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Surface Arm Piercing

I went in last night to finish my a surface piercing on my arm. About 6 weeks ago I had 2 anchors put in to my upper bicep, to see if I could keep them in without them rejecting. Those 2 have healed nicely (although I can feel occasional muscle aches) so the rest should be fine. We had originally planned on doing and additional 4, but ended up adding a 5th due to a stray mark (and I decided it looked better that way, so I decided to keep it). I've been going to Laughing Buddha for many years for piercing work, and have been working with Luis from the beginning on this project, and have been incredibly happy with his work.

If you're not familiar with anchors, Industrial Piercings has a great photo of some at http://www.isbodyjewelry.com/Basic%20Elements/Top%20Nav/TSA1.x16.jpg. I have the metal disks put in, although I may change this at some time in the future.

I went in with another friend who was doing a piercing and a stretch, and we spent about 2 1/2 hours total at the studio. To figure out the design I had my husband take a photo of my arm with the 2 piercings in. We used Photoshop to make copies of the piercings and move them around until we found a design we liked. I considered doing a V shape, a right triangle with the equal sides at the back and bottom, and a 3 rows of 2. We finally ended up settling on a shape that is similar to a diamond, but goes down further from the middle than up.

I ended up doing a design that looks a bit like a diamond. My best ASCII approximation:


x x x

x x


We spent at least 20 minutes measuring and working out the algebra to get the piercings to look like the picture as much as possible. It turns out all that math I learned in 8th grade is finally paying off. The measuring this time was actually quicker than the last because we already had a horizontal line to go by. If you look at a close up of my arm the line looks off, but when I hang my arm to my side the line is perfectly level. I'm impressed with the time that Luis takes to make sure the piercings are perfectly lined up, and his willingness to move them if I don't like them.

As with my last ones, the piercings didn't hurt much when being put in, although they seem to take longer than other types of piercings. Basically it's an initial sting as the scalpel is used to cut a slit, some movement as the piercing is lined up, and serious pressure when it is snapped in. The pressure along with the snapping noise (which may just be from the clamps) is pretty jarring at first, but gets to be normal after the first few.

These piercings seem to cause a much greater adrenaline rush than other piercings I've had in the past, but within about 30 minutes the pain cam through it again. For the rest of the evening my arm had both stinging and aching pain, and felt like someone had punched me really hard. They bled quite a bit last night, but now only the middle one seems to be bleeding occasionally. The pain has also pretty much gone away, which surprises me as the last ones I had done hurt a lot the first few days.

I'm taking care of them by soaking them 2x a day with a weak sea salt mixture, as recommended by Laughing Buddha. I'm also wearing a non-stick cotton pad (first aid supplies at work rock!) taped on. For my last one I tried using little round band aids, but discovered that they leave a red mark from the adhesive around the piercing, which makes people think the piercings are infected. Whenever possible, during the day, I'm wearing soft cotton tee shirts and not using the pad so that I can let the piercing breath as much as possible. I'm also uncovering it when possible, although I have long hair so I'm having to make sure it is up first so it doesn't catch on the piercing. I also noticed from my previous piercings that I need to avoid lifting heavy objects with this arm (my left) as it strains the piercing a bit.

I'm expecting to spend the next 6 weeks in full healing mode, then be gentle with the piercings from then on. Hopefully, given that I haven't rejected a piercing yet, I'll be able to keep these in permanently. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone who rejects easily though, I've noticed I have to be much more diligent with these piercings than I have with others in the past in order to keep them happy.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 March 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Luis
Studio: Laughing+Buddha
Location: Seattle%2C+WA

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