Archive for Rising Stars of Modern Piercing
Location: This is a piercing that starts at the base of the tongue and passes through several layers of tissue, emerging underneath the chin.
Alternate Names: Sprung Piercing, Deep Tissue Oral Piercing, Jawbone Piercing, Chin Piercing.
Piercing: Although it doesn’t penetrate the body cavity, the mandible piercing does pass through a sensitive area that includes muscular tissue and runs in close proximity to a variety of veins, important nerves, and some delicate cartilage. Thus this piercing unequivocally requires the attention of a master piercer with extensive knowledge of both the potential risk factors and the surrounding anatomy. Many piercers will refuse to attempt the mandible piercing altogether.
Aftercare: Although they often have an extended healing time due to their location and the amount of tissue that has been passed through, it’s entirely possible to properly heal this type of piercing. Runoff or “oozing” of the salivary juices is a common issue during the healing process, and like other oral piercings, special mouthwash is often used for aftercare.
Jewelry: Mandible piercings are performed almost exclusively with long, flexible barbells composed of biocompatible materials like bioflex, bioplast, PTFE, or tygon. The visible ball that rests below the chin can be changed out accordingly to accommodate fashion preferences.
Prevalence: Due to the nature of this “extreme” oral piercing, you won’t see very many of them hanging around. In terms of general prevalence worldwide, the number of persons who have successfully healed a mandible piercing and worn it for over two years is likely to number in the dozens, rather than the hundreds. Far more prevalent are the a number of chin dermals that fake the same general look.
Location: Cyber bites are a set of two piercings: the medusa, and the labret. When referred to as cyber bites, these piercings are situated dead center above the upper lip and below the bottom lip.
Alternate Names: Cyber piercing, center bites, double lip piercing, cyber bites.
Piercing: The piercing itself is pretty straight forward, and depending on preference and the inclinations of the piercer, these piercings may be done together at the same time, or in two separate sittings to allow for healing in between. For the most part, both medusa piercings and labrets will generally be performed with either a fourteen or sixteen gauge hollow piercing needle and a pair of clamps, though again some piercers may prefer to use a needle receiving tube and/or cork instead.
Jewelry: Standard cyber bite piercings which include a regular labret and medusa will normally be seen with stud type body jewelry in a variety of styles. For those who choose an alternative matching, like a medusa and a vertical labret, one or more of the piercings will likely then be worn with a small curved barbell instead.
Prevalence: The cyber bite is definitely a unisex piercing, though in several studies young women have been proven more likely to have lip piercings in general than their male counterparts. All lip piercings, including most doubles, triples, and quads, have risen in popularity exponentially in the past ten years amongst the emo, scene, and punk youth subcultures.
Location: The vampire bite piercing is traditionally found somewhere on the neck or near the clavicle, however, in recent years single surface piercings tipped in red gems have been found in a variety of areas (mostly over pulse points), and are generally accepted as also being vampire bite piercings.
Alternate Names: Vampire, vampire bite, vampire’s kiss, neck piercing, neck surface piercing, vampire victim piercing.
Piercing: The vampire’s kiss piercing is done in much the same way as other surface piercings, and may be performed with a single needle, two needles, a needle and punch, or a punch and taper. Before the actual piercing takes place, the entrance and exit points will be marked to assure desired placement.
Aftercare: Surface piercings are cared for diligently, with some measures including sea salt soaks and gently cleansing. As with most other surface piercings, the vampire bite carries a slightly higher risk of migration or rejection, so extra care must be taken to avoid bumping, tugging, or catching the jewelry.
Jewelry: This type of piercing is normally worn with a surface bar, a staple or U-shaped barbell. Many choose to wear their jewelry with red ball tips, or those set with ruby colored gems to imitate the look of blood.
Prevalence: Although surface piercing in general is one of the lowest prevalence piercings across the board, it continues to rise, and the vampire piercing is no exception. Like most piercings directly associated with modern fiction or folklore, this piercing is associated mostly with young women. This may be because the piercing itself mimics a vampire bite and denotes being a vampire victim, a station generally acknowledged as belonging primarily to females.
Location: Through the fistula (healed tunnel of flesh) of a stretched septum piercing, exiting on the outside of the nose, usually just below the tip.
Alternate Names: Septril, jungle piercing, septum tunnel piercing, nose tip piercing.
Piercing: In order to have a septril pierced, there must already be an existing standard septum piercing that has been stretched, usually to at least 8mm or a standard 0 gauge. As with other piercings, markings will generally be made to determine placement. Then, a needle will be passed through the septum (usually from inside and exiting on the tip of the nose), and jewelry will be inserted and secured.
Aftercare: Depending on the state of the fistula prior to piercing, septril healing may be slightly extended. As with other piercings, sea salt soaks and gentle cleanings with cue tips are often recommended.
Jewelry: Although jewelry may vary (depending partially on individual anatomy), for the most part the septril is worn with either stud style jewelry with a flat back, or small curved barbells. Those who choose to may also wear custom tunnels or eyelets in the stretched portion of the septum, some that have a hole or spacing. Rarely, some persons may stretch the septril itself as well, using small acrylic or titanium plugs.
Prevalence: Because the septum must first be pierced and stretched to accommodate a septril piercing, they are certainly far less common than any other nose piercing. Interestingly, even though females beat out males for general piercing prevalence about three to one, stretching seems to be far less disparate, and septril piercings are seen on both men and women.
Location: This piercing is the only one of its kind that has been successfully performed on multiple persons. It enters the skin underneath the collar bone, passes through the actual body cavity beneath the bone, and emerges on the other side.
Alternate Names: Sub-clavicle piercing, clavicle bone piercing, sub-collar bone piercing, Farscape piercing.
Piercing: Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the underlying anatomy, only a very experienced piercer who has studied the basics of that anatomy should perform a sub-clavicle piercing. Much like regular piercings, the designated entry and exit points will generally be marked and the area will be studied by the piercer to determine the best placement. Because the collar bone itself must be able to be pinched and a needle inserted underneath from one side to the other, certain persons who lack the necessary ability to make the bone “jut out” will be unable to receive a sub-clavicle piercing. While some piercers prefer the use of a curved piercing needle for this procedure, many will use a long straight needle, possibly with a taper.
Aftercare: Because there are many risks associated with this type of piercing, aftercare procedures will vary depending on the type of jewelry, preference of the piercer, and general state of the piercing or stage of healing. As with other piercings, sea salt soaks and cleanses with gentle antibacterial or medical soap are common. Healing is very slow, and for some these piercings will never really heal completely and may need to eventually be removed.
Jewelry: Although some may successfully use a long curved barbell in sub-clavicle piercings, most often they are initially pierced and worn with long pieces of tygon, bioplast, or PTFE. Not only are these materials safe and biocompatible, but the freedom of flexibility puts less stress on the surrounding bodily structures.
Associated Risks: Although improbable, it may be possible to disturb or damage certain parts of the human anatomy if a sub-clavicle piercing is improperly performed, as specific anatomical placement will vary from person to person. Portions of the nerve branches that control movement, sensory interpretation, and general function of the arm run close to the clavicle, though normally deep. There’s also a number of veins and vessels that could potentially be harmed, and even a possibility of puncturing a portion of the lung when pierced too far towards the center of the body.
Prevalence: Although it continues to rise in general popularity, as far as the amount of persons who actually have a sub-clavicle piercing, the number is most certainly extremely low comparative to any other piercing. Due to the dangers associated with piercing into the body cavity, most piercers will actually refuse to attempt the sub-clavicle, even if they have been piercing successfully for several years.
Location: In the natural dimple, or the area of the cheek just outside the smile crease, horizontally aligned with the outer corners of the mouth.
Alternate Names: Dimple piercing, cheek piercing, cheek bites
Piercing: As with most oral piercings, both the inside and outside of the area to be pierced will be cleansed, and then a mark will be made to determine placement. Although dimple piercings are primarily performed in pairs, the piercing of a single “dimple” is not uncommon. In order to lessen healing pain and guard against oral hygiene issues, this type of piercing is generally performed within approximately an inch of the lip corner, or no further back than the first molars.
Aftercare: Due to the constant movement and thickness of the tissue being pierced, dimple piercings may take slightly longer than average to heal, with initial healing closer to the twelve week mark, and total healing occurring after six months and sometimes up to a full year. To ensure proper healing and lessen the risk of migration, a combination of standard and oral aftercare is recommended, often including sea salt soaks or sprays, regular cleanings, and use of special mouthwash after meals. Refraining from smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, and touching jewelry with the hands is often suggested as well.
Jewelry: Labret/Monroe style studs are most commonly worn for both initial piercing and continued wear, as the flat backing rubs against the teeth and gums less than a standard ball, diminishing the risk of oral health issues. Since the “dimple” area experiences large volume swelling during the initial healing phases, an extra long post of between 3/4″ to 1″ is generally worn initially, then changed out afterwards for a shorter length.
Prevalence: Dimple piercing is one of the least common piercings performed around the mouth and cheek area, and is worn primarily by females. In fact in general, women in the United States are approximately three times as likely as men to get a facial piercing. Some who decide on a dimple piercing are never intending to keep the piercing permanently, and want only to use piercing of the cheek to create an artificial dimple where one is lacking. This may be possible through either scarring, or minor nerve damage causing the cheek to indent.
Location: Through the bottom lip, normally in the center, but on an angle so that both ends are visible, one atop the lip and the other just underneath it.
Alternate Names: vertical labret piercing, inverse labret piercing, vertical lip piercing
Piercing: The piercing of a vertical labret is done much the same as a standard labret. The bottom lip will be thoroughly cleaned, a marking will be made to assure proper placement, and a pair of piercing clamps will be used. The lip will then be pulled away from the gums, and a hollow piercing needle of about 14 gauge will be pushed through, followed by the jewelry. To insure placement and safety, it’s recommended that a seasoned professional piercing perform this piercing.
Aftercare: As with other oral and lip piercings, sea salt soaks or sprays and mouthwash are recommended for aftercare of a vertical labret. Avoidance of certain foods, alcoholic beverages, and cigarette smoking may also be required or strongly encouraged. One of the advantages of a vertical labret over a standard labret is that because the jewelry doesn’t sit inside the mouth, the risk of associated dental issues is nearly eliminated.
Jewelry: Most vertical labrets will be initially pierced and worn with a small curved barbell, though occasionally a straight barbell or spike may be used, usually after healing is completed.
Prevalence: Although no specific studies have been completed, it is commonly asserted that women are more likely to get a vertical labret piercing than men. Oddly enough, the modern history of vertical lip piercings suggests that they first came to prominence as an imitation of regular labret piercings that had gone awry due to a piercer’s inexperience.
Location: In the strip of tissue that connects the upper lip to the upper gums, called the lip frenulum.
Alternate Names: Smile, Scrumper, lip frenulum piercing
Piercing: Smileys are performed like most piercings, with a hollow piercing needle, though they may be done with a smaller than average needle in a 16 or even an 18 gauge. Before being pierced, the inside of your mouth will cleaned, usually with special mouthwash. Due to the difference in shape and size of the upper lip frenulum, a small number of persons will be unable to get this type of piercing.
Aftercare: Because the upper lip frenulum sees a lot of movement, migration is slightly more common than with other oral piercings. To prevent migration, rejection, and infection, oral rinses are recommended several times per day, particularly after consumption of certain foods. It’s also generally helpful to refrain from smoking, overuse of goopy lip products, and to take extra care while brushing your teeth.
Jewelry: Since the area that a smiley is pierced through is rather thin, jewelry should be as lightweight as possible. This usually includes segment rings or ball captive rings, with as small a diameter as physiologically allowable. Occasionally, a small curved barbell can be worn.
Prevalence: Although women are statistically more likely to be pierced than men, the smiley piercing is entirely unisex, and common primarily amongst those between the ages of 18 and 29.
Location: Anywhere feasible along the nose bridge, though normally at the upper portion of the bridge of the nose, directly between the eyes or slightly above.
Alternate Names: Nose bridge piercing, Erl piercing, Earl piercing, and when performed vertically as a surface piercing or single dermal piercing, “vertical bridge” or “third eye.”
Piercing: The piercing itself is done in a variety of ways including horizontally, vertically, in multiples, or as a single microdermal or skin diver style piercing. When performed as a dermal, a device called a dermal punch may be used and then a dermal anchor or skin diver inserted. For standard bridge piercings, a hollow piercing needle will be the implement, sometimes along with a needle receiving tube, cork, or cannula. Surgical pen is often used to mark the entrance and exit points to ensure straightness and proper depth, and depending on preference the piercing may be performed while the recipient is either laying down or sitting up.
Aftercare: There are many misconceptions regarding outrageously high rates of rejection and strange brain infections due to bridge piercing, and most of them are entirely false. One risk agreed upon by most piercers is the possibility in many individuals of an Erl piercing healing slightly crooked (via migration or otherwise), which can be drastically reduced by choosing an experienced piercer. For those who wear glasses, the bridge piercing is to be treated with extra care, as knocking by the glasses when being put on and off can prolong healing and germs left on the glasses may increase the likelihood of infection due to proximity. Vigilant aftercare including cleanses and soaks will also reduce the risk of migration in a properly placed Erl.
Jewelry: A standard bridge piercing may be done with a curved barbell, standard or flexible straight barbell, or a surface bar, while vertical bridge piercings will almost exclusively use a surface bar only. For dermal or “third eye” style bridge piercings, a titanium microdermal anchor with decorative ball or a single piece skin diver will normally be seen. After fully healed, some who have shallower piercings may be able to use circular jewelry like captive rings and horseshoe barbells.
Prevalence: Bridge piercing has grown substantially in popularity over the past five years alone, becoming a staple of facial piercing in youth culture, particularly amongst scene and emo groups. This type of piercing is entirely unisex, and will be called by the same names and pierced in the same places regardless of gender. It’s also worth noting that like many contemporary piercings, the first recipient of a bridge piercing was famous: body mod proponent and character actor Erl Van Aken (hence the moniker “Erl piercing”).
Location: At the outer corners of the mouth on both sides, or slightly outside the corners but still in line with the closure of the mouth.
Alternate Names: Dahlias, Joker piercings, Joker bites, double corner piercing, lip corner piercings
Piercing: Dahlia piercings are usually pierced through the flesh of the cheek just outside the corners of the mouth, rather than through the actual lip corners themselves. Like any set of two piercings performed at once, they naturally take longer than a single lip or cheek piercing to complete. These will normally be done in a 14 gauge, with those who prefer to wear micro studs generally getting them in a 16 gauge instead.
Aftercare: Due to their placement in a highly motive area and their nature as an oral piercing, Dahlias will sometimes take slightly longer than average to heal, with initial healing occurring closer to the 12-20 week mark. Aftercare is normally along the same vein as other oral piercings of the cheek, and may include cleanings, salt water rinses, and oral rinses. Because the cheeks and lips are constantly moving, the risk of migration amongst Dahlias is slightly higher than average, and can be lessened through vigilant care.
Jewelry: For the most part, stud jewelry like what would be worn in a labret or monroe is most common in Dahlia piercings. Occasionally as a matter of placement or preference, a small curved barbell or captive ring may be worn.
Prevalence: Almost half of those under the age of 30 are pierced in both the US and UK, with women comprising the greater portion of those with multiple piercings. Though it is unclear how many of those are Dahlia piercings (lip piercing in general being estimated between 4 and 10 percent), due to the association, Dahlias are almost exclusively worn on females. The name itself is a reference to the famous 1947 murder case of Elizabeth Short, dubbed by the newspapers of the era “the Black Dahlia.” Consequently, the far smaller number of young men with this piercing generally refer to it not as a Dahlia, but as a Joker piercing, referencing of course the well-known villain from Batman.