Monday, January 5, 2015

Let's Talk About Facial Piercings

I'd like to start off by saying that I am no expert on the subject of facial piercings or piercings in general. I have my ears pierce, the cartridge in my upper ears pierced, and I have a nose stud.


My Piercing History

My earliest recollection of wanting a nose piercing was in middle school when the post-grunge, riot grrrl movement was in full swing. I can remember taking some of my adjustable rings and clipping them to my nose and then waiting for my parents to respond with shock and disapproval. I grew up in a town where facial piercings weren't approved of, but earrings were okay. My school's dress code didn't allow for "unnatural haircolors," hats, bananas, or facial piercings and after I finished college and entered the working world I found that most of the places I worked at had the same rules.

Robin Tunney in Empire Records (image link)
I was 13 years old when I got my ears pierced. Even though my mom had offered to take me to the mall to get my ears pierced several times in my childhood (and I often scolded my parents for not getting them done when I was a baby like many of my friends had done), I was afraid of the pain they might cause.

When I was 19, my college room-mates and I decided to get our ear cartilage pierced because we liked the look of it. We went to a piercing shop located in the back of a Domino's Pizza shop, but the place seemed clean enough. I remember it didn't hurt at first but it took a long time (and several months of sleeping on my opposite side) to heal. I liked my first one so much, I got my other ear done a year later- before the piercing place shut down.

Getting My Nose Pierced

I didn't get my nose pierced until nearly a year ago, when I was 30 years old. After I moved to the UK, that old desire to get my nose pierced came creeping back stronger than ever, but this time my situation had changed. Namely:
  • I had moved to a new country, several thousand miles from friends and family.
  • I started working at a place that was more tolerant of employees with facial piercings and visible tattoos.  
  • My husband had casually said he would be cool with it if I decided to get it done.
  • I'd had some recent family bereavements that prompted me to adopt a more YOLO outlook on life.
I'd started researching places in my area that do nose piercings, the cost, ratings of piercing shops, etc. several months prior to getting it done. But I actually got my nose pierced on a random whim: my husband was away for work and I was shopping in Cambridge and I just decided that today was the day. I knew there was a shop called Tattoo Crazy that did nose piercing with a needle and got pretty good reviews so I walked in, filled out some paperwork and sat down to get my nose pierced. My piercer wore gloves and cleaned my nose with a rubbing alcohol swab before using a special marker to place a dot on the intended spot and handing me a mirror. My piercer encouraged me to be critical of the placement since it was my piercing and she wiped the dot and tried several times before we marked just the right spot. I was super nervous when it was time to do the actual piercing because I was afraid it would hurt so my piercer encouraged me to take a couple of deep breaths before she began at a count of three. 

1...2...3.. 

At the end of the count it was in and I only felt a tiny pinch. As my piercer dabbed my fresh piercing I started to chuckle because I'd been so worried about the pain and whether or not to do it and it was done. Before I left I was given a set of piercing care instructions (namely to clean it several times a day and not take out the stud for 3 months) and I bought some BPA piercing after-care fluid.  I immediately Facebook texted 3 of my friends from home and my husband to tell them what I'd just done and they all approved.

image link
I followed my aftercare instructions to a tee and, aside from getting a few nose bleeds shortly after getting pierced, I barely notice it's there. I will say that it's not the most comfortable feeling when changing out my piercing, but it's not unbearable. Also, after a recent mishap where my nose stud fell out and I didn't notice it until hours later, I learned that my piercing can start to heal up fairly quickly. Lesson learned: it's important to keep a ring or retainer in it at all times.

Now that my nose piecing is approaching it's one year anniversary I still have no regrets about getting it done and wish I would have gotten it done sooner. If I ever find myself in another work environment that doesn't approve of my nose piercing I can always wear a  clear retainer or heal it up. 


Nose Rings I Currently Own:

My original nose stud looks very similar to this one. The best part is that it's really simple to take in and out, but the worst part is that it's really simple to take in and out.  
Clear Nose Bone
My husband got this stud for me as a gift and it is my favorite and the one I wear most often. The ring itself looks a lot smaller than my original ring, but the diamond is larger. I prefer the L-shape to the straight or curly shape as the L-shape holds in place well, but isn't so impossible to take out (as the curly shape). The only con with this ring is that the diamond with prongs can easily be snagged if you wipe your face on a fluffy towel or sweater.


14K White Gold, Surgical Steel
I also bought these semi-hoops for when I'm feeling rebellious. These are a bit of a pain to put in because you insert them inside your nose first (the nub acts like a stopper) and it's hard to determine your correct hoop size except by trial and error.
Gold & Silver plated hoop

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