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My 1st Surface Piercing [Nape]

My decision to have my nape pierced was relatively sudden compared to many on BME. I honestly can't remember how I found the BME site, but it has helped me so much in making an informed decision. Initially I was looking for an ear piercing that was a little out of the ordinary. After hours and hours of browsing I narrowed my decision down to either an Industrial or Vertical Tragus. Sure, it's only an ear piercing, but anything to do with cartilage scares the shit out of me!

To be 100% honest, anything in the ear apart from a normal lobe piercing scares me, especially after developing Bell's Palsy 3-4 weeks after a piercing in my lobe, just below where it starts to get hard with cartilage.

Although I can't be absolutely certain, I'm convinced that this piercing (done with a gun) was the cause. I suffered minor jaw pain, bilateral facial drooping, slight paralysis and my eye failed to close completely. This was extremely worrying from both a medical and aesthetic standpoint and some people never fully recover. Luckily in my case after a couple of weeks and a short dose of Corticosteroid (Prednisolone), I came good. For more information Bell's Palsy is in the BME encyclopaedia., but back to the story at hand. After much deliberation I decided that although cartilage piercing is awesome, it was too risky for me. Long story short- I saw Surface Piercing and really liked the look of the nape piercing. A lot of piercings are as common as a hat full, so I was drawn to its uniqueness.

Once I found the nape I read up on everything I could find about it. I looked at pictures (fresh and healed), piercing methods, aftercare, correct jewellery and a stack of personal stories from members who have had it done. The majority of experiences I read were performed in Australian piercing studios, as they were more relevant to me. I also made sure I didn't limit myself to reading only positive and wonderful nape piercings- I also read about the sad and angry ones full of gooey infection and rejection. That was the only way I could know in my own mind and conscience that I had researched it properly. Even though I was already sold on the idea, I also talked to a friend of mine who had one and she gave me the name of her piercer who she raved about (Tom @ Hairhouse Warehouse, Modbury, Adelaide). At first I was a bit weary of getting pierced in a hairdresser, but her I completely trusted her judgement and recommendation.

The following morning I called HHWH and found out that he no longer worked there (DOH!), but their piercer was "really great". It might just be me, but I'm extremely anal with even changing hairdressers, so I wasn't going to get pierced by some unknown. Next step was calling HHWH @ Marion Westfield as I've read good stories about their piercer Tim on BME. I talked to his piercing partner (Abe I think) and asked him a few questions IE: What kind of jewellery do you use? How many of these have you done? Do you have a portfolio?. He was incredibly helpful and explained that they use Titanium Surface Bars. I asked if they use straight bars (to try and catch him out) and he laughed and told me there's no way they'd use them for a surface piercing. After telling him how far away I lived from the store he told me that Tim was in the Rundle Mall store that day and to pop in if I wanted. So that's what I did!

I got to the store and advised one of the staff of what I wanted and she called out to Tim AKA Dreamy Hot As Hell Piercer Guy. As if my legs weren't already feeling like jelly! By the way, he had countless piercings. I had a quick chat with him (cost, his experience etc) and told him that I hadn't eaten yet so I'd be back in a bit after having some lunch. I returned and that was when the "party" started. I entered the small room, which was very clean, and he asked me to fill in "the form". I filled it out with a shaky hand and after reading a question in regards to poor healing, I explained my past issues with cartilage piercings. He put it down to having my cartilage piercing with a gun (Der, I was so stupid all those years ago! I got it done when I was 16 and I'm 23 now). He assured me that nape piercing is the best surface piercing to get and you don't encounter nerves, like you do in the ear. I watched as he set up and I was very impressed with the sterile technique, choice of sterile jewellery and that he wore gloves after cleansing his hands with Aquium Alcohol Wash.

Firstly he got me to stand up and look straight ahead as he felt around my neck searching for the best place. He marked the two dots and went out to get another mirror to show me. I asked if it could be a bit higher and he said that was cool, changing his gloves again after handling the mirror (yes, these things impress me. Especially as I work in a field obsessed with infection control!). He felt around again, remarked the spots, I agreed and lay down on my stomach with my face on my hands. He said it would hurt and that I'd feel a bit of pressure. I don't think he used a clamp and I guess if I'm not sure about it, he didn't. From what I've heard, clamps hurt like a mother. Anyhow, whoa it hurt. I won't lie. I always thought I had a high pain threshold too. Then for some stupid reason I forgot that it would hurt more when the jewellery went in, and it did a bit. "All done!" Said Tim and I got up and had a look. He asked what I thought about it and I said something like "Cool". He said I didn't sound too enthused, but I explained that I was just in shock. haha. He then ran me through all aftercare advice, gave me a handout with all information, asked if I had any questions and told me to come back in if I had any problems. He also said to return within a few weeks for a general check up.

· Don't touch it, whatever you do.

· Wash hands in shower with Palmolive Antibacterial Softwash and gently clean piercing under warm running water. Move the bar a bit.

· Dry area with a hairdryer, clean tissue or cotton bud.

· Protat spray 2-3 times a day (I've been allergic to that in the past so I declined) I'm using a sea salt wash instead. ¼ teaspoon mixed with 200ml of warm water.

We finished up and I paid my $60 (fair price in my opinion. You get what you pay for) and I headed off with a big 'thanks!'. He was really great and only now do I understand the bond and loyalty one has with their piercer! It was a little bit achy later on that night and I had a couple of stinging sensations, but generally it doesn't hurt. In addition I'm also taking 2 vitamin supplements to assist healing. A Once Daily Women's Vitamin supplement, for Vitamins B and C in particular. Secondly Zinc twice a day to aid healthy skin and would healing. I guess you can never know for sure if they work, but it's worth a shot right? (especially with piercings notorious for rejecting/fucking up).

I can't stop looking at it! At this stage I'd recommend anyone thinking about getting a nape piercing to just go ahead and do it (after research of course). If worse comes to worse you can take it out. I'm looking forward to the weird stares from the uptight bitches around my area. But mostly I look forward to seeing it every day and keeping it for a decent amount of time. Cross your fingers for me!

Any questions, feel free to contact me through here.

Details

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

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Artist: Tim
Studio: Hairhouse+Warehouse
Location: Rundle+Mall%2C+Adelaide%2C+South+Australia

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