Monday, 16 December 2013

Cheek piercing experience and advice!

I have been looking to get my cheeks pierced for about 10 years and because  I live in such a small town with only one reputable body piercer I had always been turned away (this is long before I discovered the modification scene and abundance of capable piercers). So I started my piercing apprenticeship and years later the feeling NEVER left me and I STILL wanted cheek piercings but the body piercer I worked for at the time refused to do them and instead offered "micro dermal implants" which I had for 4 years in place of cheek piercings but sadly they rejected and left behind some nasty scarred tissue. Years went by and here I am , still craving cheek piercings so I have bitten the bullet and went for it and this next little section is just some tips and reviews. Some DON'TS as well as "do's".
So one of my best friends is also a body piercer so it made sense to ask my friend to come to my studio and do it for me (and in return I shall offer tea and biscuits).
I started out mapping my saliva glands and doing a preliminary check around my mouth for any lurking veins or anything that might prove an issue. I then measured out the width of my cheek from inside to out. I found the best way to do this was using a pair of cheap plastic vernier calipers which were then disposed off. I took the measurement of my cheek which was 14.28 mm and doubled that to give me the length of bar I would use. I opted for PTFE bars as I felt it would move more comfortably with my face. I also opted for 1.2mm PTFE  to fit with the rest of my 1.2mm jewellery. The piercing itself was harsh and I was VERY AWARE of how thick the tissue was, the pain subsided very quickly but was none the less very sore.
Now to get to the point! So I can't give anyone much advice on what will work best for them however this is some of the products that I am currently using to reduce the pain and swelling. I take a daily Zinc supplement purely because I get tattooed and pierced often so this little supplement just gives my immune system a little boost and helps me during the healing process, I am also using a children's non alcoholic mouthwash to keep the inside of my mouth clean..... I don't feel it makes a difference what mouth wash you use, rather the only stipulation is that it is mild and non- alcoholic. To clean the outside of my piercings I use a salt soak which I make by boiling up 1 PINT of water to 3 TEASPOONS of salt. Too much salt and the solution will burn, too little salt and it will be ineffective. I also feel it is a good point to mention that when making a salt soak always use Sea salt as it has a higher mineral content than table salt and is more beneficial for your piercings. I put some of my salt solution into  a clean shot glass and hold it against the piercing (this is good for ANY piercing) you will look ridiculous but it will help clean out your piercing. I try to hold it on for 5 mins to give the solution time to work round. I also feel that it is more soothing if the solution is mildly warm so after the kettle as boiler give it plenty of time to cool. I also use BPA piercing aftercare on the outside of my piercings (don't put this stuff inside your mouth D:). The bpa is really soothing and again an aid in keeping your piercings clean. I recommend it for MOST body piercings!! You can purchase it on this fine website > and it looks like this :
It is always a good idea to check the ingredients before you purchase as it does contain tea tree which a lot of people have issues with. To reduce the swelling in my piercings I take 1 ibuprofen every 6 hours for two days (always best to check with your GP beforehand) combined with a herbal treatment called arnica tablets which you can buy in most boots stores. Again arnica may contain ingredients that don't agree with you so check before you purchase. It is always a good idea with swelling to use cold compresses however I wouldn't recommend putting anything near fresh piercings so try sucking ice or ice lollies to give yourself some relief.
Personally my first school girl error was to underestimate just how much swelling these bad boys do! I could hardly eat or talk and was in some mild pain. I will also say that the 1.2mm jewellery was a terrible idea as the balls were so small they began to sink into my cheek and I was left having to change the bars 4 days after a fresh and very painful piercing to 1.6 by 32mm. The stretching was not so bad but it is a horrendous idea to make any jewellery changes to a new piercing but sadly I had made a bad choice and it was change the jewellery or abandon the piercing.
What I would say to everyone is that some people do not have a lot of swelling however most people swell like a balloon with these particular piercings. Other than some pain and swelling they have been okay so far and I am looking forward to being able to smile again haha
My best advice would be to prepare for some mega swollen times, salt soak the piercing twice a day and keep your mouth clean! These piercings are nothing to be taken lightly and SO much can go horrifically wrong. They can take years to heal properly and will leave your face permanently scared. Not a piercing for the faint hearted or people who don't have the time to look after them! I'm approaching a week and will do a little update in a months time but be safe, get a good competent body piercer who has performed this piercing before (with success). Get some good aftercare and prepare to look like a chipmunk.
This blog is not meant as an instructional blog but a review on my experience of this piercing

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