We’ve all been stubborn before, right?
I’m not perfect either.
When I’m helping a customer, giving a whole speech about what to do and what not to do with it and I often get the impression people are listening but will end up doing their own stubborn thing they wanted to go and do in the first place anyway.
I want to clear the air about something here. I’ve been there too.
I did my own first stretching on my earlobe, with an acrylic spiral I bought at a festival. I stretched my earlobe just like that, dry, no lubricant what so ever, no research, no attention for maximum sizes, no nothing. I pushed the thing through my ear all day and this way went from 1.6mm (14ga) to 6 mm (2ga)!!! which is bad, in case you were wondering. When I got home, my ear was red, swollen, oozing, hurting but I thought it was all part of the game. Luckily I woke up the next morning having lost my piece of plastic junk and my ear was turning back to normal. I wouldn’t start over until I was 23 years of age. Since then I started over slowly and steadily, using lubricants, looking out for the right materials and still learned a lot along the way. Today my earlobes are 16 mm (5/8″) and I’m now 32 years old and it’s been a year in this size now.
I tried different methods almost every time.
I left the jewelry in as long as possible every time, at least until I was tired of it (which was often much longer than 2 months). I used horn, bone, wood, steel but never acrylics again. Tapers, hooks, spirals… But never again without lubricant, almost always under the shower, with a bit of mild perfume-free soap (which you shouldn’t do with organics by the ways as they become porous in contact with water and then can harbor bacteria). Also not recommended, but at least I learned. In 2008 I started piercing professionally. I finally started doing it professionally, the right way, responsibly and patiently. I slowed down a lot and learned to use oils to massage and soothe the skin and regain some elasticity. Every now and then downsizing, sometimes not wearing jewelry at all…
But it could have ended up entirely differently!
With piercings it’s the same thing actually. Especially cartilage piercings. I had to learn that the hard way… I had my helix piercings done with a gun because it was cheap (!) and once I got home I would change the jewelry for a ring or a spiral. And then I would be amazed when they wouldn’t heal (really? really.). They would swell, get bumps on them, ooze weird stuff for weeks, hurt, be red or purple… I lived in a dorm, with a cat, rats (pet rats), a ferret, mice… I would sleep with my cat, carry my rats and mice in my neck on my hoodie, against my piercings… Of course they would get infected! I had more than 16 ear piercings back then. But of these I had to take out at least 6 because they wouldn’t heal. I wasn’t a professional piercer back then and when I consulted my physician for advice he would tell me to remove it at once, so I did. What did I know, right? And they hurt so much I didn’t feel like I had any choice.
Also, I went to a cosmetic surgeon a couple times to get rid of all those bumps on my ears, that were left behind after removing all those infected piercings.
Those bumps weren’t only on my cartilage either, my third earring was still on the lobe but also got a bump and an infection. Now that I know more, I probably could have prevented all this by treating the piercing pimple the right way and it wouldn’t have gotten worse and infected. The doctor told me the surgeon could try and cut it away. But the surgeon had something else in mind. Injections with some steroid and calendula solution. The surgeon diagnosed it as a keloid. But she was wrong here again. A keloid is hard and shiny and this wasn’t. it helped though… It was really painful but it helped in the end. After a little under a year the biggest bump came back with a vengeance, it was swollen huge, red and krusty and painful. I was happy it was only on the back of my earlobe so I could camouflage it with labrets in my other piercings so you wouldn’t be able to notice it. After a week or two it was gone, just like that. Lucky me, but the other ones are still there to remind me of my mistakes, and to show my clients what you shouldn’t do.
Now I know better, but now I’m left with scars and tears… Some things you will never forget.
I don’t wish that for anyone. And how ever stubborn I’ve been, if someone could have helped me back then the way I try to help my clients now I probably wouldn’t have as much scarring as I do and I could have kept a couple piercings.
Therefor my speeches and lectures. It’s to help you. Take my advice or don’t that’s your prerogative, but at least I can help you if you want me to.