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Self-piercing, idiot style.

Around the age of 15 or 16, I decided that I really wanted a lip pierced. I don't remember exactly why, but I had a lot of friends with facial piercings and was at an impressionable age... so the outcome is pretty logical.

I researched facial piercings for weeks poring over BMEzine, and other websites with extensive piercing FAQs. I knew of some local piercing places that would do the job for me despite being under the age limit-- but I was 16, and had absolutely no real income.

Despite my extensive amounts of internet research that all basically pointed to an outcome involving my lip becoming infected and falling off my face, I decided to pierce my lip with a safety pin once my father had gone to bed.

Looking back, I realize how dumb of me it really was. I had a safety pin (acquired off a beanie from Hot Topic. Super-shiny, and nicer than most safety pins), several different kinds of disinfectants, Ice, and an 18 gauge ring.

I tried numbing my lip with ice, but it just made my lip slippery, and the effect wore off before I could even get a firm grip on my lip. I located the center of my lip as well as I could, and pressed the pin into my lip, outside going in.

"Holy, crap! Ow!" I dropped my hands to my sides and stared at myself in the mirror. Yep, this was all incredibly stupid. The safety pin was about halfway through my lip, only really piercing the skin. It was embarrassing, at that point I had only gotten my ears pierced a couple of times with those horrible piercing guns they had at Claire's.

I have an incredibly low pain tolerance, and I guess I had no real idea what I was getting myself into.

So there I was, safety pin only halfway through my face, unsure of what to do. I think the only reason why I went through with it at all was because I was afraid of being mocked by my friends.

What good is a hole in your face if it doesn't even do anything, after all?

It was then that I had my first real experience with skin elasticity. Ugh, gross. I did not expect my lip to stretch as much as it did. Eventually I had to shove my lip down onto the pin to make it come through the other side.

It did-- with a horrible pop that freaked me out.

By this time, my lip was too swollen to put the ring in. Since I couldn't chase the pin with the ring, I decided to give up, and go to bed.

People get really freaked out when I tell them I went to sleep with a safety pin in my mouth. I usually supplement their horror with a photo of my extremely swollen lip, safety pin included.

Getting the ring in the next morning was a feat in itself, when it did go in; it made the same horrible pop. To this day, I don't really know why it popped, but it hasn't done that since then. I'm going to assume it has something to do with the intricacies of the layers of my face or something. I don't know.

I spent half an hour trying to get the ring in before the bus came... and somehow managed to hide the ring from my dad until I stepped out of the house.

It throbbed for weeks afterward. A few of my pierced/piercer friends attempted to blame that and the intense swelling on the fact that I did it with a pin instead of a needle, but I can tell you that they are wrong.

Having since gotten other lip piercings by a professional with a needle, I can tell you that the only thing that was worse about doing it with a pin was the skin stretching, and how long it took to put the ring in. Otherwise, the experience was just about the same.

Still, if given the choice-- I would probably choose a professional over giving myself another piercing. I get scolded a lot by nurses and piercers alike who tell me that I was lucky I didn't paralyze my face, or get a horrible infection, or a terrible scar. It's also so much easier to get it done than to do it yourself.

Unless you're ALREADY a professional, you should go to a professional.

It doesn't end there. Remember the 18 gauge ring I put in? Well, apparently I was an idiot, because the piercing took much longer to heal than I was expecting, and the inside of my lip was always raw and I couldn't figure it out for quite some time.

Later, I figured out that the ring had pulled forward through my lip, creating a scar about a centimeter long, where the ring had traveled.

My under-the-lip lip ring had started traveling through my lip because the gauge wasn't big enough, and became a vertical labret. I couldn't really wear rings in it anymore without them sticking out awkwardly, but I bought a curved barbell and eventually became really attached to my somewhat unconventional lip ring.

I was really lucky the outcome turned out so well, trial and error with facial piercings doesn't exactly sound pleasant.

I really want to smack that younger me right upside the head for being so dumb!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 Oct. 2008
in Lip Piercing

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