This is information is designed to enlighten you to research based knowledge.
How clean is the procedure?
Performing piercings in a safe, clean, and responsible manner is our highest priority. We use aseptic technique to perform all piercings. This means that:
We wear disposable gloves for the preparation and disposable sterile gloves for the piercing itself.
Needles are autoclave sterilized and always disposed of after only one use. We do not reuse needles under any circumstances.
Any implements that are not disposable, such as forceps or receiving tubes, are autoclave sterilized between use on each individual person.
We never use piercing guns, not even on earlobes, because they cannot be adequately sterilized, can spread disease, and increase your chance of infection.
Jewelry is autoclave sterilized before it is inserted into any piercing, new or healed.
Please ask us for a copy of "A Piercee's Bill of Rights" for additional information. It contains the guidelines suggested by the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) to maintain standards of safety for piercing procedures. The APP is an international nonprofit organization set up to promote health and safety standards within the body piercing industry and to open the lines of communication between piercers. All piercers at the Piercing Experience studio are active members of this organization. You are always more than welcome to see our sterilization facilities and spore test records- just ask!
What should I do beforehand?
Bring a state or goverment issued photo ID such as a driver's license, passport, or military ID.
Eat something substantial about an hour before you come in. This helps support your blood sugar level.
Avoid alcohol, aspirin, excessive caffeine, and all recreational drugs for 24 hours beforehand.
Call us if you have questions about a prescription drug you are taking.
If you are getting a piercing in an excessively hairy area, it will be helpful if you trim.
What will it look and feel like while it is healing?
Healthy new piercings look good and feel comfortable while they are healing. However, piercings will often feel tender to the touch while healing, especially at first. Remember that you should only be handling your new piercing when you clean it. Consider this tenderness a reminder to keep your (and other people's) hands away from it. It is part of the normal healing process for your piercing to secrete an off-whitish fluid that dries on the jewelry. This is your indicator that the piercing is still healing. After you have had the piercing for some time, the secretion will start to dwindle and once it has been gone for a full month, you can consider your piercing healed. Feel free to come by anytime if you have questions about how your piercing is healing.
Is there a school available or any certification required for piercers? There is currently no legal certification available for piercers. We at Piercing Experience support the efforts of the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) to work with local and federal health official standards to set up safety guidelines and standards in the body piercing industry. Because body piercing is largely unregulated in the State of Colorado, it is up to you as a consumer to educate yourself about what qualities and skills to look for in a piercer. Besides the important issue of ensuring your personal safety, being an educated consumer is also an enormous help to our industry's responsible professionals by keeping money out of the pockets of those who undermine the importance of high safety standards. Find a piercer you trust based on your research and experiences. There are several brief informational seminars offered to the public, but completion of a course such as this does NOT constitute any legal certification or necessarily qualify one to pierce publicly. A week-long curriculum is far from the amount of training one would find desirable in a professional piercer. The best of these seminars are designed to educate prospective piercers about what to look for in an apprenticeship program. Others are designed to give accomplished piercers additional information on health, safety, and technique. As a cautious estimate, we feel it generally takes between one to two years of apprenticeship under the constant supervision of an accomplished piercer before one should consider her or himself a piercer. However, seminars and workshops can be a wonderful addition to an apprenticeship or mentorship program.
Here are some helpful considerations when visiting prospective piercers:
Ask to see a portfolio of the piercer's work and speak with other clients.
Ask if s/he is a member of any related organization such as the Association of Professional Piercers (APP).
Ask if s/he is certified in First Aid and CPR.
Ask if s/he has passed the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Bloodborne Pathogens/Standard Precautions Certification test.
Ask if s/he has taken Human Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Chemistry or any other related classes.
Be sure that s/he welcomes your questions. Good piercers know that it is important for clients to educate themselves and are never defensive about their credentials.
Ask to see the autoclave, ultrasonic cleaner, and monthly spore test records.
Spore tests verify by an independent company that the autoclave is running effectively.
Be sure that your piercer only uses new single-use, autoclave sterilized, disposable needles. Needles should never be reused.
Be sure that your piercer wears disposable gloves for the piercing and preparation.
Be sure that all reusable implements are run through an ultrasonic cleaner and autoclave sterilized between each use on each individual person.
Be sure that your piercer will be available to answer any questions you may have after the piercing.
Be sure that your piercer will send you home with complete, written aftercare information.
Be sure that your piercer explains your jewelry options for your piercing. The decision of what to wear in your piercing is yours, although your piercer should inform you of appropriate materials and designs.
Be sure you will be in a private room for the piercing.
Be sure that the studio appears clean and well maintained. There shouldn't be any dogs, cats, fish, birds, or any other animals ever allowed in a piercing studio.
Be sure that s/he does not claim to be certified. Any statement to that effect is misleading at best.
Do you use anesthetics?
No- and for several important reasons. Any kind of anesthetic has disadvantages that far outweigh any perceived advantage of numbing the area. First, only a licensed medical practitioner can legally administer injectable anesthetics. Anesthetics cause swelling, which results in a crooked and/or shallow piercing. Additionally, the multiple shots that it would require to numb the area would be far more uncomfortable than a skillfully performed piercing! Topical anesthetics usually do not penetrate deeply enough to have any kind of effect. Ice and spray freezes (such as ethyl chloride) are dangerous because they can also cause frostbite. In some rare cases, a person may have a serious allergic reaction to the substance.
Does it hurt?
Usually people feel a lot less than what they expect and agree that the anticipation is actually the hardest part. Although the sensation is different from piercing to piercing and from person to person, most piercings take less than a second. We also utilize breathing techniques that can help you relax and make the process easier overall.
Do you provide service to minors?
We provide a limited amount of service to minors. Facial piercings and navel piercings can be done for minors 16 and older. No one under the age of 18 will receive service for oral, nipple, or genital piercings at Piercing Experience. We urge you to seriously question the professionalism of any piercer willing to perform such a procedure for a minor. If a piercer is willing to break the law to provide you with service, it is unlikely that they perform piercing with the highest possible standards in mind. It is Georgia State Law that a parent or legal guardian must accompany all minors. Guardians must bring in paperwork documenting their status of guardianship. The minor and parent/guardian should both bring in a state or federal issue photo ID and a copy of the minor's birth certificate.
Is it safe to be pierced by a piercing gun?
Absolutely not! Piercing guns cannot be adequately sterilized and can transmit diseases and all other forms of infectious matter. Because most piercing guns are made out of plastic, they melt under the intense heat and pressure of an autoclave, the piece of equipment used to thoroughly sterilize implements. Any kind of chemical sterilization can leave traces of that chemical behind and can enter your bloodstream. In addition, chemical disinfectants do not necessarily kill all bloodborne pathogens. Piercing guns are not safe, regardless of what part of the body they are used on. Also, the backing of an ear stud (which is the only jewelry option with gun piercings) collects wastes, hair, and debris and holds it against or close to the piercing, which is far from an ideal healing environment for a piercing. We do not use piercing guns for any piercing.
How will I know when the piercing is healed?
Your body automatically supplies you with an indicator of whether or not the piercing is still healing- the off-whitish fluid that is secreted by the piercing and dries on the jewelry. This matter, called eschar, consists primarily of old skin cells and wastes. At first you will have this secretion every day. After you have had the piercing for some time, this secretion will start to dwindle and will eventually stop. Once you have not seen this secretion for a full month straight, you can usually count on having a superficially healed piercing. The longer that you have the piercing, the more thoroughly it will be healed.
How can I get bigger jewelry in my piercing?
Stretching a piercing is a process that requires patience, especially if your goals are lofty. Ideally, if you wait a reasonable amount of time in between stretches and listen to the limits your body sets on what can be comfortably done, stretching feels like a mild stinging or burning sensation. Yes, you can force jewelry in fast and get your piercing to be many times its original size quickly, but we have seen the negative results of this time and again. Piercings that are stretched too fast can break and become necrotic(!), take on an unsightly shape or texture, and often have easily recurrent irritation. Your piercing should never be broken when it is stretched. Stressed piercings frequently also end up being even more difficult to stretch in the long run because it can result in an overproduction of scar tissue. If you have waited a sufficient amount of time and the piercing you are trying to enlarge is still resistant, there are milder methods of stretching a piercing that we can suggest.
Why does it cost more to be pierced at a professional piercing studio than it does at the mall or on the street?
When you are pierced using a piercing gun or by an unknowledgeable piercer, there are usually scant few precautions being taken to ensure your safety, such as glove barriers; autoclave sterilization of implements and jewelry; or adequate disinfection of skin and work surfaces to name just a few! In order to avoid these hazards, our technique is a vastly different procedure, as detailed in the rest of this pamphlet. We do our best to deliver reasonable prices to our customers and we feel we succeed. The reason why there is a nominal fee for service is that we take every precaution to ensure your safety from disease transmission and your best chance of a successful piercing with comfortable, attractive jewelry. You are also paying a very reasonable sum for the services and skills of an experiences professional. If you find a significantly cheaper deal elsewhere, then either the studio is cutting corners on precautions or not paying the piercer for her/his work. No experienced piercer in this industry would take a job working for free. We take a great deal of pride in our work. If you find a "unbelievably cheap" deal somewhere, keep those two issues close in mind. Body piercing is one of the worst arenas to go for merely the cheapest deal possible. We stand behind all of our work- does the person who is offering you the cheapest deal? A few extra dollars spent to this effect is well worth the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you haven't risked disease transmission or bodily harm to get your piercing.
What metals are safe to wear in a piercing?
It is important to keep in mind that there is no single metal that every person in the world can wear successfully. Peoples' individual biochemistry is far too unique for this to be so. However, by using only the highest-grade metals you can reduce your chances of a metal reaction so dramatically that it is hardly a consideration unless you have a history of specific metal reaction. For new piercings, we use 316L or 316LVM low carbon, implant quality surgical stainless steel; solid 14k or 18k yellow or white gold; platinum; niobium; titanium; or nylon monofilament. A few of the metals that are unsuitable include silver (including sterling); red and green gold of any karat; anything less than 14k white or yellow gold; gold-plated or gold-filled items; brass; bronze; and copper. In healed piercings, many people wear certain kinds of wood, pyrex, and other materials with success, although not all of these are suitable for everyone.
How long will it be until I can take out the jewelry and the piercing will stay open?
There is no definite, predictable formula to answer this question. If you will need to regularly remove the jewelry, that is an indication that the circumstances are not right to get a new piercing. However, even if the piercing has finished healing at the time when you want to remove the jewelry, you will still have to be conservative with your method. A good way to experiment: wait until after the piercing has been well healed for at least a few months and then take the jewelry out for a little while- a few minutes at most. If it feels tight or is otherwise difficult to reinsert, it is too soon for the jewelry to be removed. If it feels fine going back in, leave it out for a little longer the next day and so on until you have established an approximate amount of time that you can comfortably leave the jewelry out for. Keep in mind that the amount of time is not guaranteed- piercings are designed to be permanent, but what keeps them so is the jewelry. Also, if your piercing is even slightly irritated it can close down much faster than if it is healthy. Remember when handling your piercing, especially for insertions, that it is important to wash your hands with an antibacterial soap beforehand and keep the jewelry on a clean surface, such as a clean disposable paper towel.
Can I go swimming with a healing piercing?
Yes, but until your new piercing is healed, use a gas permeable patch (such as the brand names Tegaderm or Duoderm) if you go in a hot tub, pool, or natural body of water (ocean, stream, lake, etc.). These patches let oxygen through so your piercing can breathe, but are impermeable to water and fluids. They look like small, clear, adhesive bandages. They work best for navel and nipple piercings, but for some piercings they can be impractical- you may have to stay out of the water until your healing is complete. For a facial piercing, you can just keep your head out of the water. All bodies of water contain microorganisms and pools, hot tubs, and the like have harsh chemicals that can greatly disturb your piercing. When your piercing is healed you can stop using the patches- just be sure to clean it when you get out of the water. Use one patch per swim- they are not reusable. If you have a problem finding these patches, call us for information.
Will exercise and sweat harm a new piercing?
Any exercise that doesn't physically disturb your piercing is fine. This is almost any exercise, with a few exceptions. Full sit-ups can be problematic for navel piercings- try substituting crunches instead. Riding a bicycle or horse or any similar activity can be problematic for new guiches and some female genital piercings. It is okay to get your piercing sweaty as long as it is only your own sweat and you clean it off soon after your workout. Sweat mixes with germs on your skin's surface and for that reason should be cleaned off directly afterwards. Do one of your daily cleanings during your post-workout shower.
Will I be able to breast feed later on if I get a nipple piercing?
Yes, but there are several considerations for the mother or prospective mother-to-be before getting a nipple piercing. Nipple piercing does not prevent breast feeding from happening. In fact, many lactating women find that a small amount of milk will also come out of the piercing, which is harmless. However, you will want your nipple piercings to be completely healed by the time you even conceive. The changes that a woman's body undergoes during pregnancy can make it next to impossible for these piercings to finish healing at that time. Remove the jewelry when breast feeding to avoid injury to the piercing and for maximum comfort for both. Beads, threaded balls, and rings are choking hazards for infants if they come loose accidentally with the motion of feeding. If the piercings are very well healed by the time breast feeding begins the jewelry may be easily removed and reinserted. If the piercings are not well healed, consistent removal and reinsertion will probably prove to be impossible. Remember to wash your hands with a liquid antibacterial soap before removing the jewelry or touching the piercing. Also, be sure to keep your jewelry on a clean surface, such as on a disposable clean paper towel or in a disposable cup. If you pregnant, trying to conceive, or nursing and are interested in getting a nipple piercing, wait until you are fully done breast feeding.
What will happen to my navel piercing if I get pregnant?
The best thing to do when you get pregnant is to keep in touch with your piercer and inform her/him of your new situation. Since the shape of your stomach will change and stretch, you can anticipate some change in your piercing. However, this change varies widely for people. Not everyone changes their jewelry as they progress, but some women find that the most comfortable option for pregnancy isn't the one they started out wearing. A small percentage of women find that their piercings "grow out" of the body, although this is an uncommon occurrence. If you are experiencing discomfort, let us know so that we can determine more suitable options. It is also a good idea to ask your health care practitioner whether or not you may leave the jewelry in during the birth. If you will be removing it, we can help you in advance with how to open and close the jewelry if you are not already familiar with it.
Can I have sex with a new genital piercing?
Even if you have a monogamous sex partner, you must be sure to avoid contact with any person's body fluids other than your own. Getting other peoples' body fluids on your healing piercing invites infection easily and can even result in disease transmission. While your piercing is healing, use latex barriers such as condoms or dental dams to protect yourself from possible infection and/or disease transmission. Aside from that matter, don't get too rough with a new piercing. The care you give your healing piercing determines how it will eventually look and feel. Pressure or too much play on a new piercing can result in an overproduction of scar tissue, which can make the tissue feel tight or show up as an unsightly bump of scar tissue or fluid. If this happens, feel free to call us for advice- they are often easy to get rid of.
Can you suggest another piercing shop outside Denver?
Although we are not affiliated with any other piercing shops, we are acquainted with other business members of the Association of Professional Piercers, the nonprofit organization set up to promote health and safety standards within the industry and to open up the lines of communication between piercers. Piercers must meet certain standards to qualify for membership. Based on that fact, we can suggest other shops for you to visit and decide where you feel most comfortable and happy bringing your business.
We welcome your questions and comments anytime.
Enjoy your new piercing!
Choose your Pleasure