Archive for Piercing and Aftercare Information

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Allergic reactions occur when allergens are introduced to the body through your piercing. Like seasonal or food allergies these reactions are common and vary from person to person. Some people can wear all kinds of jewelry while others find allergic and irritated reactions common or develop allergies later in life.

If you are experiencing mild itching and redness or more serious symptoms like swelling, throbbing, or your piercing is migrating away from your jewelry, you are likely experiencing an allergic reaction. While mild symptoms often subside when jewelry is removed a severe reaction should be seen by a doctor.

To prevent reactions and sensitivities in the first place we suggest considering one of the following three materials for your next body jewelry purchase:

14k Gold:

  • Creating alloys composed of gold and other metals gives the ability to craft more wearable, durable pieces of jewelry than gold alone. Each listed karat weight (k) is a reference to the percentage of pure gold your jewelry contains.
  • Solid gold jewelry is hypoallergenic and a reliable option for many people with metal sensitivities

GoldPTFE:

  • The lightweight flexibility of PTFE provides maximum comfort as it flexes with tissue instead of against it. This amazing, nonstick material can substantially reduce healing time in new piercings, piercings grouped close together, and piercings that have changed with your body over time.
  • One of the most exciting uses of PTFE is the popular pregnancy belly ring style that fits your growing tummy! PTFE is autoclavable and hypoallergenic. This material is an excellent choice for people who struggle with sensitivities and allergic reactions to metals. 

PTFEBioplast:

  • If you’ve noticed your jewelry irritates your piercing or if you know for certain you have a nickel allergy then Bioplast may be right for you.
  • Bioplast is not metal and the material can be heat sterilized, making it safe for healing swollen or infected piercings and the safest option for allergy sufferers or anyone who doesn’t want to take any chances on metals.

Bioplast

Still have questions? Check back next week for some basic information on our most common metals and materials at Body Candy or call our customer service department 9-5pm Monday through Friday (Eastern Standard Time) at 1-800-694-1426. They will be happy to suggest the best choice for you.

(Remember: the best person to ask for a recommendation of the material that is best for you is a trusted piercer and the only qualified person to ask about symptoms of allergic reaction is a medical professional!)

 

We’ve all been there – you’re putting in your new body jewelry and the ball drops to the floor, never to be seen again. For those accidents that occur with a bead captive ring, you’re going to need a different type of replacement ball than what you would get for threaded barbell body jewelry. The ball for securing BCRs is held in place with the help of tiny divots or dimples on each side, which securely fit in the opening of the circular ring.

Since captive rings are one of the more difficult styles of body jewelry to remove and insert into your piercing, the best chance you have of getting that ball back in the ring is to visit a local professional piercer who will correctly and efficiently assist you in getting your jewelry to function. Many piercers will change your jewelry free of charge, and since they have the proper tools and sanitation to deal with body piercings, it is the safest, easiest way to change out your captive jewelry.

If that just isn’t an option for you or you would like to have a go at it yourself, we have some tools, tips, and tricks to assist you in showing off your BCR like it was meant to be:

Tips Before Getting Started
  • Change your jewelry in a place with a lot of light like your bathroom because the beads are usually tiny and difficult to handle.
  • Cover the drain of the sink if there is one in the vicinity with a paper towel or tissues so that you won’t lose the ball down the drain.
  • Get a clean small cup or dish to put the jewelry in when you’re exchanging the pieces so nothing escapes while you’re in the process.
  • Practice popping the bead in and out of the captive ring several times prior to actually trying to insert into your piercing (if you’re not sure how to do this, read through the step by step directions below before trying).
  • If you’re having trouble removing the bead from the captive ring, try to wedge your thumbnail under the edge of the bead, but be careful not to drop the bead when it pops out!
  • Keep your hands and your jewelry clean throughout the process to prevent infection (ESPECIALLY if you drop any part of the jewelry!)
  • If you feel the ring getting caught on any part of your skin when changing it, slide the ring back into its original place and try again.
  • Try not to look in the mirror while changing your jewelry because this is often more confusing than helpful when compared to changing it assisted by your sense of touch.
Step by Step
  1.  Remove the bead from your current captive ring and slowly rotate the ring through your piercing until the ring opening is lined up with either end of your piercing.
  2. Hold the ring firmly between your thumb and forefinger before grasping the bead tightly between the thumb and forefinger of your opposite hand. Twist the ring slightly while applying pressure on the bead – it should pop right out.
  3. Gently slide the ring out of the hole.
  4. Clean the captive ring you just removed before putting it into the cup or dish you have ready.
  5. Remove the bead from your new captive ring, place that new bead into the cup or dish with your old jewelry, and slowly put the end of the new captive ring’s opening into the hole of your piercing.
  6. Gently rotate the jewelry through your piercing until the end of the ring comes through the opposite hole.
  7. Once it’s inserted through your piercing, hold the new captive ring’s bead and line it up between your fingers so that you can see the dimpled indents on both ends of the ball. Rest the bottom indent on one end of the captive ring’s opening and steadily hold the ring while carefully pushing the top indent to fill the opening – you should hear it snap into place.
  8. Ta-da! Look and feel fabulous 😉

So, the most important part of all that? Keep everything as clean as you can! If you follow those rules, then wearing your new BCR will be easy, fun, and fashionable without the stress and frustration of going at it alone.

Ready to look for a captive ring of your own? Check out our previous style guide post on everything captive rings have to offer!

Not sure about the size you need? Check out this posting on proper sizing of captive rings to ensure you get a perfect fit.

Watch and Learn

If you’re someone who prefers to see something done before they do it themselves, then this video is perfect for you! Inserting and removing the circular barbell is the easy part, but many proudly pierced individuals find putting that dang ball back in place the most frustrating part of all.

Helpful Tools

Here at BodyCandy.com, we carry a variety of useful tools that can help you get to your perfectly pierced style more smoothly and with minimal stress on the jewelry. You should avoid using household tools to open and close your captive ring because this method can scratch the metal ring leaving a rough surface that can damage your piercing (not to mention it’s not exactly sanitary!).

If you’ve been having trouble handling your captive ball or if your BCR is of a larger gauge size, one of these tools should provide you with exactly the assistance you need:

Ball Removal Tool

This can and will literally save your balls! Many don’t know that this type of tool exists, but it is an essential accessory for any pierced style. It’s small and portable, so you can change styles on the go without worrying about fiddling with tiny ball ends. The ball removal tool has a rubber end that grips the ball to give you a little friction to twist it off from your jewelry without the risk of dropping it. This is a great tool for those with butter fingers or hands too big to handle little pieces.

Ring Opening and Closure Pliers

For stubborn captive rings that need some adjustment, there are a variety of tools that can be implemented to make your life a little easier. Ring opening pliers create enough wiggle room to allow the ball to more easily be placed back in its spot on the ring.

How to Use Ring Opening Pliers:

1. Place nose of pliers into the center of the captive ring.

2. Squeeze the handles together until the captive ring is held fast by the pliers and rests within the appropriate grooves.

3. Squeeze the handles gently until the captive opens just slightly and the captive bead becomes loose. Be careful not to squeeze too much or else the jewelry may be damaged.

Start by using the tool in small increments and then remove the jewelry from the pliers to check the progress (measured by how easy or difficult the ball is to move) so that you don’t bend the ring too far, but just in case you do, we have a tool for that too. Ring closure tools look a lot like the pliers used to open up the jewelry but are used to adjust a ring to make it smaller, just in case you don’t know your own strength and made it too big trying to open it up.

Ball End Grabbers

Since we are well aware that holding onto those tiny balls can be quite damaging to our mental state, lower the risk of a dropped ball with tools specifically designed to keep a tight grip. These types of tools come in different shapes and sizes, so make sure you’re getting one designed for what you need. One option is a tool that has a claw-like grabbing mechanism to grasp ball ends that are rolling around in your jewelry box; another option is a tool that looks a lot like tweezers with rounded tips that are used to hold the ball end while you are maneuvering it into the grooves to fit back into the captive ring.

Next time you have a stylish captive ring in your sights, don’t pass it by. You’ll be able to buy and use this type of body jewelry with confidence knowing you won’t have to fight it to wear it.

Have a look at our latest and greatest styles in captive ring jewelry by clicking here!

Apr
01

Captivate with Captive Rings: Style Guide

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One of the perks of using captive rings is that they are such a versatile option and can be worn in just about any type of piercing. Some popular sites that captives can be used for include septum piercings, nostril piercings, lip piercings (including labret), eyebrow piercings, belly piercings, nipple piercings, and several piercings of the ear (orbital, helix, conch, rook, snug, tragus, anti-tragus, daith, and lobe). This type of jewelry is also worn in less common body piercings such as surface piercings, corset piercings, eyelid piercings, and any piercings of tissues inside the mouth.

Earring Styles for Captive Rings

Captive rings are easy to coordinate in multiple piercings and make the perfect addition to any jewelry wardrobe. Additionally, because of their closed shape and rounded edges, these rings do not easily snag on clothing, hair, or furniture, making them a popular choice for piercings which are still healing.

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The design of these circular rings is something to consider when figuring out how to best accentuate your piercing. Captive jewelry is most commonly crafted from a metal ring (surgical grade stainless steel, sterling silver, gold, titanium, etc.) and a ball or bead made of either similar materials or decorated with extra flair from sparkling crystals, lightweight acrylic, or natural stone.

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Captives are most commonly found in two forms: the ball, or bead, captive ring and the segment ring.

 

Ball/Bead Captive Rings

This style is the most popular look in captive jewelry. The ball captive ring (BCR), or captive bead ring (CBR), which is known better by its acronym “BCR” consists of two parts: the circular ring that features a small opening and the ball, bead, or decorative piece that fits snugly into that opening. That opening allows for the ring to be easily inserted into a wide variety of piercings before securing the jewelry by closing the opening when the captive piece is put in its place. Additionally, BCRs come in the standard spherical ring design or can even have dangling detail for some fun ways to express yourself.

Captive_BCR_ShopNow

Segment Rings

If you’re looking for a simplistic style with a streamlined structure, then the segment ring may be what’s right for you. Segment rings are very similar to BCRs, but they close with a piece (segment) that provides the illusion of a seamless ring without an opening. Generally, the materials used with this type of body jewelry are the same as with BCRs, but surgical grade stainless steel and hypo-allergenic metals are the primary materials used with segment rings.

Captive_Segment_ShopNow

 

Other options that vary slightly from the commonly found segment and bead captive rings are closure rings and dangle captive rings.

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Dangle BCRs

Although this type of captive ring is still considered a bead or ball captive ring, dangle BCRs have a dangling charm or design that is either part of the closure piece itself or is a separate piece on the circular barbell. Many choose this style for piercings of the ear or nipple piercings since the dangling portion can end up getting in the way in other locations.

Captive_Dangle_ShopNow

Closure Rings

The combination of segment rings and bead captive rings comes together to create the closure ring. Although these are usually grouped together with either the former or latter styles, this type of captive ring has endless possibilities for style thanks to the charms and designs that snap into place to cover the gap of the ring or that stay in place through tension, much like the bead or ball captives.

Captive_Closure_ShopNow

Now that you’ve completed our crash course in everything you need to know about captive rings, it’s time to pick out a style of your own! The best thing about BCRs is their versatility as an option for body jewelry – you can change your look as often as you’d like with a simple exchange of the dimpled ball or with a whole new captive ring.

GUEST

We’d love to see what you get! Show off your new body jewelry and tag #bodycandy so we can see how awesome your style is!

Know your style but not your size? Check out our previous post on finding the right size captive ring for your piercing!

Captive rings come in so many different sizes that there are very few piercings in which they cannot be worn. To size a captive ring, two measurements are needed: the gauge size and the diameter of the ring.

Captive_Dimensions

The gauge size is the thickness of the ring itself (the part that actually goes in your piercing), and the diameter is found by measuring across the widest part of the ring from one inside edge to the other.

Captive rings are most commonly found in a range of 18 gauge (the size of the average nostril piercing) to 00 gauge (10mm thick), but specialty sizes can be found if need be.
Captive_GaugeSize

The most common measurements for captive rings’ diameters start at around 1/4″ (6mm) and go up from there. The more abundantly stocked diameter lengths include 5/16″ (8mm), 3/8″ (10mm), 7/16″ (11mm), 1/2″ (12mm), and 3/4″ (19mm).

Captive_Diameters

Small to Medium Diameter:

1/4″ (6mm) – This is a small diameter and can only be made from a small gauge (such as 20, 18. 16, and 14). This is a good size for tragus cartilage piercings, nostril piercings, and upper ear cartilage piercings (such as helix).

5/16″ (8mm) – septum piercings, tragus cartilage piercings, nostril piercings, upper ear cartilage piercings (such as helix), lip piercings, ear lobe piercings, and eyebrow piercings.

3/8″ (10mm) – septum piercings, ear lobe piercings, eyebrow piercings, navel piercings, lip piercings (labret, monroe, etc.), and nipple piercings.

Medium to Large Diameter:

7/16″ (11mm) – septum piercings, ear lobe piercings, eyebrow piercings, navel piercings, lip piercings, and nipple piercings.

1/2″ (12mm) – septum piercings, ear lobe piercings, eyebrow piercings, navel piercings, lip piercings, nipple piercings, and intimate piercings.

3/4″ (19mm) – This large diameter size can be made from many different gauge sizes, but it is most frequently made with larger gauges such as 2, 0, and 00. This is a good size for stretched holes and piercing locations that require a little more girth.

Remember that this information is what is regarded as the standard sizing for captive rings and their accompanying piercings; every body is different and your piercing may differ from the standard. Always be sure to measure accurately to get the right size, and if you can, visit your local piercer to get first-hand assistance in finding the right size diameter for your particular piercing before purchasing your new captive ring.

Stainless Steel Spider Bite BCRsClear Gem Septum BCRStainless Steel Ear Lobe BCR

Want More Information?

We’ve got you covered. Check out our blog’s BCR category for more information on this type of body jewelry and keep your eyes out for future blog posts regarding style and frustration-free use of these versatile rings.

Know your size but not sure about your style? Check out our post on finding the right style captive ring for your piercing!

Or if you already know what you’re looking for, browse our latest styles in circular barbells and captive rings to pick out the best way to express yourself!

Captive_ShopNow

Still have questions? Contact our customer service team via phone (toll-free: 1-800-694-1426 or internationally: 716-650-2999) or by e-mail (sales@bodycandy.com) during our normal business hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm EST Monday through Friday. They’re always happy to help and have extensive knowledge on body jewelry to help you choose the best style and size for you and your piercing.

 

Mar
02

Chris’s Tongue Piercing Video

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Money Shot: 0:24

Thinking about getting your tongue pierced?! Watch as Chris gets his tongue pierced by James at American Skin Art here inBuffalo,NY! The first and very important step of any piercing is ensuring the area to be pierced is clean. Chris starts with a mouth rinse. James then makes sure the tongue is dry, and marks the placement for the piercing. A clamp is used to hold the tongue in place and steady. James then pushes the needle up through the bottom of the tongue. A cork is applied to the tip of the needle on top of the tongue, just to cover up the sharp edge. James then takes the jewelry (a straight barbell) and pushes the needle through the tongue, with the jewelry following right behind. A ball is screwed onto the top and Chris is all set. No sweat!

Healing time: About 4-8 weeks

Jewelry: 14 or 12 gauge straight barbell

Dec
22

Stefanie’s Double Nostril Piercing

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Money Shot: 0:22

If you didn’t know, double nostril piercings are becoming a thing! Stefanie decided to have her second hole done by James at American Skin Art inBuffalo,NYand we got to watch.

The process starts with some clean up around the area to be pierced. James then eyes up the placement of her first piercing, and marks the second hole accordingly. Nose piercings are a relatively quick process. The needle is pushed through, and a cork is inserted onto the sharp end of the needle to avoid any accidental injury. Stefanie’s new nose jewelry is then pushed through the piercing right behind the needle, and twisted into place. A little bit of clean up and the piercing is done!

Healing Time: 3-4 months
Initial Jewelry: Nose screw or 5/16″-7/16″ diameter ring can be used.

Nov
23

Gabby’s Chest Dermal Piercing Project

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Money Shots: 0:31 and 0:59, 1:37 and 1:56

Gabby decided to start a dermal anchor project, and chose to let us record her experience with professional piercer James at American Skin Art in Buffalo, NY! James starts by cleaning the area where Gabby’s piercings will go. He then marks the locations for each dermal and measures to make sure they’re lined up on either side. A hollow piercing needle is used to remove the small section of skin where the anchor will be placed. James then inserts the dermal anchor. During healing, the skin grows around the anchor, holding the piercing in place. James then repeats the process on the other side.

Since the piercings are so close together, Gabby must return for a second visit to complete the project. 6 weeks later, James pierces her second set, and her dermal anchor project is complete.

Healing time: 2-3 months

Initial Jewelry: Dermal anchor, with interchangeable tops that can be switched out after fully healed.

Nov
16

New Plugs In Stock!

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We’re prepping for the holidays with new styles and trends. Is it about time you updated your plug collection? Are you sizing up? We hear the needs of our customers first, and we’ve got new plugs in stock.

For those of you on your journey to your goal size, we’re stocked up on stretching kits and stainless steel tapers that are perfect for sizing up safely and successfully.

 

A step by step guide to stretching your ears: Ear Stretching 101: How To Properly Stretch Your Lobes

Nov
10

Top 5 Gifts For Your Pierced Friends

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Wondering what to get that pierced and proud friend? Look no further! BodyCandy has your ultimate gift guide. The top 5 gifts we think any pierced individual would love. Feel free to list any additional suggestions in the comments!

 

 

 

 

So you’ve decided to get a cartilage piercing done. Not only is there a wide array of options available to you as far as the choice of piercing, but also a huge selection of types of jewelry you can use. It can be confusing. Just because an earring says it’s for cartilage piercings, doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit for you, or fit in your type of piercing. This guide should help you better determine the type of jewelry and sizes you should be looking for.

Jewelry Type: Ring or Barbell
Gauge: 22 or 20 gauge if done at a piercing kiosk, 18-14 gauge if done by a piercer in a shop
Ring Diameter: 5/16″ – 1/2″
Barbell: 5/16″ – 3/8″

Jewelry Type: Ring or Barbell
Gauge: 18 or 16 (14 for larger ears)
Diameter: 3/8″ (Could be as small as 5/16″ or big as 7/16″ depending on anatomy)

Jewelry Type: Straight barbell (A captive ring can be used, depending on ear size)
Gauge: 14 or 12
Diameter: 1/2″ – 5/8″
Length: 5/16″ – 7/16″

Jewelry Type: Curved barbell or ring
Gauge: 18 or 16
Diameter: 5/16″ – 3/8″
Length: 1/4″ – 5/16″

Jewelry Type: Ring or barbell (curved may be more comfortable)
Gauge: 18 or 16
Diameter: 5/16″ – 3/8″

Jewelry Type: Ring, barbell, curved barbell
Gauge: 18 or 14
Diameter: 3/8″ (5/16″ for smaller anatomy, 7/16″ for larger)

Jewelry Type: Ring, or curved barbell
Gauge: 16 or 14 (18 sometimes used for smaller anatomy)
Diameter: 3/8″

Keep in mind that individual anatomy and comfort does play into this decision. Something that fits comfortably in your friend’s ear may not work for you. When it doubt, check with your piercer. They’ll be able to tell you the exact gauge you were pierced at, and measure to give you a good idea what length/diameter jewelry will fit you best!