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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.41)
    #cleaningapiercing

    Thank you folks SO much for your help! In the end I went with a saline solution. Until I'm able to go to the pharmacy and get some H2Ocean I'm using the non-iodized sea salt method. And this guide that was linked above said it was okay to use a paper towel dipped in the mixture instead of dipping my ear in a cup (really hard to do).

    @randomentity: By gun.
  1.  (10293.42)
    #cleaning apiercing

    I'd back up the salt water, however I'd also say that if it feels like it's taking forever to heal, whack some surgical spirit on there - it'll sting like hell but it toughens the skin and speeds things up
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011 edited
     (10293.43)
    #cleaningapiercing

    @oldhat

    er, um...go to a piercer next time. I don't want to go on a lecture here or freak you out, but it needs to be said: Piercing via gun isn't the best thing to do to your body. For one, the people who pierce with guns don't have proper training (which is why she told you to use alcohol, which is a big no-no). Also, they can't always get the placement *quite* perfectly, whereas professional piercers do their best, marking and remarking the spot, to make sure everything looks spot on. As for healing, if it's a cartilage piercing, guns can cause some trauma to cartilage sometimes, and since they just stab you with the earring instead of a needle, the skin gets a bit roughed up, whereas needles make really clean, smooth holes. Lastly, and most importantly, professional piercers sterilize all their equipment by putting it in an autoclave, and will use sterile, one time use needles, while guns can't reach that same level of cleanliness (they can be sanitized, but not sterilized).

    Anyway, your piercing really should be fine, but it might be a little extra angry for a while, for the reasons I've listed. You'll have an easier time healing, if you get any more piercings, if you have a professional do it with a needle instead.

    Also, did you get your lobes pierced or cartilage? Cos cartilage can take up to 6-12 months for complete healing (though initial healing is faster). So if it's a cartilage piercing and you find it's still being finicky in a couple months, don't freak out, that's just how those piercings roll. Lobes, on the other hand, are super easy to heal, and you'll be fine in no time. Just keep up the saline soaks to help it along.

    Edit: one more thing! Should misfortune befall you and the piercing gets infected, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT remove the piercing, lest your skin heal and the hole shut before the infection is gone, creating an abcess. Leave the jewelry in and continue soaking as normal (or more often, if needed), so that the pus can drain. As glukkake said, tea tree oil is awesome for piercings, because it's an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antomicrobial, but doesn't totally dry out your skin. I was fine using it on it's own but if you have sensitive skin, dilute it with another oil (lavender is nice bc it's a natural anti-inflammatory, if you wanna get fancy). Protip: tea tree oil also helps with breakouts, for the same reasons.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.44)
    #cleaningapiercing

    @argos Good advice and I'll be sure to take it next time. I guess ignorance got the better of me.

    And it's a lobe piercing.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.45)
    no worries, when I wanted to get my lobes repierced I almost did it by gun, too. Luckily when I got interested in other, more extreme, piercings (I wanted surface piercings at one point but never got them) other people pointed me in the right direction, and I learned about how bad guns are. Also, check my edit if you missed it, I just added it :)
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      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.46)
    Argos nailed it. A few things are subjective (salt soaks don't work for everyone, especially if you're over-salting the water, which is pretty common) but everything else is spot-on.

    I'd actually go a step further in the DON'T-GET-A-FUCKING-GUN-PIERCING lecture: If you're ever planning on stretching your piercings, I'd recommend you take out the gun piercings right away and get re-pierced wtih a needle. Guns create the potential for way more scar tissue, which is going to severely restrict and pain you if you ever want to up-gauge.

    Since we're in Toronto and all, I'd suggest you go to a piercing shop and buy some Sea Salt Spray or a similar product. New Tribe and all the other Queen St places will have it, and will talk to you about when and how much you should use. It's a spray, which is way better than dipping your earlobe (ugh, ever tried dripping a nipple piercing? I repeat, ugh) and it has, I think, neem oil in it.
  2.  (10293.47)
    #cleaningapiercing I decided not to go into the gun vs professional needle piercing debate because I sound like a complete condescending douchebag to most people when I do.
    In short, piercing guns are the fucking devil. I have had over a dozen piercings, including 2 failed surface piercings and I've been my piercer's guinea pig for all kinds of weird industrials and seeing how far we can go with things like piercing my lobe and seeing how far we can stretch it right after. I've considered apprenticeship but I've never had the money.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.48)
    Okay, I feel like a proper idiot now.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011 edited
     (10293.49)
    awww, that's what I wanted to avoid :( It's okay Oldhat, you just didn't know, and not everyone does. In fact pretty much anyone who's not in the body mod community doesn't know. Like I said, since it's just lobe piercings, you should be fine, they'll just be a little extra sore at first because the piercing won't have been as smooth as if done with a needle. Though if you DO want to stretch them, allana is right, get them redone. One way around this is to just get them scalpelled, but that only works if you're stretching to about 1-1.5" max, since scalpelling eventually leads to having thinned out lobes instead of evenly stretched lobes. But again, that's at really big sizes, so if you're only stretching to say, a 0 gauge, you'll be okay.

    @randomentity I considered an apprenticeship as well, and am still kinda interested. But I kept hearing about how hard it is to get one and there are so many good piercers in SD already, I'm not sure that more piercers are really in demand. It seemed like a job I would love, just not a job that I was confident in actually securing. Ah, well.
  3.  (10293.50)
    New question: #winterblues

    The winter season is kicking off in Canada; short days, overcast skies most of the time. Predictions are mostly for a long cold one this year. I didn't fare too badly last year with the dreaded winter depression, but had about three or four days when I felt like jumping off the balcony (which two people in our block - to my knowledge - have already done this year) after weeks of not seeing the sun. I've read in various places about daylight bulbs you can install, which are supposed to stave off winter depression by supplying something like the normal sunlight spectrum, but apparently they're expensive and don't work terribly well. I'd prefer not to resort to the traditional Canadian remedy of drinking heavily throughout the cold months, so I'm looking for something less detrimental to one's health. Any suggestions?
  4.  (10293.51)
    Oldhat -- Ignore what they're saying about not using a gun on a lobe piercing. Yes, the people might not be as well trained as they should be, they may tell you the incorrect information (as would be your situation), and the two piercings might be a little bit off from each other. But guess what... your earlobes aren't the exact same as each other anyway. The studs they pierced you with were most likely in a sealed unit so they're clean and, so long as they were in a sealed unit, the gun would have been perfectly clean. They're designed that way otherwise there would be diseases and bacteria being spread every time someone gets their 6 month old daughters ears pierced. My wife has 7 piercings in each ear, most all by gun, including the ones she got down in her cartilage (which is now illegal up here in Canada due to the possibility of shattering the cartilage), and she's never had any problems with them.
    You're not an idiot. You did exactly what 99% of people do the first time they get their ears done.
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      CommentAuthordorkmuffin
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.52)
    @Oldhat, I got my lobe piercings done with a gun. In retrospect, not the best idea, but it's still mostly fine.

    Now you know better!!

    I also got cartilage pierced by gun at one point. It was stupid but my ear was fine. What was bad was that I didn't get proper after-care instructions and tried to change the piercing too soon and ended up having to let it close up.
  5.  (10293.53)
    #winterblues

    I live in Michigan, which is Canada Lite. One thing I do is to ignore the switch away from Daylight Saving Time. Not that Daylight Time vs. Standard Time is right or wrong, but the switch is an adjustment that throws me off. So when the time changes, I adjust my alarm and bedtime too, so I'm still going to sleep and waking up at the same physical time as the week before. I also have a few inside lights (not special daylight-spectrum, just lights) on a timer that sort-of simulates a 6am sunrise and 9pm sunset in my apartment. Sure, if I look outdoors I see that it's still/already dark, but inside it's bright and I can pretend that it's not grim outside.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.54)
    #cleaningapiercing okay, feel less like an idiot, but it's clearly something I should have looked in to a bit more. On Allana's advice I'll go to a piercing shop on Queen and pick up a spray and talk to them about it. Also, I'm not planning on stretching my piercings, so I'm not terribly worried about that so much. But any future piercings I do decide to have I'll be sure to go to a piercing place that doesn't use a gun.

    #winterblues I hear that Saint John's Wort can help seasonal depression. I don't use it but have several friends who swear by it.
  6.  (10293.55)
    #winterblues

    I live in the northern tip of Wisconsin, and one of the neighbors is a former DON (Dean of Nursing), who used to get winter blues, as you call them. I'll have to ask her what light bulbs she uses in the winter. However, one of the causes of seasonal depression is lack of vitamin D. Not enough sun, body doesn't make enough vitamin D, etc etc. That said, what you really need to take is Vitamin D3. If you just take Vitamin D most of it will just go through the system and not do any good. Take at least 1,000 IU.
  7.  (10293.56)
    Thanks, I'll look into all those suggestions.
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      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.57)
    #winterblues

    Ah yes, the Soul Death Season is upon us, I hope y'all like grey-on-grey-on-black. I don't know if you're stuck indoors with a 9-to-5 leaving you with going to work before the sun is up and coming home when the sun is already down, but it's a good idea to try and get a bit of light during the day. You know, a walk at lunchtime or somesuch. (I'm horrible at waking up before noon, so this tends to be a bit of a problem for me, but I got one of those fancy daylight spectrum lights as a present and yes, they are pretty awesome the price tag notwithstanding...)

    I also feel this is the season for candles, and they do wonders for some reason.

    Good luck. This is getting worse by the year for me.
  8.  (10293.58)
    @taphead: Would you ever move to another country, even just for part of the year? Aside from the winter, I know I could never live that far north.
    • CommentAuthorSteerpike
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.59)
    #winterblues

    @oldhat: Might be a question of which St. John's wort product - in the US herbal supplements are ridiculously underregulated, so they're a crap shoot, as I found when I tried St. John's Wort from GNC for regular depression. Don't know if that's true for Canada as well.
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      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
     (10293.60)
    #winterblues

    @trini_nanae - I've been mulling that over, yeah. I suppose there should be some sort of a WEB THINGY (tm) for people who want to, say, swap apartments for a few months, and I'd be happy to let someone get a feel of what winter is like here, in exchange for warmer and sunnier climes myself...

    (Also, as the work situation went a bit pear-shaped and not having a relationship anchoring me to Finland, moving has suddenly become even more realistic an option. I've never lived abroad apart from the 6 months I did in Dublin on two work-related jaunts, and it is something I'd like to do. But we'll see...)