Archive for Piercing and Aftercare Information

 

Check out this awesome video of Stephanie getting her rook piercing done by James at American Skin Art in Buffalo, New York.  Look for the money shot (actual needle insertion) at about 17 seconds.

First the piercer cleans the ear thoroughly, and then proceeds to mark the area where the rook piercing will go.  Stephanie approves the placement, and the needle and receiving tube are carefully put into place.  Next, our piercer tells his client to take a deep breath, and expertly pushes the needle through her cartilage, corking the free end to avoid any mishaps.  A ball captive ring is then pushed into place and carefully secured through the use of some expert tools.  Just a quick final cleanup, and Stephanie is ready to enjoy her rockin’ new rook.

rook ear cartilage piercing

The rook is an ear cartilage piercing performed where the fossa (the flat upper plane) and crus, or inside edge of the helix, meet.  That visible outcropping of cartilage just between the inner and outer conch areas?  Yep.  Right there. Although it’s been around since the 90s, (first popularized by famous piercer Erik Dakota) the rook piercing is still fairly rare and provides a beautiful and unique look, whether alone, or paired with other piercings.

the ear anatomy in relation to rook piercings

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Oct
07

Video: Kalea’s Double Belly Piercing

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Follow along as pierced beauty Kalea gets a double belly piercing (look for the needle insertion at about 28 seconds).

After thoroughly cleaning the area, our piercer marks two tiny dots, reflecting where the piercing itself will be placed.  Kalea approves, and a pair of forceps are clamped over her lower navel rim, followed by the insertion of a hollow piercing needle.  Our piercing enthusiast takes it like a champ, and the needle is chased with a barbell belly ring.  A couple finishing touches, and she’s ready to rock her fun new look.

 belly piercings being performed

Although less common than standard top rim belly piercings, bottom navel mods are becoming a popular addition or alternative.  For many, piercings can be performed at numerous angles around the navel’s rim, and pairing an upper and lower piercing creates a cool and interesting aesthetic.  Belly piercings performed in any area will require proper aftercare, and should experience initial healing by around the twelve week mark.

double navel piercings
For more up close views of real piercings being performed, check out our awesome YouTube channel, and stayed tuned.

Sep
16

Video: Micky’s Madison Chest Dermal

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Follow along as the lovely Micky gets a Madison dermal piercing.  Look for the money shot at around 47 seconds.

Before doing the piercing, Micky’s neck and upper chest are thoroughly cleansed. Then a small mark is made as a guideline for placement, and a hollow piercing needle is poked through at an angle, creating a pocket-like puncture in the skin.  Next, a microdermal anchor is inserted and twisted into place.  After a little final cleanup, Micky and her new Madison piercing are ready to shine.

dermal neck piercing being performed

Piercings that fall at the front of the neck near the center of the clavicles were first popularized in the early 90s by former adult star turned tattooist, Madison Stone.  This of course, is how they got the name “Madison.”  Originally these were performed using small curved barbells or circular jewelry like horseshoes, which made for some difficulty keeping them healthy in this high-traffic area.  Since that time though, piercings of the neck, clavicle, and chest have evolved into primarily microdermals and surface piercings, vastly extending their wearability and shelf life.

 permanent dermal neck piercings

In general, dermal piercings heal well with proper aftercare, which often includes gentle cleansings and sea salt soaks, much like standard piercings.  They can be performed in almost any location on the body, opening a massive array of piercing possibilities up to modification artists and enthusiasts.

Want more modification videos?  Then check us out on YouTube for up close shots of body piercings being performed by a professional.  ‘Til the next!

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Aug
26

Back to School: Modification Preparedness

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modification preparedness

The new school year is already here, and as things begin to get hectic this Fall, it’s more important than ever to make sure that modified skin is healthy.  So here’s a few quick tips to help you be ready and set for smooth sailing during the entire year.

1. The temperature and humidity regulation inside large buildings like schools isn’t exactly ideal, and a full week in those conditions can cause dry skin and irritation, especially for those who are sensitive.  On the go aftercare products like moisturizing cream for tattooed skin are great to have on hand for exactly this reason.  Also, if piercings are less than six months old, a sea salt aftercare spray or pre-filled medicated swab are lifesavers for quick cleanings, particularly since they let you avoid having to touch anything in germ-filled public restrooms.

 caring for modified skin on the go

2. The other big worry for those who are pierced is the loss of vital body jewelry parts.  Accidentally dropping a ball is incredibly inconvenient in situations where it just isn’t possible to leave your classes and buy a replacement, so another good tool to have in your arsenal is a bonus pack.  This is a pack that includes one or two barbells and multiple interchangeable balls, so you’ll never have to stress about lost parts during the school day.  There are also multi-packs of single piece jewelry like nose rings and standard earrings, just in case you experience a mishap.

 body jewelry bonus packs

3. And finally, for those moments when you really want to hide your piercings, there are clear retainers.  These are usually made out of a flexible, biocompatible material called bioplast that’s hypoallergenic, and approved for extended wear.

Also, for those who want to stretch their lobes but are short on time and resources, be sure to check out stretching kits; convenient nine piece kits that allow you to stretch your lobes from home on your own (probably hectic) schedule.

 nine piece ear stretching kits

School preparedness?  In the bag.

Check out this fun short video of Jalesa getting her industrial pierced by James from American Skin Art. And keep your eyes peeled for the needle insertions at around the 15 and 25 second marks.

industrial ear piercings being performed

As with all professional piercings, the area around the piercing site is first thoroughly cleaned.  Then a set of guidelines are marked where both piercings will be, including a connecting line to assist with the needle’s angle. Next, a pair of forceps are clamped into place, and the outer portion of the ear is swiftly punctured. Our piercee is instructed to take one more deep breath, and the needle is pushed through for the second and final time. Finally, the needle is chased with an extra long industrial barbell, and Jalesa is ready to show the world her new piercing.

Jalesa enjoys her new industrial ear piercing

Though often referred to as an “industrial piercing,” this type of modification is actually a set of two piercings, interconnected across the ear with a single piece of body jewelry.  For this reason the industrial may take longer to heal completely than an average helix piercing, but it’s definitely well worth the wait.  With proper attention and aftercare, healing will be straightforward, and you’ll be left with a versatile and interesting new mod.

For more up close videos of real piercings being performed, don’t forget to follow us and peep our channel on YouTube.

clear retainers for dimishing piercings

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve wished we could hide our piercings.  Whether it’s to avoid family scrutiny, comply with an employment or educational institution, or even a simple aesthetic reason, having the option of making our piercings “disappear” sure would be handy.  While we can’t help you magically close and reopen your body piercings, there is a good way to make them a lot less noticeable: with retainers.

A retainer is basically a body jewelry item that keeps a piercing open while minimizing its appearance. There are several different styles of piercing retainers, employing a variety of materials and shapes, but some of the best for truly hiding a mod are completely clear.

 body piercing retainer jewelry

These are most often made of clear acrylic, bioplast (a flexible material), borosilicate glass, or PTFE, and are usually designed to sit as flush to the skin’s surface as possible.  For many items, this is accomplished with a thin clear disc, especially in pieces designed for high profile piercings like those of the nose and lips.  For other piercings, simply the shape can work wonders, like with modifications of the nasal septum.  Here a staple or crescent shaped pieced can have its ends turned up to sit inside the nostrils, effectively making it look the septum isn’t pierced at all.

 hiding a septum piercing

No matter what the reason for hiding your piercings, keep in mind that retainers are only a temporary solution, but when used to the full extent of their ability, they’re a tool that every modification enthusiast should keep within their arsenal.  You know, (wink, nudge) just in case.

contemporary cheek piercings

Location: The cheeks, starting from just underneath the eyes, extending downward towards the chin, and outwards to the jaw.

Names: The anti-eyebrow piercing (high cheek piercing, Cleopatra piercing, teardrop piercing, butterfly kiss), the dimple piercing (cheek piercing, cheek bites, dimpler), and the cheek dermal (facial dermal, cheekbone piercing, teardrop dermal, Cleopatra dermal).

 anti-eyebrow, dimple, and dermal piercings

Piercing: Most anti-eyebrow piercings are performed as a surface piercing, which usually necessitates either the use of two needles, or punch and taper technique (employing a dermal punch).  Dimple piercings however, may be performed with a single needle, much like dahlia or upper lip modifications.  Microdermals can make use of either a hollow piercing needle inserted at an angle to create a pocket of skin, or a dermal punch to cleanly remove the skin leaving a small hole.

Aftercare: As with most piercings whose base rests inside the mouth, lower cheek or dimple piercings will require both external and oral aftercare.  This often involves the use of both soaks/washes and oral rinses to prevent irritation from food particles.  For higher set anti-eyebrow piercings, standard surface piercing aftercare will generally suffice, and the same will be true for dermal cheek mods.  Microdermals will always require vigilance as well, as they are easier to pull free from the skin when bumped or snagged.

 convenient aftercare products

Jewelry: Anti-eyebrow style piercings are normally worn with surface bars, but can also be seen with flexible barbells or occasionally curved barbells, depending on their exact location.  High cheek dermals can be worn with standard dermal anchors, which feature a removable decorative top, or with single piece micros called “skin divers.”  And for lower cheek or dimple piercings, a labret/monroe style stud (usually with a flat back) is often used.

 surface piercing body jewelry

Popularity: Although cheek piercings are of primarily contemporary origin, they continue to rise in popularity and prevalence amongst certain social sub-groups of the younger modified generations.  It’s estimated that dermal and surface piercings in general still compose less than 3% of the overall piercings amongst these segments of the population.

Aug
04

Superhuman: the Magic of Modified Skin

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the awesome power of human skin

Human skin serves multiple purposes, and is considered to be a separate bodily organ.  It facilitates communication through our sense of touch, assists in regulating the body’s temperature, acts as a protective barrier for our delicate underlying tissues, and in the modern world it’s also a living work of art.  Piercings and tattoos may cause the skin some minor injury, but it’s in that perforated or punctured state that the epidermis truly shows just what it can do.

 anatomy of the epidermis

The way skin heals itself is nothing short of amazing.  When a piercing is performed, a hollow needle is used, which literally removes the skin between one side of the piercing and the other.  From there, healing occurs in three basic steps.  Immediately following the physical trauma is a period of soreness known as the inflammatory phase, which normally lasts for several days.  During this stage a new piercing is swollen and tender, and bleeding or bruising may occur.  Once the initial discomfort fades, we enter the proliferation phase, usually extending from two to six weeks.  During this time period, the skin begins to reconstruct all of its damaged parts, like when a scrape is scabbed over and heals from the inside out.  Lastly, there’s the final “remodeling” phase, taking anywhere from a few more weeks to many months.  Throughout this important self-healing stage, piercings are generally painless, and most of the skin around the piercing itself is actually composed of completely new cells.

 healed piercing holes and stretching

The healed tunnel of skin that forms a body piercing is called a fistula, and what’s even more awesome than this new structure the skin has constructed, is the fact that it can then be stretched, reshaped, or remolded in a variety of ways as well.  Just like a science fiction film where an alien loses a limb and re-grows it, human skin is capable of amazing regenerative feats.  You could almost consider it a superpower.  Pierced and Tattooed Superhero League, Assemble!

Jul
30

Modification Overview: Surface Piercings

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surface piercing overview

Surface piercings are piercings that are made across a flat plane of skin, rather than through a fold or outcropping of tissue or cartilage.  They’re composed of two separate punctures, connected by a channel below the skin’s surface.  This means that two balls, spikes, or decorations will be visible above the skin rather than one.  The methods that piercers use to create a surface piercing vary, and can include punch and taper technique (employing a dermal punch), or the use of two piercing needles to puncture and lift.

 surface style piercing mods

The jewelry used in a surface piercing is a surface barbell or “surface bar,” a staple shaped solid barbell with two interchangeable ends.  To accurately measure surface jewelry, length and gauge (thickness) are required just like a regular barbell, but the rise or “depth” of the bar is also a factor.  Rise is the distance from the base of the decorative tip, to the curve or angle of the staple.

 measuring surface piercings

Because a portion of the jewelry will rest beneath the skin, surface bars are most often made of hypoallergenic solid titanium or surgical grade stainless steel, and are generally tipped with small balls, spikes, or flat discs.

 steel and titanium surface jewelry

Many of the popular contemporary piercings are commonly worn as surface piercings including the nape piercing, clavicles, sternum, third eye, bracer (wrist piercing), anti-eyebrow piercing, and several others.

contemporary surface piercings

Take a front row seat as BodyCandy friend Natori gets her tragus pierced by James at American Skin Art.  (Look for the needle insertion at about the 27 second mark.)

First, the piercer uses cue tips to thoroughly cleanse the tragus area of the ear.  Next, he marks a dot to show where the piercing will be positioned and has Natori check in the mirror and give the okay.  A hollow needle receiving tube in placed at the opening of the ear canal directly under the tragus, to protect any other parts of the ear from accidentally getting poked.  Then our piercee is instructed to take a deep breath, and the needle is pushed through.  Jewelry is inserted, the ear cleaned up once more, and Natori is ready to walk away with her fun new piercing.

 tragus getting pierced

Tragus piercings require similar aftercare to other ear cartilage piercings, and initial heal is often quick.  They’re a very versatile piercing that can hold numerous different types of body jewelry including BCRs, small barbells, horseshoes, and studs.  Tragus surface piercings and vertical tragus piercings can also be performed on most individuals, and are growing in popularity as alternatives to the standard.

 beautiful new tragus ear piercing

For more cool close-up videos of real piercings being performed, don’t forget to check us out on YouTube.  Happy piercing!