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PIERCINGS

DOES GETTING A PIERCING HURT?

Most piercings are just a slight pinch for a second, and most of our clients saying, “it was so much easier than I thought it would be”, or “that didn’t hurt at all”

WHAT DO MINORS NEED TO BRING TO YOUR SHOP BEFORE THEY CAN GET PIERCED?

Every minor needs to bring their birth certificate, a photo ID (such as a school ID or state issued ID), and a parent on the birth certificate must be present. The parent must have their photo ID as well.

HOW IS IT DONE?

We perform all of our piercings with single use, sterilized surgical needles. They are extremely sharp, therefore making the piercing as painless as possible. You get to watch us break open the needle package, and dispose of the needle immediately after the procedure.

CAN YOU PIERCE MY OUTIE? - NAVEL PIERCING?

It’s not recommended to pierce “outie” tissue. A normal navel piercing goes only through the surface skin at the edge or the navel, while an “outie” navel is more complex than simple surface skin; it is residual scarring from the umbilical cord. As such, an infected “outie” piercing can become dangerous quickly.

With that said, some people with outies have regular lips of surface skin above or below them-sort of a combination “innie” navel with a little outie inside. Depending on the individual shape of the navel, this surface skin may be piercable. However, this is entirely dependent upon your anatomy. Your best bet is to check with your piercer to see what’s possible.

IF I CAN'T GET PIERCE THE TOP, CAN I PIERCE THE BOTTOM? - NAVEL PIERCING

Some people have enough of a lip on the bottom that it can be pierced—but very few. More often than not the answer is “no.”

IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN PUT ON MY NEW PIERCING TO PROTECT IT? - SURFACE ANCHOR

When getting a new anchor piercing from us, our piercers will typically cover your new adornment with Tegaderm™—with instructions to keep it on for the first two to seven days. (Tegaderm™ is a clear, breathable barrier designed to protect your wound and keep it clean during healing.)

Not only will this keep the piercing clean, it will also provide a slight downward pressure—which can come in handy if the piercing is located in an area that may become snagged. Additionally, Tegaderm™ can be used for to protect the piercing during swimming, hot tubbing, saunas, or steam rooms, even after the piercing is healed. It’s available in different sizes from most drug stores.

WILL IT SCAR? - EYEBROW PIERCING

Anytime you cut, scrap, or puncture your skin there is a chance of scarring.  If you care for your piercing, scarring should be minimal (if at all) and is usually concealed beneath the hair of your eyebrow.  The more the piercing is abused, however, the more your chances of noticeable scarring increases.  If your piercing begins to migrate or grow out, take care to remove it before it gets to the surface, as that will result in further scarring. If you are left with a lump of tougher tissue or other marks, massaging the area with cocoa butter or emu oil a few times a day can help to minimize the scar.

SHOULD I USE ALCOHOL TO CLEAN MY PIERCING?

DO NOT use any type of alcohol to clean your piercing. Alcohol is not meant for internal use, and will only irritate and further complicate the healing process.

WHAT IS THE "POPPING" SOUND I HEARD DURING MY EAR CARTILAGE PIERCING?

If you are getting an ear piercing, depending on the location, the piercer may need to position your ear to push the needle or insert the jewelry. This may cause air to be trapped in the ear canal momentarily, and when pressure is released, there is a popping or crunching sound. The other cause of any noise can also occur when a receiving tube is used to cap the needle. You may hear a slight scraping noise from the needle rubbing against the inside of the tube.

MY PIERCING LOOKED GREAT RIGHT AFTER I GOT IT. IT'S BEEN A WEEK AND NOW IT LOOKS CROOKED.

Swelling can affect the way the jewelry sits in the piercing wound. We will have you check our markings before each piercing, and have you check the piercing after the jewelry is placed in the piercing to get your approval There is minimal swelling immediately after the piercing, so if you were pleased with the placement, but your piercing looks crooked a few days after the piercing when swelling is at it’s worst, give the piercing several more days to heal before making a final determination on straightness.

WILL I TALK FUNNY? - TONGUE PIERCING?

You will have some readjusting to do in the first week or so while your tongue is swollen. If you simply speak more slowly and carefully, you should be fine. (It’s sort of like speaking with a wad of gum in your mouth you’re trying to hide.) The day after getting pierced is typically the worst; by day three, at least you can fake it.

PIERCINGS

DOES IT HURT? - NIPPLE PIERCING

While this piercing does pass through thicker tissue than a few other piercings, most people-women especially-are surprised that it is not nearly as bad as they expected. Think of it as one really hard, quick bite. (Well, two actually, if you’re getting both nipples pierced.)

WHICH IS BETTER, A RING OR BARBELL? - NIPPLE PIERCING

In almost all cases barbells are recommended for initial nipple piercings, as they tend to be the easiest to heal. For men that are physically active (working out or participating in sports) barbells are much less likely to get knocked around or caught. For women, barbells are simply easier for healing and managing under bras and other clothing.

After nipple piercings are healed, rings can sometimes be worn, but they must be large enough to not unnecessarily distort the piercing. For men, this usually means at least a ½” minimum diameter. For women, this means 5/8” or larger. However, it is important to note that for many women, rings can be problematic even after healing, as suitable jewelry depends on not only size of the nipple, but breast size and nipple location on the breast.

WHEN CAN I PUT IN FANCY JEWELRY? - SEPTUM PIERCING

It seems that every year the variety of high quality septum jewelry increases, as more and more jewelers make designs in gold and other precious metals with gemstones and ornate filigree designs. While most of these pieces are too busy to be used for initial piercings, they are just fine for fully healed septums. That said, it is best to give your piercing at least two months before changing jewelry, but afterward the possibilities are endless.

WHY IS THE JEWELRY SO THICK? - NAVEL PIERCING

At Infinite, we generally pierce navels at 12 gauge.  Our experience has taught us this tends to be the best size jewelry for most lifestyles.  While it is possible to pierce, and heal, a navel with 14-gauge jewelry, you must be even more careful and conscientious with your care; the thinner the jewelry is, the more likely the piercing is to be injured, scarred or even start to migrate when caught or pulled on. The thicker the jewelry, the more internal surface area you have, and therefore the more skin you have supporting the weight of the jewelry.

Think of it this way: If you distribute weight and pressure over a larger area or over more skin cells, the area becomes more resilient and resistant and, ideally, less prone to small tearing and scarring.  It’s like carrying a heavy bag on your shoulder:  A bag with thin straps cuts into your shoulder a lot more than a bag with wide straps since the weight is dispersed more evenly. As such, thicker jewelry can give you a little more of a chance of success with healing.

CAN I CHANGE THE ENDS MYSELF? - SURFACE ANCHOR

If you want to change the ends on your anchor, it’s best to make a trip to see your piercer. When changing the ends, you need to be able to hold onto the post coming through the skin; otherwise, you can cause the tissue holding the anchor to break free at the base, causing irritation and even rejection. So stop on by the shop; we’re happy to take care of it for you, and it is better to be safe than sorry.

CAN I STILL PLUCK/WAX MY EYEBROWS? - EYEBROW PIERCING

While you shouldn’t be too hard on the area right around hole during the healing process, you can still wax, pluck, or shave your eyebrows, provided you are both cautious and careful and work around the piercing. Once your eyebrow piercing has fully healed you can temporarily remove the jewelry, wax or pluck the area, and then put it right back. (Just be careful to leave it out as short a time as possible; if you can leave it in, do.)  During this process, you should also be sure to wash your hands and keep the jewelry clean.

CAN'T I JUST GET PIERCED WITH A GUN AT THE MALL?

Getting pierced with a piercing-gun is very unhealthy for your body. A piercing-gun inflicts blunt trauma force to the body (sort of like trying to punch a hole through your arm), which increases the chance for infection and an unpleasant healing process. ALL piercings should be performed with a hollow, surgical steel tri-bevel needle. This will alleviate the problem of “blowout” (having a volcano-like build-up of flesh around the exit hole of you piercing) and decrease chances for infection.

The first such problem is the risk of contracting disease. Most guns have plastic parts which cannot be properly sterilized, giving rise to the possibility of spreading bacterial infections, such as those suffered recently by a group of people in Oregon after getting pierced at a mall, or more serious blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and C.

The second problem has to do with the shape and composition of the jewelry itself and the force applied by it to the earlobe (or any body part), making healing difficult. These guns were first manufactured to tag livestock, and inflict unnecessary blunt trauma to the tissue. The studs used by the guns have clasps, which trap bacteria and which, when combined with the too-short post used by the jewelry, compress the tissue. This does not allow for any swelling, makes cleaning the site difficult, and reduces the availability of oxygen to the wound. In addition, the metal used for most of the gunned jewelry is of inferior quality and may inhibit healing by causing contact dermatitis or nickel allergies.

The best and safest option for any piercing, including earlobes, is to patronize a professional body piercer. These individuals have the proper training to perform safe piercings, unlike most physicians, and certainly unlike the poorly trained clerks piercing people in malls. Professional piercers observe proper sterile procedures, use a single-use, sharp needle that does not damage tissue, and good quality body jewelry made specifically for safe and speedy healing.

SHOULD I ROTATE MY JEWELRY DURING THE HEALING PROCESS?

Contrary to popular belief, it is best to leave your jewelry alone while your piercing is healing. Therefore, we do not recommend the jewelry or continually rotating it. A piercing is a puncture wound so it heals from the sides of the piercing towards the center. Excessive moving of the jewelry in the piercing can tear the new tissue that is healing.

WHAT DOES REJECTION MEAN?

Rejection is when your body treats your jewelry as an irritant and decides to push it out of your body, or “reject” it. (This is the same way your body deals with a splinter or glass shard embedded in the skin.) With anchors, one of the warning signs of rejection is a thinning of the tissue around the post—i.e., the skin becomes red and shiny as the anchor begins to move toward the skin’s surface. Another sign is when the anchor starts to sit at an angle; in late stages, the base of the anchor will actually become visible, even to the point of the foot poking up through the skin. Once the anchor starts to reject, it should be removed promptly to minimize scarring.

Be aware that surface anchors can reject anytime, even after they are fully healed, and often some sort of trauma (like snagging them) will start this process. So be mindful, and baby your anchor as much as possible.

DO I HAVE TO BUY A WHOLE NEW BARBELL AFTER HEALING?- TONGUE PIERCING

You will need to switch to a shorter post after healing. Once all the swelling is gone and you are fully healed (about 4 weeks), you should change your jewelry to something that fits more snugly to your tongue. A smaller barbell usually makes it easier to talk, easier to hide, and makes it less likely that you will damage your gums or teeth.

HOW LONG UNTIL I CAN CHANGE MY JEWELRY? - NOSTRIL PIERCING

Wait at least six months. Nostril piercings are not very forgiving if you try to change the jewelry too soon. Not waiting long enough could result in irritation, a tear to the piercing channel, scarring, an increased risk of infection, or difficulty reinserting the jewelry. Make sure you get pierced with jewelry you like and wait until it’s fully healed to change it.

WHY CAN'T I GET A REALLY TIGHT FITTING RING? - NOSTRIL PIERCING

Rings tend to be troublesome during healing, so we will almost always recommend healing with a post. Allow your piercer to recommend a fit and style for you, your nose, and your lifestyle; you can always switch to something more snugly once the piercing has fully healed.

PIERCINGS

WHY DOES MY PIERCING STINK? - SEPTUM PIERCING

Your skin secretes natural oils and constantly sloughs off dead skin cells, and the skin on the inside of your piercing is no different. This discharge tends to collect around your piercing and on your jewelry, and while this happens with every piercing, it just tends to be a lot more noticeable when it’s right under your nose! Don’t fret, though: regular, thorough cleaning of your piercing and jewelry should take care of it.

CAN SMALL OR INVERTED NIPPLES BE PIERCED? - NIPPLE PIERCING

Almost any nipple can be pierced, including small and inverted ones. As long as your nipple stands erect when it is played with or becomes cold, it can be pierced. With smaller nipples, you may need smaller initial jewelry, but nipples often grow once pierced so the piercing can usually be stretched after healing-increasing the size of the nipple as well. However it is important to note that if your nipples are so flat or inverted they do not come up even when tweaked or cold, piercing the nipple is sometimes not recommended, as the jewelry is more likely to migrate forward or grow out over time.

DOES IT HURT? - SEPTUM PIERCING?

Septum piercings are usually not a difficult piercing to sit through. The needle (and then jewelry) passes through the thin, soft piece of skin towards the tip of your nose, between the cartilage and the thicker, rigid skin below it. Most people describe it as a strange sensation, one that makes their eyes water and makes them feel like they need to sneeze, but not one that is especially painful.

WILL I BE ABLE TO BREASTFEED AFTER I HAVE MY NIPPLES PIERCED? - NIPPLE PIERCING

Having your nipples pierced will not impede you from breastfeeding. However, you want to make sure your piercings are well healed beforehand. Also, be sure to remove your jewelry before breastfeeding, as it can be a choking hazard for infants

WHY DO NAVELS TAKE SO LONG TO HEAL?

The skin being pierced around the navel is not very vascular—meaning there is very little blood flow to the area. The less blood flowing to an area, the slower the healing tends to be. Due to its location, the piercing is also subjected to constant bending, stretching, folding, and friction. Both of these things contribute to a long healing process—anywhere from six months to a year.

With such a prolonged healing time, navel piercings are also more likely to develop problems during healing. While a properly treated piercing may never give you problems, a wound that is healing for up to a year has a much greater chance of getting irritated—or even infected. To prevent this from occurring, keep yours (and others) hands, mouths, and bodily fluids off of it during the healing process.

HOW DO I TAKE IT OUT? - SURFACE ANCHOR

Removing an anchor is best left to your piercer. We’ll typically grab the post with an anchor tool, massage the anchor through the skin to loosen the grip of any tissue on the anchor, and then pop out the foot of the anchor with a quick tug.

DO YOU HAVE TO TRIM OR SHAVE MY EYEBROW TO PIERCE IT? - EYEBROW PIERCING

We can pierce any sort of eyebrow: from big, arched, “drag queen” eyebrows to bushy, “Groucho Marx” style, so no extra cutting or shaving is required. If you already shave off your eyebrows and draw them on, just be aware that the piercing will be where the brow normally is, and not necessarily where you draw it.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PIERCING IS INFECTED?

The first thing to keep in mind is that the first few weeks of any piercing are the most difficult. Normal signs of healing you may experience are redness around the piercing, swelling, and tenderness around the piercing site and drainage from the piercing wound that is clear to pale yellow or whitish in color. Other normal healing issues that can occur are healing bumps, which are caused by drainage that has become trapped under the skin. They generally appear as bumps or “pimples” next to the piercing wound.

While a piercer cannot diagnose an infection, we can tell you that the signs of an infection are generally a green or bloody discharge from the piercing wound, the piercing wound itself feels hot to the touch, the piercing wound is more painful than when it was pierced or you have an unexplained fever. If you feel like you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s recommended that you visit a doctor as soon as possible.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO HEAL?

That depends. Each area of the body has its own unique healing period and process. Oral and oral/facial piercings tend to heal fastest, while others tend to heal a bit slower. Also, every individual body heals and reacts to piercings in an individualized manner. So, your friend may have tackled an entire pizza a few days after getting a tongue piercing (which is not recommended) while you, on the other hand, may still be spoon feeding yourself ice cream and soup after waiting the same amount of time. A general guideline for approximate healing times is as follows:

  • Cheek: 2-3 months
  • Cartilage: 2 months-1 year
  • Earlobe: 6-8 weeks
  • Eyebrow: 6-8 week
  • Genitals: 4 weeks-6 months
  • Labret: 6-8 weeks
  • Lip: 6-8 weeks
  • Navel: 6 months-over 1 year
  • Nipple: 2-6 months
  • Nostril: 2 months-1 year
  • Septum: 6-8 weeks
  • Tongue: 4-6 weeks

WHAT CAN I EAT WHILE IT'S HEALING? - TONGUE PIERCING

Because of swelling, eating may be uncomfortable for the first couple of days. During this time, try not to eat anything that further irritates the areas, such as solids, tough, crunchy, or hot (spicy or in temperature) foods. It is best to stick with foods that are softer and do not involve much chewing. Chilled smoothies are always a good idea.

WHY DOES MY JEWELRY STICK OUT? - NOSTRIL PIERCING

Nostril screws are initially bent to fit your nose and your piercing during the healing process. This means that the jewelry, at first, will be slightly larger in order to accommodate for swelling. This may cause the screw to protrude from the base of the nose. Press-fit barbells must also be longer initially, to account for swelling.

If you find your nostril screw sticking out, or the ends flips down after getting the piercing, give it a week; this will often resolve itself. If the jewelry is still loose and uncomfortable after that time, stop in and see your piercer. They can sometimes tighten the nostril screw without removing it so that it will better stay in place but will still allow for healthy healing. Once the piercing is completely healed, you can have it bent for the perfect close, custom fit you are looking for, or go for a shorter post altogether.