Thursday, 11 October 2012

Needles through the face

...and wherever else you can poke them!
All about piercings!

I've been talking about doing this post for quite a while, so, here it is!
I suppose I should throw in a quick disclaimer: I am by no means a professional piercing or have professional knowledge. I will simply be talking about my experiences and the pieces of advice I've been given and found to be helpful!

I wouldn't say I've been pierced a lot, but enough to say that I'm quite well acquainted with a piercing studio.
Here's just a quick run down of piercings I've had!

  • Ear Pinna x 1
  • Nose x 1
  • Smiley 
  • 12mm Lobe 
  • 8mm Lobe 
  • 2nd/3rd lobe piercing- both ears
  • 4th lobe piercing/Auricle Piercing- both ears (retired) 
  • Centre Labret x2 (1x retired) 
  • Eyebrow x2 (retired) 
  • Navel (retired)
  • Nape (retired) 
Most of the photos aren't very clear, sorry about that! 

I'll just write a quick run down on how the piercing was actually carried out, my experience of the pain and healing etc.
Here goes!

Nose- I got this pierced when I was in York, so it wasn't my usual piercer and it's not a place I had researched into. My own mistake! I found this to be really quite painful- mostly because I ended up with it being pierced twice as the needle broke! I recall almost fainting (which isn't a big deal, I'm a fainter anyway,) and the guy sent me away with blood still on my nose and with cleaning advice that I'd always been told to avoid. So, I wouldn't say my experience is particularly accurate if you're going to a reputable place!
I did go with my friend a few weeks ago to get her nose pierced, and it was as slow as I remember it to be and she seemed to find it pretty painful; but she found her ear piercings painful so... make of that what you will!
As with most piercings, the piercer marked where he was going to pierce and I okayed it. Then it was a case of clamping it, piercing it and putting the bar through. 
As far as healing is concerned, I was awful with mine. Mostly because I hated the stud a lot (it was too big and the back of it stuck out of my nostril, not nice) so I drunkenly tried to change it to hoop. It took a while and it bled a lot, but I got it in there in the end. I was left with a nice infected looking piercing, but that soon went away after I held cotton pads that had been soaked in salt water on it. 
I believe the general recommendation for healing time is 6 weeks, and to look after it you clean around it with salt water twice a day. 
I'm glad I went through it, and I still have a small hoop in that I think is just quite delicate looking. 
(I've made this piercing sound awful to get, it's one of the most common piercings so it's really not that bad!) 

Smiley- This is my most recent piercing, I probably got it about 2/3 weeks ago...if that! 
Again, this was a case of clamping the frenulum, piercing and putting the bar through. Mine was pierced with a curved bar (1.4mm I think) but I will be changing it to a horse shoe soon as I can undo the ball in this bar! 
So far, this has been the most pleasant piercing to have! The only bit of discomfort I experienced was when the bar was being put in, and as all people with piercings know, that's the bit that you just want over and done with! I didn't even feel the needle, or the clamp for that matter. It wasn't as difficult to pierce as I imagined it to be, and it was really quite quick!
I experienced a bit of swelling in the first few hours, and it was a bit uncomfortable for a while but the next morning I woke up and forgot it was even there. So far, I've had no problems with it!
To clean it i've just been using non-alcoholic mouthwash twice a day.

Centre Labret- This is probably my favourite piercing. It's so easy to get done, really quick (clamp,needle, bar!) and I would say it's pretty painless. The healing can be a bit annoying as far as eating is concerned, but that passes pretty quickly. I've never had any problems with mine and the reason I lost the first one was simply due to the fact that I lost it at the gym and didn't have a replacement. 
To clean this I salt watered on the outside twice a day for 6 weeks. I think for the first week I used salt water to clean the inside, but saliva has 'healing properties' so I didn't bother with that for longer than a week and I've had no problems with it. 

Eyebrow- I loved my eyebrow piercing, and it still makes me a bit sad that I don't have it anymore. However, I've just had to accept that my body dislikes surface piercings so after it's rejected for the 2nd time, it's probably about time you accept the loss. 
It was probably about 4 years ago I got this pierced, so my memory on it is a bit hazy. As with the others, it was a case of marking, clamping and then piercing. I don't recall it really hurting, more just it being a weird sensation because you could feel everything...not in a painful way though! 
Again, to clean it I used salt water twice a day for about 6 weeks. I found with this that it was a lot easier to catch than I expected, so that made the healing process quite painful as I forgot that existed until I'd catch it whilst washing my hair or something. 

Navel- Like with my eyebrow, this rejected after a few months although I am tempted to get it pierced again. 
I really didn't find this at all painful, if anything the healing stage was more painful than the piercing itself; only because like with the eyebrow, it's so easy to catch.
The piercing process was, again, marking, clamping and piercing. I think at the time I wanted to punch the guy with the needle, but only because it's kind of hard to imagine what it's going to feel like so it came as a bit of a shock.
Like with everything else (sounding like a broken record!) I used salt water for 6 weeks to clean this piercing. I did find that I probably caused mine to reject a bit sooner than it would have done naturally because I insisted on wearing overly heavy bars, so that might be something to avoid! 

Ear Pinna/top ear- I've had this pierced for about 7/8 years, although I stopped wearing it for about 3 years and was shocked to find I could still put and earring through!
I had this pierced with a needle, and it really did not hurt. However, the healing was a completely different matter, I couldn't lay on that side for ages and it just seemed to ache constantly. I have found it to be a lot better since I've started wearing a hoop in it. Instead of feeling it there at all, I forget I have it. So for me it might have just been the studs I was wearing.
I pretty much still carried on cleaning this piercing every now and again up until I started wearing a hoop, as I found it would get quite red and swollen for no reason. It's completely fine now though and I'm glad I've persevered with it! 

Nape Piercing- I had this pierced as a surface piercing, and it's probably the most painful piercing I've had purely because it was so slow.
The piercing was marked, clamped and then slowly pierced. Apparently I just had awkward skin that kept dimpling inwards meaning the clamp would have to be slightly repositioned in order to get something to actually pierce through.
After it was pierced (and I felt brave enough to let go of my friends hand) it felt like it was burning for a couple of hours afterwards, but nothing that was particularly unbearable.
I used salt water on this for the entire duration I had, purely because after a couple of months it began to reject. I had it changed to a smaller bar and fought very hard to keep it, but alas, it just was not meant to be.
(As a side note; I am contemplating getting skin divers or micro dermals to replace this, because I miss it a lot, however i'm not much of a fan of these as I kind of like something that would be easy enough to take out rather than having to go back to the piercing studio etc. I don't know, it'll probably be a spur of a moment thing if I decide to get it re-done!) 

I feel that i've rambled on long enough, so I'll leave it here! 
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions; and if it's about something I've not had done I can pretty much guarantee I'll know someone who has so I can ask them on your behalf! 

Let me know if you've found this useful at all :) 


  1. Wow I wish I had this many piercings! I've got my nose done, but it was done professionally and it didn't hurt at all - so I guess it just depends on who pierces it!

    1. Haha thanks! Yeah you're definitely right there! I know a fair few people who have said that theirs didn't hurt, and I imagine if mine was successful on the first attempt it would have been fine!
      That'll teach me for going to the first piercing studio google directs me to when I'm nowhere near local to the area! ooops