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"Thumb Web"

I don't know if this is okay because we had to do it ourselves. But I mean it seemed the only way to get it done, and after over a dozen new holes, none of them ever got infected and they all turned out well, so, I'm hoping that this submission won't be rejected and I'll be able to see how others' thumbwebs turned out. Anyway, my story follows.

Thumb Web.

When all this started all I had in the way of body modifications was a

hole in each ear, and a small "J" scar done a few years ago on my left index finger. I have wanted a standard tongue piercing for over a year, but my roommate and I decided to postpone those for a graduation present to ourselves. I got tired of the temporary nature of hair bleaching and dyes, and decided it was time to get a piercing done.

Being cautious, I had been looking at internet sites for a while, as had

the person who pierced me, and we felt we knew as much about after care and maintenance as someone would need for a simple ear pierce. Since we'd both had experiences dealing with sterile lab instruments and mediums that required absolutely disinfected instruments, I felt that we were prepared. I would have preferred a professional but the one studio in our area doesn't check for veins before doing a cartilage pierce and doesn't offer an aftercare sheet.

We used aseptic lab technique to disinfect the room where the pierce would happen, and swabbed the area of my ears to be pierced, and used a freshly unwrapped dissecting needle to perform the actual piercing. Since then we've added nine other ear piercings, for a total of twelve. I have five going up each ear, barely into the cartilage, and then two in my left ear in the cartilage; one on the rim, and one deeper.

Since I was waiting for my ears to heal before doing any more, I started looking for another body project to start on. The friend who pierced me, who has since started apprenticing, found a site that included a picture of a thumb web piercing. I went to the URL and instantly feel in love with the pierce. I started looking all over the state to find a reputable place that had experience in doing surface to surface piercings like this one. Unfortunately, of the few actual studios I could find, even the studios that were dubious were unwilling to attempt anything other than "normal" piercings. So, once again, I turned to my friend and the internet to aid me in making this pierce as safe as possible. We read as much as we could find. The issue of aftercare became very important as we found out surface to surface piercings like this one would take up to a year to heal. Some places said don't use Peroxide, others said no alcohol, and still others said no Dial, while other said to use these same products; and each product said on it "not for puncture wounds".

I was hesitant about getting the procedure done, but I figured that it had been done at least once before by someone who had never done one before, and told my friend we would do it Saturday. The Thursday before we were to do it, she went ahead and pierced her thumb web just to make sure she knew the basics of doing it and because she too loves different piercings. That Saturday, after about half an hour of preparation, we did it with a small audience looking on. I picked a 14 gauge captive bead ring rather than the 18 gauge curved barbell which was my other choice because I feel that rings are better for lymph drainage and I didn't want to start off with a tiny size in as I planned to expand the hole as soon as I felt it was ready and I knew tightening would occur as the surrounding tissue toughened and scarred.

The pierce took well and I bathed it in a salt-water bath at least twice a day along with washing it in Dial liquid soap, and I used a light moisturizer on it as well. After awhile, I noticed that the skin over the piercing was starting to dry and peel, in spite of the lotion. Vitamin E suspended in oil kept in those sealed capsules worked wonderfully to help the piercing heal and keep it from drying out.

But as surface to surface piercings are likely to do, this one started to reject; slowly migrating out. When the skin over the pierce became thin enough that I started to worry about it ripping out; I chose to take my favorite piercing out and let it heal over. From the research we did, I know that if I allow my thumb web to heal completely and then repierce behind the scar formed by the first one, then it will act as an anchor and keep the piercing from coming out again. My friend elected to take hers out too, although after only about two weeks, but plans to redo the piercing as soon as she can get someone else to do it for her. She discovered that it is easier to get the angle correct that way.

With enough care and patience, I'm hoping to make the next thumb web one I'll be able to keep for years and plan to send in a picture as soon as I get it done again.

Tammy Austin

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 March 1998
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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