SAFE PIERCING

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Posts tagged stretching

53 notes

Anonymous asked: What's a good age to begin stretching your ears?

Well adults are free to do whatever they want with their bodies, I’m not about to tell you when its appropriate to do what you want with it. 

What I will say is that if you are young, possibly a minor, patience and forethought should be encouraged. I know stretching is easy to do at home, its really popular with younger piercing fans because its something you could do by yourself. People grow older, and sometimes that means we regret decisions we made when we were younger. Keep in mind that having large stretched piercings may impact future decisions and the life goals you may choose as you get older. 

If you want to stretch your ears, go for it as long as you’re being safe about it. Take some time to think about the consequences of altering your body, not just for stretching but with any piercing or modification. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under stretching stretch gauges gauging

132 notes

Anonymous asked: What is your opinion on ear scapelling?

SInce earlobe scalpelling is an “advanced body modification” and not something covered by APP standards this in my personal opinion ok, not that of the APP. 

It has its place in body modification, but I feel that it is over-used and misunderstood. Ear scalpelling is when you cut or remove a small section of earlobe to either redirect a stretched earlobe piercing, or to increase jewelry by more than one size at a time. Earlobe scalpelling is not something that should be used for “middle sizes”. Meaning to to say its not just a quick and easy way to skip a few gauge sizes. It should really only be used when there are no other options, or for obtaining your final size. When you cut the lobe you need to let it heal for a long time, its not something you repeat, and its not something you do if you intend to continue stretching in the short term.When you cut the lobe you also limit future stretching, because you’re not allowing it to stretch, generate new tissue, and expand. When you scalpel you are putting increased pressure on your lobe, if this is your final jump its not so bad, but if you want to continue stretching you’ll end up with less lobe if you cheat and skip sizes with scalpelling. 

So if your lobe is stubborn and you can’t get in that last stretch before you stop at a final size, or if your lobe is off center and you want to re-direct it slightly earlobe scalpelling may be an option.

but…

Earlobe scalpelling is illegal in many parts of the US, since you have to use a scalpel to perform the service. When something is illegal cautious and skilled piercers aren’t going to be the ones offering it widely, you’ll have an increase in reckless practitioners offering it, so please use caution and common sense. Also, its a scalpel, not a toy. If some piercer wants to play doctor and they screw up you could potentially ruin your ear, or even lose your lobe depending on the level of damage. This is something that you should spend LOTS of time researching. If a piercer says they offer it or can do it, and they don’t have pictures of healed ones they have done, do not let them experiment on you. I don’t offer it, but I get people asking me for it all the time, and almost no one wants it for a legitimate or viable reason. Most people just want to skip sizes or magically redirect a badly stretched lobe, earlobe scalpelling is not for that. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under earlobe scalpelling scalpel lobes gauges stretching earlobes earlobe safepiercing body modification scalpelling

8 notes

Anonymous asked: I'm currently gauging up my ears and I recently went up from a 4 g to a 2 g and everything went fine but healing it taking longer than last time and my left ear keeps oozing plasma. Did I do something wrong or is that normal?

Excessive or continued discharge after a stretching is a sign of damage or stress. If you forced in jewelry before it was ready, or if you stretched with a material or jewelry style not appropriate for stretching the discharge is most likely from irritation. Try rinsing the area with sterile saline wound wound wash, or warm water rinses in the shower. Avoid moving the jewelry or picking at dried discharge. 

If the problem persists you may need to downsize your jewelry to remove the pressure and allow the lobe to relax. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under stretching gauging gauges

10 notes

shavedmartian asked: What is the best way to safely gauge outer labia rings? Should I just wear a certain heavier jewelry and pull on them from time to time? Can I wear weights sometimes? What could I use as weights? How long should I wait in between sizes? Randomly slid in an 8g easy after having 10g for about 2 years.

We refer to the act of increasing jewelry size as stretching, gauge would be the size of the jewelry itself.

Sounds like you’re stretching in a safe way already, letting time do the work for you. Never force in jewelry when your piercing isn’t ready for the next size. We suggest waiting a minimum of 2-3 months between stretches of that kind of tissue, and only go one size at a time. If you have trouble inserting jewelry do not force it in, you can visit a professional piercer for assistance if needed. 

Heavier jewelry can certainly help loosen a piercing, but labia piercings are typically pretty easy to stretch when you wait the right amount of time. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under stretching gauging labia

21 notes

Anonymous asked: When do you think would be an okay time to start stretching your ears?

3:47 pm

But seriously folks…

Do you mean how soon after initial piercing can you start stretching? Basically you need the piercing to be fully healed, and it never hurts to wait a few extra months after that for the piercing to mature a little. For a standard earlobe, if it is pierced and cared for correctly, and you wear good quality body jewelry, you could probably start stretching 4-6 months after your initial piercing. No harm in having a check up with a reputable piercer to be sure you’re ready. You could even have them perform your first (or all future) stretch(es) for you. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under stretch stretching gauges gauging

37 notes

Anonymous asked: Is it safe/okay to stretch your ear lobes at home, or should you meet with your local piercer to go up each gage? If you meet with a piercer to do it about how much will each session cost?

Stretching is pretty safe to do at home, you are not breaking the skin or causing any damage when a stretch is done correctly. You need to be smart and careful about it. 

  • Do not stretch faster than one gauge size every 6-8 weeks. Any faster than that and you are tearing and scarring your skin, not stretching it. 
  • Do not force jewelry in, if your lobe is ready for the next size it should gently wiggle or slide in. If there is too much resistance you should stop trying to insert the jewelry and give it some more time. 
  • Do not stretch with tapers, leave that to a professional. If store bought tapers come with a set of O-rings they are meant as jewelry when you are already at that gauge size, not as a stretching tool.
  • Do not stretch with plastic/acrylic, silicone, double flared plugs, or externally threaded jewelry.

Having your stretching performed by a professional piercer is a smart idea, but not mandatory. Many piercers will stretch either for free, or for a small service fee if you purchase your jewelry from them. Consult with a professional piercer in your area to plan out your stretches or ask questions about jewelry. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under stretch stretching gauging gauge gauges

30 notes

Q: Okay so I started stretching my ears with acrylic tapers/plugs. I didn’t realize they were bad until I found this blog. I didn’t have money to buy quality jewelry until a few days ago, so I bought some quality plugs from a piercing shop. BUT I can’t get them in! My piercer told me that since I’ve been at 8g for 6 months, I should be able to buy a pair of 6g plugs and stretch when I get home. But My ears won’t budge! Did I f*** them up with s****y jewelry?

In the future please refrain from swearing in a question. Thank you. 

A: Acrylic jewelry is a basically solidified chemical compound, and it does something called off-gassing. Ever unwrapped some new plastic jewelry and it has that chemical smell? Basically it’s emitting a small amount of its chemical composition. When you wear acrylic or plastic in a body piercing that small amount of gas is leaching into your skin. Over time this off gassing starts to inflame and irritate the skin, enough irritation and the body starts to create scar tissue. 

Wearing acrylic in a lobe could start to cause scarring in those with sensitive skin, and make future stretching more difficult. I would suggest having a professional piercer perform your stretch for you, rather than doing it home on your own. And in the future avoid acrylics and other low quality materials. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under acrylic plastic off gassing stretching

16 notes

Anonymous asked: Is it safe to stretch cartilage? If so, how would I go about doing it?

Cartilage can be stretched but it’s very different than stretching soft tissue like earlobes. Take much more time in between stretches, 3 months or more between sizes. Having your cartilage stretched by a professional piercer is also a good idea to avoid damaging your cartilage or scarring your piercing. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under stretching cartilage stretching cartilage

32 notes

SafePiercing inbox: stretching damage from incorrect taper use

Q: Hello, I am in need of advice from a professional with experience in stretched ear problems. The problem with my ear is I stretches to 3\4 and left the tapers in for a day and a half and I attempted to put in my 3\4 single flared tunnels/eyelets and my first problem was they weren’t long enough (I have had this problem since I stretched to 9/16) than my second problem was one of the tunnels/eyelets caught a tear or scab or something(I’m unsure of what) and ripped ear open was bad enough to have meat hanging out of the wound and its a little less than 1\2 inch front to back and a little longer than 1\2 inch side to side and it is very painful so I was hoping for advice of some sort of what to do hopefully
I cant go anywhere else. The place I went to is 30 minutes away and any other shop that has credibility is 45 minutes to an hour away and I can’t afford to make alot of trips like that and our local hospital wont deal with wounds they send the patients to other hospitals about the same distance away. That’s why I was hope for an online person I could consult with
In the future, please be aware that although you can purchase items called “tapers” online or in stores, these items are meant as tapered jewelry, NOT as stretching tapers or tools for stretching. Professional piercers do not often use tapers to stretch a piercing because forcing a stretch adds stress to the tissue and leads to scarring. Stretching should be done with time only. You wear jewelry until the piercing becomes loose, then you gently insert the next size up by simply wiggling in high quality jewelry, then you wait again. Typically you don’t want to stretch faster then one size every one to two months, and that is at a minimum. 
I know hearing this might frustrate you if you’re trying to go bigger, but you really need to drop down or at least stop stretching for now. If you cause enough damage to see exposed “meat” you can cause some pretty significant scarring. Keep pushing your earlobes and you could end up with a very ugly lobe, or possibly no earlobe at all. Why go through all this effort if you have nothing to show for it in the end?
Please consider taking the time to visit a reputable professional, even if you have to drive awhile to get to them. Think of the money you spent on these “tapers” and jewelry and what you got for that money, which is nothing. Now think of spending a few bucks on gas to visit a skilled professional and have them stretch your ears correctly so you can be happy with them long term. Hopefully the decision will be easier to make next time. 
Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under stretching stretch taper tapers lobes gauges gauging earlobe earlobes

84 notes

I decided that a 2 1/2 hour drive from Norwalk, CT was totally worth it to go visit Rockstar Piercing in Providence, RI. And damn, was I right!
The second I walked in the studio seemed so professional and clean. Megan, the lovely girl with turquoise hair, set up my paper work. Jay Pond was the lucky duck who got to do my piercing, of course after looking at my anatomy. I originally wanted a triple helix piercing - which let me tell you, the place in my hometown looked at a picture of what I wanted and said it was “photoshopped” - and he said my ear was more cut out for a double helix. Totally cool. I really appreciate he wouldn’t try to execute something not appropriate for me.
Natalie helped me pick out my jewelry and we decided on this lovely Anatometal cluster with amethyst and purple opal, along with a white opal to accentuate it. I’m so happy because it matches my purple hair perfectly.
Jay was so amazing with the procedure, walking me through everything calmly and easily. And like that, it was done with perfection. I feel invincible with it. 
I honestly cannot be happier. I was emailing back and forth with Megan the day after and we decided to order a pair of matching Anatometal gemmed eyelets with amethyst and white opal to match. They’re sending me them to my house which is so wonderful.
I wish I lived closer so I could get pierced more often - but it makes a good excuse to visit my new favorite place and town. Thank you everyone at Rockstar!!

I decided that a 2 1/2 hour drive from Norwalk, CT was totally worth it to go visit Rockstar Piercing in Providence, RI. And damn, was I right!

The second I walked in the studio seemed so professional and clean. Megan, the lovely girl with turquoise hair, set up my paper work. Jay Pond was the lucky duck who got to do my piercing, of course after looking at my anatomy. I originally wanted a triple helix piercing - which let me tell you, the place in my hometown looked at a picture of what I wanted and said it was “photoshopped” - and he said my ear was more cut out for a double helix. Totally cool. I really appreciate he wouldn’t try to execute something not appropriate for me.

Natalie helped me pick out my jewelry and we decided on this lovely Anatometal cluster with amethyst and purple opal, along with a white opal to accentuate it. I’m so happy because it matches my purple hair perfectly.

Jay was so amazing with the procedure, walking me through everything calmly and easily. And like that, it was done with perfection. I feel invincible with it. 

I honestly cannot be happier. I was emailing back and forth with Megan the day after and we decided to order a pair of matching Anatometal gemmed eyelets with amethyst and white opal to match. They’re sending me them to my house which is so wonderful.

I wish I lived closer so I could get pierced more often - but it makes a good excuse to visit my new favorite place and town. Thank you everyone at Rockstar!!

Filed under piercing piercings body modification stretched ears stretching jewelry submission

2 notes

Anonymous asked: Hello, I've had a tongue piercing for well over a year and I've decided to start stretching it. I just went from a 14g to a 12g with no absolutely no swelling or any other problems. Unfortunately I forgot to ask how long I should wait until going up another size. What would you recommend? Thanks for you time!

As with any piercing, I would suggest you give your body as much time as it needs to adjust to the new size before attempting another stretch. 

I think it’d be safe to wait at least a couple of months to play it on the safe side. Remember, if the next piece doesn’t easily go in, don’t force it to. 


Cody Vaughn - APP Outreach Committee

Filed under tongue stretching

32 notes

Anonymous asked: I've been thinking of stretching my septum from 14g to 12g, my only problem is that I already have a clicker which I love and can't really afford another right now. Is there something that can be done at lower cost than replacement, so that I can still wear it?

Just going from 14g to 12g won’t really give you any options to continue wearing your 14g clicker. If you stretch more down the road that would open up a few choices for you though. If you get to around 10g or 8g you could either wear a very small eyelet / tunnel through your piercing, and the clicker through that. Or if your clicker has a straight wearable section you can get one of Industrial Strength’s clicker adapter sleeves to wear it through. One last alternative, if your clicker is from a gold company like Body Vision or Maria Tash you could contact them and see if they will replace the 14g wearable piece with a 12g one. 

I personally wear a flexible silicone eyelet in my septum, and then fancy jewelry through that. The following picture isn’t me, but you get the idea. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under septum clicker stretching

11 notes

Anonymous asked: So I got my nostrils pierced in August but I'm not happy with the size... I was wondering if it was possible to stretch your nostrils? Nothin big just a size or two, they are at a 16g but I was hoping to go to a 12g if possible

Yes, nostrils can be stretched just like any piercing. Since nostrils have cartilage you’ll want to stretch much slower than soft tissue piercings like earlobes. Stretch slowly, no more than one gauge size every 2-3 months once your piercings are fully healed. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under nostril nostrils stretching

26 notes

Anonymous asked: Could you talk about the difference between stretching ears and stretching cartilage such as nostrils? Like with pain and methods

It’s really the same technique to stretch anything. Patience, a properly done stretch should not hurt. No piercing should be stretched by forcing in larger jewelry.

Earlobes may loosen and be ready for the next size faster than cartilage in most cases. Soft tissue like an earlobe will need a minimum of six or more weeks to generate collagen and keratin and become naturally pliable. If you are stretching faster than this you could be damaging your skin whether you feel like it or not. Cause enough damage and you get issues like scarring and blowouts. 

Cartilage not only has to generate these natural substances, but in some cases it also slightly erodes the cartilage. A good rule is to double the time between stretches on cartilage. Forcibly stretching cartilage can cause the cartilage to fracture leading to permanent discomfort. 

Take your time, go slow, and consult a piercer for advice or assitance if you need it. 

Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach

Filed under stretching stretch gauges gauging blowout lobes cartilage tapers tapering