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Ear piercing guidance, please...

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

My DD is turning 10 years old later this month and she has been asking to get her ears pierced for a long time. She is rather responsible in all areas of her life and has shown good self-care in the last year, so we are going for it. She is VERY excited!


What do I need to know? Where shall I take her to get them done? I'm not keen on the ear-piercing guns for several reasons, but mostly because DD is very sensitive to noise.


What is the best way to care for pierced ears nowadays? What type of earrings should be her first?


Thanks for any tips and suggestions!

post #2 of 49
Thread Starter 

I've been researching and it is hard to find "natural" approaches to this!!! Everyone just says, "Go to Claire's, get the gun piercing and their earcare solution. Done. Easy, peasy. Don't stress about it."


post #3 of 49

nope nope nope.  You go to a reputable tattoo/piercing studio that requires parental consent and has good customer service who literally does this all day long and knows their business in and out.  No malls, no kiosks.  You want a hollow needle that removes the skin NOT a gun that displaces it.  Clean healing is what you are looking for.  You also want surgical grade stainless steel jewelry IMO no silver or gold.


Just my opinion, but it's a subject I'm passionate about!

post #4 of 49
Thread Starter 

Thanks! smile.gif


I've got the surgical steel jewelry covered at least. I already bought her a few pairs of earrings over the last couple years. LOL They have settings and stones, though. Is that okay for the first pair? I recall wearing solid gold earrings for the first X number of weeks oh so long ago...


I found the Association of Professional Piercers website and put in our zip code to find a list of reputable piercers. Only three came up in San Diego. Seriously???? This city has over a million people!!!


I also read somewhere that doctor's offices will do it in some states. ONE family I know asked their DD's doctor to do it and the office said they don't do it anymore, so that family went to Claire's. I'll call our family practice doctor, but we rarely go there.


Is there another association I haven't found that might be more popular?


Also, I met one of my DD's school friend's step-father the other week (before I knew to ask about this topic, of course) and he was telling me he is a professional tattoo artist. He doesn't work in a studio anymore because he is pursuing a new career in graphic design, but he has a set-up in his house for his regular clients. They live within walking distance. Should I pursue this or let it go? Can a home set-up be reputable? I know the girl well from many field trips and volunteering in the classroom over the last two years (she and DD have been in the same class for two years), but I just met the father at the end of February and I have never met the mother or siblings. The dad is quite chatty and we were waiting for the kids to get back from an off-campus school day and they were LATE (45 min). I learned he has been a tattoo artist for 15+ years, mostly back home in South Carolina. He worked in a studio here until recently and he quit because he didn't like the practices going on. I was mostly listening, so I didn't ask clarification questions. At that point, I wasn't interviewing him for a piercing job...lol


If I find a person who will pierce her ears without a gun, will they use any earrings I bring with us? Or do they prefer to guarantee their work with earrings they provide? I have only read one website on this topic and that piercer only guarantees her work with the earrings she provides, but she provides surgical steel earrings. I'm just wondering if I should also be searching for a simple pair of surgical steel earrings for DD's first pair....



post #5 of 49

My nine-year-old just had her ears pierced for Christmas. We went to a body-art place on Melrose, and they provided the earrings -- I want to say that they were titanium, not surgical steel, and hoops instead of studs (easier to sleep in, and there's less metal touching the ear while it heals). They gave us detailed after-care instructions: no changing earrings for two months, use Bactine to clean (NOT hydrogen peroxide, which is what they told us to use back when I got my own ears pierced in the '80s) twice a day, you don't need to turn or move the earrings.


It was pretty funny -- the guy who pierced her had huge ear gauges, was covered in tats, and had a pierced brow, and he was incredibly sweet to her. He also spend a long time making sure the holes were placed exactly evenly and where she wanted them. They've healed well, and it was just a good experience all the way around (except that she keeps dropping earring backs down the bathroom sink drain). eyesroll.gif

post #6 of 49
Thread Starter 

Thanks! How did you find the place???


I've never cared for stud earrings myself. I much prefer lever-backs, but I don't sleep in my earrings. It makes sense that small hoops would be more comfortable. I am curious about the thickness of the holes versus earrings issue. Studs tend to be thicker than hoops. What will the impact be later on if the ears heal with hoops or any other thinner earring?

post #7 of 49

I found it by looking at reviews on Yelp -- not exactly the most scientific research! But it worked out.


The thinner earrings haven't been an issue -- earlobes are stretchy, and it's easy to get a post through the hole. I think the piercing needle itself was smaller than the hoop earring, but I'm not sure. I do know that he was so fast and gentle that she didn't even realize he'd pierced the first one until he'd moved on to the second!

post #8 of 49
Thread Starter 

That is exactly what I want to hear!!!!!! I want this to be gentle for her.

post #9 of 49
Thread Starter 

Okay. So I googled "finding a piercing professional in San Diego" (I had tried a lot of other phrases last night) and started reading. The same place kept coming up, so I checked yelp's reviews on this place. Five stars across the board. AND, they ONLY do piercings (lots of experience day in and day out). It is also one of the three that came up on the APP list.


In the reviews, I read they only recommend saline solution and to leave the earrings alone during the healing process, which matches other advice I have read. (All of which is very different from my own piercings in the 80s! LOL) Several reviewers had been to Claire's first and had to have the work done again due to various mistakes made.


They aren't open yet today, so I'll call later to get a feel for the place and to ask specifically about the needle and earrings and price range.

post #10 of 49

Most places use their own jewelry, but you can often change it out within 6 weeks or so.  Titanium or SSS is superior (for this) to gold IMO.  They're much less porous than gold which decrease risk of infection.


I prefer the captive bead for initial piercings as they're easier to clean since they rotate so nicely.  They're also super cute!


Be prepared for it to be triple the cost of Claire's.  You definitely get what you pay for in this area.


If a docs office does it with a needle, that's fine too.  I know of some who have had their docs use guns which makes me twitch for so many reasons.


Good luck!  You can also use cell salts and homeopathy to speed healing.  Saline externally is fine too.

post #11 of 49
Thread Starter 

I haven't and don't plan to price Claire's, so I won't be shocked. lol.gif


I cringed when my friend told me her doctor doesn't do it anymore and specifically recommended Claire's. I focused on the fact that the little girl is fine and it all worked out in the end and ignored the rest.


Everyone else I know just went to Claire's, no questions asked.


My first set of ear piercings were not done with a gun, but my second set were. I recall the pain and surprise of the gun version to this day. And, I had quite a few infections in those holes to the point I don't wear earrings in them anymore. My first holes are perfect still and I love earrings.


As bad as it sounds, I have repierced my second holes on my own a few times. They are closed now and I'm okay with that, but I am considering getting them professionally re-done. Now would be a good time. Either on the same day as my DD (right before hers) or a few days ahead of her, so she could go to the place with me and see it done first and be comfortable for her turn. She suggested it yesterday, but I was thinking more about how it would be special for her to be the only one with brand new earrings/piercings. Maybe a better plan is a mother-daughter commonality? I'll think about that.



post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 

Oh, what type of cell salt support can I do? (I have them all.)


I have arnica in homeopathy.


I also have calendula ointment and arnica ointment. I read on one site that a bit of ointment or vaseline (just a tiny dab) on the front and back of the earrings while in place, just pushed forward and then backward, helps with sticking. I was originally thinking of using virgin coconut oil, which we always have, but would either of my other ointments be better (if the sticking issue even comes up)?

post #13 of 49

I'd use ferrum phos for the salts and arnica is fine for homeopathy.  I send people with an initial dose of hypericum, but it's not necessary.  it's a clean hole with no jagged edges so you don't really need a specific for puncture wounds.  I do like using calendula tincture on it-but it's not necessary.


I've never had to use any vaseline like substance for anyone-fwiw.

post #14 of 49
I had mine done at Claire's when I was in high school and I regret it so much. I can't wear earrings. Everything irritates my ears. No matter what I have tried, my ears are red-hot and inflamed after a couple hours of wearing earrings. I can always squeeze puss out of the holes, even when I haven't been wearing earrings. I really wish I had never done them and it has been years!

I wonder if I could have them re-pierced and just let them heal up...
post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 



Hypericum is St. John's Wort, right? I have that in an infused oil and possibly in a spray.


I called the piercing place and LOVE the "counter girl" as she described herself. She is a mom and was very patient with my questions and we connected. Yes, hollow needle, autoclave, calming atmosphere, saline solution. She said most kids who come in do really well. They require my DD's birth certificate and my ID to prove parental rights/permission. She said a lot of parents do a 2-3 visit process, so I am doing well to pick out the place early.


The piercing is $25, which I think is reasonable for a well-trained professional.


The earrings range widely in price and are per earring. The captive bead rings run $15 each and they don't usually recommend them for new piercings, but she felt for a young girl in the ear lobes they would be good. Other appropriate earrings run $30 each and up (surgical steel and other such terms were given). All their earrings are internally threaded, which I read about online.


If I decide to get my second holes re-done, all the same procedures and costs apply.


The one question I asked and didn't get answered was if I could bring in appropriate earrings or if we HAD to use theirs. (We got side-tracked. LOL) I plan to take DD over there to see the place and check out their earring selection in advance, so I will ask then.


Thanks so much for helping me find a place!!!! love.gif

post #16 of 49

yes, but I meant homeopathically-sorry!  it won't be necessary to use it externally for this.


And amen on the internal threading. 


Yes, I should have clarified, captive bead rings aren't ideal for ALL new piercings, but for lobes for younger kids I think they're the best.  again, just my opinion.

post #17 of 49
Thread Starter 

For due diligence purposes, I called our family practice doctor's office. They do not pierce ears. To their credit, they did not give any recommendations.


I went searching online for earrings. Now I need more help, please...


What kind of hoops, Thalia the Muse?


What kind of captive bead earrings, Panserbjorne?



post #18 of 49
Originally Posted by Toolip View Post

I had mine done at Claire's when I was in high school and I regret it so much. I can't wear earrings. Everything irritates my ears. No matter what I have tried, my ears are red-hot and inflamed after a couple hours of wearing earrings. I can always squeeze puss out of the holes, even when I haven't been wearing earrings. I really wish I had never done them and it has been years!

I wonder if I could have them re-pierced and just let them heal up...

OMG...me too!  It's gross.  I can't even get earrings through them anymore, but there is always puss. :( Eww.


post #19 of 49
Thread Starter 

Me, too, for the girls who went to Claire's and never could wear earrings well. That is exactly how my second holes are and I did just let them close up. It took forever and I wanted to wear a pair for a fancy event, so I pierced them again on my own the rest of the way to be able to stick earrings in. Let them close again, then got married and wanted them open, so I pierced them again myself. Not that I am recommending self-piercing at all!!! I am just saying it took for-ever for them to finally be healed and my re-piercings didn't cause nearly as much pain and puss and ickiness as the original piercing at Claire's did.


The girl at the piercing studio said my ears would be fine now if I got a proper piercing, but I didn't go into a lot of detail on my past history. blush.gif

post #20 of 49
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to avoid all that with my daughter. love.gif


What size captive bead earrings should I be looking for? Are the numbers the thickness of the part that goes through the ear lobe or the diameter of the circle? I've never seen this type of earring in person that I know of....


ETA: I have figured out that the gauge is the thickness of the part that goes through the lobe. Is 14g, 16g, or 18g good for that? And, the diameter ranges so widely...EEK and the size of the ball does, too.... 3mm or 4 mm sounds okay to me for the ball? 7mm or 9mm sound okay for the hoop for a young girl?


My DD already requested hoops versus "boring studs", so I wonder where she even learned about hoops and who has them and where I can get them! LOL


My top choices:


16g 5/16" Stainless Steel Captive Bead Ring STERILIZED Ready for Use




14g 1/2" Stainless Steel Captive Bead Ring STERILIZED Ready for Use


Got an opinion on which ones to buy for DD's first pair (if they let me bring my own) and/or for my second holes (if I decide to do them and they let me bring my own)???

Edited by sunnysandiegan - 3/8/11 at 1:45pm
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