Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get and the answers to the question. If you have further questions you need answered you can ask them on the form at the bottom of the page.
At, The Piercing Shop, your health and safety are our priorities. We use aseptic techniques which means: We use fresh gloves for every piercing. We use a new sterilized needle for every client. You will see the package opened in front of you, and the needle disposed of immediately afterward. All tools and instruments that are not disposable, such as forceps and tubes, are cleaned, disinfected and autoclave sterilized before use on each client. All jewelry is individually packaged and autoclave sterilized before insertion into any new piercing. Jewelry which cannot be sterilized (i.e. acrylic, bone, wood) is never inserted into a new piercing, and is thoroughly disinfected before being inserted into a healed piercing.
An autoclave is the same device used in hospitals, by doctors and dentists to sterilize their equipment. Autoclave sterilization is the only way to ensure that all equipment is properly sterilized and safe to use on you. Autoclaves achieve sterilization through the use of intense steam heat and pressure over an extended period of time.
Not nearly as much as you might think! . In fact, the actual piercing is so brief that the worst part is the preceding mental anxiety and fear. And, no matter how the piercing felt, almost everyone who gets pierced can't help but smile when it's over. Piercing is not a painless experience, but pain is completely relative to the individual and the pain incurred during a piercing is nothing that the average person can't handle. Remember: the piercing process only lasts a split second.
We perform all of our piercings with single use, sterilized surgical needles. They are extremely sharp, therefore making the piercing as painless as possible. We will break open the needle from its sterilization package, and dispose of the needle immediately after the procedure. Then depending on what piercing you are getting your piercer will tell you all the steps to the procedure before we perform it.
You must bring state or federal issued photo ID that has your birthday on it, such as a drivers license, military ID, or passport. It is California State Law, that we cannot perform piercings on anyone without a copy of their ID on file. Eat something substantial an hour or two before getting pierced. This will help support your blood sugar level. Avoid alcohol, aspirin, excessive caffeine, and all recreational drugs for 24 hours beforehand.
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.
For the first month it is a good idea to avoid swimming unless you can cover your piercing with a Tegaderm patch bandage. This is a clear, adhesive, water proof bandage that can be comfortably worn on some piercings, such as navels with curved barbells, and nipples. It can usually be found at most pharmacies. Of course, if it’s a facial piercing, just avoid submerging it.
A bandage is not going to help heal your piercing faster, so if that’s why you would want to bandage it, don’t. If the bandage is to hide the piercing, be sure that the bandage is not holding the piercing down, and that the adhesive is not getting on the piercing or jewelry.
No. We never use a piercing gun. There are several reasons why we do not use ear piercing guns for any type of piercing. First, there is no way to sterilize piercing guns. Most guns are made of plastic and will melt under the extreme heat and pressure of an autoclave (the piece of equipment used to sterilize implements) and chemical sterilization has not been proven to kill all blood borne pathogens; this is extremely dangerous since fluid micro-spray (microscopic particles of tissue, blood and other body fluids) might be present on the gun after a piercing. Second, guns are considerably more painful than a piercing needle because guns use the blunt end of the jewelry to do the piercing – actually tearing the skin, traumatizing the area, and complicating healing. Third, since both the instrument and the jewelry were designed for earlobes, they are not compatible with other areas of the body, increasing the risk of infection and further complicating the healing process. Fourth, standard piercing gun studs are usually made of a poor quality metal that can cause additional complications. Lastly, the jewelry is poorly designed in that the backing traps and collects waste, hair and debris, holding it against or close to the piercing. This is far from an ideal healing environment.
For those over 18, a valid government issued photo ID is required.
We do this to protect ourselves and the minor.
FOR PIERCING MINORS
- We require the minors Birth Certificate, the only exception is if you have a Certified copy of Articles of Guardianship Papers.
- We require that the parent or legal guardian have a valid government issued photo identification. The last name of the parent or guardian MUST be the same as the minor, or legal documentation as to why they are different.
- The minor being pierced MUST ALSO have photo identification; this can be a passport, drivers license, military ID or a certified birth certificate, accompanied by a school ID or a photo in a yearbook.
We do this to protect ourselves and the minor.
Infections are generally the result of improper aftercare. If you follow the aftercare instructions given to you, infections are very rare. Avoid over cleaning or under cleaning, stick with what the guidelines say and you will avoid an infection.
Tips are never expected, but always appreciated. Piercing is a service and if you were happy with the service you received, yes tipping is appropriate.
Basically, treat your piercing like what it is: a wound. Would you play rough sports or have rough sexual encounters if you were wounded? Would you irritate a wound that is trying to heal? You should treat your fresh piercings as gently as possible--at all times, at all costs. This will insure that your body is healing your new piercing at the fastest rate possible. And always remember to wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap before touching your healing piercing.
This time period can vary from person to person. There are two things to consider: the initial and full healing periods. The initial healing period is that time when the body creates a nice layer of skin between you and the starter jewelry. The full healing period is when the new piercing is entirely healed. Now, when deciding how long to wait before changing your jewelry you have to remember that you don’t want to reopen the wound. This will delay your healing process and require intense aftercare to prevent possible infection. And when you change your jewelry you are going to irritate your new piercing—no matter how gentle you are. So, my advice is to wait until the piercing is no longer tender (meaning, you can play with your piercing without experiencing ANY discomfort). At this point you can consider changing your jewelry. However, use as much care as possible when changing your jewelry for the first time!
Yes. While all piercings will make you more aware of the pierced area, there are definitely some piercings that heighten sensitivity more than others. Typically, these include the tongue, nipples, and genitals. As a piercer I have heard everything from “erotic stimulation” to “instant orgasm.” Now, I cannot guarantee that one of these three types of piercings will make you shudder in sexual or sensual delight; but, I will say that I have never heard anyone say that one of these three types of piercings did not enhance sensitivity.
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.
It's a good idea to wait at least 3 times as long as the healing period before attempting to stretch. This is a general rule, so sometimes you can go faster, sometimes slower. It's always a good idea to consult with your piercer to see if your piecing is ready, and let your piercer do the stretching as the right tools for the job make it a lot easier. Patience is a virtue, stretch at a pace your body can handle.
First, make sure that you are NOT using Bactine, alcohol, or Neosporin. The largest amount of complaints come from those who use these products to heal their piercings. Second, make sure that you are only using antibacterial or antimicrobial soap and sea salt to clean your piercing. Remember, piercings such as the navel and nipples tend to get irritated easily because they are in active areas of the body. So be careful not to pull on your jewelry while the piercing is still healing. If you have further concerns, come visit your piercer and show it to them.
The bump that appears to be scar tissue is just that, scar tissue. This is not too uncommon. It is usually caused from mechanical stress or too much movement. I would suggest that you get your barbell downsized and that alone should alieviate the irritation.
As long as there is no complications during the healing process, and/or obscene amounts of scar tissue, the piercing will close. It may leave the reminents of discoloration, but that too will fade over time.
"Yes" to these could indicate a follicular cyst. Something is stuck inside the piercing or a pore or follicle near the piercing is blocked. Hot soaks should take care of it very quickly. You can also sit in the shower running hot water on the spot for ten to fifteen minutes.
"Yes" to these could indicate a chemical reaction. Simply stop using your cleaning agent and try saline soaks. Results should be almost instant. You can also switch to a ph nuetral soap.
"Yes" to these could indicate constriction, that your jewelry is too tight. A larger diameter should fix the problem. See your Piercer.
"Yes" to these could indicate a keloid do to irritation or friction. Is the jewelry to long? Are your clothes rubbing a lot? Are you physically active? See your Piercer to find a solution…it may take time to find a comfortable solution.
No matter how much valuable information you may find on the Internet, there is no substitute for a visual diagnosis -- which can be given best by your piercer. If you are uncomfortable with your piercer's opinion in any way, please consider visiting another piercer in your area. If you still feel uncomfortable, please visit your physician. Keep in mind, though: some doctors are knowledgeable about piercings and some are not.
AYou should massage the tissue while you're in the shower letting very hot water run over it and help break up the scar tissue, stimulating new skin growth.
You should massage the tissue while you're in the shower letting very hot water run over it and help break up the scar tissue, stimulating new skin growth. Try dabbing a small amount of Tea Tree oil on the piercing once a day before you go to sleep. If you have an allergy to the Tea Tree Oil you can use Vitamin E Oil.
The proper mix of saline creates a .9% saline solution...very close to your body’s natural make-up. But the difference is that the saline PH is slightly lower than your body. The body always wants to balance PH, so the body "pushes" into the soaking cup, actively cleaning the piercing. So, not only does the warm saline soften the tissue, draw out the debris, draw blood to the area, but the body is actively pushing as well.
Don't use tape! Do find a rubber band to wrap around the open end. It is a really good idea to have spare jewellery in a small baggy on you just in case you are to lose a part (or the entire thing) of your jewellery.
Migration is when a piercing begins to move through the flesh because the body is trying to force it out of the skin and get rid of it. In some cases, the body only partially succeeds, and the piercing “migrates” so that it ends up being crooked or misaligned. Rejection is a more severe form of migration. When the body completely forces a piercing out of the body, it is called a “rejection,” because the body has completely rejected the piece of jewelry, basically “pushing it out.” This is because any piercing jewelry is a foreign object that the body sees as an invader to be gotten rid of, especially if the piercing is poorly done so that the jewelry aggravates the skin tissues.
You should never feel rushed after you have had a piercing. Some people can feel shaky or their new piercing could feel slightly ‘strange and new’ so take the time that you need to feel comfortable to move. Tell your piercer if you feel unwell or faint; don’t be embarrassed you won’t be the first! Some new piercings can take a couple of days to settle and look like they belong, especially if there has been some swelling, be patient.
Sometimes yes a new piercing will bleed. A small amount of bleeding the first day or two is not uncommon especially when you are cleaning your piercing. Sometimes there can be bruising to the tissue around the piercing site which causes discoloration to the skin, but this isn’t usually anything to worry about.
If you have a rash, burn, broken skin, or sunburn in the area that will be pierced, you must wait until the skin has healed before you can receive the piercing. It is possible to pierce through scar tissue (to re-pierce an area where you used to have a piercing, for example), but the scar must be completely healed. If you remove a piercing and wish to re-pierce the area, in most cases you should wait one to two months after removing the jewelery for the old piercing to fully heal.
Be honest about any health concerns, your piercer is a professional and has a responsibility under data protection to work in a confidential manner. Be honest if you do not like the position your piercer has suggested for your piercing. It is your piercing, take the time to look at where the potential piercing will be sited, for example with facial piercing smile/frown/pout etc. with body piercings stretch and twist etc. Keep calm, try and relax, take a deep breath and slowly let it out as the piercing takes place. Tensing up can cause some difficulties with piercing certain areas e.g. Nipples. Follow the aftercare given to you by your piercer; whilst friends and relatives can be well meaning and may consider themselves an expert because they also have a piercing your piercer is in the best position to advise you. Eating an hour or two before the piercing will help to keep you from becoming nauseous or faint after the piercing.
Peroxide, alcohol, Bactine, Betadine, Hibiclens, Soaps containing perfumes or dyes, ointments (like neosporin), ear piercing “cleaner” solutions, and any other products containing benzalkonium chloride.
NO. You never ever twist/move jewelry in a healing piercing. Twisting/playing with jewelry welcomes unwanted bacteria/crusties, it tears/destroys the fistula, it prolongs healing time, it can cause excess scar tissue, and it increases your chances of infection. Do NOT mess with jewelry.
Rings don’t lend themselves well to supporting MOST healing piercings. Rings put pressure on the piercing (you’re putting especially curved jewellery in a straight hole). Rings also have more scope to move about, which means they can drag dried blood, crusties, bacteria back into the fistula and cause more irritation due to dried blood and crusties being sharp, which will damage the healing cells.