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Piercing FAQs

GENERAL INFO AND ADVICE

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Due to WA state laws we have strict age limits and require Photo ID from EVERYONE who wants to be pierced.  If your ID is out of date then we CANNOT use it.

 

Please note we DO NOT pierce infants, but will pierce most children ages 6 and over who are willing and able to give verbal consent on the day and during the piercing process

 
If consent is required for your piercing – the person giving consent MUST be present at the appointment .  Only your parent or legal guardian can provide consent, and they must have the required documentation.  You must both have photo ID from the list below, AND a birth certificate or medicare card which has both of your names on it.
 
VALID ID for a child under 12
Birth Certificate
passport
 
Other valid forms of ID include
Drivers licence/learners permit
Proof of age card
Passport
Student ID with a photo and date of birth on it
Working with children card
 
Ear lobes – Under 16s must have parental consent.  Ages over 16 but under 18 can have earlobes pierced without parental consent, but not any other ear piercing (eg: helix, rook, daith, tragus, industrial)
 
Helix, rook, tragus, conch, forward helix – Age 16 and over, If you are under 18 you must also have parental consent.
 
Eyebrow, lip, smiley, webbing and tongue – Age 16 and over.  If you are under 18 you must also have parental consent.
 
Septum, nose, ashley/vertical labret, Belly/Navel- Age 16 and over. If you are under 18 you must also have parental consent.
 
Nipple, bridge, daith, industrial, philtrum, microdermal Anchor, intimate piercing – Age 18 and over only. 

Lost your aftercare sheet?  Follow the link below to view the aftercare instructions 🙂

Piercing Aftercare

All piercings swell for a portion of the healing time, but an over swollen piercing can cause many other issues if left untreated. Jewellery should be snug but not touching the attachments on the ends of the jewellery. It is important to identify and eliminate the cause early to avoid damage to the piercing.  If your piercing is showing signs of infection, we recommend you visit your GP for antibiotics.

Causes of swollen piercings:

  • Constant pressure on the piercing from sleeping positions/ or clothing (like high waisted pants on a navel etc.)
  • Reactions to poor quality jewellery
  • Infections
  • Trauma to the area
  • Reaction to soap/ makeup residues on the area
  • Incorrect aftercare

 

Treatment:

  1. Check for signs of infection, (refer to question “How to identify an infected piercing”)
  2. Use saline to soak the piercing and clear any debris
  3. Remove existing jewellery and fit with a suitable replacement
  4. Saline Hot Compress – Take your sterile saline solution and heat a small amount in a glass until it is hot to the touch, soak sterile gauze in solution and hold over piercing for 15 minutes every night for 2-3 weeks or until swelling subsides. *Alternatively you can make your own saline using ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized rock salt to 1 cup of boiled or distilled water.
  5. Applying ice and taking ibuprofen, can help ease pain and reduce swelling.

Granulomas or “Trauma bumps” are small red lumps of excess scar tissue commonly found on healing piercings. These can be caused by a number of factors such as incorrect piercing angles, incorrect jewellery or constant trauma or pressure to the area such as sleeping on your piercing. Granulomas will usually shrink and disappear with the following treatments but can often take time to completely heal.

Please note: Only use one of these treatments at a time along with your daily saline cleaning. Making sure you give the treatment time to work before trying the next.

Salt Paste:

Grind good quality non-iodized salt nice and fine and then mix with a small amount of sterile saline until comes to a toothpaste like consistency. Paint this onto each lump before bed and then cover with a band aid. Gently wash away the paste the next morning with your routine saline cleanse.

Repeat these steps for 3 nights in a row with 1 week break in between for up to 3 cycles. IF BURNING SENSATION OCCURS PLEASE WASH PASTE OFF IMEDIETLY AND REFER TO THE NEXT TREATMENT.

Chamomile tea bag soak:

Take Tea bag and activate it in warm boiled water. Hold over your piercing for 10-15 minutes and then clean with sterile saline. Repeat every night for 2 weeks or until the lump disappears.

Saline hot compress:

Take your sterile saline solution and heat a small amount in a glass until it is hot to the touch, Soak sterile gauze in solution and hold over piercing for 15 minutes every night for 2-3 weeks or until swelling subsides. *Alternatively you may make your own saline using 1⁄4 teaspoon of non iodized rock salt to 1 cup of boiled or distilled water.

 

IDENTIFYING AN INFECTION

The mains signs of an infection are:

  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Pus
  • Heat
  • Pain

 

NOTE: symptoms not to be confused with normal healing processes.

It’s important not to misdiagnose an infection. More often than not, it’s just irritated or reacting to low quality jewellery. Infections will be very ‘angry’ looking, red, sometimes purplish in colour, and very swollen. They will also be painful without needing to touch the area, usually a throbbing sensation. An infection can excrete Pus which is thick and white, yellow, or green in colour.  This is not to be confused with plasma, the clear/yellowish fluid which dries to a crust and is a normal part of the healing process.

Treatment: if you think your piercing is infected it is best that you immediately see a doctor for antibiotics. DO NOT remove the jewellery entirely as it needs an open channel to drain. Removing the jewellery can seal the infection inside the body and cause an abscess.

The saline solution we sell (Neilmed) is preferred as it’s ready to use, correct formula, and sterile.

OR

Dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon non-iodized (iodine free) salt in 1 cup (250ml) warm distilled or bottled water

Note: A stronger mixture (more salt) is not better. A saline solution that is too strong can irritate your piercing.

-Contact lens solution is not the same as saline solution and is not recommended for use on piercings.

To expand an ear lobe you must first have a pierced ear. It is recommended that if your ear has only recently been pierced that you wait until it is completely healed before starting to expand. This is usually 6-8 weeks after the initial piercing.

You should always sterilize your jewellery before using it. It is also a good idea to wash your hands and clean your ear lobe with a basic saline solution before starting the stretching process. This reduces the risk of infection. A basic saline solution is 1 cup of water to 1 teaspoon of salt.

The best time to stretch your ears is directly after a shower as the heat from the water softens the skin and opens the hole of the piercing. We suggest also trying to use a non-alcohol/ perfume based lubricant such as KY, Vaseline or Gauge Gear. Using lubricant will help reduce the jewellery piece gripping against the skin, and thus reduce the risk of skin tearing.

It is suggested to start with a small size stretcher / expander, usually a 3mm. Take a shower, sterilize your jewellery and begin to slowly push the narrow end of the expander through your ear.  This may hurt a little. If your ear starts to have a burning feeling use the black grommets on either side of your ear to hold the expander in place and leave your ear a day to settle. To expand an ear correctly it is a slow process. It should take a week to completely push the expander in following the same process each time. (Shower, sterilize, lube, expand).

Be aware that you shouldn`t use excessive force to push the expander in all the way on the first try. Using excessive force will tear the skin resulting in bleeding, pus or infection.  Tearing the skin means you have made your ear hole an open wound.  The open wound will heal at the size of your expander reducing the chance of the hole closing back down when you take your jewellery out.

Once your expander is all the way in we recommend waiting 4-5 days before continuing to the next size. When going up in size no more than a 2mm size jump is recommended.

At Angel Body Jewellery we have one of the largest ranges of stretchers, plugs and tunnels in Perth.  We sell all sizes from 3mm – 30mm, and a selected range up to 50mm

* Want to go BIGGER?  Imagine your ear lobe as an elastic band. The more you stretch it and then let it go back down to size the more elasticity it loses. Same with your ear! Once you lose the elasticity your ears can be stretched to amazing sizes! … Just be aware of the holes it will leave.

Unlike regular piercings where you can get away with only cleaning them once every few months, stretched lobes require constant maintenance if they are to be odour free, plump, and healthy. This is because they have a larger surface area which results in a larger amount of sebum and dead skin cells to be produced. It also means they are more exposed to the air (resulting in dryness) and outside elements such as dirt, hair dye, make-up, perfume, smoke, etc.

DAILY ROUTINE: Before (or during) your daily shower, remove your plugs. Rinse them under the water and put aside. Gently massage your lobes under the running water. A mild soap can be used but is not necessary. After the shower, gently dry your plugs and your lobes. Then use an aftercare product such as Jojoba Oil, Gauge Gear, Vitamin-E Oil, Coconut Oil, etc on your lobes by placing a small amount on your fingers, rubbing them together to warm up the product, and gently massaging it into your lobes. Massaging your lobes increases the blood flow which softens up any scar tissue and promotes healthy cell growth so the longer, the better. Apply any excess product on your fingers to your plugs (especially important for wood plugs). You are now ready to reinsert your jewellery.

Note for stinky lobes: Wood plugs are NOT an alternative to a good hygiene regimen. Although they will absorb some of the excess oils being produced by your lobes, they will not solve the problem and can cause the plugs to crack and go yucky very quickly. Wood is also not to be exposed to water so it is advised to remove them before showering and never wear while swimming.

Wearing acrylic or silicone for more than a couple of hours a day can cause irritation for your lobes as well as redness, itching, and increased sebum production. Materials that can be worn for longer periods of time are wood, stone, and metals.

Split, torn, or bleeding lobes: Remove jewellery immediately. Keep clean and dry and wait until fully healed (may take several weeks) before attempting to insert any jewellery. Will undoubtedly shrink in size but is much better than split, infected, or very thin lobes.

Blowout: Downsize (at least one gauge/2mm), resume aftercare procedures (increase massaging time), and when inserting your plugs do so from the side where the blowout rests (i.e. if the blowout is on the back, when inserting your jewellery do so from the back-inwards to encourage the tissue back to the interior of the lobe.

JEWELLERY QUESTIONS

Our jewellery is manufactured from many different materials, including surgical stainless steel, titanium, silver, gold (manufactured with a nickel-free alloy), pyrex, bioplast, PTFE, anodized steel, rhodium, buffalo horn and bone. We have added a short materials summary below.

For further information, data sheets, or any questions regarding the materials used to manufacture the jewellery, please feel free to contact us directly.

14ct & 18ct Yellow Gold
14ct Gold is 58% gold and 42% other alloys. 18ct Gold is 75% gold and 25% other alloys. 14ct gold is best suited for jewellery with threads and balls. 18ct is well suited for nose studs, but too soft to use for threaded jewellery. All our gold is biocompatible and made nickel free. It can be autoclaved and used for initial piercings.

18ct White Gold
18ct White Gold is alloyed without nickel, instead containing palladium, an inert element in the platinum family. It can be autoclaved and used for initial piercings.

Acrylic
Acrylic is a plastic that is commonly used for body jewellery. It can crack if soaked in disinfectant chemicals or under heat. It is a fragile material when made in smaller gauges. Evidence suggests that long term wear of acrylic can release harmful toxins from the plastic. Acrylic should only be worn temporarily. It cannot be autoclaved, and is not suitable for initial or healing piercings.

Black Steel
Black steel is 316L Steel with a Black PVD coating. The coating is extremely resistant to scratches, though can fade or chip over time. It can be autoclaved and used for initial piercings.

Bioplast
Bioplast is a biocompatible and medical grade flexible plastic. It contains no nickel. It is commonly used to make piercing retainers. It can be autoclaved and used for initial piercings.

Glass
Glass is a strong material, and biocompatible. It contains no nickel and certain types are extremely sturdy (Pyrex and Quartz glass). It is commonly used for retainers, ear plugs and heavy gauge facial piercings. It can be autoclaved and used for initial piercings.

Organics
Organic body jewellery is made from various natural materials such as Horn, Bone, Wood, Stone, and others. Organic body jewellery should not be worn in unhealed tissue. Organic materials are sensitive to changes in heat and humidity. Autoclaving, use in water or extreme heat can cause damage to the jewellery and is not recommended. Organics should be oiled regularly. Organics can absorb oils and sweat from the skin, and therefore reduce odours. It should not be used for initial piercings.

PTFE
PTFE is also known as Teflon. It is flexible and can be cut to any desired length. It can be sterilized (up to 260 degrees) and does not cause any allergic reactions (nickel free). It has a very smooth ‘non-stick’ surface, and can be worn long term. It can be autoclaved and used for initial piercings.

Silicone
Silicone is a soft and flexible material, commonly worn in stretched ears. It has a ‘sticky’ surface and should not be worn in fresh or unhealed piercings. It should not be used for initial piercings.

Surgical Steel 316L
SS316L is a surgical implant grade material. It is the most commonly used material for body jewellery. Although this high grade of Steel does contain nickel, they do not release nickel salts into the body and do not induce nickel dermatitis. It can be autoclaved and used for initial piercings.

Titanium G23
Titanium is ideal for both initial body piercing and healed piercings as it is compliant with the EU Nickel Directive introduced in Europe in 2001. Grade Ti6AL-4V Titanium is biocompatible and has been used since the 1950’s for medical implants. It is available in High Polish, which resembles Steel. It can also be anodized into a multitude of colours. Titanium is only half the weight of Steel, and twice as strong.

Grade 23 Titanium has been given an ‘F’ prefix by the ASTM (F-136), signifying its status as an approved medical grade material. No higher qualification exists. It can be autoclaved and used for initial piercings.

Zircon Gold Titanium
Zircon Gold is G23 Titanium coated with Zirconium nitride, and has been tested and certified as biocompatible for external and internal medical devices. No gold or palladium is added to the formula. The coating is extremely resistant to scratches, though can fade or chip over time. It can be autoclaved and used for initial piercings.

Our jewellery is manufactured in different locations across the world. Metal jewellery is mainly made in Korea and Thailand, the tribal jewellery is hand made in Borneo and many specialized materials are manufactured in Europe.

Your Jewellery will not be pre sterilized. All jewellery should be sterilized before use. We recommend using warm salt water or ear- care for external items. For oral items Listerine can be used. Do not use hot water as it may weaken / damage selected items.

Unfortunately we cannot pierce with solid gold jewellery as solid gold jewellery should only be worn in healed piercings. Gold is a softer metal and any small scratches or impurities on the surface may irritate fresh piercings. However we can offer alternatives. We can anodise titanium to a golden colour for initial piercings, or you can select a titanium bar with a solid gold top, from our premium Anatometal or Neometal pieces.

Jewellery with dangles are occasional wear items and shouldn`t be worn while doing sports or when going to bed.

Jewellery with clusters of little stones are occasional wear and should avoid being worn in water as the stones are only glued in and may come out.

Plastic balls, silicon plugs, bioplast or PTFE items may break or weaken if screwed on too tight, bitten or sterilized in hot water.

Dice with jewels, capsules, silicon spikey balls, picture balls or items with small attachments are novelty items only. They should not be worn for prolonged periods of time or while eating as parts may break off creating a choking hazard.

HOW TO AVOID DISCOLOURATION

Drinking coke, coffee, red wine or smoking may cause some jewellery to discolour. Other factors which may cause jewellery to discolour are hair dyes, make up removers and repeated exposure to other chemicals.

CARING FOR JEWELLERY WITH STONES

Chemicals may affect the glue used to hold parts of the jewellery together. For all jewellery including jewelled balls, nose studs, bioplast labrets, eyebrow bars and jewelled plugs clear nail polish can be painted over the stones to help hold them in and stop the stones from discolouring.

GOLD PLATED JEWELLERY is surgical steel with 24ct gold plating so it should not cause any skin irritation, however as with any gold plated jewellery the plating may come off with time. We ultimately suggest using this item as an occasional wear.

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