Archive for Piercing and Aftercare Information
Watch as Lee gets a bridge piercing from James at American Skin Art in Buffalo NY. The needle pierces the flesh around 57 seconds into the video. The area is first cleaned. Then the proper jewelry is chosen based on anatomy, and the entry and exit points are marked and checked by both the piercer and the person being pierced. Lee reclines on the table. Then the area is clamped and a 14 gauge hollow needle is inserted, corked, and then chased by a 14 gauge straight titanium barbell. This is the second time Lee is getting the bridge piercing done. This makes it a little bit more painful than the average bridge piercing, due to old scar tissue. Still, it seems to be very little pain considering.
The horizontal surface piercing located on the bridge of the nose, between the eyes is called the Bridge, the Erl, or the Mid Brow piercing. The technical term for the tissue between the brows and above the nose is the glabella. You can get this piercing placed from the top of the brows to right above the bridge of the nose. A straight barbell or a small curved barbell can be used for this piercing. It is important that the placement is straight and the jewelry is a proper fit. This piercing is named after Erl Van Aken, an actor and early body modification pioneer, who had the first known bridge piercing from the famous shop The Gauntlet.
In order to receive a proper bridge piercing, the person being pierced must have sufficient skin in the right area, enough to pinch between the fingers. Your piercer must be very sure that you have sufficient padding between your jewelry and the underlying structures of your face as well; it could cause a lot of problems, including bone loss, to wear incorrect jewelry. Even with proper placement, procedure, and the correct anatomy, there is unfortunately a somewhat higher rate of rejection and chance of scarring.
It is a piercing urban legend that getting your bridge pierced will make you go cross eyed. If you do happen to notice the jewelry out of the corner of your eye that means the bar is most likely too long. Many people who wear corrective glasses or sunglasses do not think they can get this piercing due to aggravation from the glasses rubbing. Again, this is not true; if pierced high enough the piercing will not interfere with wearing glasses one bit.
The gauge of the needle and jewelry used is determined by the piercer based on how much tissue is available. For the initial bridge piercing it is recommended to use a 14 or 12 gauge barbell. The placement and gauge of the jewelry contributes to making the healing time a bit longer than an average piercing. It takes up to 4-6 months or more of proper care for this piercing to properly heal. You can use a straight barbell or a small curved barbell for the initial jewelry, and initial piercing jewelry is always longer to make space for swelling. The first time you change your piercing or downsize your jewelry, you should definitely consult your piercer.
Keeping the area free of harsh cleansers and moisturizers, anything scented, makeup, and hair is advisable during healing time. It is also very important to strictly follow your professional piercer’s aftercare guidelines. Cleaning the area regularly with salt water or a product such as H20cean is usually recommended. The bridge piercing is a very unique way to embellish an already beautiful face. With proper care, it can be very rewarding and gain lots of attention and compliments due to its rarity.
In this day and age, almost everybody has at least one piercing, tattoo, stretch mod, or some other form of what can be considered body modification. Things that were once considered strange, or even extreme, are becoming commonplace as all types of mods find a foothold in our culture. There are still certain modification experiences that only a chosen few take part in though, and two of these include the suspension and the energy pull.
A hook suspension, also called simply “suspension,” basically involves the placement of one or more large gauge piercings, often performed using special hooks. This type of temporary piercing, generally referred to as “play piercing,” should only be performed by a very experienced professional, as an acute knowledge of anatomy and physiological mathematics is required. After the appropriate number of hooks have been placed, they are then attached via ropes or cables to a winch or an apparatus that will be used to lift the individual off the ground, effectively suspending them in mid air.
There are several common types of suspension, each distinguishable by the placement of the hooks and the shape of the body once lifted. The “coma” for instance, is a suspension in which piercings are made along the front of the torso and thighs, so as to give the position once lifted of laying down. The reverse of this posture in which hooks are pierced through the back side of the torso and legs is called the “Superman.” And the “resurrection” involves two rows of hooks through the stomach, giving the impression of rising from the grave. Some other less practiced types of suspension include the angel, the ballerina, the cannonball, the chair, the fetus, the lotus, the scorpion, and even the winged monkey.
An energy pull involves similar sets of temporary piercings, but rather than suspending the body from a cage or other apparatus, the hooks are attached to a heavy or immovable object. In many cases, this object will be another living thing, whether it be a tree, or another human being, or several. The true meaning behind energy pull rituals in the sense of traditional practice is to pool the energy of those living entities involved towards a common goal, such as the formation of a specific shape, or the evolution of the life energy towards a more balanced flow.
As the current modified generation looks to the primitive roots of their body manipulations, even these more extreme types of body mod are beginning to spread, and the suspension community can only continue to grow.
Watch as Jennah gets pierced by James at American Skin Art in Buffalo, NY. The needle pierces her lip at around 30 seconds in the video. James, a professional piercer, cleans and marks the area. (She eventually wants to get snakebites so he measures appropriately, then has her check it.) It is always important that you check the placement of your piercing before your piercer continues, there is no turning back once that needle is through your flesh. After it’s approved by the customer, the piercer will clamp the lip with forceps and line up the needle with the marked spot. The lip is then pierced from the bottom upwards with a 14 gauge hollow needle. After it is through, the lip he then corks off the needle and inserts the new BCR jewelry.
All styles of BCRs, or ball captive rings, consist of a ring with a small opening and a ball or bead that fits snugly into the opening, which keeps the jewelry in its place. The jewelry is tightened and adjusted with special sterilized pliers. The initial hoop is larger to make room for swelling and to aid in the healing process. She is encouraged to come back in several weeks to have her jewelry downsized. It is wise to have your piercer change your jewelry for you the first time to make sure that you have waited long enough and that everything is healing properly. Initial jewelry in a lip piercing can be a stud, horseshoe, or a captive bead ring.
This piercer is so good that Jennah didn’t even flinch. The needle effortlessly pierced her full bottom lip. Not one tear, blink, or cringe for this brave beauty. Even though there was a small amount of blood, she was almost smiling as he put in the new jewelry. I felt the same way when getting my Monroe pierced by James. It is so important to trust your piercer and know their portfolio and personality before going in. If you trust someone you will be much less tense and more receptive to the new piercing. The studio must be safe and sterile and should also have their health code certificate on display.
Lip piercings generally take around 6-10 weeks to heal. With proper aftercare it’s pretty rare to develop an infection because the mouth has the natural ability to fight off harmful bacteria. Avoid eating, drinking, or smoking for several hours after the initial piercing; this is when the new wound is most vulnerable. It is completely normal to experience some swelling and tenderness, but that is all part of the healing process of every piercing. Avoid touching your new piercing and make sure to follow your piercer’s aftercare guidelines strictly (they should give you a print out of their aftercare). It is also recommended to refrain from kissing until the swelling goes down; a little patience may be required for this step. Always keep your mouth sanitized; it is especially important after eating, smoking, or drinking anything. Regular tooth brushing, saline soaks and/or using H2Ocean aftercare products, and washing your hands will aid in proper healing. Do not, I repeat do not, clean the piercing or area around it with alcohol or peroxide unless specifically instructed to. This harms and kills the good natural bacteria that your body needs to heal. It is generally recommended to us gentle antibacterial soap with warm water. Eating cold things such as ice cream or sucking on crushed ice can also help to alleviate the pain and reduce the swelling of your new piercing.
Lip piercings can be a beautiful addition to your face. Depending on the placement and jewelry, they can be any style from punk rock to sophisticated. Different types of jewelry look good depending on your anatomy and the look you are trying to achieve. Lip piercings are now common practice in youth culture and more socially acceptable than a lot of other modern facial piercings. It is also a smart idea to give the piercing a try before you commit, faux piercings are now very popular because you can test the placement. It is also awesome to see people’s reaction to your new piercing. I know that I always get a thrill when someone compliments my new body modification. Any piercing you get should feel like it was always there. Each piercing is one step closer to completing your vision of how you want your body to evolve and transform. It’s liberating.
Are you looking into getting your lip pierced? Do you have additional questions? Do you have a lip piercing already? Please comment below with your own piercing stories; it’s important for people who are looking into getting one done to know what to expect. Every piercing experience and person is different, but the general idea is still the same.
The upcoming month of May is National Sports and Fitness Month, so there’s no better time to talk about jewelry and safety for pierced athletes. There are certain types of jewelry that make sports easier on your piercings, especially those piercings that are less than six months old.
During the initial healing phase, and sometimes several months after, putting extra pressure on a piercing or knocking into it with sports equipment or other parts of the body can cause migration, or even spur rejection. To avoid undue pressure while participating in athletics, flexible jewelry made of bioplast, bioflex, or PTFE goes a long way. Also, for certain piercings in high traffic areas like those around the navel, going one step further to a flexible retainer can be the way to go.
Retainers normally come in clear or flesh tones, so if you don’t want piercings to be seen they’re the perfect cover. Most are invisible or at least barely noticeable, even from up close. Those that are made from bioplast-type materials are also biocompatible, which means they’re gentle on skin, and generally won’t be interpreted by the body as foreign material, like metals can.
Once you’ve got your jewelry sorted out, it’s important to follow the instructions of your piercer, especially if any of your piercings are new. Many will suggest exactly when and how to clean piercings after working out or playing sports, and some may advise protective measures during the activity, like using medical tape or padding. On the go aftercare products like mouthwashes or sprays are handy to carry inside gym bags for healed piercings that just need a quick rinse.
Just like sports, body modifications should be fun, so practice piercing safety whenever you play sports or participate in physical exercise. Summer sports, here we come!
The tragus piercing is on my own personal bucket list of things that I want to get done this year. It is subtle, stylish, girly, and looks fabulous with elegantly petite jewelry. The tragus is that small nub of protruding cartilage that starts at the face and extends over the ear canal. You can wear barbells, studs, or small hoops in this beautiful little piercing, which is a wonderful addition to your style. It’s contemporary, and generally acceptable in the workplace due to its subtle placement. Vibrant gems make any tragus jewelry stand out and sparkle.
Tragus piercing procedure is as followed: the ear is cleaned and marked with a surgical marker, and then the forceps are used to clamp and secure the ear in place. The piercing is done with a 18, 16, or 14 gauge hollow needle. (The piercing needle used can be either straight or curved.) Your piercer will then smoothly slide the needle in through the marked spot in front and out the back into a receiving tube. Then it is filled with your brand new body jewelry. The most common initial jewelry is a straight barbell or mini barbell. A BCR or horseshoe that is 5/16, 3/8, or 7/16inch in diameter can also be used in your fresh new piercing.
Due to the small amount of nerve endings in that area, tragus piercings are generally not too painful. These piercings are usually performed while you’re lying down, as the thick cartilage requires more pressure to puncture. It is also easier for your piercer to stop your head from moving in this position. Some people claim to hear a crunching or popping sound with this piercing. This may startle you, so be prepared and try to relax, any jumping or movement during the piercing can seriously harm you and cause an inaccurate piercing. The angle of your actual piercing is anatomically dependent; usually it’s placed at a right angle to the tissue. It must be set far enough from the edge to avoid rejection.
Ear cartilage piercings can be quite tricky to heal. The tragus gets in the way when talking on the phone, listening with headphones (especially ear buds), or using any kind of earpiece. It is wise to avoid use of all of those items on the freshly pierced ear for several weeks to allow for proper healing. There’s a much higher chance of contracting germs on those ear pieces as well, which may cause an infection or rub on the piercing, detracting from healing and causing general discomfort.
Proper jewelry is another key to better healing and a more appealing aesthetic. For instance, a ball captive ring that is too big or too small will irritate the new piercing, stunt healing, and will look silly. You also need to be careful of material if you have sensitive skin: solid grade 23 titanium, 14kt gold, and bioplast body jewelry are all hypoallergenic options that are perfect for a fully healed piercing. I think that barbells look more pleasing on a smaller tragus; the BCR can be too overpowering on a small lobe. I love the tragus barbells with little tiny dangles because they are absolutely adorable. The small gems and decorative charms add a new cute element to the piercing. Unfortunately not everyone can get their tragus pierced. Some tragi are smaller than others and may be impossible, or not wise, to get pierced. But don’t get mad if your piercer refuses to do a piercing on you, this is a good thing. It means that you have found a true professional who cares more about your safety than money. Hug your piercer and then give him/her a high five and discuss what piercings you actually can get. Perhaps an anti-tragus piercing would be more suited for your anatomy?
The anti-tragus is the nub of cartilage located across from the tragus on your ear. The piercing is placed on the little vertical cartilage ridge above the lobe and next to the intertragal notch, the channel at the bottom opening to the ear canal above the earlobe and below the tragus. (This spot is also considered the lower front rim of the conch.) The initial jewelry is a ball captive ring, curved barbell, or mini barbell. Many piercers recommend barbell jewelry for initial piercing due to comfort issues. Ring style jewelry will rest toward the ear’s rim or the tragus. As with any piercing, not everyone has a well enough defined area to pierce. Also, if the piercing is placed too deep, it can pass through the ear and cause many problems. As always, make sure you are getting pierced by a professional and stay very still during the procedure. Because the tissue is vertical, getting the piercing at the proper angle is integral to the anti-tragus piercing’s success.
The ear is cleaned and marked where the piercing will be. Forceps are used to support the tissue. Then a 18-14 gauge hollow needle is inserted through the ear, exiting towards the face, where it goes into a receiving tube during the jewelry transfer. Both tragus and anti-tragus piercings have a similar procedure, healing time, and aftercare regiment. Healing time for a tragus or anti-tragus piercing (or any cartilage piercing for that matter) is anywhere from 3 to 9 months. Follow your piercer’s aftercare guidelines closely; the piercing should be cleaned and observed regularly even after healing to maintain its health. Make sure to keep hair and hair products away from the new piercing to avoid irritation. The most common way to clean it is using a sea salt water solution or another saline solution such as H2Ocean . The jewelry should not be changed until the piercing has properly healed. (Initial jewelry is always larger to accommodate swelling.) Your first jewelry change should always be done by your professional piercer to ensure that the proper sized jewelry is used.
Photos of tragus and anti-tragus piercings are very popular on social networks such as Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter. These are contemporary piercings that are rising in popularity among teens and adults alike. Both piercings are very unique, beautiful, and trendy. The large range of jewelry that can be worn in them makes them very versatile to fit anyone’s personal style. I love how delicate and girly the tragus and anti-tragus can look with sparkling studs or dangles, and how they can have a little bit more of a rock and roll appearance with a BCR or spiked barbell. If you are looking for a piercing that will get you noticed without being too in your face, then the tragus and anti-tragus piercings are for you!
Have you ever heard the expression “It’s just right on the tip of my tongue”? The very unique snake eyes piercing is just that. Not to be confused with snake bites, which are a pair of lip piercings, located on the left and right sides of your lower lip. Snake eyes is a surface piercing, located horizontally on the tip of your tongue. It gives the appearance of two piercings. Often snake eyes are pierced with a small barbell or curved barbell, sometimes called a scoop piercing. The balls of the barbell sit on the top and resemble the eyes of a snake, hence its name, “snake eyes”. Snake eyes is also a reference to dice; when you roll a pair of ones it is called snake eyes.
Your professional piercer will first check your tongue to ensure that it is able to be pierced; unfortunately sometimes anatomy will make it unsafe to perform this piercing. Safety and health are always more important than fashion. Some piercers will not perform this type of tongue piercing at all due to the chance of dental, gum, and speech damage. After they decide it’s okay to pierce the area, your piercer will blot the tongue with a blotting tissue to soak up excess saliva. Then they will use a marking pen to mark the points of entrance and exit and check the jewelry length to make sure there is a proper fit. A pair of forceps will be used to clamp the tip of your tongue. They are placed so that the clamps are holding together either side of the tip. This is important because it pushes your tongue together to aid in piercing it and helps to avoid the major veins in that area. A 14 or 16 gauge hollow needle is then inserted through your tongue’s tip.
The new piercing is immediately chased with a 14 or 16 gauge barbell/ curved barbell, generally 5/8 length or longer depending on your anatomy. The jewelry is inserted through the blunt end of the needle and the needle is pushed out. Then the balls are secured. Initial jewelry is always longer to leave room for swelling. This piercing looks great when the jewelry has small (3mm or smaller) gems on the balls, anything bigger would be too clunky for that location on the tongue. Proper jewelry will ensure better healing and less obstruction to your speech. It is said that this piercing is fairly painless, with just a small amount of pressure and a sharp pinch, nothing more than the pain of biting your tongue. The sensation feels a lot like a traditional tongue piercing. It is, however, a surface piercing, which means it is more prone to rejection and migration.
Proper aftercare is very important to the healing process of any piercing. Be sure to follow your piercer’s aftercare instructions closely. Due to the placement of this piercing it is more likely to catch on your teeth or on food as it heals. Eating soft food or blended food that is not acidic for the first few days can help with the discomfort. Avoiding alcohol is also a good idea, as alcohol dehydrates the body and can exacerbate swelling. Drinking plenty of water and using an alcohol free mouth wash, such as H2Ocean mouth rinse for piercing aftercare, is very important. The H2Ocean is awesome because it contains sea salt and natural enzymes to help cleanse and protect your piercing and prevent mouth infections. It takes about a week for you to get used to the snake eyes piercing and anywhere from 4-8 weeks for the piercing to heal.
The snake eyes piercing is a newer trend in body piercing fashion. Currently it is very popular on social photo forums such as Tumblr and Pinterest. Snake eyes are not as mainstream as the traditional center tongue piercing, which goes right through the center of the tongue, but the rise in popularity is apparent. This cool piercing gives your tongue an interesting look that is like no other.
At this point most of us have seen what’s referred to as a “split tongue,” even if only on the internet. But how exactly do you split the human tongue partially in half? Well, there’s actually a few different ways.
First off, depending on where you live, those who have their tongue split may have gone to either a modification artist or a medical professional, or they may have actually done it themselves. Obviously it’s never recommended to perform your own modifications, especially those of a surgical nature, no matter where you live. Moreover, if you’re interested in getting your tongue split, it’s best to call a modification studio in your area and find out what they do, what they don’t do, and what the laws are in your state for surgical mod.
There are a few common ways to split the human tongue. The first, which is very prevalent, is simple cutting. In this method a scalpel is used to slice the tongue down the middle from the front to the frenulum linguae, or “tongue web.” Sometimes the scalpel is heated to create a type of cauterization in an effort to lessen bleeding, but generally the two open edges of the cut are either stitched or sutured closed until the tongue heals. With all methods of tongue splitting there will difficulty speaking and eating during the first weeks after the procedure, but as with most oral piercings the split heals relatively quickly.
Another method of bisecting the front of the tongue is through cauterization. This basically means that either a special type of medical laser or a hand-held cauterizing unit will be employed to burn a portion of the tongue in half. This method nearly eliminates bleeding as the blood vessels are closed off at the edges of the burn. The tongue’s natural tendency however is to try and heal itself back together from the back of the split forward, so multiple burns or cuts may be required to achieve a deeper split.
Finally, there’s the tying method. This method requires a well healed tongue piercing to begin. Essentially a length of sterilized fishing line is passed through the piercing and tied tight. When the tie begins to slice through the tissue, it’s removed and a new tie is slipped through to continue the process. Most persons will go through several ties and take at least two weeks to complete the full split. It is also possible to stretch an existing tongue piercing before beginning the tie off process in order to lessen the amount of tissue that must be sliced through. Stretched or not, if a tongue piercing is properly healed, it can lessen the chances of the tongue split healing forward.
Once the tongue has been split, piercings of one or both sides are possible to achieve an even more interesting look. When both sides of the fork are pierced, it’s often referred to as “viper bites” or “venom bites.” Amazingly enough, the practice of splitting the human tongue made it’s first appearance in western culture less than 20 years ago, in the mid 90s. One of the first recognizable celebrities to sport a split tongue is modified performer Erik Sprague, also known as “The Lizard Man.”
Even if you’ve been pierced multiple times, unless you’re also a piercer yourself, you might not be familiar with certain terminology. So without further ado, here’s a little effort to demystify some of those interesting pieces of lingo. Here we go:
Piercing Needle- There are a couple of things that make a piercing needle different from your run of the mill sewing accessory. First, the piercing needle is hollow, meaning that rather than causing trauma to the skin by displacing it, when you get pierced, the skin/tissue is actually being cleanly removed. Second, the piercing needle is made out of surgical grade material, not just your average amalgamated steel. Professionals will note other differences, but as long as you know these two, you’ve got it.
Piercing Gun- This one is good to know because it’s best to stay away from. A piercing gun is just what it sounds like: that little device that’s reminiscent of a nail gun or crafting bedazzler that you see lots of people getting their ears pierced with. Due to the piercing gun’s inability to be properly sterilized by autoclave between uses, the APP (Association of Professional Piercers) recommends avoiding them, even for ear piercings.
Pennington Forceps- These are the set of forceps (sometimes referred to as clamps) that are used by many piercers to stabilize the tissue before a piercing needle is passed through. Other forceps may be used (Penningtons are the ones that have open triangular heads) or piercings may be done freehand depending on the piercer’s preference, but you’ll probably see these if you get multiple piercings so it’s good to recognize them.
Needle Receiving Tube- This is another one that’s probably self-explanatory; a hollow tube that is held against the exit point of a piercing to “catch” the piercing needle after it passes through the flesh. Some piercers use them, and some don’t, but you’ll usually see them when piercings are done freehand, or without forceps/markings.
Dermal Punch- The dermal punch is like a decorative paper puncher, but with a sterile and very sharp rounded razor used to remove circular pieces of tissue. Some professionals use the dermal punch to create pockets for dermal piercings (single point piercings) or in conjunction with a taper or elevator to create pathways for surface jewelry. This technique is called “punch and taper.”
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to put our new-found knowledge to work. New piercing anyone?
A cheek ladder or journey is a grouping of piercings that are generally placed diagonally across the cheek (vertical and horizontal variations have also been documented). This can be done on one or both sides. With this grouping of piercings the adornments in the jewelry are generally graduated, the smallest gems being closer to the ear and the largest being closer to the mouth. Either a series of barbells are pierced through the cheek or a series of microdermal implants are placed on the surface of the cheek. The adornments on the microdermal anchors or barbells used in them generally have graduated stones to create a unique look. They start small closer to the ear and get bigger as they go down the face. That is where the term journey comes from, starting small and ending big. Depending on the amount of steps in your ladder you may have to get this project done in multiple sittings to reduce trauma to the body.
Microdermal implants are the more popular way to achieve a ladder/journey on your face. Microdermals are a single point surface piercing with one adornment per incision. The rate of infection and complications are very low. Facial movement must be limited during healing time. There is very little to no chance of tooth or gum damage due to the piercing not penetrating the cheek completely, and microdermal implants are much kinder to your face. The implants are put in with a permanent method that involves making a perforation in the sub-dermal skin layer of your body. Such perforations can be made on almost all surfaces of the skin, including the face. These implants can only be removed by a medical professional. Everyone does heal differently, but scarring is generally minimal when removed. Once healed, dermal implants can only be removed with surgery.
Dermal implants take a lot of precision and care to execute correctly; make sure to view your piercer’s healed dermal photos before being pierced. For the procedure the piercer removes hair in the area, cleans it with alcohol based cleanser, marks it with a surgical pen, and then inserts a piercing needle or small dermal punch to bore an L shaped opening under the skin creating a pocket in which to insert the anchor. Jewelry is then placed into the small pocket. The hole that is made into the skin reaches all the way down to the muscle layer. A flat plate that is ¼ inch long is inserted under the skin. Some of the microdermal plates have holes drilled in them so the tissue grows into the bases to secure the jewelry. A short upright threaded post passes through the skin and pops out to the surface where a gem or ornamental dermal top is screwed on; the visible threaded end protrudes from the flesh so the adornment can be changed. When done correctly it looks like the jewelry is glued on, flush to the flesh, kind of like you just had your skin bedazzled.
Embedded jewelry remains under the skin through the life of the piercing so it is important that you use a high quality anchor; surgical grade steel or titanium is recommend. When the tissue heals, the foot of the dermal anchor is firmly held in place. Multiple surface anchors are often done in patterns, like the cheek ladder, or journey piercing. Healing time is around 1-3 months. Proper aftercare is extremely important. Following your piercers instructions is mandatory to maintain a healthy dermal implant. As with any piercing, migration, rejection, scarring, and catching are all risks.
If you do not want microdermal piercings for your ladder you can also opt for a traditional puncture of the cheek. Piercing of the cheek is tricky, but very popular due to its aesthetic value and internet fandom. Cheek piercings penetrate the facial tissue into the oral cavity. Normally they are placed symmetrically to imitate dimples. Multiple piercings create the cheek ladder down the center of the cheek. However, some professional piercers will not perform this procedure. Cheek piercings can cause nerve damage, damage to the parotid duct, and have a tendency to leak or secrete an unpleasant smelling lymph fluid. Therefore there are risks when getting multiple cheek piercings. Only you and your piercer can decide if this piercing is right for you.
The initial piercing jewelry can be a flat back labret or a barbell; there are pros and cons to each. The barbell is used in many cases so the skin does not grow over the flat back, but the flat back provides comfort and lessens the chance of the jewelry damaging the teeth or gums of the person pierced. The cons for each can be minimized with proper jewelry length; ultimately it is up to your piercer to decide the proper jewelry based on their preference and your anatomy. The cheek is pierced with a 14 gauge hollow needle and the initial jewelry is a 22 – 24 mm long labret/barbell. This longer shaft is in place to accommodate swelling. After the piercing is healed it is important to change to shorter jewelry, which further reduces the chance of damage to the teeth from unintentional biting. It can take from 2-6 months or more for this piercing to fully heal.
Cheek piercing is a common ritual throughout both primitive and modern cultures. Fakirs are those persons who use skewers to puncture the cheeks and face in some cultures. Sideshow performers also practice piercing rituals for shock value. One of the most well known cheek piercing rituals is found in the vegetatian festivals in Phuket Thailand. Mediums pierce their cheeks with different objects while in a trance. To go along with tradition, religious followers perform ritualized body modification. Piercings through the cheeks, arms, face, back, and more occur during this festival. The actual impaling is done by doctors and physicians (so don’t try this at home kids).
It’s easy to get creative and get cheeky with facial piercings. Multiple cheek piercings/microdermals are a modern take on a primitive tradition. Don’t forget to wear graduated gem jewelry to complete the look. Small facial tattoos can also add an additional layer to your cheek ladder or journey. With the help of a professional piercer and proper aftercare, cheek piercings may be just what you need to complete your look, Sweet Cheeks!
Visible facial piercings are becoming more and more accepted as the face of our culture changes. Do you love the look of a labret piercing but want something a little bit less common? Do you have a labret or other facial piercings and want to embellish them with an even more unique piercing? Then the lowbret piercing might be just what you are looking for. No, it’s not just a misspelling of the word labret, it is a very different piercing. A labret is a piercing located under the center of your lower lip. You can wear a labret stud or a lippy loop labret, a piece of jewelry that comes out of the labret and loops up over your lip, in it. The lowbret piercing is a horizontal labret piercing that is placed as low as possible under the lip; it passes through the pocket that is above the tissue that attaches your lower lip to the bottom of your gums. For this piercing the piercer goes as far down as possible without reaching the chin cartilage. A labret stud is the jewelry most often used.
The lowbret piercing can be positioned in the center, left, or right. A lowbret can be centered like a labret, or can be pierced two or three times along this lower gum line. It is pierced horizontally so that the jewelry protrudes directly out, or it can be angled downward so that a long spike can be worn. Jewelry for this piercing is 16 or 14 gauge labret stud, which is longer for the initial piercing to allow for swelling. The stud has a shaft with a flat disc backing on one side, to be worn in the mouth, and a round bead or decoration on the other, to be worn on the surface of the face.
A popular grouping of piercings is a labret with a lowbret on either side. I think it looks very visually appealing to have the sort of pierced triangle that is created with these piercings on the chin. I’ve also seen multiple lowbret piercings going up the jaw line which also looks really cool. Although it is a beautiful and internet-popular piercing, some piercers will not even attempt the lowbret. It’s a fairly new piercing that is very tricky to place correctly, and whether a person can even get it or not is specific to their anatomy.
The procedure goes as follows: your piercer will mark the spots on your chin or lower lip. After your final approval of placement, the area is clamped to pull the lip away from the jaw. The hollow 16 or 14 gauge needle is then passed through the flesh and the labret stud is inserted and secured to complete your new piercing. Piercing from the inside part of the mouth to the outer skin is considered close to painless according to most piercers.
Another variation of the lowbret piercing is the vertical lowbret, it is placed vertically inside the mouth and pierced as low as possible in the space above where your lip and gums connect. It is pierced through the cheek and emerges near the jaw line. The vertical lowbret goes through the lower part of the cheek and comes out in the mouth directly beside the jaw bone near your teeth. The barbell for this piercing is much longer, over an inch long at least, to fit comfortably and not restrict facial movement. Vertical lowbrets look great in a pair, placed symmetrically on either side of the face. A combination of vertical and horizontal lowbret piercings would give your face a very interesting look.
It is extremely important to have an experienced, professional piercer that understands anatomy to complete your body modification. If a piercing is done incorrectly, pain, infection, migration, and expulsion are concerns. However, even the most perfectly pierced lowbret piercings run the risk of damaging your teeth or gums. If improper jewelry is worn, the flat disk on the back of the stud jewelry can rub on your gums or scratch you teeth, causing gum recession and possibly tooth damage. During the healing time you absolutely shouldn’t play with this piercing, to lessen the chances of migration or infection. (Plus, manipulation of the jewelry while the piercing is fresh can cause more damage and pain than the actual act of piercing it.) Following proper aftercare methods will heighten the chances of the piercing’s long term survival.
This piercing is both a facial and an oral piercing, meaning you have to care for it accordingly. Aftercare of the lowbret piercing is very similar to that of the labret piercing. It is often recommended to do saline soaks and as always to follow the very specific instructions given to you by your professional piercer. With proper aftercare, healing time takes about 4 weeks or so. As with any oral piercing, avoiding alcohol, tobacco, sticky food, and following other dietary restrictions are generally recommended to keep your piercing healthy.