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!
This isn't a question about me, but I've always been curious. What's your current favorite piercing and what piercing do you wish you had?
Alley: Hey Kari!
My favorite piercing is my septum ring. I had one when I was younger and, for some reason, I took it out. I always regretted ditching my septum, so I eventually got it re-pierced. Now it's my absolute favorite! I didn't always love the way my nose looked, and my septum helped me feel better about myself. Jewelry-wise, I switch things up all the time, but my most-worn septum jewelry is a rose gold variation on a "teardrop" septum ring, something like this.
I'm also really proud of my stretched lobes. They are stretched to 3/4" (which is 19-20mm). I have (or had) tiny lobes, so 3/4" is a size I never really thought I'd be capable of reaching... But I was SUPER patient and made sure to size up very, very slowly using the tape-up method. I'm really happy with where they are now, and I'm proud of myself for having the patience to see it through without any blowouts! My favorite jewelry is natural stone - especially these rose quartz plugs in 3/4" size.
Last but not least, I will probably get my medusa done someday. I love the way this piercing looks - it's a statement for sure, but can still look distinguished. I would probably wear an opal-studded labret stud in my philtrum in 5/16" size, something like this.
Other than those piercings, I have a tragus earring, a double nostril and single nostril piercing, and a belly button ring. Over the years, I've taken out a pair of snake bites and a helix piercing. This was a fun question, thanks for asking :).
I'm looking to get my conch done but I've heard it's really really painful... Is that really one of the most painful piercings? I want to commit but I am scared of the sensation.
Alley: Hey Winnie!
Pain is scary, I agree... But before I answer, I just want to say that, above anything else, it's important to understand that everyone's body is different. Every time you or anyone else goes to the piercer, you'll have a different experience... So don't let someone else's opinion scare you!
That being said, speaking generally, cartilage piercings do tend to hurt a bit more than a fleshy piercing like a belly button ring or a lip ring. Some individuals report that it feels like pressure mixed with a popping sensation. Others report that thinner cartilage piercings like the helix or industrial hurt more than thicker cartilage piercings like the daith. It really does just come down to the individual in question.
Keep in mind that, even if it does sting a bit, a piercing is just a quick, pinchy procedure. It really will be over before you know it - I know you can handle it! Don't miss out on a beautiful cartilage earring just because of a few seconds of discomfort.
A few more things to keep in mind - make sure you take extra good care of your conch during the aftercare process, as cartilage piercings take longer than other piercings to heal up completely. Also, consider getting your conch done on the side you don't sleep on - this will help maximize your comfort.
My nipples have been pierced for over a year and they still get sore and itchy sometimes. When this happens I just clean them with sea salt water that the piercer recommended and it seems to get better.
I had them pierced with the plastic as I was afraid of metal reaction. However, now I am wondering if this is the problem and I should switch to something like titanium. I have yet to change the jewelry.
Alley: Hi Anna!
Nipple piercings are tricky - they do take sometimes over a year to heal up completely. Good job on the gentle salt soaks - that should help when the itchiness arises... But for sure, after over a year, you should be looking to heal up completely. Your nipple piercings could just be finicky, but I do think it might be time for an upgrade as well.
When you say "plastic," do you mean acrylic? These materials aren't inherently bad, but you could certainly adorn your piercings with something of a higher quality. Acrylic simply might just not agree with your body. If you are looking for a "better" plastic option, you should try Bioplast. Bioplast is a medical-grade plastic that is designed to work well with your body. It is flexible and should feel very comfortable in your piercings. It can also be sterilized in an autoclave, unlike regular plastics which will just melt.
If you are currently wearing Bioplast and it's still not working for you, then yes, titanium is an excellent choice. It is one of the most inert metals, meaning it is biocompatible for maximum comfiness. The best part - anodized titanium comes in a range of beautiful colors, and the colors do not affect titaniums inertness... So don't be afraid to buy something vibrant in anodized titanium (specifically, anodized TITANIUM)!
Last but not least, if your piercings go from itchy to red, sore, start producing pus, it's time to visit your professional piercer or doctor.