Archive for Piercing and Aftercare Information
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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 (email@example.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.
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
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.
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.
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
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)
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!
Money Shot: 0:36
Like most piercings, James starts by cleaning the area around the piercing. Then he uses his fingers to find the placement of the holes for the piercing on the inside of the nostril, and marks it. Next a clamp is used to hold the skin in place, and James checks to make sure the holes align on both sides of the septum. It’s go time!
The piercing needle is pushed through. More often than not, your eyes will water with a septum piercing, as you can see in the video. The clamp is removed and the piercing is ready for jewelry insertion. James puts a cork on the sharp end of the needle, and pushes it through the piercing. The jewelry then follows behind… phew! We’re done.
“It actually looks worse than it felt. It didn’t hurt that bad at all!” Stefanie said of her experience.
Stefanie’s initial jewelry choice is unique in that it sits inside the nostril, making it easier to hide for her to hide at work if need be.
When moving from one gauge to another, or beginning the process of stretching your earlobes, it’s so important to do it safely and properly. Seriously. Stretching too soon or too fast can lead to bleeding, tearing and permanent damage to the tissue in your lobes.
You can always go to a piercer for help with the stretching process, but many people choose to do it at home. That’s fine. Just make sure you’re smart/hygienic about it.
Are your earlobes already pierced?
If YES, continue to Step 2.
If NO, please read Step 1.
Get your ears pierced. Avoid those kiosks at the mall, if possible. Go to a professional piercer (http://www.safepiercing.org/locate-a-member/) who will use a needle rather than a gun. Make sure you let them know your plan is to stretch your lobes. Some piercers will be willing to use a thicker needle (up to a 10 gauge), which will help you skip a few beginning sizes on your stretching. Also, most earlobe piercings are placed closer to the front of the lobe. You’re going to want one that’s more centrally located when stretching, to allow room for the tissue to expand.
Allow your piercings to heal, and then wait twice the length of that time before you start stretching. This is important because every body heals differently. Twice the amount of time gives a safe window, and ensures you aren’t stretching tissue that’s already damaged.
Get your hands on a stretching kit and a good lubricant or stretching balm. Start at a 14 or 16 gauge taper. Clean your hands before you attempt to push a taper through your lobe. Even if you can’t see any sort of irritation, your tissue is stretching and forming micro-tears, which are just as susceptible to infection as an open wound is. Stretching your lobes in the shower (if it’s possible for you to safely do so) or right after you get out can make things a little easier because the tissue will be more flexible. Make sure to apply the lubricant to your ear as well as the taper, and then start to push. You may experience some resistance, but it shouldn’t be painful. Once you’ve reached the thickest part of the taper, you’re set at that gauge.
As tempting as it is to jump gauges, DON’T DO IT. As with the initial piercing, it’s good to wait a few months between gauges. Remember those micro-tears? Those need to heal. And blowouts!? Yeah, no thank you. Just be patient.
*Should you experience any swelling, redness, tenderness due to infection throughout the stretching process, you’re going to want to size back down to a comfortable gauge and allow the lobe to heal fully before attempting to size up any further.
Aftercare is crucial. Keep those lobes moisturized to avoid blow outs and scarring. Once you’ve reached your goal size, be sure to continue a routine for keeping them clean/not smelly. Wash them regularly in the shower. You can even apply piercing deodorant (say whaaaaat?) to prevent the funky smells.
Wearing organic jewelry will also help with the aftercare blues. They won’t irritate your ears, and they’re porous, so dead skin cells are absorbed by the material rather than sitting on your plugs.
Always consult with your piercer if you’re unsure about any jewelry changing procedures, including increasing the gauge size.