back to your piercer and get some slightly longer ones put in, preferably titanium. Stay away from any plastics during healing.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

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