Posted on Leave a comment

Piercings for Gender Euphoria.

Before I start this blog post, I must state that as of writing, I am a 22 year old, femme-presenting/afab non-binary person who recognises her state of privilege, and lack of first hand experience and knowledge surrounding those who are seeking gender euphoric practices. Despite identifying as non-binary, I have personally never used piercings for ‘gender euphoria’, but definitely have used them in aid to find love in my body more.

This is why I have reached out to clients, and piercers first hand for their own experience that they are willing to share. This blog is intended to share peoples own experiences about being pierced to aid in their gender euphoria, and to provide more information to those out there.

Agender but transmasculine (he/him)

I have loads of piercings! 10 facial, 3 ear, both nipples and dukes – originally they were just a form of expression and I didn’t understand why they meant so much to me, but after transitioning, getting piercings really started to have a whole new meaning for me ! A lot of them enhance features that are already there that I find euphoric (for example, my eyebrow piercings highlighting my monobrow and my dukes highlighting my bottom growth) – since my experience getting vch/dukes, I’ve found them to be so gender affirming that I absolutely plan to get more genital piercings eventually!

My biggest advice to others looking for this is to go to a trans/trans friendly piercer that understands how much it’ll mean for you, especially if it’s a more intimate piercing! The experience of getting the piercing often really affects my feelings on it, especially with something as person as a gender affirming piercing, so it’s definitely worth finding someone that makes you feel comfortable and welcome! 🙂

Cove, 19
Healed Facial Piercings.

Hi I’m genderfluid, and use the pronouns he/they/it. The affirming piercings I currently have are my bridge, septum, and an eyebrow.

Facial piercings have helped me with gender euphoria, as they help to make my face look more androgynous, by covering/hiding more feminine aspects, and accentuating more neutral and masculine aspects. My bridge and septum help to draw more attention to my nose, and away from more feminine areas of my face, such as my lips and cheeks, and my eyebrow helps to make my brows look thicker and fuller.

The only negative effect I can think of, is having a strong emotional attachment to my piercings, as I don’t feel or look like myself without them, which can cause distress if I need to remove them.

I plan on getting my other eyebrow (I need symmetry), cheek piercings (as this will help to make my face appear slimmer) and lip piercings with hoops to almost hide them, making them look less feminine.

My advice for anyone looking to get affirming piercings, is to go to a reputable piercer and do your research. I had dahlia bites done and had to remove them as they weren’t pierced correctly and it crushed me. So trust me, the extra £15 is worth it!

Onyx, 19

I’m a trans masc nonbinary lesbian! my pronouns are he/they. I currently have 19 piercings, but my paired eyebrows that I got a year ago have definitely been the best for gender euphoria! I love the way they emphasise my brow bone and make me look more masculine, as well as balancing out my face because I have a lot of piercings from the nose down. I’m currently thinking of getting my bridge redone, as I think this would draw more attention again to my facial structure. To anyone thinking of getting masc gender affirming piercings- do it! My facial dysphoria immediately improved when I got my eyebrows pierced. I love them!

Juno, 22

Transmasculine, he/whatever.

I got diagonal nipple piercings last December, and it’s honestly been so good for the old gender. Before I had them I looked at my chest and it was just like “gross, still got tits”, but now I get to look at them and see sick-ass shiny bars! I’m now much less uncomfortable seeing my chest because there’s something else to focus on that’s not dislike of my body.

It was the same for my navel piercing, giving much less focus to my hips and ‘feminine’ stomach and instead just heh nice shiny blue bar. Funny enough, the colour also plays into it. Sounds a bit silly but switching from plain titanium to anodised dark blue pieces has actually made me love my piercings even more – perhaps a bit juvenile to be all blue is for boys, but it helps.

This one is a bit mad, but I used to have earlobe dysphoria. Honest to god I felt that my lobes were too small and feminine. Stretching them has completely nuked that, and I now love how my ears look! Stretching my septum has also made me love how my face looks, I think the chunky blue ring in the middle really ties everything together in a masculine way. I’m excited to get more piercings, planning a stacked labret in the next few weeks!

I’ve just started T and am planning to get a triangle piercing and perhaps a few labia’s once bottom growth has slowed down. I love the way genital piercing looks and am excited to find out how it feels! I’ve always been somewhat uncomfortable during sex due to the whole trans thing, and I think genital piercings would help with that – having a less conventionally gendered vulva with bottom growth and piercings would help make it feel less like a Female Part and more just my body.

Any advice for other folks looking for gender affirming piercings: play around with different jewellery styles! Piercings are so customisable, you can tailor them to any version of your own masculinity or femininity. Also – nipple piercings do not hurt as much as everyone said they would.

Fletch, 19
Healed Nipple and Navel Piercings

My name’s Sin; I’m 30 and I’m nonbinary. I have a lot of piercings for a lot of reasons, but rather than talk about gender affirming genital work, or nipple piercings to help make my body more bearable whilst I wait for top surgery, I feel like you feel my gender euphoria most in my face. As much as the aforementioned are helpful, I’ve never felt more connected to myself than I do when I make that bold decision to change the part of me I turn toward the rest of the world.

I don’t like my face, but it’s mine. I’ve always had it and I always will. Even with surgery, with HRT, there’s always going to be my face under it, and people will always read it one way or another; masculine or feminine features, “harsh” features or “soft” features, boy or girl, whatever box the observer wants to put me in. But my modifications aren’t anything. They don’t belong to one category or another. They’re not a “male” or “female” feature. They’re not human, and I love that. Every new piercing is another step away from the expected presentation of either gender, into a new space occupied by neither, a space uniquely mine.

I’m a visual eunuch; something not quite both, but impossible to divorce completely from the concept of an “either”. In a body that never felt like mine, every new wound makes me a little more present. In the negative spaces I’ve made and filled in with gold, I’ve found myself; I am the most myself in the places in between, in the parts of myself that I enacted my own divine right to create or destroy or adorn.

I’ll continue adding piercings, and other modifications until I no longer feel a sense of “absence”. I’d like to expand on more directly affirming piercings like genital work as I explore HRT. However, with that, I’d say it’s important not to just consider that something is affirming because it is aligned to the presentation you identify most closely with, but sometimes that affirmation comes from the simple act of recognising your own ability to enact change. Body modifications are way to chip your own vision out of the flesh we’re all born into; it’s not about what “should” belong to a specific gender ideal, but about what makes you feel empowered in your own skin. Gender presentation is as multi-faceted and beautiful as the gemstones we fill ourselves with; it’s worth exploring.

Sin, 30

-Madelyn MacPherson(She/Her) 26, Ontario, Canada

Before I came out as transgender, the only piercings I had were my stretched lobes, and a septum ring. I had known I was trans for years, but was so scared to come out, until I heard I song I had heard many times before, but the lyrics “I need to be myself, because it so lonely in the eyes of someone else” hit me in a way they had never hit before. At that moment I knew I had to come out

A few months after coming out, I met my family at  @goldenelectrictattoo . That is when my piercing journey began.

The first piercing I got made me realize how gender affirming getting pierced is for me was my paired nose piercings. How beautiful I felt looking at myself with them in after fighting for so long to see the woman I am in the mirror, it was one of the most gender euphoric feelings I’ve ever experienced.

Since then, I’ve had pierced my high nostrils, mantis, bridge, paired centre eyebrows, third eye dermal, vertical labret, angel fangs, smiley, both nipples, surface tragus on both sides, and my conches punched at a 4 gauge.

Every last one of those piercings made me feel more beautiful than the last, more feminine, and more willing to learn to love myself. Every time I struggle to see the woman I am today stare back in the mirror, I see my beautiful adornments all given to me by amazing friends, and remind myself of the beauty I carry inside and out

Being trans is a lot like getting pierced in a way. It’s a lot of pain all at once, but once it heals, you feel beautiful .

-Madelyn, 26

Gender/pronoun preference: he/they 

Piercings you got and why: paired nostrils, because I thought they go well with my septum

How this has helped with gender euphoria: I like my nose more, it helps when I look in the mirror

Any positive/negative effects from the piercing: boost in confidence, sometimes it sucks when I have to blow my nose 

If you are considering anymore affirming piercings and why: not for now 

Any advice for other folks looking for gender affirming piercings: do it 

Nico, 26

Gender/pronoun preference: she/her, trans woman

Piercings you got and why: helix x3, industrial, nostril, septum, vertical labret, nipples, 16mm stretched lobes 

How this has helped with gender euphoria: I’ve made my body my own, in the way I want. I was insecure about my nose size, but my nose piercings have really helped with that. I wanted my nipples pierced for  ages, and was glad when my endocrinologist gave me the go-ahead after a couple of years of hrt! They’ve also helped my body feel uniquely mine. 

Any positive/negative effects from the piercing: I’m far more confident and comfortable going out! But sometimes I catch my nipple piercings in the shower 🙁 

If you are considering anymore affirming piercings and why: not at the moment! 

Any advice for other folks looking for gender affirming piercings: do it. Ignore what anyone else says, your body is yours and only yours, so do what you like to make it a body you’re proud of! 

Abigail, 23

My name is Tobias and I’m 19 (nearly 20!) years old and trans masc. I go by he/him pronouns and have been on testosterone for a year and a half. I have a lot of piercings (22 currently!) and some of them have definitely helped me with dysphoria and made me more comfortable in my own skin. 

I didn’t get a septum piercing intending for it to help with dysphoria, but right now my septum is stretched to 4mm and the chunkier jewellery definitely helps with a more masculine look/feel. It’s a big chunky piece and sort of the focal point of my facial piercings, meaning that my philtrum piercing (which I would consider more feminine, but that’s just me) doesn’t particularly stick out as much as it would without it. It means I can get more facial piercings that I want without worrying about them making me look too feminine.

I also have a large-gauge VCH piercing which was absolutely wonderful for dysphoria. I got it a few weeks after I started taking testosterone and have since stretched it to a large gauge than it was initially pierced at (3.2mm at the moment I believe). Genital piercings are absolutely wonderful for dysphoria especially since I haven’t had any surgery, and it only gets better when testosterone starts to work its magic and you get bottom growth. 

In regard to other affirming piercings, I’m looking at paired labia piercings and nipple piercings (post-top surgery, if eligible). I’ve heard so many good things from other trans masculine people and trans men about labia piercings and the euphoria from them. I’ve spoken to some people who’ve stretched theirs quite large and have said that they’ve helped them a lot with bottom dysphoria.

If you’re looking to get a gender-affirming piercing then I think you totally should! It’s a very personal and individual thing, so what I prefer for my expression might not be the same for another trans masc person. However, if you’re very ‘traditional’ in what you consider masculine, then I think large gauge piercings and plain/chunky ends will always work brilliantly.

Tobias, 19

It’s important that trans people are also given a voice about their experiences, rather than be overshadowed by someone who doesn’t have that first hand experience. And so I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been willing to share their own personal experiences for this blog post. I hope that people will find this useful and utilise it in their own journeys.

If you have any questions or are seeking support with your own journey into using piercings for gender euphoria, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

Posted on Leave a comment

Body Reclamation in Piercing

Since the beginning of time, body modifications (Body Modifications: The deliberate altering of the human anatomy or human physical appearance.) have been used as a way for people to reclaim their bodies for a multitude of reasons. Dying your hair, getting tattoos and piercings, to even more extreme modifications, such as tongue splits, are all different methods of modification used for body reclamation. This practice has been and is used in both the modern western world, and in earlier practices in the eastern world. It’s almost like an instinct to use our bodies to express and deal with heavy and distasteful emotions.

This blog does slightly touch on heavy negative emotions and abuse, which some people may find triggering.

What is Body Reclamation?

Body reclamation is about reconnecting with your body. Becoming more intimate and connected with yourself. About learning to explore who you are and gain a sense of power (or gain back that sense of power) or your self being.

This can mean different things for everyone. For some it’s about finding a sense of self and expressing themselves in ways they never could. For some it’s about re-identifying and learning to feel comfortable in the body they were born in. And for some it’s about becoming more intimate with themselves.

How does this entwine with piercing?

“Pain is not pleasant, I still don’t like it, but it is a tool, a teacher. My aim is what comes after. The head is quiet, time slows down. For a second, mind, body, and soul are perfectly aligned and connected.

That brief moment of balance.”
-Darkam Arcadia

https://www.instagram.com/p.a.i.n.project/

As a young body piercer in the UK, I have bonded over personal emotions with many of my clients. I’m a bit of a talker when i’m in the piercing room, and I quite often ask ‘so, why this piercing today?’ , the replies vary, but quite often I hear:

-“I’ve always fancied it, I’ve just never been brave enough.”
-“My ex partner never wanted me to have any, so now I’m getting everything I ever wanted.”
-“I’ve just recently had a break-up/divorce and thought I’d treat myself.”
-“I’m just having a bad time and knew this would make me feel better and relieve some emotion.”

And our clients aren’t the only ones too. I personally have quite often found getting a new piercing or tattoo can be a welcome distraction from personal hurt I’m feeling too. I also tend to find that the more people tell me to not get that piercing, or stop getting more, I go and do it with even more ambition. I hate that people think that they get to police how I choose to decorate my body. I use it as a defence mechanism to tell people ‘this is who I am’, and I love who I am with them.

For some people, using piercings and other body modifications is a way to heal through trauma, and let go of things that have been weighing them down. Some abuse survivors looking to reclaim their bodies through body piercing do it as a means of “reclaiming their bodies and body parts from memories and history of abuse”.


“Started getting piercings at 14. They’re all out now after 5 years in the military. But I’m covered in tattoos, starting at 17. Sleeve, hand, hips, back, belly. Without them I’m just a regular looking suburban white lady. With them I feel a sense of armor and protection. I’m made of rice krispies on the inside, and having an unapproachable exterior gives me a sense of protecting my vulnerability. I also do my best to not be flirty. I don’t want to draw positive sexual attention from the world at large. It gives me a sense of control over a body I haven’t always been able to protect.”
-Unknown

https://www.reddit.com/r/CPTSD/comments/lij2by/reclaiming_your_body_with_tattoos_piercings_etc/

Many transgender people use piercings as a gender affirming tool. This can be as simple as a Trans Femme client getting her first lobes done as a step into ‘womanhood’, the same way little girls get their first piercings. It can also be more intense genital work which can provide a better sense of self intimacy and belonging in their own bodies.

“I just recently got my ears pierced, for me it’s just a natural thing wanting to be more fashionable with that part of the body and feeling in line with cis-women.”

https://www.reddit.com/r/MtF/comments/alli9d/being_trans_and_getting_piercingstattoos/

People choose to get pierced for a variety of reasons, it’s not always to reclaim their bodies, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be aware of those who do. We can help make that experience a little bit better, and provide more options to further assist in their journey. Empathise and be a friend to those who need it, but don’t push boundaries when not needed.

At Rogue we always like to provide the best experience no matter your reason behind the piercing, but if you are looking for additional support we are always here to assist in that journey to self expression, identification and love. We are available 7 days a week, and offer a wide range of piercings between our 4 members of staff that cover the body head to toe. Do not hesitate to reach out for guidance.

If you have been affected by any of the topics that have been touched upon in the blog, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support.

Support for domestic abuse and violence.
Support for sexual abuse.
Support for mental health.
Support for gender dysphoria.

Posted on Leave a comment

The History of Vulva Piercings and the UK Law

Welcome back to the blog, and welcome to quite a complex topic! Today we are talking about the intersection between female genital piercing, female genital mutilation (FGM), the UK Government, and the formation of the UKAPP. So, first things first: Did you know that consenting intimate piercings on female clients was considered Female Genital Mutilation, and carried a potential jail term of up to 14 years?

Wait, What?

Yes! In April 2015, new UK NHS guidelines were brought into effect after months of serious pressure from the Crown Prosecution Service. These guidelines added new rules for a wide range of medical professionals who are subject to Mandatory Reporting guides. In short, this meant that professionals like Doctors, Ob Gyns, Nurses etc, would be required by law to report any observations of potentially altered vulvas. This including reporting any female adult who had consented to a western-style (modern day) body piercing as Female Genital Mutilation. This would then open up the piercer to prosecution under UK law!

The FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) offences were set out in the 2003 FGM Act, which were then later amended in 2015 by the Serious Crime Act. There were 4 offences set out, including “assisting a girl to mutilate her own genitals”. Self-mutilation is not an offence, but assisting someone to do so is.

“A person is guilty of an offence if it is proved that:

  • a girl has excised, infibulated or otherwise mutilated the whole or any part of her own labia majora, labia minora or clitoris, and
  • the suspect has aided, abetted, counselled or procured this.” 1

At this point you may be thinking that surely we’ve over reacted to this? There’s’ no mention of piercing! Well, if we take a look at the World Health Organisation (WHO), they broke down FGM into 4 categories, the 4th one was the one that became detrimental to female genital piercings. “Type 4: This includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g., pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.”2

Due to this, female genital piercings became illegal overnight in the UK. It was safer for piercers to stop practicing intimate piercings. This protected both them and their clients.3

When did this change?

As of current (April 2024), we are now allowed to pierce the genitals of consenting adults once again! This is down to a lot of hard work from charities and piercers across the UK lobbying the government. The UKAPP was born out of the UK Piercer Meet Up (UKPMU). The UKPMU came together because of the change in the UK law of FGM. It was in Newcastle that a group of piercers grouped an informal meet-up to discuss what was needed to protect both our industry and peoples rights.4 This was the start of the United Kingdom Association of Professional Piercers (UKAPP). And from there they helped campaign to allow adult consenting women the freedom to have the choice of piercing their own bodies.

The first UKAPP meet-up. Including our very own Aiden!

It was late 2019 (right before the pandemic) that piercers were once again allowed to pierce vulvas after the CPS released fresh guidance information. “The piercing of the female genitalia to adorn it with jewellery or other accessories purely for the purpose of personal decoration or in order to enhance the sensation of sexual contact, as commonly understood and practised, is unlikely to involve excision, infibulation or mutilation.”5 

This meant that piercing Vulva’s was not likely to cause harm or mutilation to the consenting adult, allowing piercers to once again offer this wonderful service. And for that we can thank the tireless work of piercers, including the UKAPP and especially Lola Slider. Lola Slider (of Forest Piercing in Glasgow) was a massive voice and driving force behind the legislative change. Around the time of this change, Lola was the UKAPP president, and before then was nominated as Medical Liaison, and honestly did some amazing work during her time on the organisations board.

What happens now?

Despite the fact we now have the green light from the UK government to offer these services once again, doesn’t mean there isn’t limitations involved. Some local councils still refuse to allow studios to offer intimate piercings, and some have by-laws that will effect the process. This means that depending where in the country you get pierced, the appointment may look different or follow a different procedure.

For example: At Rogue, each client looking for intimate work has to have an intimate consultation a minimum of 24 hours before they get piercing. At this appointment, one of our piercers will thoroughly discuss with you the history of intimate piercings and the law changes, the aftercare, and what to expect during the heal.

However, the main limitation for intimate piercings, is that we are not allowed to pierce for function. We are only allowed to pierce for aesthetical reasons. This means we walk a fine line with our clients each and every appointment.

As adults, we are all aware that if you place metal into a sensitive part of your body (where it wasn’t before), then sensations might change. We are not allowed to discuss this with you. “purely for the purpose of personal decoration”5 We have clients get intimate piercings that come from all walks of lives and have so many different reasons to get pierced. Some want it purely for the looks, some want it for kink dynamics, some want it to reclaim ownership of their body. However, the minute a client may mention they want to ‘use’ the piercing, we can no longer pierce.


If you would like to know more about intimate piercings or the process here at Rogue, here are some attached links!

https://roguepiercing.co.uk/2023/05/12/vch-aftercare-101-vch-hch-piercings/
https://roguepiercing.co.uk/2021/06/11/female-intimate-piercings/
https://roguepiercing.co.uk/intimate-piercing-info/

To book a consultation or a piercing at Rogue you can book here.
Contact us.
Instagram.

If you believe a girl is at risk, or has recently been a victim of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation” call the police on 999 (for urgent/emergency cases) or 101 for non emergency.
NHS ENGLAND FGM
FGM Nottingham Poster
Mandatory reporting procedure
FGM Resource Pack

If you, or someone you know has been a victim, please do not hesitate to reach our for support.
NSPCC FGM helpline – a 24-hour free helpline for anyone worried about FGM: 0800 028 3550.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/female-genital-mutilation-fgm/national-fgm-support-clinics/

1 https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/female-genital-mutilation

2 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/female-genital-mutilation

3 https://thepointjournal.org/2015/04/06/point-70-when-is-piercing-mutilation-paul-king/

4 https://ukapp.org.uk/history.html

5 https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/female-genital-mutilation

Posted on Leave a comment

Piercings and Skin Conditions

Hello everyone! Today we’re taking a bit of a deep-dive into something that is very important to know about – How your skin impacts on your piercings, and how your piercings impact on your skin! We’re going to talk about eczema and psoriasis, and getting a piercing on Accutane.

The British Skin Foundation has found that 60% of Britons have a skin condition, or have experienced a skin condition in the past at some stage of their life. That is a lot of people! These skin conditions can range from mild to severe, but the most common are eczema, psoriasis, and cystic acne.

Eczema

Eczema is an incredibly common skin condition, affecting up to 25% of the population. Most common in childhood, eczema can follow us into our adult life where it is more common to impact on your piercings.

Eczema can cause itching and flaky skin. It tends to go through phases of flare-ups, punctuated by periods of healing and normal skin. This can be really annoying!

This is a good example of what an eczema flare-up can look like on an ear. There are lots of things that can trigger a flare-up, but the most common causes are the introduction of new cleaning products and stress – Both of these things can be experienced after a piercing!

So how do you work with eczema? The most important thing to do is to wait until you are not in a flare-up before getting a piercing. Piercing irritated skin will only cause more irritation, and can make your flare-up more intense and last longer. We promise we will still be here when your skin is healthy.

Taking care of piercings when you have an eczema flare-up can be tricky. Depending on the treatment you choose, it can irritate your piercings whilst soothing your skin. Both emollients and steroid creams can be harmful to a piercing. Steroids especially can cause some grumpiness! We recommend avoiding putting any creams or lotions directly onto your piercings, and leaving a good 10mm gap around them. Topical steroids especially can have long-term impacts on the skin that they are applied to. Most commonly, skin can become thinner and more fragile. This can slow down the healing process quite significantly.

Cleaning your piercings is very important when you are having a flare-up. Excessive skin buildup is common, and this can cause irritation when it accumulates on and around your piercings. We recommend moving to a once-daily cleaning routine. Be mindful of sterile saline, as although it is isotonic and non-irritating, it may be an eczema trigger for some people. If you find that saline is a little too harsh, cleaning your piercings after you have had a warm shower to soften the buildup with plain water is perfectly acceptable.

We like to stay in contact with clients who have eczema and other skin conditions, so that we can monitor the progress of their piercings and give them advice if necessary.

Important Takeaways

  • Avoid getting piercings during a flareup.
  • Ensure you are removing any skin buildup with gentle cleaning.
  • Do not apply emollients or steroids near your piercings.

Piercing on Accutane

Acne is a very common skin condition! Approximately 85% of the population will experience acne at some stage of their lives, most commonly between the ages of 16 and 25. Of course, the severity can vary wildly! Acne is only a consideration if we are aiming to pierce the affected skin, or if you are taking acne medication. It is really important to let us know if you are taking any medications! So can you get a piercing on accutane?

Accutane is a very strong medication that works by affecting the cell cycle. Although its method of action is not precisely known, its anti-acne effects are achieved by the drug triggering apoptosis (cell death) of sebaceous oil gland cells. These mechanisms can slow down the blockage of pores, and makes the skin more inhospitable to acne-worsening bacteria. Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, Accutane is also pretty terrible for your skin! It has a lot of side-effects, many of which affect wound healing. The most common side-effects are intensely dry and fragile skin, UV sensitivity, rashes, and slower healing of wounds. This is pretty nasty, and definitely will impact on your piercings!

Piercings are not the same as a standard wound – The introduction of jewellery means that your body is already dealing with something abnormal. Piercings take months, and sometimes up to a year or two to heal. Introducing Accutane to the picture means this healing process may fail entirely.

So how should you work around it? The bottom line is that you should not be getting a piercing on Accutane. The medical community even recommends avoiding being waxed, never mind being pierced! It is recommended to finish your Accutane course, and then wait a further six months to allow your skin to normalise again before getting a piercing.

Accutane can also impact on piercings that you may have had for a long time. As Accutane damages the cell cycle, you may notice that existing piercings may get irritated easily. It’s important to remember that this irritation will not go away until your treatment is finished – Talk to your piercer, and we can formulate a plan on how to move forward. Depending on the piercing, it may be best to retire severely irritated piercings and repierce them at a later date. In the meantime, go right back to basics with them – Cleaning once a day, ensuring your jewellery fits appropriately, and is of a suitable style.

Intensely dry skin can definitely cause discomfort – Keep your skin protected by applying an appropriately thick and luscious moisturiser. Invest in a good lip balm!

Important Takeaways

  • Do not get a piercing on Accutane, or for 6 months after your treatment is finished.
  • Be mindful that even healed piercings can get very irritated – Keep in contact with your piercer for personalised advice.
  • Go back to basics with caring for your piercings. Clean gently with warm warm water, keep your piercings dry, and do not touch them!

So in summary, we require a lot of communication between piercer and client. What may have worked for you in the past in terms of healing, may not work for you depending on your flare up and medication. We like to take a cautious approach, and start with one or two easier healing piercings before moving onto more complicated work, just so we can observe and discuss how healing impacts you.

If you have any questions, definitely drop us an email! Make sure to follow us on social media as well, to stay updated with all of our work.

See you next Friday for a new blog!

Posted on Leave a comment

Birthstones – February

Love is in the air this month with Valentines day quickly and surely approaching. We’re also celebrating another birthday at Rogue (Hi Gemma!). And what better way to show off your birth month than with the February birthstone: Amethyst! (Possibly the studio’s favourite genuine gemstone).

Following on from January and Garnet, February is one of the few months that only has one birthstone, rather than two or three. For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice). So what about the February birthstone?

With a great contrast to the colder and short lived month of February, the February birthstone Amethyst is a gorgeous and rich-coloured gemstone that should be enjoyed for an eternity. Being a purple variety of Quartz, it comes in all sorts of hues including lilac to deep purples. For Amethyst to get its colour, the quartz needs to have trace amounts of iron. This iron has tiny impurities which are then exposed to natural radiation (irradiation) which results in oxidation of the impurities. This process changes the absorption spectrum of the Quartz, resulting in the beautiful purple shades we see.

Russia was the main source of Amethyst until the 19th century, when large deposits were found in Brazil. Originally being super rare, this new found discovery led amethyst to suddenly become quite common . Today, the most important sources of amethyst are in Africa and South America however Brazil is still a major supplier, especially in Rio Grande do Sul, although the amethyst mined there tends to have a lighter colour than most found in other countries. .

In Africa, Zambia’s Kariba mine is one of the largest amethyst producers in the world. The Amethyst that is mined here typically tends to have excellent quality with richly saturated colours. There is also the ‘Four Peaks Amethyst Mine’ located just outside of Phoenix is the United States. This mine is is in a remote location, with extremely challenging conditions for Amethyst to form, yet somehow forms some of the deepest purple, and purplish red crystals.

This purple stone also has a great history behind it, often being found in collections of royal families across Europe and Asia. Because of the original rarity of Amethyst, it was held as high as a diamond, and was incredibly favoured royalty, or the Clergy as a symbol for the deity of Christ. It wasn’t until the discovery in Brazil that made Amethyst more available to a wide range of wearers.

Amethyst lore is just as great as its history. The lore includes many claims of bringing personal empowerment or inner strength if worn, as well as it’s claims to mystical powers. Leonardi Da Vinci once wrote that this stone has the power to protect against evil thoughts and quicken intelligence. Apparently he was well known for making use of this stone. Throughout time Amethyst has been ground down and ingested for medicine, or been used to make drinking goblets due to the reports of preventing intoxication. Although Amethyst is not toxic, it is no longer recommended to ingest through eating or drinking. So please do not try this at home!

In the modern day, Amethyst is the stone that is traditionally given to celebrate the 6th year of a marriage!

This purple quartz scored a 7 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, making it appropriate for daily wear in jewellery, although over time may show wear and need a repolish. As it is more susceptible to damage than harder stones (such as rubies and diamonds), it should be stored away safely from anything harder to avoid it being scratched or damaged. As always, the safest way to clean this stone is with a soft toothbrush and some mild soap, but it is also safe in an ultrasonic. However, steam cleaning should be avoided. This is because extreme treat (or some heat treatments) can change the shades of purple , or make it more brittle.

BVLA TRIO
Afghan, Mini Kandy, Mini Reema.

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

Posted on Leave a comment

The Trouble with Online Troubleshooting

Welcome back to the blog! Todays post will be a little bit of a casual opinion piece about the joys and dangers of online troubleshooting, and the issues that can arise from getting piercing problem advice on the interwebs.

Who Do You Trust?

The main issue we see with online piercing problem troubleshooting, especially in public forums, is a lack of accountability and expertise. Having moderated and been an expert on various high-profile forums, I can see the same advice being touted by dozens of people who may not be professionals themselves. It can be difficult to tell if the person you are taking advice from is a qualified piercer, or a piercing enthusiast, or a fellow novice! When there is little to no consequences to the advice-giver, it can be easy for standards to slip and for bad advice to be given.

Anecdotal evidence is rife – ‘It worked for me’ is a pretty common thing to read! The problem with this is that sometimes people will heal a piercing in spite of their poor habits, not because of them. At Rogue, we work from evidence-based information to give the best possible advice.

If you are going to get advice online, the best place to do so is through the inbox of a professional piercer who you trust.

Can you tell what the problem might be with this piercing? Hint: There was four issues that couldn’t be spotted from a picture.

A Picture is Worth About 10 Words

A common question that we get, and also see online on forums, is ‘Here’s a picture of my piercing – What is wrong with it?’ This is a difficult question to answer…

Although a photo can be incredibly valuable, it rarely gives us all the information that we need in order to find the cause of your irritation and solve it with you. The best way to troubleshoot a piercing is in-person, where we can look at the piercing as a three-dimensional object and take information from all angles. A single picture will rarely show a poor angle, or a build-up of crusties that is causing issues, or a snag or knock.

When online troubleshooting, it can be easy to be lead down one route when in fact there might be two or three issues that all need to be resolved before the piercing will heal.

Personal Issues and Impersonal Advice

In my opinion, the biggest issue with online troubleshooting forums is that the advice is very rarely tailored to the individual, and doesn’t take into account your lifestyle and piercing problems. Having worked on public forums, the advice that is given (no matter what the true problem is) is: ‘Change it to Titanium, and clean it with sterile saline!’

Although this is generally good advice, the issues arise when the advisor is not a piercer, is given limited information, and can only work from a very limited knowledge base.

When advice is not coming from a piercer, it can be tricky to navigate piercing problem troubleshooting. A lack of professional experience means that non-piercers cannot digest and make the information that they learn their own. It can be quite common for the piercers at Rogue and myself to read comments, and be able to tell exactly which one of our blogs the advisor has recently read and is currently regurgitating!

When you book in with an experienced piercer for an in-person consultation and troubleshooting session, we work holistically. We look at everything that could be impacting your piercing and give you personalised advice that is aimed at you. And yes, sometimes that means changing your jewellery to Titanium and cleaning it with sterile saline! However there is a lot more to troubleshooting than just that.

Benefits of Online Troubleshooting

It’s not all bad news! During the pandemic, a lot of quality studios had to move to online-only troubleshooting for their clients as they could not be open to work in person. This included Rogue! We spent many, many (many) months working via email and Instagram to help our clients. This means that there are many good piercers like ourselves that can give good advice from photos and descriptions. That being said, the best way to work through problems with piercings is still to book in with ourselves to be assessed in person.

Online troubleshooting can be handy if your piercer is closed for the weekend, or is otherwise unable to respond to your messages. As a short-term stand-in, online advice can help, but should always be backed up with a trip to your piercer!

Teaching moment!

Our staff are highly trained and super experienced, which means that you can trust us to give you the best possible result from your appointment. You can see in the photo above a moment captured during my recent Wound Healing class at the UKAPP Annual Conference, where I teach piercers about the science behind wound healing and troubleshooting!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Make sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.

Posted on Leave a comment

Birthstones – January

We’re officially into the new year, with Christmas gone and passed, but it’s not all doom and gloom in the studio. This month we’re celebrating the birthday of our apprentice, and this weeks blog is all about the January birthstone (well not just theirs). Garnet! Mostly known for it’s very intense red that will surely keep that fire going in the cold long days of January.

January is one of the few months that only has one stone, rather than two or three. For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice).

But don’t worry, if that brilliant Red of Garnet isn’t your personal choice of colour, you’ll be happy to know that the January Birthstone comes in a whole rainbow of colours; green, blue, oranges, pinky/oranges, and purplish reds. There are even Garnets that have a colour-change effect when under different lighting or Star Garnets, which is where the stone displays a ‘multi-rayed’ light reflection on its surface that resembles a 4 or 6 pointed star. However, despite the wide range of colours available, this stone is well known for for their deep red varieties, that often are compared to fruit seeds of pomegranates.

Star garnets are found in India, the U.S. state of Idaho as well as Sri Lanka. Green garnet ranges in location. For example, Tsavorite is mined in Kenya and was named after the Tsavo National Park where it is mined nearby, while Demantoid garnet is hugely sourced in Russia. Yellowish/orange, or bright orange Garnet is named after Spessart in Germany where it was discovered but Namibia and Tanzania are also key sources for Spessart Garnets. The colour changing Garnets are found in Kenya, Sri Lanka and Madagascar. Garnets are also found and mined in many other countries. So many different ways to celebrate the january birthstone!

According to Indian astrology, Garnet helps eliminate negative feelings (such as depression or guilt) while improving self-confidence and mental clarity which helps promote creative thinking and peace of mind. In ancient and medieval times, gems like garnet were also thought to be remedies for inflammatory diseases and to soothe the angry heart. Garnets are also a symbol of eternal love thought to held protective healing powers, which makes it another good reason to gift Garnet to your loved one to celebrate your second wedding anniversary.

The different types of Garnet which change where it sits on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, but it typically ranges between 6.5 and 7.5, making it more susceptible to damage than diamonds or rubies. Be careful on storage for Garnets, because it can be scratched by other stones. While Garnet is not ideal for everyday wear, it is ideal for earrings (including body jewellery), brooches and pendants. Most garnet stones are not treated except in rare instances where they might be fracture filled. However, the best way to clean your garnets is with a soft toothbrush (we always recommend baby tooth brushes the bristles are always softer) and warm soapy water. If you have an ultrasonic at home, you’ll be happy to know that you can give your garnets a quick whizz about in there, unless they are fractured, or fracture-filled. Steam cleaning is not recommended.

BVLA – Round Prong

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

Posted on Leave a comment

Stop Touching Your Piercings!

When you walk through the doors at Rogue you will instantly see signs on our main desks, our mirrors and even in our jewellery display cabinets, all telling you not to touch, change or remove your jewellery. You may have noticed both our piercers and counter staff asking you to stop touching your piercings, or to sanitise your hands. We also ask that all jewellery brought into the studio is inside of a small bag or pouch and isn’t handled inside the studio with bare hands.

Image from Jef Saunders Blog courtesy of Dannielle Greenwood

Now you may think this is over bearing, or that we are on a power trip, or even that it might just be a weird obsession over cleanliness/hygiene, but we can assure you that it’s not! We do all of this to avoid the risk of any cross contamination in the studio. Hygiene at Rogue is one of our biggest focus points, and we have consistent measures in place to ensure that we are doing the best we can. From working with aseptic techniques during the piercing procedure, as well as having both daily and weekly cleaning tasks. Every member of the team at Rogue takes annual training in Bloodborne Pathogens (keep your eyes out for our certificates around the studio). This is so we can stay up to date with any changes in standards and protocols to keep both you and ourselves safe.

In the studio we have very careful procedures that we perform every single day to minimise any spread of cross contamination. We thoroughly clean and sterilise any tools and equipment at the end of each working day. We continuously wash and sanitise our hands while also donning and doffing PPE (wearing and disposing of Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves) appropriately. Any of our disposable work tools that may have touched anyone are also disposed of correctly, through sharps bins and dedicated waste disposal bags and services.

So, what is cross contamination?

The definition of cross contamination from Oxford Languages English Dictionaries is: The process by which bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one substance or object to another, with harmful effect.

Outside of piercing, most people think of cross contamination when it comes to food, especially raw chicken. For example, if you are cutting raw chicken you may end up with some of the raw juices on your fingers and hands, and once dried you may not know it’s there. The bacteria from the chicken can be spread across the kitchen on cutting boards, towels, and reusable wipes. If you don’t wash your hands and touch your mouth or nose or a small/large wound, you can become sick from the bacteria even if you don’t see it. This is because bacteria (such as salmonella) is easily transferable through open wounds and mucous membranes.

The same happens with body jewellery. At some point, the jewellery you have worn in your body has been in direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood. We as piercers have to assume that everyone’s blood, or any other bodily fluids that has been in contact with your jewellery, is contaminated with a bloodborne pathogen that has the potential to carry or spread viruses. The reason we do this is because, just like raw chicken juices, we cannot always see potential threats or dangers, and we’d rather be over-cautious and keep everyone’s health in tip-top shape.

Imagine the journey that bacteria might take across our studio. A client touches their grumpy piercing, and then touches the front desk or a display cabinet, or the arms of the sofa. This is then touched by the next client, who then touches their eye or mouth, or their own piercings! This bacteria can be transferred from one person to the next. Imagine not one client, but dozens per day! By not touching our piercings, washing our hands, and not allowing worn jewellery to touch any of the studio surfaces, then we break this chain of spread.

This is also part of the reason why we cannot reuse, refund or resell body jewellery that has left the studio. We have to assume that any body jewellery that has been purchased has been worn. We also recommend that you never buy and wear pre-used or pre-worn jewellery – You can read more about this in our ‘Sharing Jewellery’ blog. It is the equivalent of clothing stores having a no-returns policy on underwear. It is not safe to risk sharing fluids between clients.

As scary as it sounds, we’re just trying to show you that cross-contamination is super easy to avoid. So, all in all, please top touching your piercings and sharing body jewellery. It is unsafe and unsanitary! Practice regular safe hygiene processes, such as washing your hands and sanitising when and where needed.

Keep an eye on our blog as we post a new informational blog every single Friday! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Posted on Leave a comment

Piercing Emergencies and What To Do!

There are very few things in the world of piercing that constitute a genuine piercing emergency, but plenty of things that can happen that might be a touch stressful! In this blog we will be going over the most common ‘urgent’ issues that you might have, and what to do whilst waiting for your appointment at a trusted piercing studio.

Piercing Emergency: Losing Jewellery

Our jewellery is high quality, implant-grade, and very secure! However, the universe leans towards entropy wherever possible, and so your jewellery may loosen over time. Picture it: You wake up in the morning, reach up and feel an empty space where your jewellery used to be. You wash your face and hear that classic tink-tink-tink of a metal ball hitting the floor. Dang! What do you do?

  1. Don’t panic! Losing jewellery happens to everyone, even piercers. What matters most is what you do in the next ten minutes once you notice your jewellery is gone.
  2. Check your body. Take a look at your piercing – Is the post still in place? If so, excellent!
  3. Find it! Body jewellery is tiny, so grab your phone torch and have a really good hunt around. The phone torch will be super helpful as quality jewellery is super shiny! If you can’t find it by hand, don’t stress. Grab a pair of tights or a sock and place them over the neck of your vacuum cleaner. Run your vacuum over the room where your jewellery has gone, and you should pick it up!
  4. Clean it. Obviously, you cannot sterilise jewellery at home, but you also cannot reinstall jewellery that’s got floor on it! If possible, clean your jewellery with an alcohol wipe before putting it back in. If you don’t have anything else to hand, wash with antibacterial soap and water.
  5. Reinsert it as best you can. If you feel confident, you can put the jewellery back in! Screw the ball on, or push in the threadless end, and you’re all put back together. If you struggle to reinsert the jewellery, then sometimes the easiest thing to do is to just put the post in backwards so you can see what you are doing.
  6. Come and see us. If you don’t feel confident getting it back in perfectly, don’t stress. The most important thing to do is keep the piercing channel open. If you find it easier to put the labret post in from the front, then do that. Pop a little piece of micropore tape over it to keep it in, and pop in and see your piercer as soon as you can so that we can reinstall your jewellery perfectly!

Overswelling

It happens! Quality piercers will assess your anatomy and estimate how much extra length your new piercing will need to swell, but bodies can be unpredictable. Here’s what to do if you notice you are experiencing an overswelling piercing emergency.

  1. Don’t panic! See a theme here? It’s most important that you remain relaxed – Every piercing problem can be fixed easily.
  2. Assess what happened. Is your piercing fresh? Is it healed? Has it been downsized? What caused the swell?
  3. Assess your jewellery. Does it still have space on it? Is it sinking in at all? If there is still space on the bar, then fear not. You still have room to swell, and swelling doesn’t last forever. If you notice the jewellery is sinking in at all, then keep reading.
  4. Cool it down. A cold-pack wrapped in clean, disposable paper towels can be applied near to the piercing. We don’t recommend smushing the piercing directly, but applying a cool pack to your temple or neck can really soothe any ear piercings and diminish your swelling. If you know that you are safe to do so, now might be a good time to consider an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen. Always speak to your primary care doctor before taking medications if you are unsure.
  5. Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause you to retain water, making swelling prolonged and excessive. Keep your fluid intake up!
  6. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol makes you swell more – Don’t drink if you are swollen!
  7. See your piercer. If your jewellery is too tight, this can cause more swelling and serious discomfort. The best thing to do is book a checkup with your piercer as soon as you can, so that they can install longer jewellery that allows breathing room for your swelling.
  8. Take it back to basics. In short, keep your piercing clean, keep it dry, and leave it alone!
  9. Get a downsize. Once your swelling has come back down, please come back and have your jewellery downsized again! Wearing oversized jewellery is a common cause of… you guessed it… swelling. Don’t get caught in that wicked cycle!
All jewellery needs a little room for swelling.

Healing Shut

If you have removed your jewellery for a period of time, then there is a chance that your body will have begun the process of shrinking down the piercing channel and healing it up. Our bodies are incredible healing machines! We are often asked, ‘How long before I can take my piercings out and they won’t heal up?’ This is an excellent question. The answer is… Never!

A good analogy is this. Imagine you wear braces. You look after your teeth, your teeth shift into a perfect position, and then you take your braces off. When do you stop wearing your retainer? Never! That is because your retainer is the only thing keeping your teeth in alignment. And it is the same for piercings. Your jewellery is your braces – Without them, your body will always try and heal your piercings.

However, for whatever reason, you have taken your jewellery out and now you can’t get it back in! What do you do to solve this piercing emergency?

  1. Don’t panic! We should definitely make t-shirts with this written on them! Stay calm, and don’t google it…
  2. Don’t force it. The most common cause of issues we see is when people panic, and force their jewellery back into a closed piercing without taking their time. If your piercing cannot be reopened with minimal pressure, then do not keep pushing.
  3. Take a warm shower. The first thing you need to do is soften and relax your skin. A hot, steamy shower is the best way to do this.
  4. Get lubed up. Apply a small amount of water-based lubricant to your jewellery – No lube, no love!
  5. Be gentle and consistent. Apply a gentle amount of pressure with your jewellery – Just enough to get things started. Be gentle and consistent, and your jewellery should slowly slide back into place.
  6. Know when to call it a day. If, after all of this, you still can’t get your piercing reopened, then do not spend the next 45 minutes getting into a flap and causing more damage. If you can’t get it back in after 10 minutes, then it is simply not going to happen. Take a break.
  7. Come and see your piercer. If you can’t get your jewellery back in, then the best thing you can do is book in to see your piercer! We can use tools and skill to gently taper your piercings back open. You would be surprised at how many piercings we have rescued that their owners thought were a lost cause!
Double Lobe Piercings

Help – I can’t get my jewellery out!

Picture this – You have an MRI coming up, a surgery, school, or an important event. You need to take out your piercing! But you just can’t figure it out. What do you do in this piercing emergency?

The first thing to do is to understand your jewellery. If you are trying to unscrew a threadless end, you might be there for some time… Click HERE to find guides for all of the styles of jewellery that we offer.

Tips and Tricks for Threaded Jewellery

Threaded jewellery is the style that screws together. This can be a little fiddly to work with!

  1. Clean your hands and the jewellery. Removing any oils or buildup from your hands and the jewellery will increase your friction and help you to crack that initial unscrew!
  2. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. Your jewellery unscrews in the same orientation as any screw-top bottle. Imagine you are holding a milk bottle. Your jewellery unscrews the same way!
  3. Wear gloves. If you are seriously struggling, a set of nitrile or latex gloves will seriously increase the twisting power. And if you are really in trouble, wear two sets of gloves. Double gloving doubles your torque and can help you to crack even the most stubborn of balls.

Tips and Tricks for Threadless Jewellery

Push-fit jewellery is often seen as the easiest style to remove yourself at home. Still, it’s pretty fiddly stuff!

  1. Clean your hands and the jewellery. Like with threaded jewellery, clean hands and jewellery will improve your grip!
  2. Lose the nails. Long nails can make removing threadless jewellery a pain – Get some hands involved that have relatively normal nails. A little bit of nail can help grip snug-fitted jewellery though so there is a midground to be found.
  3. Grip both ends. Get a firm grip on both the labret disc and the threadless end. You can use a set of tweezers if the disc is in a tricky spot like a nostril or forward helix.
  4. Give a little wiggle. A gentle rocking wiggle can help crack that first little movement. It helps, we promise!
  5. Gentle pull apart. Once you have a little motion, then gently pull your threadless end off.

Tips and Tricks for Seam Rings and BCRs

How you remove BCRs and Seam Rings really depends on your end goal. Do you just want to swap the jewellery? Do you want to preserve the piece, or are you happy for it to go in the bin afterwards?

  1. Clean your hands and the jewellery. Again, we need this on a poster don’t we!
  2. Find the seam. This is easy on a BCR – The clip-in will be the seam point. It’s a little trickier on a seam ring, but find that tiny join.
  3. Bend into a spiral, not a pringle! If you can, just flex your BCR sideways until the ball pops out. For seam rings, open them out into a spiral if you can.
  4. If all else fails… You can use a set of nail scissors or jewellery pliers. Put the jaws of your tools into the middle of the ring and open them so that the jewellery folds open. This is a last-ditch move as you will irreperably damage the ring and need to throw it away.

Genuine Piercing Emergency

Although incredibly rare, there are some things that we would consider a genuine piercing emergency. The main things that we would consider an emergency are:

  1. An infection.
  2. Tongue piercing embedding.

Infections are incredibly rare. When following appropriate aftercare, and keeping yourself, your hands, and your piercing clean, then the chances of getting a bacterial infection are almost zilch! That being said, a genuine infection is a piercing emergency. Do not skip go, do not collect £200, go straight to urgent care for antibiotics. There is little your piercer can go to treat an infection – We are not doctors! The most important thing to do is assess if you have a true infection, which you can read a little more about here.

And finally, another true piercing emergency is any issues you may have with tongue piercings. Tongue piercings are generally super easy healers, with a full heal in just 4-6 weeks. However any issues you may have in the first week can very easily become more serious, so please keep an eye on your piercings! If you notice that your jewellery is too tight, please book an appointment with your piercer for longer jewellery. Do not put it off – This is an emergency that we would even recommend calling out of work for if necessary.

Conclusion.

So there you have it! A plethora of information about the most common piercing emergencies and what you can do about them both at home and in the studio.

If you have any issues with your piercings, do not hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us over the phone, via instagram, via email, and you can always book in for an in-person consultation or checkup.

We will see you again next Friday for our next blog! Follow us on instagram to stay up to date with our latest work and announcements.

Posted on Leave a comment

Birthstones – December

December is officially Holiday season, and all over the world people will be celebrating their own holidays in their own special way. This month, we are looking at 3 special gemstones to commemorate you December babies. Turquoise, Tanzanite, and Zircon are three beautiful December birthstone that vary in their hues of blue, which is perfect for that cold chill of December!

Three Birthstones?

The majority of months know how to celebrate with their stones by having multiple stones. December is one of two months that decided to ramp it up to three for an extra kick – So what options do you have for the December birthstone?

For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice). Turquoise is Decembers traditional stone, with Tanzanite and Zircon being the more modern and newer stones.

Whatever your style, budget, taste or preferences are, there is definitely something for all you cold December babies.

Turquoise!

Turquoise is well known for it’s bright blue colour! With shades ranging from sky blue to apple green, and its standout veins of matrix (black, brown or grey remnants of the rock it was formed in), it’s no shock that Turquoise is very well recognised. Turquoise is formed when mineral-rich water seeps in-between the gaps of rocks, and over time the water dissolves, leaving only behind the formed minerals, i.e. Turquoise. The minerals left that form the stone, are the ones that give it its colour. For example, copper gives turquoise its shades of green and blue.

Purple Copper Turquoise – BVLA Round Prong

There is an assumption that the gemstones name can be translated to ‘Turkish Stone’ which hints that this is where it may have first been found. If it was, it definitely didn’t stay there long. Apparently they were buried (and later found) in the mines in The Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, which date back to as early as 4000 BC. This makes Turquoise one of the oldest gemstones in history.

The ‘sky blue’ stones were originally sourced in Ancient Persia (now Iran) are often still referred as ‘Persian Blue’. The U.S is currently the biggest supplier of Turquoise, where most production comes from Arizona and Nevada. The ‘Kingman mine’ in Arizona is a historically important source that is known for producing intense blue turquoise. Although it is no longer open for turquoise mining, Arizona’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ mine was a prolific producer for more than four decades.

Turquoise Prong- Anatometal

For centuries, Turquoise has believed to be a protective stone, often being worn as amulets. From the 13th Century it was believed that the stone would protect its wearer from falling (particularly, falling off of horses. We’re not sure how relevant this is these days…), as well as the common belief that the stone would break into many pieces at the face of danger. There are also many other beliefs, such as the guarantee of good health and fortune. Hindu mystics maintained that seeing a turquoise stone after beholding the new moon ensured fantastic wealth. Turquoise was often seen through many royal families, such as the Duchess of Windsor who wore a beautiful Amethyst and Turquoise necklace. Queen Mary had a collection of Persian turquoise jewellery, including a tiara, necklace, brooch, and earrings. The Persian Turquoise Tiara was eventually passed down to Princess Margaret, who wore it until her death in 2002. In the modern day, Turquoise is also the gem of the 11th wedding anniversary.

On The Moh’s scale of hardness, Turquoise is typically around 5-6, although some Turquoise is treated to improve its durability. Turquoise can be dyed or chemically enhanced by adding an epoxy or acrylic resin for greater hardness or better colour. Typically, Turquoise is pretty durable when it comes to light, but can be sensitive to high heat , which can cause discolouration or breakage. It is for this reason hat Turquoise stones should not be cleaned with steam or an ultrasonic. Acids, chemicals, and cosmetics can also damage or discolour your stone. The best method of cleaning is warm soapy water.

A large amount of Turquoise is synthetic these days – This improves it’s day-to-day wearability!

Tanzanite!

Tanzanite is the newest addition to the December birthstone, being the first gemstone added to the official birthstone list in almost 100 years. It is one of the most fascinating gem discoveries of the 20th century. Harry Platt (the president of Tiffany and Co.) stated: “The most Beautiful stone to be discovered in 200 years. And honestly, we might have to agree. Often described as ‘velvety’, Tanzanite comes in an array of shades, ranging from pastel and pale lilac, to rich blues, flirting with violets, lavender and cornflower blue hues on its way. In 1968, Tiffany and Co. became the biggest distributor of Tanzanite, advertising of its vivid colours, high clarity, and ability for larger cuts, caused this stone to rise massively in popularity.

Tanzanite is one of the most unique and rare gemstones we have, and works perfectly as the December birthstone. It was formed over 500 years ago under extreme geological conditions that are seen as completely unique. It is also only found in one small area of the foothills of the mountain it was discovered, and to be found anywhere else it is believed to have a on “one in a million” chance. In 1967 it was discovered in the “Merelani Hills” . It is believed that sometime in the future, we will have completely run out of this stone.

Most of the Tanzanite found on the market is actually heat treated, to enhance the blue/violet hues and remove the brown that is naturally found. The colouring of this is permanent, and there is no durability concerns. The stone typically ranges around 6-7 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is resistant to normal heat, light and chemicals. But if exposed to very sudden high or rapid changes in heat, it can cause the gem to crack. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended to be used to clean this stone, and therefore the best option is warm soapy water.

The below photos were kindly borrowed to us by the amazing Becky Crossan at Inkhaus Piercing!

Zircon!

Zircon is a classic gemstone, that has often caused confusion with synthetic Cubic Zirconia due to its similar name. Very few people realise that it is its own special naturally formed gemstone which ranges in a fantastic array of colours. The broad colour palette of this December birthstone includes red, blue, orange, yellow, brown and green. It is well known for its intense flashes of multicoloured light (called fire), and its brilliance. This resulted in Zircon being confused with diamonds for centuries.

Zircon is one of the many gems that are found in Sri Lanka. It is often found close by to Sapphire sources, so in addition to Sri Lanka, it is also found in Vietnam, Cambodia and Australia. Mining for Zircon in Australia dates back 4.4 billion years, possibly making it the oldest mineral as a gemmological found. Australia’s Hart Range is most commonly known for producing the Zircon birthstones in yellow and brown, however Australia dominates in Zircon mining, producing 37% of the worlds supply.

During history, Zircon has had many symbolic beliefs attached to it. In the middle ages, the most common belief was that it would help lull people into a deep and peaceful sleep, while getting plenty of rest. There were other beliefs during that time, such as Zircon bringing forth good fortune and warding away evil spirits. The ‘luck’ associated with Zircon is said to present itself in different ways. For example, it is often believed that Zircon will promote discipline and self confidence, thus leading to better opportunities.

Zircon ranges from 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It is often heat treated to produce blue and colourless varieties, as well as orange, yellow and red. The gem is typically stable when exposed to light, but after prolonged exposure to bright light some heat-treated stones may revert back to their original colours (which is usually a light-ish brown). Exposure to heat can alter the colour of some zircon. Because zircon tends to wear away or chip by friction, it is best to avoid wearing it in rough conditions, such as gardening, playing sports or doing dishes. Cleaning your zircon using a soft brush and mild soap in warm water is the best method. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended for this December birthstone.

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world such as the December Birthstone, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!