Tongue Piercing

piercingTongue piercing is one of the most popular body piercings in the world, as well as one of the most popular body modifications in general.

It is a common piercing with both men and women.

Some sources indicate that it’s currently the fourth most popular piercing in the world.

Piercing and Placement

Tongue piercing is very old in origin. It has a history in Meso-America and East Asia. For example, it was popular with Maya and Aztec cultures, typically through religious and performance practices.

On the West, however, tongue piercing is a relatively new thing, gaining popularity only in the late 20th century, during the 1980s. This is where we observe a rise in popularity of all body modifications and tongue piercing became one of the most popular piercings. The popularity is largely thanks to the first professional body piercing studio in the US, Gauntlet.

The most common placement for a tongue piercing is one hole through the center of the tongue. This is what is considered a “standard” placement, though other variations are also possible.

Tongue piercings are usually done at 14g or 12g, depending on the piercer. Before getting your piercing done, consult your piercer to see which gauge works the best for you. Also, your piercer will help you decide on the most optimal placement.

There are many blood vessels in the tongue so it’s important to hire an experienced piercer to perform the procedure. A knowledgeable piercer will know how to identify the large blood vessels and find the safest place to pierce.

The piercing itself is performed with a piercing needle or a cannula needle after the tongue is clamped. Typically, the piercing is done from bottom to top. While this type of piercing may seem very painful, it’s actually one of the least painful body piercings in the world. Therefore, the discomfort during the procedure should not be significant. That being said, tongues are known to swell after the piercing is done, so you should expect that. However, if the swelling persists you need to contact your doctor.

Jewelry

The most common jewelry for tongue piercings are straight barbells. It is vital to choose the barbell that matches the piercing perfectly. Tongue is a sensitive body part so it’s important to ensure a perfect fit. Luckily, this is not difficult: all you need to know is the exact gauge you’re pierced with (or your current gauge, in the case of stretched piercings).

While you may sometimes hear people referring to tongue jewelry as “tongue rings”, rings are rarely used for this type of piercing. That being said, there is nothing preventing you to have a ring in your tongue piercing. There are some people who prefer rings over straight barbells, though they are recommended only for fully healed tongue piercings.

When choosing jewelry, it’s important to ensure perfect comfort. The tongue moves a lot so jewelry has to sit nicely and shouldn’t prevent any movement.

Additional Info and Tips

  • It’s interesting to note that tongue piercing was once considered unusual and even extreme, but this is no longer true. Since this is such a popular piercing there are people from all areas of life and all demographics enjoying this piercing.
  • Tongue piercing has somewhat declined in popularity in the past several years, but it’s still considered a very popular piercing.
  • Tongue piercings tend to heal fast. They can heal in about 3 to 4 weeks. This is one of the fastest healing times for any piercing.
  • Since the tongue heals fast it also means that the hole can close quickly. This is why it’s not recommended to remove your tongue jewelry.
  • Initial jewelry for tongue piercing is always made to be significantly longer, to accommodate the swelling. Once the swelling is gone you can go to your piercer to switch jewelry to the right size. It’s vital that the jewelry change is made by your piercer and not by yourself.
  • To reduce the swelling after procedure, drink cold beverages and suck on crushed ice. Avoid alcohol and spicy food.
  • Tongue piercing can easily be stretched to a larger gauge. Gauges larger than 14g will reduce the chance of migration and rejection, so there are many people stretching their tongue piercings to 10g or even 8g.
  • There are other popular placements apart from standard. Some people choose to have their piercing done to the side of the tongue instead of center. Multiple piercings are also popular. One of the most popular multiple tongue piercings are the so-called “venom bites”: two piercings placed side by side on the tongue. Also, the tongue itself is not the only part that is pierced. For example, some people have tongue web piercings.

Popularity of Genital Piercings

54tGenital piercings are often perceived as extreme and unusual piercings. For some people, the idea of having a pierced genitalia is “too much” on itself.

There are even some piercing enthusiasts who’d gladly pierce their eyebrow, tongue or even a nipple but will never consider a genital piercings.

While piercings are a personal decision that should always depend on individual tastes, it’s important to know that genital piercings are not as rare as some people think. In fact, they are very popular among piercing enthusiasts. While they are not as common as, say, navel piercings or ear piercings, they are more popular than people think.

In other words, if you are intrigued by genital piercings, go for them! You are certainly not alone in your preferences.

How Common are Genital Piercings?

There is no clear statistics on genital piercings, or piercings in general, so it’s difficult to estimate the numbers. However, anecdotal evidence and popular demand show that genital piercings are far from being rare. While they may be rare in overall population, they are popular among piercing enthusiasts.

Some sources indicate that female genital piercings are more popular than male genital piercings. At the same time, Prince Albert piercing seems to be the most popular genital piercing in the world. It’s clear that both men and women enjoy this type of piercing so if you wish to get an intimate piercing you need to know you’re not alone!

Trained Piercers

A good thing about popularity of genital piercings is that there are trained, experienced professionals who can perform them properly. With any type of a piercing, it’s vital to find a reliable studio and an experienced professional to perform the piercing. This is the only way to stay safe and have a problem-free piercing.

When choosing a piercer it’s important to find an experienced person. An experienced piercer is the one who’s not only knowledgeable about piercings in general but also in the type of piercing you’re interested in.

This is even more important when it comes to genital piercings and other sensitive piercings. Since genital piercings are more demanding and somewhat rarer than common piercings such as ear or navel piercings, it’s vital to find a piercer who is truly knowledgeable about the piercing you’re interested in.

Luckily, there are piercers specialized in genital piercings. There are also general piercers experienced with genital piercings. In other words, it’s not impossible to find a good piercer for your genital piercing. It is yet another proof of how popular genital piercings are. Again, they are not the most popular piercings in the world but they are more common than people think.

Most Popular Genital Piercings

The most popular genital piercings are:

For men:

For women:

Weights for Piercings

tongueWeights are a great way to add something extra to your piercing or a sex toy.

While it’s possible to use any sort of a weighting device to achieve the same result, it’s always best to use specialized devices made just for this purpose.

There are many different weights you can use. These small but powerful weights are made to be used on piercings and sex toys to enhance the sensation.

What Do Weights Do?

You may wonder what a small weight can do to your piercing or a sex toy. The answer is: a lot. A small weight carefully placed on the jewelry or a toy will increase the weight of the piece. This is very sensual and pleasurable, especially if used on very sensitive body parts, such as nipples or genitalia.

In many ways, heavy, sturdy toys and jewelry increase the pleasure. They put the pressure on the tissue and pull the skin, which is arousing to many people. While some of this tension can be created manually or using other devices, small weights are ideal for this purpose.

Weights made for piercings and adult toys are specially designed to be attached to jewelry or toys in numerous ways. Typically, it is done using “S” hooks or another type of hooks. Sometimes, chains and ropes are used for this purpose. Some jewelry pieces and sex toys will come with chains and hooks so they are designed with added weights in mind. The weights are small in size so they are not a nuisance while still providing that sensual feeling and added stimulation.

The best weights are made of body-friendly steel material so they are sturdy, strong and reliable. They are safe to be used on the body and they will last you for a long time.

How to Use Weights

There are many people who find this added weight stimulating, so weights can be used in numerous ways. They can be used alone or for some kinky games with a partner. That being said, it’s important to be careful when using the weights. Since they stretch the tissue it’s vital not to leave them on for too long or else you are risking tears and other damage to the tissue. Also, in case you wish to use them for piercings keep in mind that they can make piercings stretch. This is fine if stretching results is what you want but if not, be aware of the unwanted stretching weights can bring.

Just like with any other toy or jewelry, it’s important to be careful and to use weights with awareness. If used properly, weights can add a lot to your sex life and ensure that extra satisfaction you sure want to experience.

There are numerous ways in which you can use the weights. In a way, the only limit is your imagination! Here are some commons ways to use these small weights:

  • Adding Weights to Piercings. One of the most common ways to use weights is to add them to piercings, particularly those located at sensitive body places. Most people prefer to use them on nipples and genital piercings. Both men and women like to enhance the feeling by attaching weights to their genital jewelry or nipple jewelry.
  • Adding Weights to Sex Toys. There are numerous sex toys that feel much better with some added weight applied. Weights enhance the pleasure and make the area more sensitive. They are particularly great to use during BDSM and other kink games between partners. Of course, you may use weights with toys for some fun alone time.
  • Piercing Stretching. While stretching with weights is not the most reliable method and other methods are often preferred, it’s possible to stretch your piercings using weights. Once the piercing is fully healed you can add weights to the jewelry in order to stretch the piercing to a larger gauge.
  • Ball Stretching. There are many men who like to stretch their balls to achieve low-hangers. There are numerous stretching devices specially designed for this purpose. Some of these weights and stretchers come with hooks or chains so additional weights can be applied to make the effect even more pronounced. Also, there are some ball weights specially designed to accommodate additional weights. One of the most popular stretchers of this type is a Parachute Ball Stretcher. It comes with special chains so weights of different sizes can be added to it.

Most Popular Body Jewelry Types

Popular Jewelry TypesThere are many different and unique body jewelry types in the world. Body jewelry is varied and comes in many different shapes, sizes and styles.

These are the most popular types of body jewelry:

Captive Bead Rings

Captive Bead Ring, also known as “CBR”, is the most popular body jewelry style in the world. These rings are so popular that many people call any body jewelry piece “a ring”, even if it’s not a ring at all.

Captive Bead Rings are circular in shape. They have a removable ball or charm pressured by both sides to keep it in place. To open the ring one has to remove the ball, which is usually done using specially designed ring opening pliers. To close the ring, it’s best to use ring closing pliers in order to avoid damage to the ring.

These rings are widely used for almost all piercing types. They are very practical and relatively affordable, so it’s not surprising they are so popular. One downside to these rings is that it’s easy to lose the bead so it’s advisable to always carry a replacement bead in order to keep your jewelry in place.

Barbells

Barbells are among the most popular jewelry types in the world. They come in many different styles and sizes and they can be used for almost any piercing imaginable. The decorations vary significantly: some barbells are very plain and simple while the others are richly ornamented.

Each barbell has a shaft and a ball on each end. The balls are threaded to the shaft and there are two ways to make a threading. Internally threaded barbells have a ball with a threaded post and the shaft is smooth. Externally threaded barbells have a shaft with a threaded post. Internally threaded barbells are much better and safer to use.

Depending on the shape of the shaft, barbells can be divided into:

  • Straight barbells: They have a straight shaft with a ball on each side.
  • Curved barbells: They have a curved shaft. They are often used for navel piercings.
  • Circular barbells: They have a curved shaft and resemble rings that are not fully closed.
  • Spirals: These shaft have a spiral or wavy shaft.
  • Industrial barbells: They look like straight barbells, only with a much longer shaft.

Studs

Studs are relatively simple jewelry pieces particularly popular for lip, tongue and nostril piercings. Studs include a post with a decoration on one end and a flat or round base on the other end. The decoration is typically simple: a bead or a small gem. The base is often wider than the shaft to prevent the jewelry to fall out.

Studs are often worn in lip piercings, where they are known as labret studs. Labrets have wide, flat bases on the end. Studs are also popular for nose piercings, where there are known as “Nose Bones”. Studs are typically easy to put on and remove.

Ear Plugs

Ear plugs are jewelry pieces specially designed for stretched earlobes and other types of stretched piercings. They are made in larger gauges to accommodate the stretched piercing. Many of these plugs are made in organic materials, such as glass, wood, stone, horn & bone. Plugs can also be made of metals.

There are several distinctive ear plug types: double flared, single flared and no-flared plugs. Plugs without flares and those with only one flare require O rings to keep them in place.

Ear plugs should not be confused for flesh tunnels, another popular jewelry type. Unlike plugs, tunnels and earlets have a hole in the middle. Flesh tunnels also come as double flared, single flared or no flared designs.

How to Treat Piercing Infections

Infected PiercingPiercing infections are uncomfortable. While they are a common problem with body piercings it’s vital to remember that most piercings do not get infected. Proper procedure and proper aftercare will prevent most infections. It means you have to choose your body piercing studio and your piercer carefully, and it also means you should clean your new piercing regularly and perform all aftercare instructions.

That being said, infections do happen from time to time. The good news is that most of them are not serious and can be treated easily. However, it’s vital to know that infections can pose a serious risk for your health so you should always treat them seriously.

Seek Medical Help

If you think you might have an infection in your piercing, it’s best to contact your doctor. Do not try to heal yourself on your own: it’s better to seek professional medical help. Even if your doctor says it’s nothing alarming, it’s best to make sure. Similarly, do not rely on advice given by your piercer: if in doubt, always seek medical help. While piercers are knowledgeable professionals who know a lot about piercings and aftercare, only your doctor can tell you how to treat an infection and only your doctor can tell how serious a problem is. It’s always better to be told it’s nothing serious than to wait a lot until the infection is well underway.

That being said, you don’t have to rush to your doctor every time you notice any slight change with your piercing. It’s important to pay attention and observe your piercing to see how changes develop. Most problems are insignificant and can go with a bit of cleaning and extra care. That being said, your piercing should never worsen: if it becomes more tender, or painful, or red, or swollen, it’s a sign the infection is underway. Infections are serious so if your condition worsens it’s vital to seek medical help.

Keep in mind: it’s much better to take your jewelry out and lose your piercing than to endanger your health. You can always get repierced later, once the infection is cleared. You don’t want to risk your health or permanent tissue damage.

Home Remedy

There are some effective home remedies you can try in case of a mild infection. Keep in mind, however, that this is not a substitute for a medical advice and that you should visit your doctor in case your infection worsens or if symptoms persist.

Salt water works great against infections. Saline solution is the best cleaner for your new piecing, and it will also help clean your piercing if you have a mild infection. To make a salt-water soak for your piercing, simply dissolve one teaspoon of sea salt in one cup of warm water. Make sure everything is clean and sterile.

To apply to your piercing, simply soak the piercing using a cup (just like you did during aftercare) or use a clean washcloth saturated with the solution. This treatment should be done 2-3 times per day. Apply this salt solution for 10 to 15 minutes per session.

In the case of a mild infection, this remedy should help. In case you don’t notice any improvement, seek medical help.

Additional Tips

  • Avoid any anti-biotic creams or other similar products because they can easily trap any dirt inside the piercing. These creams will also prevent piercing from breathing.
  • Do not remove jewelry on your own. Once the jewelry is removed, the piercing might close, which will trap pus and bacteria inside your body. You need to let the infected piercing breathe. If jewelry has to be removed, let your doctor do it.
  • Keep in mind that infections can lead to tissue damage and other health problems. They are not a joke so you should take them seriously.
  • Never avoid to seek medical help just because you want to keep your piercing. It’s much better to heal the infection, even if it mean to retire a piercing. Once you are healthy and everything is settled you can get pierced again.

Why Are Captive Bead Rings so Popular?

Why Are Captive Bead Rings so PopularCaptive Bead Rings are among the most popular jewelry styles for piercings. In fact, they are so common that they may be considered the most popular jewelry type.

Captive Bead Rings (CBRs) are very versatile so they can be used for almost any piercing imaginable. It’s therefore not surprising that they are so common.

In fact, they are so popular that many people equate them with body jewelry of any kind. Ever heard of people talking about navel rings or eyebrow rings? While many people use CBRs for navel, eyebrow and other types of piercings, there are more common jewelry styles appropriate for these piercings. However, all these jewelry styles are often known under a collective name of “rings”. This is, in large part, due to the fact that Captive Bead Rings are so popular.

Captive Bead Rings: Design

Each Captive Bead Ring has a specific design setting it apart from any other jewelry style. A captive bead ring is typically round in shape so it makes a circle. One important aspect of a Captive Bead Ring is the opening and closing mechanism – the bead itself. Each Captive Bead Ring has a small opening to fit the bead. The bead itself it pressed by the sides of the ring, thus keeping it in place and preventing the ring to be opened. Beads typically have small indentations so the end points of the ring can fit.

A captive bead ring is typically round in shape so it makes a circle. One important aspect of a Captive Bead Ring is the opening and closing mechanism – the bead itself. Each Captive Bead Ring has a small opening to fit the bead. The bead itself it pressed by the sides of the ring, thus keeping it in place and preventing the ring to be opened. Beads typically have small indentations so the end points of the ring can fit. This is a pretty standard and recognizable design.

However, this doesn’t mean that CBRs are plain or boring. While the basic design is standard, there are many ways to make a Captive Bead Ring unique and more interesting. In fact, Captive Bead Rings are very versatile and they can be used almost anywhere. There are many different rings to use so it would be incorrect to say that these rings are “ordinary”, despite their huge popularity.

One of the best things about CBRs is how the basic design can be modified and enhanced to produce jewelry of varied styles. Some of the rings are very simple, with a plain bead of the same color as the rest of the ring. Others have beautiful beads done in many different colors and patterns. Some beads include a sparkly gem. Also, some rings include additional decorations, such as charms or chains. All these additions can make for a very decorated jewelry piece that doesn’t resemble a plain-looking Captive Bead Ring.

Popularity of Captive Bead Rings

There are numerous reasons why CBRs are so popular. Here are the most important of them:

  • They are practical. Captive Bead Rings are comfortable and easy to wear. While they take some level of practice to open and close, once you know how to do it they are very easy to use.
  • They are reliable. Captive Bead Rings are among the most reliable body jewelry types. They are not easy to get snagged on clothing and they typically don’t pose much problem for long-term wear. It makes them a very good choice for body jewelry.
  • They are versatile. CBRs can be used for almost any piercing type. Almost any piercing can accommodate a Captive Bead Ring, starting from simple earlobe piercings to some genital piercings.
  • They are beautiful. As described above, CBRs can be decorated in many different ways to achieve different looks and styles. The basic design is not a limit so there are many different styles to choose from. As a jewelry type, Captive Bead Rings are very elegant, starting from the simple, plain-looking ones to the richly ornamented pieces.
  • They are a classic. Simply put, a CBR is a classic jewelry piece used for so many piercings and in so many situations. It is not surprising that people always go back to this foolproof design.

Are Piercings about Pain?

Are Piercings About PainOne of the most prevalent (and annoying) assumption about people with piercings is that they like pain. While pain games and pain enjoyment exist, they are not necessarily related to piercings. In fact, it’s important to know that piercings themselves are rarely about the pain itself: while some people who enjoy pain do get piercings, this is not the rule. There are also many people who are piercing enthusiasts but dislike pain or are even scared of it. There is simply no rule to this.

Misconceptions

The common assumption about pain-loving people with piercings typically come from people who do not have any piercings, which is not surprising. People who don’t have piercings are less likely to understand what piercings and other body modifications are about. That not to say that all people without piercings are ignorant, but it’s less likely to have a person with piercings who holds common stereotypes about pierced people. Simply put, once you are interested in piercings you understand more why people are drawn to this type of modifications.

So, the pain thing usually comes from the place of not understanding what piercings are about. Since many piercings are painful to perform, some people conclude that it’s necessary to like pain to subject yourself to this. This sort of thinking ignores one important fact: piercings are rarely about procedure itself. They are about the result.

While there are some people who enjoy pain and might like the procedure of getting a piercing, this sort of modification is not focused on the pain itself. It is alright to enjoy pain during a procedure but it’s also alright not to like it. In fact, there are so many people who like piercings but are scared of piercing pain and piercing needles. These people strongly dislike the procedure and associated discomfort but choose to go through it for the sake of a piercing.

There are many different scenarios because there are so many different people who enjoy piercings. There is no one, unifying explanation of people’s attitudes to piercing procedure and associated pain.

Why Focus on Pain?

While pain is just a small aspect of piercing experience, it may seem strange that so many people focus on it. After all, getting a piercing done is just the beginning. This is not what piercings are about. There is also healing time and enjoying your new piercing to the fullest. There is a lot about choosing the best and most beautiful jewelry for your piercings. Some people choose to stretch their piercings. Others add weights in order to enhance the experience. There are so many ways to enjoy your piercings.

So, why so much focus on the pain? It’s simple: pain is so closely linked to piercings that it’s sometimes impossible to separate the two. After all, it’s considered impossible to get a piercing without pain. In fact, some people consider the two linked so much that they treat it as a test: if you are not strong enough to go through the pain, you are not deserving of a piercing.

While this sort of thinking is logical, it’s also important to know that many piercings are not as painful as they may seem. For example, tongue piercing is known to be relatively simple and it doesn’t cause much pain. Also, there are so many people who dislike pain but choose to get pierced anyway, and they later comment that the pain was not as bad as they thought it would be. All of these things suggest that piercings are not reserved only to people who like pain. In fact, getting a piercing by a professional piercer at a reliable studio is not the best place for those who enjoy pain, since piercers do their best to minimize clients’ discomfort. There is no much logical reason to believe that pierced people get piercings just to enjoy pain. It is just one of the misconceptions about piercings.

Piercing Shrinkage and How to Prevent It

Piercing ShrinkageKeep in mind that you should remove your body jewelry only in special circumstances. Most of the time, you will remove the jewelry only for a few moments, when you take your old jewelry out and insert a new one. This is the best way to treat jewelry removal, because new jewelry will replace the old one.

Remember: your piercing is a hole in the tissue that only jewelry keeps open. Once the jewelry is out, the piercing will start to shrink. While it often happens to new piercings you need to know that all piercings are prone to shrinkage once the jewelry is removed. Even the old, well-established piercings will shrink.

Piercing Shrinkage

In many cases, the hole without the jewelry will close completely, especially if you are pierced with a small gauge. For stretched piercings and piercings with a very large gauge, the hole might not close completely (hence, these piercings cannot be fully retired), but it will shrink.

What you need to understand is that you don’t have to take your jewelry out for a long time in order to notice some shrinkage. It depends on the piercing, but it often doesn’t take more than a few hours to notice the problem. For some piercings, such as genital piercings (especially penis piercings), this period of time is even shorter.

For this reason, you should always be careful about removing your jewelry. As a general rule, you should never remove the jewelry for a prolonged period of time unless you wish to retire a piercing or bring it down to a smaller gauge.

What if I Have to Remove the Jewelry?

There may be some situations in which you feel you have to remove the jewelry without inserting the new one straight away. Most of these things are serious and it’s not surprising that you might feel that jewelry removal is the only way to go. Some of these situations include:

  • Job and other societal situations in which wearing body jewelry is not allowed. Many people face problems with their bosses or other professional situations if they choose to keep their piercings. While some piercings can remain hidden under clothes, some piercings are “out in the open”. If your boss doesn’t allow piercings you may think your only option is to remove the jewelry while you’re at work.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnant women with navel piercings or nipple piercings often believe they will have to remove their body jewelry.
  • Airports, hospitals and other places with metal detectors. Since body jewelry will trigger metal detectors many people think they cannot wear their body jewelry in these situations. Not to mention that in some situations (X rays and some other medical examinations) metal jewelry is forbidden.
  • Sex. In case your partner dislikes your genital piercing, you might feel you need to remove your jewelry before the intimate moments.
  • Broken jewelry. Sometimes, jewelry breaks in the most unfortunate moments, when you are away from your jewelry box and cannot replace it. You might be forced to take your jewelry out immediately if it’s broken.

Solutions

While not all of the above situations allow you to keep your jewelry, it’s important to know that in many cases, you don’t have to remove your jewelry. In fact, there are numerous ways in which you can keep your jewelry or insert a substitute jewelry as an emergency.

Here are some of the simplest solutions:

  • For jobs: If your boss is against piercings, try to hide them instead of removing the jewelry. This is a good solution for all other societal situations in which you might not be allowed to show your piercings. There are many well-crafted and comfortable hider jewelry pieces and retainers you can use to keep your piercing and hide it at the same time. While they will not make your piercing invisible they are not jewelry in the strict sense of the word and will help you conceal your piercing.
  • For pregnancy: Pregnant women need to know that they do not have to retire their navel or nipple piercings. However, it will be wise to wear softer jewelry. This is where navel retainers come in handy. When it comes to nipples, a piercing will not prevent breastfeeding. However, you will want to remove the jewelry during breastfeeding to avoid the risk of the baby choking on jewelry or being hurt. However, make sure to put your nipple jewelry back right after breastfeeding to avoid it to shrink.
  • For metal detectors: The solution is simple – do not wear metal jewelry. There are many acrylic jewelry pieces, organic jewelry pieces as well as jewelry made of other non-metal materials you can try. They are generally safe and won’t trigger a metal detector. Make sure they are ok before any medical procedure, though.
  • For sex and genital piercings: This one is tricky. Many times, genital piercings are functional, which means they enhance the pleasure for the wearer and their partner, so taking the jewelry out will often invalidate the point of a genital piercing. If your partner insists, however, you can take your jewelry out during sexual intercourse but make sure to put it back right after you’re done. This is particularly important for penis piercings, since they tend to shrink pretty fast.
  • For broken jewelry: As a general rule, you should replace any broken jewelry piece as soon as possible. It means you should always have at least two jewelry pieces for the same piercing. If you are out an away from your replacement jewelry, you might try to patch your jewelry quickly, to keep it inside the piercing. These solutions are not the best but it’s better than to take the jewelry out. If the old jewelry piece is completely broken, you will have to take it out, but in this case make sure to replace it with a new jewelry piece as soon as possible. Remember: even a few hours can make the piercing shrink!

How to Clean Properly

Cleaning Your PiercingCleaning is an essential part of aftercare so it has to be performed on a regular basis. Not everyone knows how to do it properly, so here are a few quick instructions you need to follow:

Before Cleaning

  • Always wash your hands before you touch your piercing, jewelry or your skin. Make sure to wash them thoroughly and not just for a few moments. As a rule, you should spend at least 3 to 5 minutes washing your hands carefully.
  • It’s also good to wash the body part near the piercing as much as you can. This might not always be possible because the new piercing may be painful and might restrict you in some ways, but it’s best to clean yourself as much as you can before handling your piercing in any way.
  • Do not rush. While cleaning should not last for a long time, you should never do it in a hurry. You need to take your time to prepare everything properly.

Cleaning: Warnings and Precautions

  • As a general rule, you should clean your new piercing at least twice per day. Depending on your piercing, you may need to perform this routine more. For example, fresh piercings typically require a more frequent cleaning than those that are a few weeks or months old. Also, some piercings, such as oral piercings, will require more frequent cleaning. As a general rule, you should clean your oral piercings (such as tongue piercing) after each meal.
  • On the other hand, you must resist the urge to clean your piercing too often. This can bring more harm than good. Over cleaning is a bad practice that can lead to irritation and other problems. You should not clean your piercing more than 4 or 5 times per day.
  • Always use only body-friendly cleaners suitable for cleaning new piercings. Your chosen cleaner has to be strong enough to clean the piercing but also mild enough not to hurt it. Typically, a sterile saline solution is the best cleaner for a new piercing, but you may use a mild anti-bacterial soap or a reliable commercial product (such as H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray) if you know it’s effective and body-friendly.
  • Never clean your piercing with alcohol or another harsh cleaner. Also, general cosmetic cleaners made to wash face and body are not suitable for this purpose.
  • When cleaning, make sure to touch your piercing as little as possible. You should not touch the jewelry at all. Never twist or turn the jewelry during the healing process!

How to Clean

  • You need to apply the cleaner for 5 to 10 minutes per cleaning. The cleaner has to be applied in such a way to reach your piercing but without disturbing the jewelry. The goal is to minimize the contact between your fingers and the piercing.
  • Always use warm (not hot) solution for this purpose.
  • A good method to clean is to invert a cup full of solution and place it over your piercing. Leave the cup for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Some piercings cannot use the cup method, so you may use clean gauze or a paper towel soaked in the solution. If using this method, make sure not to touch the piercing much.
  • You will typically need to rinse your piercing a bit to remove any residue. When doing this, make sure not to disturb the jewelry or the piercing.
  • Dry your piercing with clean paper towels. Make sure to do it by gently patting your piercing. Never apply too much pressure. Also, make sure not to use cloth towels: they can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry.

Unwanted Stretching

Unwanted StretchingMany people wish to stretch their piercings. Stretching essentially makes the piercing hole bigger. In terms of body piercings, it means that the piercing is stretched to a larger gauge. Stretching will increase the diameter of the fistula, which means you will need to wear larger jewelry. In some cases, you will be able to wear special jewelry made for stretched piercings.

This tissue stretching is done for aesthetics and functional purposes. Some piercings are more prone to stretching and will stretch easily. For example, earlobes can easily be stretched so it’s one of the most popular stretched piercings.

However, stretching is not always done voluntarily and on purpose. It’s important to know that your piercing can be stretched even if you don’t want it to. In this situation, stretching is a problem you need to address and prevent.

What is Unwanted Stretching?

In order to understand how to prevent unwanted stretching, you need to know how stretching happens in the first place. The stretching increases the diameter of the fistula, making your piercing have a larger gauge. It also means that you will need to wear jewelry of a larger gauge to accommodate it.

Stretching is done on the tissue so it becomes elongated, making the piercing hole wider. Stretching will affect the piercing itself, as well as any surrounding tissue. In some cases, stretching can hurt the tissue and lead to damage, breakage and other problems. Even when done purposely stretching poses a risk. When it happens involuntarily it almost always leads to additional problems.

Piercings at Risk

The location and type of the piercing is very important for stretching. Some body parts will stretch more than the others, so this is where you can expect unwanted stretching to occur. Different tissue stretches at different rates so it will determine the ability of your piercing to stretch, whether you want it or not. As a general rule, some piercings can easily be stretched while others require a lot of effort to be stretched. It means that for some piercings unwanted stretching is always a possibility while you don’t have to worry about the others.

Piercings that are relatively easy to stretch are those that are typically stretched on purpose: earlobe, nipple piercing and genital piercings. Most of genital piercings are very prone to stretching. Also, surface piercings are often easy to stretch, which can lead to tissue damage since the piercing is done so close to the skin surface. Speaking of which, your navel piercing can easily be stretched even if you don’t want that to happen.

Dangers and Problems

One of the most common problems encountered with unwanted stretching is tissue damage. This is particularly problematic with piercings that are located very close to the edge of the skin. Stretching will pull on the skin, which can make the tissue become so thin that the blood has difficulty passing through it. This can lead to further problems. The tissue might die and split. Tearing of the tissue is another common problem with unwanted stretching. It’s not uncommon to encounter tissue damage, especially if you wear heavy, large jewelry.

People who wish to stretch their piercings know that it’s important to always go slowly. With unwanted stretching, the enlargement of fistula almost always occurs rapidly, which leads to tissue damage. In some cases, this damage is microscopic and will cause your piercing to hurt and become sore. In other cases, the damage is more permanent and serious.

How to Prevent Unwanted Stretching?

In order to prevent unwanted stretching, it’s vital to take a good care of your piercing. You need to keep it clean and prevent scratches, infections and other problems. However, the most important way to prevent the unwanted stretching is to choose appropriate jewelry. Your chosen jewelry should be well-crafted and made of body-friendly materials to prevent problems. Also, it has to be appropriately-sized. Jewelry that is too large and heavy will almost always cause the unwanted stretching.

You should always wear jewelry in the same gauge as your piercing. Never try to insert larger jewelry “just because”, because it can lead to stretching and tissue damage. Also, make sure not to wear jewelry that is too heavy if stretching is your concern. Weights and heavy jewelry are the easiest ways to stretch your piercing, so if this is something you want to avoid, make sure to always wear smaller and lighter jewelry pieces.

If you notice some unwanted stretching or if your piercing becomes sore, you may try rubbing it with a bit of oil and leaving it to close a bit. Good oils to use are Vitamin E, jojoba, extra virgin olive oil, avocado or emu oil. This should bring the piercing to its original size unless the stretching was too pronounced.