Murphy’s law is a bitch so before you do your own piercing, or allow a friend to, make sure that you’ve researched and prepared for the unexpected. Seriously, know what you’re getting into. Know your material options (titanium, surgical steel, etc.), recommended gages, length/diameter recommended for new piercings to allow for swelling, healing time, aftercare, potential dangers for each location (nerves, reflection…), angles and techniques, and even piercing needle options (lubricated?, with guide?). Even if you’re just shoving a safety pin through know how long to leave it in before trying to replace it with jewelry.
There’s a million videos and reads explain all of this, but none of them know exactly how your body will react to the piercing or jewelry. Although there are recommendations to allow for swelling those recommendations might not be enough for you or the style of jewelry you want isn’t the best for you while healing. So while others won’t tell you, I will…Buy a variety pack of sizes and styles and keep on hand for new piercings just in case.
I’ve self pierced before, but this time chose to use piercing needles instead of safety pin or piercing stud (not recommended for cartilage as they have a lot of grooves). Money was a factor and I went with a $5 pack that came with different gage needless (14, 16, 18) that were not lubricated. The pack came with a few jewelry options for each gage, but they were basic surgical steel and I wanted something cuter and titanium as I wasn’t sure how my body would react, so I bought a labret for my lip and a hoop for my nose.
Thank God I went with the assorted pack of jewelry because my lip swelled so much the next day that the labret stud I initially selected was not long enough. It dug into the meat of my lip and was causing the meat to pucker around it. NOT good. I had no choice but to remove it and find a hoop big enough to fit around my fat lip. So here I am now with a silver 14 gage CBR in my lip (which I intended to be a 16G) that flops from side to side but feels SO much better. When the swelling comes down more I can switch to the smaller diameter horseshoe, and eventually back to my sexy labret. It’s not what I planned but thank God I had options.
Always prepare for the unexpected!!