Our Piercing Methods and Techniques
Depending on the type of piercing you want, we use different techniques to pierce the body. In some cases, we use tubes or corks to protect the skin behind the piercing location.
Tubes are small plastic tubes containing a rubber membrane. The skin is protected by sticking the tube on the skin and piercing through it. Tubes are normally used for surface piercings, like the nostril or earlobe.
Corks are typically used for areas where swelling is common (lip, eyebrow, and nipple). After applying the cork on the skin, excess saliva is removed before it’s pierced through. If the cork is left on too long, it’s very difficult to remove it without causing an open wound.
In surface piercings, we prefer not to use these techniques as they make the piercing more prone to infection and other complications. Surface piercings are meant for a quick healing process, so tubes or corks tend to slow down the healing process and reduce the results you get.
Remember, surface piercings are not meant to last forever so do not force a spike of any kind through. There is no need for this when the skin is always protected by something like corks and tubes. Also, if you support your piercing properly while it’s healing then there should never be any issues at all.
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Our goal is to match you with your ideal artist in design and personality to create the perfect harmony between vision and talent. Our staff at Price Tattoo are certified in cutting-edge methodologies and skilled in the art of listening, so we can provide quality service to bring your ideas to life. Schedule your initial consultation today to get started!
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Earlobe Piercing Techniques
Ear lobe piercings are surface piercings and are recommended for a first-time piercing. They are relatively simple in the piercing process and if taken care of properly, have little risk of infection. They should be done by a licensed professional so they do not tear the earlobe as this can lead to unnecessary complications such as infection.
Any true piercing professional would not use a piercing gun to pierce an earlobe. A simple hollow straight needle or threaded needle to manually and gently pierce the ear allows for more control and a cleaner pierce. Piercing guns are riskier and harder to control, leading to more room for error.
The technique we use for earlobes is quite simple since there is no need for a cork or tube; we just use a needle to pierce the earlobe. Once the needle is through, we insert an earring straight in and it’s done!
We would not recommend having this piercing re-pierced later on since the skin around it will have grown quite a lot. If you really want another earring in, other ear piercings can go through the stretched-out skin, like a lobe piercing. You can always email us if you would like to find out more information about it or schedule an appointment.
If interested in lobe gages or larger body jewelry, we suggest going up in size slowly before picking the size you want. This will help ensure you do not have to stretch your earlobe too much and it will heal faster. It’s important to get your gage or jewelry from a reputable source so they can advise you better on what size to start with.
When changing the gauge, it is important to take it slow. We suggest doing about a week of the old size, then a week of the next bigger size before switching back to your normal earring. This will ensure you do not rip your piercing in half and also give it some time to heal along with allowing it some time for swelling as well.
Please remember, surface piercings such as the earlobe should never be forcefully removed without being taken off in a steady motion. The earlobe will tear quite easily if it is pulled off too quickly since the skin has been stretched out over time, so you should have it done by an experienced professional.
Ear Cartilage Piercing Techniques
There are multiple locations on the ear that can be pierced with relative ease. The four main locations are referred to as the helix, rook, daith, and tragus. Ear cartilage piercings are some of the most popular piercing locations, but due to our natural production of body oils around the area, they are more prone to infection. The piercing process is very similar to earlobe piercings; however, we recommend using a curved needle or barbell because they will be much easier on your skin than a traditional straight one.
We use a cork where we pierce the cartilage; then we just insert the jewelry into the hole while it is still in the cork. This will keep everything sterile and not let your body oils splash around onto your earlobe which can be very dangerous.
It is important when you are cleaning your piercing or changing out existing jewelry you do not use any alcohol-based or harsh chemicals. This will dry out your piercing which can lead to infection and even keloid scarring.
To make a perfect ear cartilage piercing, here is what you need:
The proper earrings for the piercing. If the backings are too large it may irritate the skin when changing the jewelry. The right-sized cork. The corks are made differently for various ear cartilage piercings so you need to get the right one for your piercing. A curved needle or a barbell, whichever is used in your piercing. We will always talk about it beforehand and let you know which one we will be using.
Facial Piercing Techniques
Facial piercings are a lot like earlobe piercings but they are done in other parts of the face. The main facial piercing locations are located in the lip, eyebrow, and nose. Cheek or oral piercings are popular yet particularly sensitive to infection due to the saliva and bacterial production our bodies naturally produce. Piercings around the mouth require extra care during the healing process.
We still use a cork between the needle and your nose but we use plastic curved barbells instead of straight needles for the piercing. We find they are easier on the skin around the targeted area and help it stay much cleaner than when a straight needle is used.
In the eyebrow, we use two curved barbells to create a beautiful curve which will change depending on how long you wear it. The procedure is similar to ear cartilage piercings and should be done with care to ensure everything goes smoothly and nothing gets infected. Again, since this piercing makes use of open skin like your mouth, eyes, and face, it is very easy to get an infection so proper care after the piercing should be done.
Nose piercing techniques vary from artist to artist, but to our health and safety standards, we use only the best. There are a lot of different piercings you can do on the nose but we find an anchor or vertical labret piercing is the easiest to make and clean properly.
The procedure itself is the same as the other piercings we do. You tell us which type of piercing you want, where on your nose it’ll be, and decide which jewelry you’d like to have in place for when you go home. We use curved barbells instead of straight needles because they are easier to clean between the skin, but it does have a curve that can be changed with time for a more personalized look.
Dermal Piercing Techniques
Dermal piercing techniques are a form of body piercing involving the insertion of dermal anchors into the skin. Dermal means skin. This can be pretty much anywhere on your body.
The piercer cleans the area with anti-bacterial soap and/or iodine and places a non-sterile marking dot on the chosen location. A marker such as a pen or lipstick can be used to mark the spot where the piercing is to be made.
An autoclave may be used to sterilize the dermal punch or needle, and non-sterile instruments can also be sprayed with alcohol to aid in sterilization before use. With a new, sterile dermal punch or needle, the marking dot is lined up over the planned piercing location and the dermal punch or needle is pushed through the skin at a 45-degree angle. The piercing is made with a single quick motion without twisting, turning, or stopping during insertion. Piercing with a sharp instrument (such as an autoclaved safety pin) may instead be used to pierce the area and then followed by using the dermal punch or needle to create the hole.
Some dermal piercers make use of thicker gauge jewelry than is standard for body piercings. A curved barbell can be inserted through the hole, or if the piercing is made on a flat surface such as an earlobe, a curved dermal anchor may be used with no additional jewelry required. The piercing site is then covered with ointment and a bandage, and aftercare instructions are given to the client.
A dermal piercing should be done with a new sterile needle or dermal punch on an area of unbroken skin, and if possible, the piercer should avoid inserting jewelry through a piercing that is infected or inflamed. Dermal piercings will informally heal in about 2 months and must be cleaned at this time with soap and water. Full healing can take anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on the dermal piercing’s location, and oral piercings may be heavier healers than facial piercings because of their proximity to a rich blood supply. During this waiting period, it is normal for the jewelry to feel loose in the piercing and for the piercing to look a bit puffy, but after 3 months most piercings no longer require ointment.
Oral Piercing Techniques
Oral piercings techniques are a form of body piercing involving the insertion of jewelry through the tongue, lips, cheeks, and other areas of the mouth.
The piercer cleans the area with anti-bacterial soap and/or iodine, and places a non-sterile marking dot on the chosen location. A marker such as a pen or lipstick can be used to mark the spot where the piercing is to be made.
A dermal punch may be used instead of a needle for oral piercings, with a dermal punch placed on the chosen location and pushed through the skin at a 45-degree angle. The piercing is made with a single quick motion without twisting, turning, or stopping during insertion. Piercing with a sharp instrument (such as an autoclaved safety pin) may instead be used to pierce the area and then followed by using the dermal punch to create the hole.
The piercing site is cleaned again and a swab of alcohol is removed before jewelry is inserted. The piercer looks at the person’s mouth to determine what jewelry would be best, after which it is placed inside their mouth until they are comfortable with its placement. This can be anywhere from 10 seconds to a few minutes, and the piercer can bring jewelry in different gauges to help the client find what they like.
The piercer helps guide the jewelry in place and ensures it is seated appropriately before instructing the client on proper aftercare. With oral piercings, swelling may occur for several weeks after the piercing and the client is encouraged to spit out any blood or puss from their mouth rather than swallowing it.
The piercer may briefly swab the piercing with an alcohol pad before covering it with a bandage, which should stay on for several hours; the client can eat while it remains in place. Ointment such as Bactine or Neosporin can be applied to any swelling or irritation, and the bandage can be removed after 24 hours.
Body piercings may develop small infections; oral piercings have a greater risk of infection than other types because their exposure to saliva makes them more prone to contamination with bacteria and viruses. Piercers are required to wear gloves while cleaning the piercing and cover their hands when giving instructions or changing jewelry. Hands should be washed with soap and water before and after performing each procedure.
One common mistake when getting an oral piercing is not giving your tissue enough time to heal before switching out your jewelry for another type or gauge. It’s very important to introduce new jewelry slowly and to allow your piercing time to adjust. This will make the experience much more comfortable for you!
A good rule of thumb is if you feel pain when switching out jewelry, do not change it until the pain subsides. Some piercings take longer than others to adjust, so you may need to wait a week or two to switch out jewelry if you experience discomfort.
Nipple Piercing Techniques
Nipple piercings are one of the most popular body piercings, particularly for women. The piercing is made with a needle or dermal punch; in some cases, a small cork may be used during the procedure to protect the nipple’s tissue behind it until healing is complete.
The placement of nipple jewelry depends on where the client wants the piercing to be and on how thick their skin is. In some cases, two piercings may be made close together to allow for a single piece of jewelry; in others, one or both piercings may be located further apart because certain jewelry pieces do not work well when placed close together.
While the procedure is often performed in a sitting position, it may be performed standing if the client is more comfortable. After cleaning and sterilizing the chosen area, the piercer removes jewelry from previously pierced nipples so they do not get displaced or accidentally pulled when getting a new piercing.
The piercer then pushes a needle through the skin; this step can either be performed with a piercing needle, or it can be done using two needles. After the needle is through, the piercer removes one of them before attaching jewelry that has been cleaned and sterilized already. The piece is then placed through the nipple’s tissue until it reaches an appropriate length and the client chooses their preferred style of jewelry. They are offered different sizes and styles of jewelry to choose from prior to the procedure.
The piercer then places tape over the nipple piercing, covers it with a bandage, and instructs the client on proper aftercare. They are encouraged to wear nipple shields while sleeping if they experience discomfort for any reason. Clients may also wish to use antibiotic ointment to minimize any risk of infection during the healing process. After a few weeks, nipple rings can be sized and replaced with more attractive jewelry; some men may experience pain when getting larger sizes pierced, so they are encouraged to wait until their piercing is fully healed before changing them.
Nipple piercings done by an experienced piercer typically heal within three or four months, and the more they are taken care of, the less pain and scarring there is. Piercers can also provide helpful information about switching out jewelry, including how to remove nipple rings in case of an emergency.