We’d all like to think that we know a lot, but when it comes to body piercing knowledge professional piercers know best.
After all, it’s their job to be educated and informed in this area of expertise.
Take a trip inside the mind of a body piercer.
Here are the top 3 things body piercers know that you may not know.
The Most Common Length and Gauge
One of the first things body piercers learn, when it comes to jewelry, is the length and gauge appropriate for each piercing location. Often times this is a generalized, common scenario for average anatomy.
For example, 7/16" and 1/2" are the most common, curved barbell lengths most frequently used in navel piercings.
There’s little variation in this particular piercing area unless the navel is not well defined or even hidden.
On the other hand, nipple body piercings vary not only from male to female clients but by individual anatomy. This is a key deciding factor when determining the initial piercing and healed length and gauge.
Female nipple piercings tend to have longer required lengths, due to larger anatomy.
Men tend to have shorter lengths due to smaller anatomy.
Anatomy is the main deciding factor when it comes to piercing and professional piercers.
Approximate Heal Times
This is a big one!
Heal times are not just numbers, they are real timelines specific to each piercing location.
Just because your earlobe piercing healed in 4-6 weeks does not mean that your nipple piercings will do the same. You might be surprised to know that two piercings of the nose can have very different heal time averages.
Take the nostril versus the septum piercing. The nostril piercing, most commonly performed on the sides of the nostril, averages a 6 to 9 month heal time while the septum piercing, if placed properly, takes a mere 6 to 8 weeks to heal.
Be informed and adhere to your piercer’s average heal time guidelines; these are no joke.
Changing jewelry too early is a frequent cause of inflamed and slow healing body piercings.
There are exceptions, which include properly timing the downsizing after swelling and shortening posts in cartilage piercings for better healing.
Jewelry changes early on in a healing body piercing should be performed by a professional body piercer.
They'll be able to easily maintain a sterile field to minimize any risk of infection and such a delicate stage.
Now this “snag factor” is something that you may be aware of especially if you’ve had a traumatic experience with jewelry being violently torn from its piercing place. Ouch!
While this is certainly not any fun, many people do enjoy picking out and wearing jewelry that has a high “snag ability” rating mostly because it’s so gorgeous. We don't blame you!
While there’s nothing wrong with loving big, beautiful body jewelry, having it snag while healing is not ideal and certainly not enjoyable.
The main culprit in this case is a traditional prong setting. While delicate and feminine, these pieces can cause unnecessary trauma if snagged or pulled on, especially when you are trying to heal a new piercing.
Informed piercers will understand this risk and properly educate clients on this jewelry design "snag factor."
While we adore and admire prong set gemstones, getting pierced initially with these pieces comes with a higher snag risk.
Navel, dermal (surface anchor), nipple, upper cartilage and industrial piercings are the 5 highest ranking piercings with a high probability of being snagged.
Rating factors include the location, proximity to hair and clothing, required extra length for swelling, etc.
Initial piercings can require a minimum of ¼” additional length on each side, making prong settings in a brand new industrial piercing potentially problematic.
This cartilage piercing already comes with a long heal time (6 to 9 months if not more) and adding easily caught prong settings can sometimes aggravate an already temperamental placement.
Healed piercings can tolerate much more movement and snagging. Prong settings look fabulous in every body piercing. One of our favorite places for prong set gemstones is the Conch piercing. The depth in which the jewelry resides in the conch anatomy reduces any snags by default. Conch piercings can showcase high rose prong set gemstones flawlessly. Take this knowledge and use it however it benefits you the most.
Overall, a professional body piercer should be able to discuss these options with you prior to being pierced and after when selecting new body jewelry options.