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Transient beauty

My handweb piercing was my second piercing. I had my eyebrow pierced, and I loved it; I wanted more...but what else to have done? I spent hours looking online at other facial piercings, but none of them appealed; they looked beautiful in the pictures, but I was scared of chipping my teeth with a tongue piercing, too worried about kissing with a lip piercing, and my dislike of my nose kept me from wanting to draw attention to it more with a piercing there.

So I turned my attention lower, where else could I get pierced? Too nervous and shy to go for nipple or genital piercings, I ended up seeing an photo online of a handweb piercing, and something inside just clicked. This seemed like the ideal piercing for me - a piercing I could see and that could be seen (back then, part of the appeal of a piercing was other people's reactions).

I went back to the same piercer I had used for my eyebrow piercing; it was a good couple of hours in the car but I'd found a good piercer and I wasn't going to go somewhere else just because it was closer. Sadly, they have closed now, but Perforations in Brighton really was a top class piercing studio.

Of course, I had to decide which hand to have pierced. I tried to visulise which one would look 'best' pierced, but in the end, I chose to have my left hand pierced - I though since that since I am right handed, there would be more chance for the piercing to settle if I had it in my weaker hand.

I was too cowardly to go without the numbing spray. Unlike my tattoos now, the pain or conquering my fear of any pain, was not part of the deal. Numbing spray was on offer and I'd have it, thank you very much, although now, ten years later, I partly regret the decision. It would have been interesting to know what it felt like. I don't think using or not using numbing spray or taking painkillers makes an experience any more or less valid, though, it just makes it different.

With the spray, the piercing wasn't painful but it was a strange sensation, quite different from my eyebrow piercing, as the piercing was done - a firm insistant pushing...and then it was in, and done, and I could see my handweb swell angrily, furious at my violation. But I was delighted.

I found it a difficult piercing to live with. I had been told to be very careful about keeping it clean, and I was confident - but it was harder to keep this piercing clean than it had with my eyebrow piercing. It was also a lot easier to knock against things; a door handle, even just carrying something badly meant the bcr would get knocked, and become sore.

I was so careful about hygiene it was untrue. I used salt water, protected with a dressing when I knew there was a risk of it getting damaged, but despite all of this, the piercing was prone to irritation, and would weep and become inflamed, or both. But I persisted, and there was a period where, finally, the piercing was settled, and I had a perfect handweb. It became some kind of talisman for me and I would toy with it in comtempletive moments, turning the ring round a little, marvelling as it slid smoothly through the hole in my skin, soothed by it's movement.

But the piercing started to reject, just like my eyebrow piercing had (twice). I guess maybe I am just prone to rejection. I took it out, and was dismayed at how quickly the piercing healed, leaving me with a little scar where before my handweb bcr had been.

Some time later, I had the piercing re-done. This time the piercer was more hopeful - he thought that perhaps the scar tissue from the first piercing would help stop the rejection, because the skin was a bit thicker. But it didn't, and I realised that as much as I loved this piercing, it was only ever going to be temporary for me. I waited until the rejection was impossible to ignore, and then I carefully took it out, wrapped up my hand, and waited for it to heal for the last time.

Its a beautiful piercing, though, and if you can live with the fact it gets knocked, and is harder to keep clean, I'd highly recommend it, and I hope it lasts longer for you than it did for me. BME has pictures of a handweb that has lasted seven years, so it's clearly possible.

My job now makes hand or facial piercings impossible, and my interest has changed from piercings to tattoos. But now and again, I find myself stroking the little scar on the web of skin between my thumb and finger, feeling the raised skin there, and missing my piercing.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 April 2008
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Unknown
Studio: Perforations
Location: Brighton

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