For the last few months I have had the craving for a new mod. I had originally been thinking about getting my sternum pierced, so started looking around BME to try and get some information. That's when I saw a picture of some matching surface clavicles. Right from the start I thought these were one of the more interesting piercings I had ever seen and it was just what I wanted.
After two weeks of searching / agonising over the pain, I finally worked up the nerve to get it done. Over the past year I have had a few mods, so I automatically knew I was going to get it done at City Body Art, who have done the majority of my work. The studio there is clean, the staff friendly and I had just recently realised that over the last 12 months I have spent more time there than I have with my parents. So safe to say I was pretty comfortable going to them. As we (myself, +1 for moral support) made our way down the steps we saw that they were pretty busy, but decided to stick it out and just wait. When Heather (my piercer) was freed up, she came over to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into. So I gave her my spiel of all the research I had found. Yes, surface piercings can be problematic at best, hard to heal, prone to rejection, should only ever be pierced with a surface bar and usually only lasting four to six months even when pierced correctly. She seemed suitably impressed, if not a little surprised at how much info I had gathered. She did say it was refreshing for someone to come in so organised and lead me out back to start getting set up.
Due to human anatomy very rarely being symmetrical and with me being no exception, it took about 45 minutes of drawing and measuring out random lines on my chest to finally end up with four even dots. Once we had both agreed on the final placement, Heather set about the task of custom bending the jewellery to fit the placement.
When everything was shaped and sterile I was told to lie down on the chair. Due to the placement it was virtually impossible to use clamps, so as she freehand pinched my left side, I braced myself for the pain. As the needle broke the skin there was a slightly painful moment and then not much else until the needle broke the skin on the other side. Following through with the jewellery didn't hurt; it was just a little uncomfortable. If I had realised how quick and painless it was going to be I would have gotten it done so much sooner. That was what I was thinking until she set up for the right hand side. It started pretty much the same as the left, slight pain as the needle broke the skin, but then the needle got 'snagged' on a small patch of bunched up skin and I felt the needle being dragged underneath the skin until it punched through on the other side. Thankfully the jewellery followed through smoothly and with little pain. Like all of my other piercings (Navel, Labret and Nipple) I bled a little, so I waited until I was cleaned up before standing in front of the mirror to check out the four shiny new balls that were protruding from my chest. They were all perfectly even and only looked a little red where she had pinched my skin so hard.
As we walked back out the front to take care of the money side of things, I was told all about aftercare which is basically all common sense and pretty much the same as any other piercing. Clean twice a day, sea salt soaks every other day and keep my hands off it. If it shows any signs of rejecting come back to get it looked at. And as she said, it's a much smarter thing to retire a piercing and have minimal scarring than to try and save it and possibly end up with an infected mess. I thanked her for everything and agreed to come back in a week so she could take some pictures for her portfolio and to get it checked.
As we left the studio, I couldn't stop looking down at my chest and at how 'right' the bars looked. It seemed to me like they belonged there.
When I finally got home and went for a shower they were a little tender and started to bleed lightly again, so I cleaned it up and went to bed. I kept rolling onto my side during my sleep which would wake me up because pressure was being put on the lower bar and causing discomfort, so it was a bit of a restless night. When I got up I noticed a little bit of blood had crusted around the edges and light bruising above the skin where the bars sit but nothing too angry looking.
All in all it was actually a pretty painless piercing and definitely opened the door for more surface work in the future. As surface work can be pretty temperamental and need a lot of 'babying', it's probably not for everyone, but it is definitely something I would recommend people try out.
As it ages I will keep records and update in a few months as to how it is healing.
submitted by: stormy
on: 25 Dec. 2006
in Surface & Unusual Piercing