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 :).
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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!
Thank you so much for doing this every week and offering up amazing advice!
I was wondering about the size of jewelry for my Medusa piercing. It is fully healed and I want to wear jewelry that is a close fit. The bar currently in is a 5/16, but I still have a bit of room. Would going down another size work or would it be too short?
Alley: Hi Molli!
Congrats on your healed medusa! That one is definitely on my short list... But I'm currently using invisible aligners on my teeth, so a piercing there is a no-go for me there, at least for the near future.
As far as your medusa stud goes, a size down from 5/16" would be a 1/4" stud. I think the 1/4" size could be exactly what you're looking for... But at the same time, I don't have a picture of you, your lip, or your piercing, so I can't tell for sure. Try the 1/4" studs out - you might find that it fits just a little too tight, in which case, you can swap back to the 5/16."
Since you're completely healed up, there's a really low chance that trying on a piece of jewelry that's too small is going to injure you - you'll know right away if it's not the right fit for you. Find a piece you're excited about and try it out - just be gentle and use a bit of saline or vitamin e oil for lubricant if you're worried about it.
Don't forget that if you're too nervous to change things out by yourself, you can always have a professional piercer help you with a resize (assuming your area is willing/able to perform procedures underneath a mask).
I just turned 16 a couple weeks ago, and my mom and 2 aunts want to take me to get my belly button pierced and get me rose sleeve started. Do you have any recommendations for cleaning the piercing and taking care of the tattoo?
Also, how bad do tattoos hurt?
Alley: Hey Brady!
Happy belated birthday! That sounds like quite the birthday celebration. Here's what I think:
Since you are a minor, It's important to do a little bit of research before you head out to the piercing shop. Piercing laws differ from state to state, so make sure your state allows piercings on minors (most states just require parental supervision). You might find that some piercing shops don't pierce minors on principle - it's worth a phone call before you drive out.
I just want to remind you that I'm not a professional piercer and my advice shouldn't be taken as such (if you go to a good piercer, they will give you plenty of piercing aftercare tips), but my suggestion is to make sure you make every effort to give your belly ring time and space to heal up correctly. No bumps or snags, no poking or prodding, no unnecessary pressure (sleeping on it), no swimming in ponds, lakes, streams, pools, or hot tubs, and definitely don't change it out too early (think six months to a year). Keep it clean with one gentle salt soak once a day.
As far as tattoos go... It depends on where you're getting them (on your body), who is doing the tattoo, and your personal pain tolerance. I found that my arm was pretty manageable pain-wise, but gets a little extra pinch-y around my elbow ditch. It kind of feels like a cat scratch on a sunburn. Again, just like piercers, tattoo artists should be giving out extensive aftercare tips when it comes to tattoo aftercare... In general keep it clean with good general hygiene while being sure to keep any harsh chemicals, scented soaps, or ointments off of it.
Last but not least, remember that tattoos and piercings are both technically open wounds. If you get a lot of procedures done on the same day, it may complicate your healing time overall. Remember, each one of your mods deserves time, attention, and expertise... The long term health of your piercings is more important than getting them all done at once!
I have gotten into the body modification stuff a little later in life but I have really enjoyed it. I currently have a septum piercing, a conch piercing, a daith piercing and both nipples done and I love all of them. I also had an industrial piercing which I got last year which was my favorite. In March, I had to take it out because it was rejecting.
The question is: How long does it normally take to heal a rejected industrial piercing. It was just the top entry point; the lower one was quite healthy. I have heard everything from 3 months to a year. I had a piercer look at it in June and he said it wasn't ready yet which I agreed (that's when I got my conch piercing).
Thank you for doing what you do! I will talk to you soon.
As far as your industrial piercing is concerned, I think that three (3) months sounds a little bit short... Six (6) months (at the absolute earliest) to a year seems to be the sweet spot, and it really just depends on your individual anatomy. You mentioned that you got into piercing a "little later" in your life - so your age may complicate your healing time as well.
Remember that your industrial piercing is a cartilage piercing - cartilage piercings take a long time to heal up, even without a complication like a rejection. My suggestion - be patient until your pro-piercer tells you its safe to try the piercing again... The long term health of your next (hopefully successful) piercing will be totally worth it.
One last thing: do you know why your industrial rejected? Industrials can be tricky, so as you go into your piercing next time, make sure you give it plenty of space to heal up. No hats, headphones, hoods, headbands, or anything that can will put any extra stress or pressure on your industrial bar. And definitely make sure you're not sleeping on it!