Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask A Body Piercer
Infections, awkward questions and everything else you've never had the confidence to just ask about...
From the most popular placement to piercing horror stories, we chatted to Jasmine Howell, pro-piercer at Maria Tash to answer all your burning Qs.
Hey Jasmine! How did you get into body piercing?
“I have always been fascinated with piercing, I got a lot of piercing’s done in my teens and when I finished college I started my piercing apprenticeship at a local tattoo & piercing studio. I’ve been piercing for 6 years now.”
How many clients do you tend to see in a day?
“As well as piercing we also install jewellery and invite our clients in for regular check-ups, so the amount of clients I see a day can vary, but it’s usually anywhere between 15-30. “
For what piercings is it okay to use a gun, and what kind of piercings should be done with a needle?
“All piercings should be done with a needle. You cannot fully sterilise the mechanism that is used to pierce with a gun. When performing the piercing it can also cause a lot of tissue damage & trauma as the earring that is used to pierce is nowhere near as sharp as a needle. Unfortunately there are still some practices that use the gun to pierce but this is not correct the or safe way to do any piercings – so always ask for a needle.”
What is the best advice for after care?
“Using a sterile saline solution twice a day for the first 2-3months is recommended. We stock a brand called ‘Neilmed’ which sprays out like a mist so you can literally spray it directly on and compress with a non-woven gauze pad, make sure you dry the skin afterwards to minimise bacteria growth.
No touching, moving, twisting or turning as this will irritate your piercing & prolong it from healing. You want to be careful not to catch or knock your piercing & avoid sleeping on it too. I usually recommend using a travel pillow for sleeping, laying it flat and using it as a pillow will relieve the pressure so you can sleep on it.
Basically leave it alone unless you’re cleaning it, keep your fingers away, be careful and you should be all good to go!”
How do you know if your piercing is infected or if it’s just sore?
“Piercings will swell, feel tender & can ooze a small amount of pus & blood whilst healing. Piercings can also go very much up & down during the healing process depending on what’s been going on. A lot of people will mistake their piercings being infected when they’re actually just irritated, this is why it is always important for people to come in for regular check-ups so we can advise them accordingly. Go back to your piercer before going to the doctor, as they’ll be able to advise you first”
What’s the most common piercing request?
“Definitely lobes & helix (around the top of the ear) piercings. We predominantly do ear piercings at Maria Tash but we do also get people coming in for nostrils, septums, nipples & navels! “
Are there any piercing trends you’re seeing?
“A lot of our clients come in wanting to correct their existing lobe piercings which gives us an opportunity to get creative. We have been doing a lot of fun lobe piercings recently. Creating triangles, constellations up the lobe & placing a piercing vertically above an existing hole can add quite a unique look."
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever been asked to pierce?
“Someone asked me to pierce the web of skin that lies between the thumb & index finger. Definitely something that I would not recommend & I managed to talk them out of it.”
Ouch! Are there any areas of the body you can’t get pierced?
“Piercing is very much anatomy dependent, what will work on one person may not work on another. This is where you can really make a piercing unique to you.”
Where’s the most painful area to get pierced?
“Again, this can be subjective as everyone is sensitive in different areas & has different pain thresholds. Having said that, I would say my most painful piercings were my septum & tongue.”
Have you ever had any piercing horror stories?
“Only on myself, I did a lot of my own piercings when I first started. I did quite a few micro dermal implants on my chest & arms, two of which got ripped out dancing at a festival.”
Agh! That sounds painful. Can you re-pierce the same area if it’s previously healed up?
“You can, as long as the scar tissue has had enough time to settle. Generally I would try avoiding going through scar tissue if I could, as scar tissue can be very weak. Again this can be very circumstantial to the situation so it’s always best to ask!”
Words: Chloe Burcham