Dear Alley is our weekly advice column for pierced, inked, and amazing individuals (and everyone else too!) who might need a nudge in the right direction. Relationships, mods, or whatever, Alley's got you covered :).
Do you have a question for Alley, submit it to DearAlley@bodycandy.com for your chance to get featured!
Disclaimer: Body Candy is only here to give you fun and helpful advice and information when it comes to getting pierced. Always consult a professional piercer to make sure a new piercing is right for you!
[Can a] nose piercing get larger? My nose ring seems to move more than it use to.
Alley: Hey Cheryl!
Yes! A nose piercing can indeed grow larger, even after multiple years. I do think you should consult a professional piercer about this in-person (disclaimer: I am not a professional piercer), but let me ask you a bunch of questions first:
Is your nose ring a hoop or a stud? Is your hoop so tight that it is actually putting pressure on your piercing because it is too close to your nostril? Have you been tugging or poking at your jewelry at all? This can certainly irritate your piercing, and thus cause it to grow in size.
Are you sure you are wearing the right gauge of jewelry? If you were pierced with an 18g piercing needle and you are trying to wear a 20g nose ring, you might notice that the hole is just slightly bigger than the piercing itself.
Have you been practicing good aftercare? It's important to clean your piercings once a day with a salt soak, especially if they are still healing up. An upset piercing can certainly show its anger by growing in size.
If you are struggling with your nose piercing, you can always try one with a more secure fit. An L-shaped or twister nose ring is a great way to influence a good fit inside your nose. You could also invest in a fishtail nose ring, which can be customized by a professional to fit your anatomy perfectly.
These are just a few simple questions that might point you in the right direction, but without seeing your nose, your piercing, or your jewelry, it's hard to know exactly how to help further, Cheryl!
A piercing that is increasing in size might be a sign of irritation or infection, so like I said above, my best advice would be to consult a professional piercer for an in-person consult. They are most qualified to give the best advice when it comes to making sure your nose ring is happy and healthy!
I have a question that others may be curious about too. When switching from nipple barbells to rings is it easier to go to a horseshoe in between?
P.S. Love the club pieces!
Alley: Hi Kim!
Glad to hear you're loving being a part of our Monthly Club! :)
In terms of nipple piercings, this one just comes down to personal preference and individual anatomy. Nipples come in all shapes and sizes. For some, potentially those with larger nipples, a barbell is going to give the best fit. For others, it won't make a difference either way if you wear nipple horseshoes, nipple shields, or anything else... As long as it feels comfy on/in your body!
I think the biggest thing to keep in mind here is making sure you're ready to "transition," aka, you've totally healed up your piercing before you try to swap it out. Once your nipples have healed up completely (think around a year's worth of heal time), you should be able to swap out to any new jewelry, anatomy permitting!
Thank you in advance for your time. Many years ago I had my eyebrow pierced and had a really long spike in which I loved. Hung down in front of my eye it was that big. I had it for that many years, and over a long time, you could see more and more of the bar between the spikes because the skin was shrinking. Then one day, I held it and it just pulled straight out because the skin holding it was so small.
Just last year on the 5th of December, I got it re-pierced on the same side, but a little to the left. Its only been one year since getting it pierced, but this time it has been irritated and red, sometimes with pus, and now the skin has shrunken so much already and showing a lot of the bar where at first you could only see the spikes and its only been a year. I fear its not going to last much longer before the skin is so small and it just pulls out. Not sure what is different this time, but I think its too late to keep this in. I have bought a titanium ring from your shop and still waiting for it to get delivered, but my question to you is....
If I use the titanium bar and if my current spikes can screw onto that bar, will I continue to have the same problem or will it be fine as the titanium bar is what's going though the skin? Just worried the spikes still being up against the skin will irritate it.
The spikes I got from you are great but tiny and my big spikes really define me, so I really want to keep them because I can't find any anywhere that come close.
This is my spikes now just one year after piercing, although its not the same bar I was using. The first bar was longer, but after so long you could see so much of the bar so I swapped the spikes onto this smaller more curved bar because there is less skin then at the start of the year, but now even this smaller bar is starting to show some of the bar. Won't be long before the skin gets smaller and rips out again.
Alley: Hey Allen!
This is an interesting question, thanks so much for sending it in!
I agree, your spikes are certainly a statement piece, and I can see how they'd come to define you and your aesthetic over the years. It can be borderline devastating to lose a piercing, especially one as prominent as yours. My sincere condolences.
As far as eyebrow piercings go, they tend to be finicky mods in general. As surface piercings, they are prone to rejection - there just isn't a ton of anatomy for the piercing to stay rooted inside. Any sort of bumps, snags, or agitation can set them on a path to rejection, no matter what you do to protect it.
I want to say out loud (proverbially) that I am not a professional piercer (and for a professional take, you should certainly consult one), but here's my thought. I think titanium would be a good move for anyone - it is very inert and biocompatible, which makes it a comfortable option for any piercing... But I also think that your piercing is in the process of rejecting, and it might be too late to save it at this point.
There is a chance that your spikes are also simply too heavy for your piercing. Since you mentioned you got this piercing a "long time ago" I'm assuming you're not a 20 year old with a fresh piercing! It could be that these unique mods are indeed putting too much stress on your piercing, which is causing them to reject slowly over time.
I wish I had a better answer for you Allen! My best advice at this point is to go to a pro-piercer and ask again if there's any way you'll be able to salvage your eyebrow piercing. Although titanium is an excellent start, they are the most qualified to give you advice on how to proceed further.