When I was little I desperately wanted to get my ears pierced like my friends at school. My parents agreed that for my 6th birthday I could have them done. Shortly before my birthday I underwent surgery for a congenital heart condition and the doctors advised me not to take part in any activity that could increase the likelihood of a blood infection. That meant, no piercings, no tattoos or other procedures that were seen as 'high risk' for infection. As a child I got over the idea of having my ears pierced and hardly thought about it at all. But when I turned 18 I decided I really wanted to get a tattoo. I was an adult, I did my research and I planned ahead. I even spoke to a doctor about it. But ultimately it was my decision to take the risk and I got my first tattoo. Since then I've been under the tattoo needle three more times and I even tried out a couple of piercings (helix and tragus) which were tricky to heal; I got fed up and got rid of those after a while.
I've always been sensible with looking after my tattoos and piercings during the healing stage. An infection is not great for anyone. At the age of 25 I was lusting after pretty ear jewellery and after binge watching all 10 seasons of Pretty Little Liars in a row (talk about earring inspiration) I really wanted to get my ears pierced so I could wear simple studs, delicate hoops or fancy stuff in my lobes. At the time I was already healing a tragus piercing - my second time giving this cartilage piercing a go - and things were going fairly well. I'd caught the bug and wanted to adorn my ears even further.
I was in Manchester just before Christmas when I headed down to Holier Than Thou a piercing and tattoo shop that are well known for having a wide selection of jewellery, friendly staff and a clean sterile environment. The amount of positive recommendations online made me certain I'd be in safe hands. The shop was busy (I've never seen it quiet) but I filled out my form and waited a while to be seen. My piercer was very friendly and obviously confident in his work because within a few minutes I had four fresh holes in my ears. I decided to just go for it and get my first and second lobe holes done all at once. My theory was I'd be cutting down the healing time and it was likely I'd want to get two piercings per ear eventually anyway. These lobe piercings hurt. The pain only lasted a few seconds but it was a sharp, make your eyes water, sort of pain. Nothing like my tragus which was uncomfortable to get done but hardly hurt at all. The second holes felt worse. Probably because the area was already sore from having the first studs stabbed through. I'm surprised that small children manage to get through this tear-free. Maybe it's not as painful when you're younger? After it was done they throbbed for a while and my boyfriend said my ears looked 'blue' which is the colour I go when I'm past red.
I paid at the counter (approx £56, four piercings at £10 each plus the jewellery costs). I kept thinking about that scene in The Parent Trap where Linsday Lohan pierces her twin sister's ears with ice and an apple and wondered whether I should have asked my Mum to do the same. But then I thought better of it. Leave it to the professionals.
My initial jewellery was four titanium labret studs, two plain balls and two clear gems. Really easy to sleep on because of the flat backs but the first few nights were a bit painful. I was advised to keep them clean with sea salt solution, not to mess with them and they'd hopefully be healed in 6-8 weeks. That was back before Christmas and I have finally changed them into a pair of small hoops and some bar studs. They are still healing though. They can be a bit sore if I've slept on them funny and I'm so rubbish and putting in the jewellery that I'll probably leave them alone for a while longer. I'm still keeping them clean and looking after them. I've found even a weak sea salt solution dries my skin out so much (it's the same with my tragus) so I only use a teeny bit of salt if they're playing up. The rest of the time I just keep them clean with hot/warm water and leave them alone.
Fingers crossed all will heal well. I'm already eyeing up lots of pretty jewellery and adding it to my wish list. Lobe jewellery above is from Fashionology and my tragus stud is titanium clear gem from the piercing studio. Will I get any more piercings? No, not for a while. The most annoying part is the healing time, you have to be committed to a piercing and have the willpower to take care of it. I'm sure after a while I'll be itching to get something else done. My advice is always go to a place with great recommendations, always get pierced with a needle (not a gun) be safe and look after your new piercings as instructed!
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