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Safe Piercing inbox: Stretching questions

Q: i recently started stretching and i’m at a 14g, but i play basketball and have to keep my piercings out for hours at a time every day. will this affect the amount of time i should wait between sizing up?

  • It will be pretty counter-productive for stretching since it won’t be able to easily adjust to your new sizes. Once you stretch a piercing you don’t want to be removing and re-inserting it for awhile. Try wearing clear retainer jewelry rather than leaving them out. Constantly removing  your jewelry will make it harder to stretch.

Q: Do you have any tips for stretching ears at larger sizes? I’ve been at 1 & 1/4 for about six months now. I’ve tried both taping (and pretty much given up on that) and wearing heavier jewelry but they don’t seem to want to loosen up at all. Is there anything I can be doing to encourage them to stretch larger?

  • Well unfortunately with larger lobes just because you want to stretch doesn’t mean your ears will be able to. There is usually an end point for many stretched lobes where they stop getting pliable easily. If you’re struggling with a stretch have a consultation with an experienced piercer and see what their opinion is. 

Q: Hi, I had a question about tapers. Last night, went up to a 6g from an 8g. It’s been between 2-3 months since my last stretch. I have titanium tunnels that I’ve been putting in right after the taper that are only fluted on one side. For some reason, the tunnel would not go through my ear. It felt like the back of the hole shrank back as soon as the taper was out. I didn’t want to push too hard and cause bleeding, so I just left left the tapers in. Is there a way I can get the tunnels in easily?

  • For piercers we refer to that as “loss of contact”, when the jewelry slips out of a secure connection with your needle / taper / insertion tool. Many tapers you as a customer have access to are not ideal for stretching and can actually cause a lot of damage to your piercing. I know our readers probably get sick of seeing us refer you to a local reputable piercer, but it’s really your best option for things like this. Most piercers will sterilize and insert your jewelry for a very small fee, if not free, when you purchase the jewelry at their shop. Then you can save money on buying your own tapers, and have your jewelry inserted easier. Your lobes will be healthier and happier long term if you’re not trying to force in jewelry when your taper slips. 

Q: How can I fix a cat butt piercing while stretching? I’ve had it for a while now and it’s very frustrating because I can’t move onto the next size

  • Well “catt butt” scarring is caused by repeated damage from bad stretching. There’s not much you can do to fix it other than through better stretching. We say it over and over but it’s not about forcing in the jewelry, that’s more tearing than stretching. You can try oil massages, downsizing jewelry, and leaving your jewelry out overnight. It may help lessen your scarring, but prevention, planning, and patience are the best ways to avoid scarring from a bad stretch. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

(Source: safepiercing)

Filed under stretching tapers retainers catt butt scarring

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