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Collarbone Surface Piercing - retired

I fell in love with the surface piercing galleries last summer. They looked so different and neat. I loved the idea of little beads of metal looking like they're just sitting on your skin. The aesthetic is really appealing. I knew I wanted more piercings, but facial ones were out and I wasn't really ready to go below the neckline at that time.

I checked out the piercing studio in Kingston, Blackstar, and the counter staff said that the entire thing, with jewelry changes etc, would cost at least $180 and that 80% of the time, it rejected within 6 months. This was way out of my budget, so I hung up the idea until I found myself in Ottawa, near my favourite place ever, Planet Ink, so I checked out what they had to say.

The price was a bit more than $100, which seemed more acceptable, and the staff were less discouraging about the piercing than the other studio. I've since gotten work done at Blackstars, and they aren't bad, they just tend to be more careful than other studios I've been in. At Planet Ink they said that if I looked after it alright, there was no reason why a surface piercing shouldn't heal. This struck me then, and still seems now, to be overly optimistic. In any case I wasn't going into anything with any delusions, I knew that unless I'm one of the very lucky ones, most surface piercings are long-term temporary at best.

I chose to get the bar below my right collarbone. Jonny, my piercer, said it was a good placement, and off we went. The actual procedure was a snap. He got me to lie down, then marked me up and got me to check the placement. The worst part, most people will tell you, is the clamps. The needle felt pretty much like a needleprick. I had a friend with me who said that when the needle went through my skin, my face flushed and my pupils dilated. He said he'd never really understood how people can find getting stabbed with needles fun, but after witnessing the endorphin rush of a piercing, it makes a little more sense. I walked out really satisfied.

Over the next few weeks, I was a nice as I could be to my new shiny. I gently cleaned it everyday, and was vary careful not to snag the posts when I moving around. For the summer, it was a pretty happy piercing. It never really healed; there was always discharge and crusties, but it never gave me any real grief either.

The arrival of fall is what really did it in. During the summer I could spend all day in tank tops and low cut tops that wouldn't rub against or snag the piercing. Fall came, and wearing sweaters and carrying around my schoolbag irritated the hell out of the poor thing. It got sore and red, and generally felt and seemed angry. I loved how it looked, but I didn't like having it red and swollen all the time: healed piercings look hot, leaky sore ones don't.

I tried for a while to keep it, but after a bit I noticed the corner of the surface bar wasn't always in my skin, and I could easily feel the bar itself underneath the piercing site. It was pretty obviously rejecting. Rather than deal with a big scar from complete rejection, at the beginning of December I choose to take it out. I didn't do anything wrong with it during the healing, and no large trauma happened to trigger the rejection - it wouldn't have stayed in even if I never had to wear sweaters, or never snagged it on a backpack strap, or whatever. It just would have taken longer to reject.

I miss it a lot, but I see that it wasn't really a good piercing for my lifestyle. You have to be careful to never hit, rub, snag, or catch it on anything, or else that could trigger rejection. Every day I had to be careful how I dressed and how I interacted with objects around me (like not hugging people with loose knit sweaters, or taping it down when I went climbing or sparring, etc). There's a scar where it used to be - a red line with raised edges. I think the red will eventually go away and I'll just have some white dots. I don't really scar badly, so I'm lucky.

This piercing is a lot of fun and looks great! But you're probably not going to be able to keep it long term, and you have to look after it. Make sure when you get it, that you can deal with any scars that could result if it rejects. Other than that, if you have the cash and the patience, there's no reason not to try one out.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 March 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Jonny
Studio: Planet+Ink
Location: Ottawa

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