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ear piercing... advice please

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by TooPatient, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. Sky56
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    by Sky56 » Jul 12, 2014
    My mother took me to a doctor when I was 13 to have my ears pierced. Uneven and positioned wrong, even though he marked my earlobes. I had them pierced again when I was 20. I still wish that my piercings were a bit higher up on the lobes.

    I would think that one of those piercing places which do high volume - we have a few of them in my town which specialize in tattoos and "exotic" piercings - would have more chance of getting it right than a doctor or a mall store.
     
  2. AGBF
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    by AGBF » Jul 12, 2014
    What I read about the piercing gun on that site was terrifying! The idea that one can become contaminated by someone else's blood via the gun is certainly an unappetizing notion!

    Deb :o
     
  3. packrat
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    by packrat » Jul 12, 2014
    Yep, that's one of the reasons why I recommended a reputable piercer. They know what they're doing, they have training, they're professional and want it done *right* because it's a reflection on them as a piercer. It's the same thing as going to someone's house to get a tattoo b/c it's convenient, cheaper, faster, easier, whatever, and going to a reputable tattoo parlor. A scratcher doesn't care, a professional tattoo artist does.
     
  4. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Jul 13, 2014
    Wow!

    Thank you all for the wonderful advice. I'm looking at the APP site now and will also contact her GP for recommendations & care information. (Her GP is awesome and would be one I would trust to be super careful and precise with placement if she does them.)

    If we go with someone other than the GP, I'll be sure to visit first and hopefully get to watch a couple.

    "A" hates needles, but I do see how that would be far more sanitary and heal better! Will definitely try to find this.



    earring materials:

    It sounds like titanium or stainless steel is the way to go initially?
    I haven't seen her react to anything, but of course she has only worn gold (necklace) or gemstone/pearl (bracelet).

    Is sterling silver a problem?
     
    


    


  5. lioness
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    by lioness » Jul 13, 2014
    My daughters were not born in the US. Ear piercing here is done the day you leave the hospital with your newborn. You drop off the going-away onesie and the gold baby studs at the nursery, and a little while later a nurse brings you your baby girl wearing her new earrings and outfit. Don't ask me what goes on in the nursery, but it can't be worse than circumcisions.The pediatrician explains to you how to take care of the piercings for the next two weeks. They heal within ten days and that's that.

    Since that is no longer an option, I suggest going to a piercing parlor. They deal with much more sensitive parts of the body, so earlobes should be easy.
     
  6. LaraOnline
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    by LaraOnline » Jul 13, 2014
    I would definitely avoid silver, until the piercings are well and truly healed!
    I would only go with the pre-sterilised piercing options.
    They come in a sealed pack.
    And I consider 'healed' to be months after the six week suggested period lol. :tongue:
     
  7. Gypsy
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    by Gypsy » Jul 13, 2014
    Honestly? I wouldn't trust Claires, etc. Usually they are just bored teens who just pick a spot and pierce. That's where I and a lot of people got their ears pierced and mine are in the wrong spot for my type of ears and have all sorts of quirks which limits they type of earring I can wear. I really should get them re-pierced honestly.

    Since you are teaching her things, teach her how to do basic research for things. And the value of quality over efficiency, especially for something A) permanent and B) that affects her body.

    Both of you log onto yelp and research tattoo/piercing parlors. Find one with good reviews and read the reviews to see who they recommend for piercings, check their health code history and show her that these things matter. Even though it's a simple ear piercing, quality matters and the best person to do them is someone who specializes in them. And you want someone who follows all the best processes for keeping things hygienic. This is a good life lesson for her.

    I think you should get nice quality settings that are affordable but not too dear. Save the nicer ones for when she's proven she can take care of not just her piercings but her jewelry as well. Wait until she's had the starter pair OUT for over a year, IMO. That gives her a year with fashion earrings and you can see how responsible she is with those before committing more money.

    I honestly was never good with my jewelry when I was younger and lost a lot of nice pieces. I didn't really learn how to take care of things until I was in my twenties. And that's really when I should have been given all the nicer pieces. One of my cousins was a little dragon from birth. You'd give her a piece of gold and she'd keep it forever and never lose it. It just depends on the kid.
     
  8. Gypsy
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    by Gypsy » Jul 13, 2014

    OMG Deb! I have EXACTLY THIS SAME ISSUE! Mine was a Mall store. My ear holes are a PITA. I NEED to get them re-done professionally but... see below.

    I was 10 and I passed out from the needles when it was done and freaked myself and everyone else there the f-out. AND I STILL DO because I am terrified of needles and getting poked (it's not a rational thing I have no control over it). I HAVE to be LYING DOWN when someone takes blood, puts in an IV, or does anything regarding needles. A reputable piercing professional at a tattoo parlor will have access to a bed/chair she can lie down on just in case. It's a VERY good precaution.

    Just so you know, I turn BLUE sitting up and pass out with needles. I can't do it even when I try (and I've tried). And I FREAK nurses, phlebotomist, doctors, etc. out. And have had the paramedics called before. It's not fun.

    Too Patient:
    So if your girl is afraid of needles, do not think this is something she will get over. Some of us do not and it has a physical manifestation that doesn't go away (passing out, they call it vasovagal response/syncope). Be careful and have her lie down to keep the experience a positive one. Okay?


    Also get her something pretty. With a bezel set crystal in her favorite color. Not just metal. They have lots of those in steel.
     
  9. packrat
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    by packrat » Jul 13, 2014
    That's something else about going to a good piercer, they've probably had training on working with those scared of needles, etc. When I've changed tattoo artists, they've sat and talked with me about the process, what to expect, even though I already have them and know the drill. I'm betting the piercer in the shop would be the same way. They don't want people passing out, being scared, tensing up-that makes pain worse, so they're more apt to "visit" before hand. They'll get sterilized equipment out right in front of you, tell you what they're doing etc, work thru the process w/you.

    The thought of a needle coring out a hole in my ear lobe makes my stomach turn. I can't watch when getting shots or having blood drawn, and even looking away I have to put on a brave face. Those needles and situations are sooo totally different than getting tattooed. But even still, best to have it done properly and done right.
     
  10. momhappy
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    by momhappy » Jul 13, 2014
    I don't believe that your statement about Claires is true. Claires has documented 85 million ear-piercings (and counting). Obviously, they have to follow FDA guidelines (trained staff, proper sterilization techniques, gloves, etc.) and piercings are not performed by bored teens with no training. I suggested Claires because that's where I had my piercings (and that's where many of my friends and family have gone - all with positive results), but quite frankly, I couldn't care less where someone else chooses to get their ears pierced. If OP (or anyone else) chooses a tattoo parlor or a doctor over Claires, that's perfectly fine too. The bottom line is that no matter where you choose, I agree with you about the importance of doing your own research. No one place is guaranteed any better than any other, so educate yourself and choose wisely. My local Claires has very positive ear-piercing reviews on Yelp, which I found after just a basic search.
     
    


    


  11. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Jul 13, 2014
    Great!

    That is pretty much what I had read, but there seemed to be some suggestions that there may be better options.

    I wasn't so good about the "healed" part. I took care of mine but remember counting down the days until I could take them out and put in different. Of course I had infections during the healing and have continued to have them ever since (even if I don't wear any earrings for months)...
     
  12. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Jul 13, 2014
    Cool suggestion! There are things in life that need more than a 5 minute internet search and she needs practice doing those.

    My one tattoo was done at the least scuzzy looking place I could remember driving past. No looking at reviews. Nothing. Just walked in (at 18 or 19) and picked one out. It was in a nasty part of town (like drive by shootings sort of nasty) and after checking my ID to make sure I was old enough, they just got going. I got REALLY lucky. Less than a year later, they were shut down after spreading some disease with their needles :nono:

    I knew how to research a paper but it hadn't really occurred to me to do that for something in real life :rolleyes:
     
  13. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Jul 13, 2014
    Will do!

    Her fear seems to be quite mild. She talks a lot but holds still and can even relax while we chat with the technician. I'd like her to have a lot more good experiences so she doesn't have to live with the same more severe fear that I have. (I'm with you on the passing out thing. I get nauseous and everything starts to go black if I even let myself think a dr might suggest a needle)

    I don't want to push her to "get over" something that I know is not really in her control. That is part of why I want to take the time to do this right and find the best person I can. Good experiences may not get rid of the fear, but they might help keep it from getting any worse.


    Love the pretty options I've been seeing in stainless!
    Maybe the thing to do is see what they have at the place and let her pick a pair but also get her a couple of pairs (still in stainless) to surprise her with later when it is time to swap them out.
     
  14. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Jul 13, 2014
    Nice to know about the chatting before! I didn't get that with my ear piercing or with my tattoo. I was super scared both times and it would have been nice to have a chance to relax with the person before getting started. I guess I had figured that it was normal to just get going as they had lots of other people waiting.
     
  15. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Jul 13, 2014

    I think each location is different. Managers and staff are different so they aren't going to be perfectly uniform. I'm still looking at a couple of these near us as possibilities (pending further research and an in person visit) since I think "A" would feel vastly more comfortable at one of them than she would in a lot of the piercing parlors.
     
    


    


  16. momhappy
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    by momhappy » Jul 13, 2014
    Absolutely every location is different - as is true for everything (restaurants, tattoo parlors, hair salons, etc.). That's why phone calls, internet reviews (like Yelp, etc.) can be so beneficial:) I hope that you find a place that's just right for you and that her piercing experience is a positive one!
     
  17. AGBF
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    by AGBF » Jul 13, 2014
    You sound so much like me as a young person.... Academically I could run marathons. My common sense was somewhere back in the sack race on Field Day area. ;))

    Deb
    :wavey:
     
  18. packrat
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    by packrat » Jul 13, 2014
    That's one of the benefits to going to a reputable, kick ass place. They take such pride in their work, and that's all part of the customer service, all part of the experience. That's how you get people *back* to the shop, and that's how you get word spread to others to get them in initially. Costs more, but worth it. Now, talking about a piercer who does kids, they should be experienced and knowledgeable enough to know that especially w/kids, you don't just say "c'mon, get in the chair and sit still". The reason Claire's does so many piercings is bc there's a store in every mall across the US, and there's millions upon millions of people who walk thru the mall yearly. And it's *easy* and *fast*. That's what we're about, yanno? I want it done and I want it done just suddenly right this very second, oh hey, right here! I'd be surprised if there was anything sterile about it other than maybe putting gloves on. It's the same gun every time. When I had mine done, I chose from studs hanging on a clip thing, not in sterile packaging opened right before hand in front of me.
     
  19. Gypsy
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    by Gypsy » Jul 13, 2014
    Totally agree with Packrat.
     
  20. distracts
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    by distracts » Jul 16, 2014
    I just got my ears pierced a bit over a year ago. I got them done at a tattoo parlour. It was about six months until I could wear other earrings easily. I don't know if it takes longer to heal if you're older or what. They said six weeks, but I tried changing them out after about two months and that was A DISASTER so I just waited until they healed up from that, then waited longer, then waited longer still, lol.

    The best thing I found for aftercare is this: http://www.amazon.com/H2Ocean-Piercing-Aftercare-Spray-4oz/dp/B0009F79EQ/

    SO much easier than mixing up your own salt solution. You can saturate a cotton ball and hold it on to the ear. Later in the healing process you can just directly spray the ear. Definitely worth getting.

    The kind of earring they put in was like this (you can also get them online with crystals, but I just went with what they had):
    http://www.amazon.com/Straight-Barbells-16g-Stainless-Cartilage-Earring-Helix/dp/B00768RPO8/

    I do recommend that kind because the screws never came loose and you can move it forward and backwards in the ear which is a help with cleaning. As well, apparently lots of people get told to turn their piercings, but reading online and the tattoo parlour said you shouldn't turn them because parts of the scab can like embed or irritate and cause scarring and exacerbate infections and stuff. They weren't exactly super stylish or anything, but they worked well.

    My piercings were uneven at first. A millimeter off. So I let one heal over, measured with calipers, and had them redo. That ear had also bled PROFUSELY when they first pierced it, so idk what the deal was there, but it all got fixed and they're good now. If you are paranoid about having them even, definitely bring the calipers, lol.

    oh my god "little dragon" is the best description.
     
  21. ericad
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    by ericad » Jul 16, 2014
    My most important piece of advise is to use a product called H2Ocean for after-piercing care. Throw out the stuff the piercing place gives you and buy some of this instead (amazon carries it, and lots of piercing shops do too). The stuff is magic.

    For an older child I would suggest a good piercer (like a place that does body piercing, tattoos, etc. - they know what they're doing.) My DD was only 6 when we got hers done, so I opted for a piercing pagoda type place in the mall, using a piercing gun, just so that they would do both ears at the same time. The local piercer wouldn't/couldn't do this for her.

    Cute story - after the piercing was done, DD was laughing at herself because I had told her they use a "piercing gun", so she was expecting the lady to literally shoot the earrings into her ears using a gun from several feet away. :lol: Kids are so funny.
     
  22. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Aug 26, 2014
    It is done!

    After researching the options around here and visiting a few places, I decided that Claire's was the best option for "A". She was comfortable with the people and it went well. I watched them do several before taking her and was pleased with what I saw.


    But....

    Her ear lobes turned like BRIGHT purple almost instantly and are getting worse. It looks sort of like a bruise but a really bright purple color. Centers around the holes. Maybe not worse, but not better either.

    Is this normal?

    I don't remember mine doing this but I guess bruising would be an unsurprising reaction?



    Oh -- the previous piercing got so infected the earrings had to be removed by a doctor. She didn't want to clean them and her mother didn't make her...
    So they decided to try a piercing again -- while her ears were still infected :sick:



    Pictures of either newly pierced ears or bright purple later!
    (I've got to be up early and need to get to sleep.)
     
  23. LLJsmom
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    by LLJsmom » Aug 26, 2014
    Thanks distracts! I used h2ocean and it helped a lot. I still use it whenever I clean, which is ever couple of days.
     
  24. LLJsmom
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    by LLJsmom » Aug 26, 2014
    I've had my ears pierced 2x before in my teen years and early 20s. Stayed infected for months each time, even when I wore 24k gold. This time, I took the plunge and bought platinum earrings after 6 weeks, when it was still pussing. the h2ocean helped some and the pussing came and went. Ina couple days after putting in the platinum earrings, my ears healed up. And stayed healed. I do not leave my ears without earrings for more than 5-10 minutes, but all good now. I am in my early 40s, and pierced my ears in November. I don't wear anything other than platinum.
     
  25. packrat
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    by packrat » Aug 26, 2014
    Are the studs stainless steel? I've developed an allergy to silver in my ears. Not that I have worn earrings in the last 20 odd years, but that's part of the reason I quit-it was hard back then to find earrings around here that weren't silver.
     
  26. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Aug 26, 2014
    I was told by several people at different piercing places that we should start her in gold if possible and white gold would be best. So she has solid white gold stud with a little crystal for color.

    The reaction started immediately. Like before she'd even jumped out of the chair.


    Just saw them as she got up. They look a little less purple today.
     
  27. rainydaze
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    by rainydaze » Aug 26, 2014
    I'm sorry to hear her ears are purple and swollen! I've never encountered that and it sounds a little worrisome.

    Oftentimes the reaction is due to nickel, which is in white gold and I believe also found in yellow gold (though less as the karat goes up, i.e. 18k has much less than 14k or 10k). That's why I have never understood the recommendation for solid gold piercings. Maybe for most of the population they pose the least risk and are good, but for those who are going to have trouble with piercings, I have found gold still complicates matters. I have reactions to most earrings, including surgical steel which is recommended for those with nickel allergies. I will say that with gold or surgical, the reaction takes longer to come on, but my ears eventually start to get itchy and tingly.

    I can wear platinum earrings with no problem, and when I had my daughter's ears pierced I went with titanium. After reading up on it some more, titanium was one of few (like platinum) that doesn't have nickel and is most likely not to cause a reaction. If her issues continue, is there any possibility of switching the earrings out (qm key doesn't work). I don't believe so from past experience, but throwing it out there just in case.

    I hope her swelling and purple go away soon! If not I would definitely have them checked out for peace of mind, if nothing else!
     
  28. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Aug 26, 2014
    No swelling, thankfully.

    She had the stainless steel when she had trouble before so that was part of the decision to try the gold. We'll try other materials from there after 4-5 months or so.

    The purple is much less now. I've been walking her through each cleaning and will do so for the next few days so that she gets into the routine of how to do it correctly. She was able to turn the earrings this morning with no pain at all. She says they don't hurt at all now (yay) so I take that as a good sign too.

    I wonder if it was the disinfecting stuff they used?
    She had the same purple but in a little line on her face (cheek near the ear lobe) where the earring couldn't have touched but it was clearly the same purple as her ears.

    Hopefully it keeps getting better!
     
  29. Ninna
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    by Ninna » Aug 26, 2014
    I developed mild Keloids from ear piercing at 13. I would definitely have her practitioner/pediatrician do it on her next visit. :)
     
  30. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Aug 26, 2014
    Mystery solved!

    They use a purple marking pen to dot location. The ink can thin and run :lol:
     

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