Piercings 101: Aftercare

September 28th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Finally, we have come to the end of our Piercing extravaganza! You’ve got the hole, you’re nursing your itsy bitsy wound and now all you have to do is recover and show it off. Too easy.

The low down on recovering:

  • “Make sure you eat healthy” said Dr. Huy Vo, a GP, “It will make it heal faster.” Boost your body with Vitamin C and Zinc so that it recovers from the shock.
  • Rejection of the piercing is more common for those who heal slower than others. If you excessively knock the jewelery, your body could start pushing it out like a splinter.
  • Since the popularity in piercings, people expect more from their body. “Bellybutton rings aren’t viewed as piercings anymore. It’s seen as jewellery and it’s not like that. Some people think that fixing a ring is like exchanging a t-shirt that’s too big. Piercings take time and effort. If you screw up, there’s no 24 hour assistance to look after it.“You’re growing skin in an area that doesn’t want to grow skin. Have some patience.” Bament sighs in frustration.
  • Never use the cheap, shiny jewellery you can get at the corner store. Your body would probably reject it. Sterling silver or gold-plated jewellery should never be used during the healing process.
  • Use a saline solution on the area (pure salt and clean water) three times a day. This gets rid of lymph fluid, that white waxy stuff similar to sleep.
  • Eyebrows and bellybutton rings are more prone to infections because of sweat and dirt. Keep these über clean with saline solution.
  • Oral piercings will get aggravated by smoking and drinking. Take this time to detox. If you have to drink, avoid hard liquor and yeast-based booze, such as beer. Strong booze will make it seem like you’re piercing is burning. Using mouthwash can make the environment worse for a tongue ring. Such high alcohol content not only stings, it also kills the healing cells.
  • Nipples are more sensitive than other parts of the body so they have a long healing process. Surprisingly, genitals heal the fastest.
  • It’s rare, but a piercing can weep for years.
  • If a piercing is uncomfortable after the healing process, it’s incorrect. Get it checked out. “If your piercing is red, hot to the touch, swollen or excreteing pus, see you General Practitioner, you could need a dose of antibiotics” suggested Dr. Vo.
  • A ring can only get caught on something if it’s too long. Those stories of ripped nipples exist because the person was fitted incorrectly.
  • Dettoll will “melt off your skin” if used more than once, warned Bament. Sure, if you’ve spilt motor oil on your piercing, make an exception but otherwise, stay away from the stuff. Iodine will also do a lot of damage, “it’ll destroy all your cells, the good with the bad, and it’s absolutely evil stuff.”
  • Don’t use anti-bacterial lotions. Soaking your healing piercing in moisture is leading it by the hand to infection. A piercer, who shall remain nameless, told me to apply Bepanthen Ointment on my fresh wound three times a day. Big no no. The piercing took twice the normal amount to heal and hurt like hell for three months. It’s fine to use on tattoos, but not piercings. Adding moisture is making a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Too much after-care can overkill the good bacteria. Not enough can lead to a messy healing process.

Remember, be informed about the decisions you make on your body. There’s a rumour going round that once you pop you can’t stop so bear that in mind. If you think you have too many piercings, just remember, Canadian Brent Moffat holds the world record of 700 piercings in seven hours. Compared to him, you’re normal.

Previously, on Little Flutters:

Piercings 101: Pain

Piercings 101: Pick an expert piercer

Piercings 101: Suit your lifestyle

Piercings 101: On the Day

Piercings 101: On the Day

September 25th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

What to do on the day of your grand piercing: In the fourth installment of our piercing know-how we cover things you should do and things you should avoid on the day of your piercing. After knowing your pain levels, lifestyle and piercer you’re now ready to pick out that spangly jewelery and stock up on the cleaning solutions. How exciting!

  • Eat beforehand. If you’re going to do something extraordinary, complete a routine first, such as eating or having a shower so you’re more relaxed. Never make an appointment after work; you don’t want that mind frame to follow you into the experience no matter how much your job rocks.
  • Ask all your questions before you’re even touched. Talk through everything. As long as you know the possible side-effects and safety risks, it’s all systems go.
  • When you’re in the room, don’t sit there like Potatohead about to have an attachment. Make sure everything is sterile to stop contamination and infections. A good piercer will open everything in front of you and explain what s/he’s doing.
  • If you’re unhappy with the marked dots on where the ring will go through or the jewelry chosen, speak up or live with consequences. You have the right to choose where you can get pierced. Make sure you get your money’s worth and be a bit assertive about the alignment.

Previously, on little flutters:

Piercings 101: Pain

Piercings 101: Pick an expert piercer

Piercings 101: Suit your lifestyle

Thanks for reading,

Tash

Piercings 101: Suit your lifestyle

September 22nd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

How would piercings effect your lifestyle? This varies according to the piercing you get and how visible it is. This post includes everything you ever wanted to ask about private and public piercings. Do you wrestle? Then don’t get your nipple pierced.  If you have a question that’s left unanswered, leave a comment and I’ll ask my lovely expert, Joel Bament of Wicked Ink.

  • A vertical clitoral hood piercing can heal in two weeks. This is because your genitals have a constant flow of blood so it heals quicker. It’s very rare for you to waddle afterwards, so no; your in laws won’t be able to tell by the way you walk. Also, you won’t accidentally get off while you’re sitting at your work desk. It isn’t an inbuilt vibrator but it can help those that have desensitized clitorises.
  • You can breast-feed with a nipple ring. The nipple has 15 milk ducts in its membrane. A ring would damage a maximum of three ducts. It is recommended that you take it out while breast-feeding so the baby doesn’t clamp down on it or swallow the bar. If you’re determined to keep it in, switch to a circular ring so it’s less likely to tear and the baby can’t remove anything. There have been some cases of milk coming from the site of the piercing during nursing, but if you have a sense of humour this shouldn’t be such a big deal.
  • Belly button rings can be kept in during pregnancy. There are flexible rings available that shift with your body. Alternatively, the piercing can be stretched by a piercer to its former self post-birth.
  • If it’s an oral piercing, you can kiss as soon as it stops hurting, so in a week or so. When eating, do it from your molars and avoid any hot or strong flavours for the first couple of days.
  • If you think you’re workplace won’t tolerate piercings, don’t get it done. You can’t take the jewellery out for long or short periods of time. Even if you’ve had it for years and remove it for one minute, this can potentially screw it up.
  • A lot of people can loose their jobs over piercings. Even piercers. Keep that in mind before you get anything extremely visible done.

Previously, on little flutters:

Piercings 101: Pain

Piercings 101: Pick an expert piercer.

Cheers,

Tash

Piercings 101: Pick an expert piercer

September 19th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

Monroe Piercing

Monroe Piercing

One thing that’s often over looked when you’re getting a piercing is where to get it and by whom. I’ve had a piercing that took triple the time to heal because I picked a tattoo parlour where I could smoke and listen to metal. Not exactly what I should have been looking out for but you get that when you’re 16. Here’s six pointers on how to know you’re getting the best expert possible.

Using the guidelines below, you can pick an expert piercer.

  • Anyone in Australia can become a piercer so it’s easy to get someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. If they’re passionate about their field, they would have completed at the least an antibacterial course. This is compulsory in Queensland but is rudimentary at best.
  • If you’re serious about getting pierced, shop around tattoo parlours. One month spent looking for the perfect parlour is better than three years recovering from a bodged-up job.
  • Pricing can change from shop to shop. The normal range is $60 to $200. If the price is unreasonably high, chances are they don’t want to do it because they’re unsure of the procedure. Ask to see a portfolio as to why they’re worth that amount.
  • On the other hand of the expensive scale, handing out an extra $20 for a friendly piercer is worth your comfort. Chat to them first. A way to check if they’re true blue is if they change jewellery post-op. Those that care about their client will.
  • If what you want to get isn’t normally available, talk to a piercer that you know. Find someone who is experienced in your specific style by asking around. There is a minority who are pretty care-free about what they’re doing to your body so it’s important to be specific.
  • “Women can be intimidated by asking for ‘private’ piercings, but if you find a professional and friendly piercer, they’ll take the time to answer all your queries” said Bament. If you want to be careful, get a second opinion from another studio.

Coming up next: How piercings effect your lifestyle, in more ways than you would think.

Stay tuned.

Previously, on little flutters:

Piercings 101: Pain

Piercings 101: Pain

September 17th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Joel Bament

Joel Bament

Despite being used for the last five thousand years, piercings are still shrouded in mystery. This should be demolished.

The earliest evidence of modifications is Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,307 year old corpse frozen between the borders of Austria and Italy. He was found with an earring still firmly clasped in his lobe. Jump to the 14th Century and visible pierced nipples was the style of the time. The Queen consort of France, Isabeau, lead the trend. I didn’t even mention the obvious: Janet Jackson.

This not-so-delicate art brings in the strangest people.

While waiting for Joel Bament, the head piercer at Wicked Ink, Australia, gaggles of girls walked through the door in fifteen minute intervals. Their loud chatter drowned out the incessant buzz of tattoo needles.

“Like, my nose ring fell out when I was asleep and I can’t get it back in.” The boisterous girl said as she disappears into the back room. When she reappears, her eyes are bloodshot and slightly puffy. Unconsciously, her hand is covering her left nostril and her eyes are to the floor. Her friends gather around her and the troops walk out.

Another flock stamps in. One is nervous so she talks loudly “I wanna get a tattoo, maybe this butterfly. It’s hot”. After ten minutes of spontaneous laughter they leave without making a booking.

The receptionist smiles a cynical smile at Mitch, a part-time piercer. I’m getting a feeling that this is their daily routine.

Joel Bament walks in and introduces himself with an open smile. When he greets you one doesn’t know what to look at first. Stretched ear lobes, silicone bumps in his cheek and forehead and at least five piercings in his face registers in a quick glance. Bament experiments each piercing on himself at least five times, with slight variations to test pain and healing times.

There are people who just do jobs and then there’s passionate people like Bament; who reads anatomy books to imagine the possible body jewelery.

I chatted to him about what people need to know before, during and after a piercing.

This post covers the topic that everyone should be concerned about, Pain.

  • “I had a big guy come in who was acting tough in front of his friends, but once the door was closed, he winced whenever I touched him, convinced that the felt-tip pen was sharp. In other instances I’ve had a sixty-year-old woman come in for four labia piercings and both nipples in one sitting,” reminisced Bament. The amount of pain can be minimised but everyone’s pain threshold is different. Stress can have an effect on your pain threshold so make sure your head is clear and you’re in a good mood.
  • Piercing guns is just bad form because it pushes through flesh using pressure causing more damage. It is also inaccurate and probably used by novices at shopping malls.
  • You have a right to ask for numbing creams if you’re getting an oral piercing such as your lip or tongue.
  • If done correctly, a belly button getting pierced should feel like popping a pimple and would be done in five seconds.
  • A discomfort similar to a bruise is common for most piercings for a couple of days. If you’re getting your tongue done, it may feel like you bit down on it really hard.

Stay tuned for the next post about choosing your piercer.

Later crazy cats.

Previously, on Little Flutters:

Piercings 101: Pick an expert piercer

Piercings 101: Suit your lifestyle

Piercings 101: On the Day

Piercings 101: Aftercare

I was a World of Warcraft Addict

September 9th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Photo by San Diego Shooter

Photo by San Diego Shooter

I started playing World of Warcraft (WOW), an online MMORPG game, so I could keep in contact with my friends. Six months later I was playing twenty hours a week.

Previous to this, my gaming experience ended at being used as target practice in Halo. Not one of the highlights of my life. I was on a university budget and a WoW subscription was cheaper than phone calls and frankly my friends don’t answer their phone when their gaming. Sad but true. I created a character after the Arthurian myth, Morgan Le Fay. She was a bitchin’ warrior. Awesome.

For about three months life was good. Things were simple. If you don’t like someone type /ignore and no matter how hard they try to talk to you ‘<insert name> is ignoring you’ will pop up in raging red. Got a crush on another person in the game? /flirt will have you saying saucy things you didn’t even need to think about. World of Warcraft was Instant Messaging with interactive games that kicks tic tack toe’s arse.

Then it got worse. I enjoyed it so much I experienced my first ‘all-nighter’ then my first ‘LAN’ (Local Area Network, where gamers congregate in the same room and play).

The LAN was my acceptance that I had an addiction. We went for a night out in the city to celebrate a birthday and ended up in an Internet Cafe playing against each other till 7am. My room started to be filled with Kill on Sight posters of characters that I hated.

It’s bullshit that only females are naturally bitchy. Mos WoWers are males or males masquerading as females. On one forum there is a secret strand flaming other players, with screenshots and vicious nicknames included. Anyone who plays their character wrong is called a ‘noob’ and bitched about when they’re not logged on in private chat or in full view.

People get harassed. People make alliances. Some people even beg for WoW money so they can buy that uber sword that matches their outfit. There’s an Ebay equivelant called an Auction House.

Just like the real world, there’s an ugly side. ‘farmers’, mainly from China, work 23 hours of the day, constantly playing the game. English speaking players learn quickly that anyone saying ‘Ni Hao’ (hello in Chinese) is a farmer trying to sell their wares. The farmers then sell their matured characters on EBay for roughly $100 a pop. It took me twenty two days and thirteen hours of play time to reach level sixty, the finished product. The last thing I would want to do is sell it for only $100. That would be a profit of 18 cents an hour, not including internet and account fees.

I bit the addiction bullet, admitted to my issue and met up with the ten online people I had been talking to for nine months. All were males, though some played females. Only one was in his late twenties, still living at home, and smoking weed because he was overweight. He was the first on my /ignore list. The rest were sun-loving, relatively normal people.

During my WoW peak, I borrowed a computer from my parents so that my then boyfriend and I could play at the same time. How romantic. We would type sweet nothings as opposed to whisper in an ear.

I could see no end to the game once they increased the levels a character could reach. I had had enough of having dreams about characters, fighting with my boyfriend about play time versus “quality” time and the pressure of putting in four hours each night.

I thought about it. I was playing twenty eight hours plus per week and wasn’t getting paid. I was putting it all this effort so I could get a computer generated item that will make it easier to kill monsters that are constantly duplicated. That pissed me off. So I quit.

Not cold turkey, of course. Slowly I weaned myself off and substituted it by reading books and talking to people. I imposed on my loved ones a restriction on WoW talk.

I still have lovely friends who after four years only take one night off. Why the break? That’s when the servers shut down.