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Piercing Myths

Today we will be tackling a broad and fascinating subject, and something we have to hear about fairly often working in a high quality studio. There are so many misconceptions surrounding piercing, especially as most people find their aftercare advice or do research for their piercings online. As we all know, the internet is a great and terrible place for misinformation and myths! We will be covering 6 of the most common piercing myths we hear, and explain what, if any, truth comes from them!

Nipple Piercings prevent you from breastfeeding.

This is quite a common one we hear! This is based on the fact that some people believe piercing a nipple can damage all of the milk ducts. The nipple contains on average 9-20 milk ducts, and a 1.6mm needle will never be able to permanently disable all of them. Clients with nipple piercings can definitely still breastfeed after a nipple piercing, and it does not affect your flow of milk! Keep in mind that we do recommend removing all nipple jewellery during the breastfeeding time period as it constitutes a choking hazard for your baby.

White Opal Nipple Barbell, available to purchase on our webstore.

Infections are Common.

It is fairly common for clients to mistake normal healing symptoms as symptoms of infection. It is also really common for irritated piercings to be called infections as well! This is definitely a myth, and a misconception that we are trying to change. Infections are in fact extremely rare – One in 10,000 if not more rare. Irritated piercings can be red, swollen and produce a small amount of clear/yellow/green discharge. This is entirely normal! However, when googling your symptoms you can cause yourself an unnecessary panic! We have a whole blog dedicated to irritations vs infections, which you can read here.

Infections are a serious medical matter – Thankfully practically unheard of in high-quality piercing studios!

Cheek Piercings Give You Natural Dimples

There are lots of myths surrounding cheek piercings, but this is the one we hear most often. The myth goes that you can get your cheeks pierced, heal them for 3-4 months, and then when you take them out you are left with beautiful natural looking dimples. This is far from the truth! Aside from the obvious fact that cheeks are a very complex and fairly high-risk piercing (read more on that here!), the main issue with this is that the scarring caused by cheek piercings is often unpredictable and almost never give perfect nor symmetrical results. Cheek piercings are a lifetime commitment and not something to be pierced on a whim. The best way to get dimples is to consult a facial plastic surgeon, not a piercer.

Nose Piercings can Paralyze You.

This is an odd one that we occasionally hear! We are not sure where this myth originated, but we do sometimes hear of it from clients. This one is 100% a myth and definitely nothing to be concerned about when booking for your piercing. On very rare occasions you may feel a small amount of mild numbness around the piercing site – This is due to initial swelling and is not permanent. This piercing myths may originate from viral news articles where a handful of people have had severe infections due to unsafe piercing practices that have resulted in long-term health issues. We work to the highest standards of safety and hygiene, and if you correctly follow our aftercare advice you have absolutely nothing to worry about!

Nose piercings are by far the most popular facial piercing that we offer.

The (insert ear here) side is the gay side!

This is one of the most common piercing myths that we hear! We have actually written a whole blog explaining its origins. This myth originates from the early days of the piercing industry, when it was still a very gay underground operation. Piercing was seen very differently then, and often was used as a method of silent communication between gay men and general piercing enthusiasts. We love this side of our history and are very proud of our roots, but this has definitely changed since the 1980s and we would not say that any piercing has any specific gay connotations anymore. If anything, all piercings should be considered gay as this is where our industry started!

Daith Piercings can cure Migraines

This is a difficult subject to discuss, and there are many pitfalls to consider. We will be taking a scientific approach to tackling this unfortunate myth. The daith piercing myth comes from old medical information regarding vagal nerve stimulation. The vagal nerve is said to be able to be medically stimulated to reduce chronic pain, however there is no evidence to suggest that the vagal nerve or any of its subsidiaries pass through the daith region of the ear. Traditional VNS treatments involve an implant in the chest, not the ear. In addition to this, vagal nerve stimulation has only ever been FDA approved for the treatment of epilepsy and depression, not migraines. Even with this approval, the success rate for this treatment has been fairly limited and more research is definitely needed. In terms of daith piercings, there is very little actual research. Most people offering daith piercings as a cure for migraines are relying on anecdotal evidence and small surveys, or reports that are not peer-reviewed or published in any scientific publications.

We really wish a simple ear piercing could be offered as a safe cure for migraines, but there is simply not enough evidence to prove this claim at this moment in time. We would not feel comfortable misleading people suffering from a distressing medical condition that a single piercing will cure them. We can offer a beautiful and safe piercing that can be a really nice adornment to your ear, but we would never want to take advantage of someone in pain. If you come into your daith piercing with an open mind and not put all your hopes into it as a cure, then that is the ideal way to approach it. The placebo effect is an incredibly strong psychological phenomenon, so it may very well work for you! We pierce dozens of daiths every week, and they are beautiful and fairly easy to heal as well. If it doesn’t work for you, you still get an epic piercing regardless!

Daith piercings are absolutely gorgeous, and the array of high-quality jewellery is almost infinite! We love performing daith piercings, so do not be discouraged by this unfortunate piercing myths.

We hope that this has shed some light onto some of the most common piercing myths spread about piercings. As with any topic, new myths and false information will always pop up so we may make this piercing myth post a series!

If you have any questions regarding piercings, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

To book your piercing appointments, CLICK HERE.

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Piercing apprenticeship in a UK APP studio.

6 months into my 3 year piercing apprenticeship.

It’s officially been 6 whole months (and a bit) since I started my piercing apprenticeship here at Rogue, so I’m writing this blog detailing my time so far here. Mainly so I can document how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved, but it’s also good for those of you wanting a piercing apprenticeship to really know all the stuff that goes on, even before you pick up a needle. Piercing apprenticeships (especially good ones) can involve a lot more than initially expected, and your day to day activities can majorly vary from what you may have considered.

 So let’s start from the beginning, before I was allowed anywhere near the inside of the piercing room there were a million and one things I had to learn, and my first memory was spending an entire day doing the Blood-borne pathogens training. The BBP training was an online video course set up by the APP that I was able to do from the studio and from home. It was 8 hours in total, in which I had to watch videos separated into different topics, such as donning and doffing PPE, the difference between contaminated, clean and sterile, and Epidemiology and Exposure Management and then answer questions about that section. This was my first sort of introduction into keeping myself safe at work, preventing cross contamination, and working in a sterile environment.

My first week also consisted of a lot of shadowing, and watching Aiden prep for piercings, watching the piercings happen and how he uses different techniques. 

I also spent a lot of time with Kat, learning how desk works! At first it started off with doing the post office runs, and learning the aftercare speeches, taking trips out to get stuff for the shop, learning all the different jewelry, even learning how to take photos of jewelry. This also included how to set up the shop in the morning, and close the shop at the end of the day. Everything from doing the helix tests, hoovering and mopping, running the water distiller etc. It was really surprising to find out how much stuff went into everyday life of piercing, without even doing actual piercings! My favorite example piece to talk to people about is changing bins! Because of contaminated waste, there’s a whole procedure to safely change out the clinical waste bins to keep yourself safe, but also prevent any type of cross contamination. It definitely was not something I expected to have to learn. 

The biggest challenge that completely exhausted me, was when I first went through the process of cleaning and sterilizing the jewelry, while doing stock takes, and making sure everything is still in date. It has become a huge part of my day to day work life now here at rogue, but when i first started the task i spent a solid two days doing it, and it was a lot mentally! Now I don’t think twice when doing it, and can do it a lot faster and with greater precision.

The first few months of my piercing apprenticeship were very repetitive as I learned the ropes! Every week I had a new section of information to study and learn, as Aiden had written a sort of learning manual for me! Each week was a new section, which I had to read through, physically demonstrate, and then answer a small quiz! This ranged from lots of things, from sterilizing jewelry and tools, to learning COSHH and MSDS safety protocols! 

My favorite stuff I started to learn along the way, is the ongoing learning of piercing history! The traditions, culture, heritage, and the origins of body piercing. It’s really amazing to learn where piercings have originally originated from in different cultures of the years, how the industry as a whole has made body piercings very westernized, and how over the years it’s slowly started to become more socially accepted. The learning of piercing history is not something you can sit down in a day and learn, it’s an ongoing teaching session through your career, and that is genuinely so fantastic to me. 

The month leading up to Christmas was a very interesting time! Rogue introduced another guest piercer to the shop, which was the lovely Krista! This was my first time meeting another member of the industry outside the studio. This was really interesting to me because Krista is not a UK piercer, she’s a traveling piercer, and a resident in Honolulu, Hawaii! Her whole vibe and atmosphere is so kind, caring, friendly and energetic! Definitely a little bit different to the calmer, quieter, more ‘introverted’ UK atmosphere. It was an absolute pleasure to work alongside someone who works in a slightly different manner, with different experiences. It’s always exciting to meet other industry members and learn new things! 

Krista also repierced my bridge piercing for me, and introduced me to marking piercings as she helped me and let me draw the markings for my own bridge! This was my first proper physical introduction into piercings, rather than just watching and learning, and being really involved in my own piercing was really gratifying. 

Coming back from christmas was very exciting, it was the first introduction of me picking up needles! We originally started with larger gauge needles and sheets of foam, looking at how bevel theory works and how to pierce without removing tissue, just displacing! Working with larger gauge needles initially was very helpful in terms of being able to see what I needed to do and how to do it with the shape of the needles! This then gradually moved on to me piercing bananas and oranges. I pierced the fruit with the skin on and off. This is because it was similar to working with skin in terms of feel and movement. Working with the skin on helped me get a feel for depth of layers in the skin, and also the toughness of skin. 

And then, it was time! I got to do my first ever piercing! Aiden got to be my first ever client as such, and we started off nice and easy with a helix piercing! We did a mid helix, with Neometal high polish threadless balls! He talked me through the entire process, showing me how to mark, how to work with the client, how to check my angles, and where to place my fingers for my own safety! I was definitely nervous, however I also felt super confident thanks to all the gradual training, and when it was done I had every right to be confident! For a first ever piercing, it was super impressive. The angles were super nice, and it came out straight! There was a slight bit of bruising during the healing process due to my technique, but definitely nothing to complain about for number 1!

That first piercing was then followed by a second helix piercing on Kat! I was definitely more nervous for this one, probably due to the adrenaline rush from the first one, but this time it was a much smoother process, and healed even better! And then Gemma also enlisted her trust in me, and she let me do my first ever conch! This was then followed by Gemma piercing my flat for me, learning new techniques! And then later in the week, I got to perform a double lobe piercing on Breo, which was slightly more challenging due to Breo already having stretched lobes. It was a really good bonding moment for the studio.

And then, we got to open my calendar and I started offering apprentice piercings! Starting off nicely with helix piercings, and then conch piercings! It was really great meeting new clients, and previous clients, who trusted me enough to perform new piercings on them!  I was pretty confident from the start, although I definitely did have my nerves, but I think it was mainly because I have such a supportive and knowledgeable team around me! The most nervous I have been for a piercing so far was my first ever pair of nipples! It was my first freehand piercing, and it was also a slightly different technique than I was used to, and it was also one of my close friends! A lot of pressure! It went pretty well, however I did have to re-pierce one as it did not come out horizontally. Thankfully, my client was super amazing about the whole thing and her patience and kindness was highly appreciated. I’m still working on nipple piercings, alongside nostrils and lobes as well. My favorite lobe piercings I’ve done so far are the couple I’ve done working around already existing larger gauge/stretched lobes. I love seeing the second and love adorned with something small and contrasting to the larger piercing! It’s definitely a style favorite of mine. 

Alongside my piercing apprenticeship with Rogue, im currently being tasked with helping the social media accounts! I’m working on weekly instagram reels, in terms of filming, editing and uploading!  If you’ve been a fan of the current How It Works series, then thank you! Having to be the brains behind it was not as easy as I expected. I used a variety of apps when I first started experimenting with the design of how I wanted the reels to look. I’m still playing around with the design, and trying to make them more inclusive! I’ve recently found closed captions which was a really important addition. I’m also working on building a Rogue tik tok account, which I want to make the vibe for this one a little less serious than the instagram! I want it to be a bit more loose and for people toi laugh and have fun, and see the not always so serious side of the shop! 

We’re currently moving forward to opening my calendar up one day a week for junior piercings! This means I’ll get to work 1 on 1 with clients, without full supervision as I’d have completed my training on these piercings with the current technique! And that’s not the only exciting thing to look forward to this year. In September we are heading to the UK APP conference which is very exciting! It’s going to be a really great opportunity to meet new piercers across the industry and make connections, and to learn so much more stuff! The future is definitely looking shiny.

Good piercing apprenticeships can be very hard to come across, and they’re not necessarily what you think they might be! There’s so much information that really helps further your training than you would think. A good piercing apprenticeship should take between 2-3 years, with a very experienced mentor. If you’d like to understand why, read our other blog post detailing why they take a long time!

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Interview with a Rogue – Jay Abell

Tell us about your first experience with piercing?

My first ever experience with piercing was when I got my lobes pierced, but I was too young to remember, so my first actual experience was when I got my helix pierced. I think I was around 14, and my mum had got her daith pierced, and I begged her to let me have my ear done. Knowing what I know now, it probably wasn’t the safest piercing I ever had, but it was a new experience and I kind of just didn’t stop from there.

What’s your favorite piercing you have?

My favorite piercing I have currently is the one in my chin, probably because it’s more of a “fun” piercing, very short term and not viable. It’s a fun challenge to see if I can heal it, but in the meantime it’s just really cute! I love watching people’s reactions when they see I have a piercing in my chin! 

How did you get into the industry?

I got into the industry through gaining my apprenticeship with Rogue. To be honest, I was extremely lucky with how I landed it. I left university and came home to Nottingham, got a local bar job, followed by a second job at a cafe. During this time I started visiting Rogue and slowly started to upgrade my jewellery to brands like neometal. (I was wearing a lot of odd sizes, and different materials like plastic). Upon talking to Kat and Aiden, I told them I was wanting to become a piercer, but I was working other jobs. I interacted with the studio online, but I also did a lot of home research. I started learning more about the APP and UK APP, and how they work and things like that.

I actually had a folder at home, with lots of their stuff printed out!

From there I got offered an interview with the studio, spoke about Harry Styles and One Direction a lot, and was just honest the entire time about what I  liked, what I knew and didn’t know and fortunately, got offered the apprenticeship.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Rogue?

Probably the environment. The clients are absolutely lovely and always make you so excited to work with them. There’s no pressure to wear anything I’m uncomfortable with, I can be myself, I can also have a couple of biscuits with my tea if I want to. There’s the right level of pressure, do your job and do it well, make sure your stuff is done, keep moving forward and working and aspiring harder. 

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

To be honest right now I’m just proud of making it this far. Every single day I learn something new, or I do something new and it’s all so exciting. Honestly, I’m just super proud of how far I’ve come since a year ago. 

Jay’s first ever piercing, performed on Aiden

What does the future hold for Jay?

The future probably holds a lot for me but to be honest I hate thinking about it! I find if I make any sort of long term plans it always changes by time I get there! Plus I just really struggle to think that far in advance. I like to take every day, and every week as it comes by, and I just work with what I’ve got and what’s coming.

What are some challenges you’ve faced as a modded person?

To be honest, I’ve been extremely lucky when facing any challenges. I wouldn’t say I’m heavily modded or anything like that, although I suppose I might stand out a bit more in a crowd than your average person. I’ve been extremely lucky with working jobs where heavy makeup, and short dyed hair, and piercings were never an issue. They’ve also been a great conversation starter for people as well! My biggest issue has been with people asking if there’s other places I have pierced that they can’t immediately see, or purposely pointing out tattoos on my legs and chest which can be quite uncomfortable. Either that, or remarks from family, or people slightly older telling me I’d look much nicer without it all.

How did your family/friends react when you became a piercer?

I first wanted to be a piercer when I was 17 and was going to leave sixth form. My mum was really supportive and was behind me pursuing what I wanted to do. She’d just make sure that I knew what I was doing and that I had back up plans! For example, I was working a part time job as well. And then when I told my family I was dropping out of university to pursue it, again everyone was really supportive and happy that I was doing what I wanted to do. They’ve been really proud of me every step of the way, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Top 3 movies?

That’s such a nightmare question, I don’t watch movies a lot, and when I do I can never remember them afterwards! 

What’s on your playlist?

The song I’m obsessed with rightnow is ‘Friendly Sex’ by Caity Baser. But overall it’s a really weird mix of 80s, 90s, and early 2000/2010 love songs. Although if you ask me again in about a week it’ll probably be something completely different!

What advice can you offer to aspiring and established apprentices?

Be yourself, and work hard. When wanting to be a part of a world that thrives on ‘being yourself’ it can be really easy to be swept up with trends, or what other people might be doing. It can be really easy to lose yourself when trying to fit in, and in the long run it doesn’t benefit anyone. You’ve got to stick to your guns, and be unapologetically yourself.

You’ve also got to work hard, whether that’s at your apprenticeship or the other stuff you’re doing. I worked two jobs before I gained my apprenticeship, and dropped out of uni when truly realizing it’s what I wanted to do, but every step of the way I continued to work hard. I finished my year at uni, taking every last exam and meeting, even though I knew I was leaving. Working hard is a really good way to prove your commitment to things, but also if and when you do eventually leave, it’s always good to keep those connections in life.

What’s some of the most valuable advice you’ve been given so far?

“It’s amazing what you can learn when you stop talking and start listening”

What’s your favorite snack?

I really struggle with having favorite things, I just normally fixate on something for a few weeks and then never touch it again! My latest one is probably magic stars. wonderful.

Favorite drink?

Obviously redbull.

If you weren’t a piercer, what would you be doing? 

That’s a tricky one. I think if I’d never had realized I wanted to do piercing, I’d probably still be at university studying acting. However, if I’d never have gotten my apprenticeship when I did, I don’t think much would be different. I’d still be working in the pub and the cafe, still trying to gain one!

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Meet the Rogue Team!

Even though the shop is shut, we are still busy behind the scenes. Our shop is filled with piercing enthusiasts and experts. We have recently expanded and hired a new counter staff member and jewellery lover to bring our total to three staff! Please appreciate our terrible avatars. We spent way too long on them.

Aiden – Big Boss

Aiden is the owner and head piercer at Rogue. Outside of work he enjoys DnD, crafting and general nerdery. And his bicycle, Trevor.

Where are you from?: Shropshire, but I’ve just returned from a long spell piercing and teaching abroad in Europe and the US.

How long have you been piercing? Around ten years!

Favourite part of the job?: Bringing customers visions to life.

What is your favourite piercing you have, and what is your favourite to pierce on others?: Probably my 25mm stretched lobes because I like the variety of jewellery I can wear, from weights to plugs and eyelets.

Favourite piece of jewellery you have?: My ‘Blessings to You’ Oregon bats. Unfortunately the company is no longer around so I don’t wear them as often as I’d like because I’m so nervous about losing them!

Dream piece of jewellery?: This changes quite a lot, but I’m currently loving a yellow Gold and London Blue Topaz set by BVLA that includes a Gemmed Gaia and Rose-cut cabochons.

Jess – Our Charming Apprentice

Jess is our lovely apprentice. She’s a bit of a hippie who loves cycling, and exploring nature and the city.

Where are you from?: I’m originally from a small village in rural Buckinghamshire. I’ve spent the last 5 years travelling through Europe, South/Central America and Asia. My favourite place that I passed through was Varanasi in Northern India.

How long have you been piercing?: I started my apprenticeship on the 25th of January, 2020.

What is your favourite piercing you have, and what is your favourite to pierce on others?: My favourite piercing is my philtrum (Thanks Aiden!) which has recently been upgraded to a solid yellow gold piece. I’m missing my retired VCH dearly and it will return some day! My favourite piercing to perform on others is the conch.

Favourite piece of jewellery you have?: I absolutely love my double-stacked septum because it is simple yet elegant, and handmade in-store by Aiden.

Dream piece of jewellery?: Wow, there are so many pieces that I want! My priority is a yellow Gold and Rutilated Quartz cabochon by BVLA for my philtrum, or the Diablo Organics Aurora weights in yellow Gold.

Kat – Counter Staff

Kat is a full-time Zoology BSc student at the University of Nottingham and part-time punk. She has a love for gold and unique piercings.

Where are you from: South Wales, from a little village by the ocean.

Favourite part of the job?: I love organising the spreadsheets because I’m a major excel nerd.

What is your favourite piercing you have?: I love my septum and I’m aiming to stretch it to 10g.

Favourite piece of jewellery you have?: My BVLA Mini Kandy end in yellow gold with white opal!

Dream piece of jewellery?: The BVLA Marquise fan in yellow gold, with a hammered center and two high polish fans on each side.