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CHEEK/DIMPLE PIERCINGS AND WHY I WON’T PERFORM THEM

At my body piercing and jewelry studio in Arlington, Virginia, I get calls fairly often asking if I will do cheek/dimple piercings. I do not do them at this time. There are a few reasons for this decision.

The first reason is that I have had many experiences where people won’t take heed of my aftercare instructions. Cheek piercings may require a few jewelry changes during the healing process. This is due to the likelihood of periods of great swelling. Often, I have found that people won’t listen to this advice and/or think that it will be a free service. While I am concerned about everyone’s health and well-being, I need to charge something for jewelry, supplies, sterilization, etc.

Secondly, quite often, the person wanting the cheek piercings are not anatomically suited for it. The dimples should not be pierced any further back than the first molars. I have tried to explain this to people and have found that it has become easier to just not do them at all.

Third, cheek piercings can be EXTREMELY dangerous! That region of the face contains a host of significant structures, including blood vessels, nerves, and the parotid duct (a conduit for a component in saliva). Piercing into any of these can be disastrous.

Last but not least, if abandoned (and it VERY often is), cheek piercings can cause permanent scars and excessive dimpling of the skin.

PLEASE think about all of the possible complications of this piercing before having it performed. If you do choose to have your cheeks pierced, please make sure that you go to a VERY experienced piercer who has many years of experience and has performed many cheek piercings.

See You On The Sharp End!

~ Craig

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HOW DO I CHOOSE MY PIERCER?!

You have decided to have your body pierced and you are asking yourself, “I want it done now, so where do I go?” In this era of bloodborne diseases you MUST be very careful who you have perform your piercing!

Don’t be misled into believing piercing is easy. It takes time and dedication to acquire the ability to correctly place and skillfully perform piercings. Piercers either serve an apprenticeship or are self-taught. Apprenticeships will generally last from 6 months to two years. Those who are self-taught will ideally have sought guidance from others in the field. Continued education is the hallmark of any conscientious piercer. It is perfectly acceptable and advisable to inquire about how long your piercer has been piercing, how they learned to pierce, and what they have done to keep their knowledge base current, i.e., courses on Anatomy, Aftercare, Aseptic Technique, etc.

Are the walls washed and the carpet vacuumed? Is the staff bathed and neat? Is the restroom kept clean and tidy? Ideally, studios should have 5 separate areas: the counter, waiting room, piercing room(s), bathroom, and a separate sterilization room.

In most cases a license to operate means that the studio meets minimum requirements and has passed some sort of inspection. To find out if your area has established standards and inspections, call your local Health Department. If a studio is operating unlicensed in an area where licenses are required, report them to your local health department or city business license division.

Look at their piercing photo portfolio. Are piercings placed to accent the anatomy or do they look awkward and poorly matched to the individual? If the portfolio features unusual looking placements, are there pictures of healed piercings, showing the actual viability of the placement?

A number of states have made it illegal to use a gun on body piercings and with good reason. Most ear guns can’t be sterilized in an autoclave and therefore don’t meet the criteria for APP piercers’ use of sterile disposable equipment.

Use your instincts!!!

If you don’t feel comfortable with the studio or the piercer you should leave. “I should have listened to my gut feeling” is something you should never have to say.

Don’t act impulsively or be swayed by a low price. You generally get what you pay for (but some unskilled piercers charge plenty). Get referrals on a piercing shop/piercer from knowledgeable friends and/or the local health department.

At my body piercing and jewelry studio here in Arlington, Va., I follow ALL state and federal health and safety regulations. Both myself and my studio are fully licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I ALWAYS have your health and well-being in mind before, during and after your piercing. This includes quality, implant grade jewelry as well as a clean and sterile environment.

See You On The Sharp End!

~ Craig

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SWIMMING WITH A FRESH BODY PIERCING

For the first month it is a good idea to avoid swimming unless you can cover your  fresh body piercing with a Tegaderm patch bandage which can be found next to the bandages in most pharmacies. This is a clear, adhesive, water proof bandage that can be comfortably worn on some piercings, such as navels with curved barbells, and nipples. If you are protecting a fresh facial piercing, you should avoid submerging it.

Chlorine is tremendously drying and irritating to new piercings and should be avoided. If you can not stay out of the water, do your best to soak and rinse the piercing with a sea salt solution after you swim. You should also avoid hot tubs and bathing until your piercing is healed. Lakes and oceans are a topic of debate but, unfortunately, these waters are not as clean as we would like them to be.Use discretion and pay attention to the condition of your piercing.

If you have more questions about this or any other topic, feel free to contact me here…http://craigpokesu.com/contact/…or stop in to my studio at 4818 Lee Highway in Arlington, Va. 22207.

See You On The Sharp End!

~ Craig

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MAGNETIC FINGER IMPLANTS (SIXTH SENSE)

Magnetic Finger Implant. The Sixth Sense

Magnetic Finger Implant. The Sixth Sense

Due to the huge popularity of Magnetic Implants/Finger Jewelry and the wealth of misinformation and untruths about the procedure and jewelry, I would like to share this FAQ so that everyone can be properly informed about this popular procedure.

What’s it for?

While it’s possible to use it for silly bar tricks to pick up paper clips, nails and bottle caps, the primary purpose is to sense electromagnetic fields. It grants you what amounts to a sixth sense, the ability to detect the vibrations emitted by motors and other electrical equipment or in various things that carry magnets. It has been described as “Magnetic Vision”. It can also be useful for those who work in electronics and other fields where sensing EMF would be useful (as well as being able to pick up small objects made of ferrous metals with a single finger). Only ferrous (iron-bearing) metals and magnets will be affected.

How much is it?

The cost is $185 per magnet and includes the implantation procedure. Second magnets in the same client are $150 each.

How is it done?

The gold plated magnet is coated in implant-grade silicone via injection in a mold, and then cured. Your finger is placed in ice water for several minutes to numb it for the procedure. A small slice is made in your finger (typically on the side of your ring finger, near the tip). The magnet is inserted, you receive one stitch, and then your finger is bandaged.

How long will it take to heal?

Most people are able to use their finger carefully after 2 days, while still wearing the bandage. Primary healing of the cut takes about a week, and after 7-10 days the stitch is removed. Full healing and encapsulation takes about a month, and I suggest that you do not play with your magnet very much at all during this time while it heals. It will take about six months for the scar tissue to subside and for you to have the full sensitivity.

Can I get one in each finger?

A second magnet in another finger in the same hand may give you a more “3D” sensation when you detect the fields. Some people like to have a magnet in each hand, while others prefer to have a “control” or non-magnetic-sensing hand if they are unsure if the vibration they are sensing is truly an electromagnetic field.

Can I get more than one in a finger?

No. This was tried in early testing and it proved to be unsuccessful, because the magnets are attracted to each other and will crush the skin between them, and as such I will not implant more than one magnet in a single finger.

Why do you recommend the ring finger?

The ring finger is the weakest finger and I place it to the side so not to inhibit pressure of lifting boxes and grasping items.

Can I get it implanted somewhere else besides the finger?

Yes. People have had them implanted on the backs of hands, ears, etc. The only thing is that I do not recommend using them to hold anything for a long period of time (anything over 20 minutes) because that will damage the skin over the magnet.

Will it wipe out credit cards, or affect computers or other electrical equipment.

No. It is a neodymium magnet graded 45 out of 50 gauss (which is very powerful) but it is still small enough that it won’t wipe anything. Many people have received this implant and none have yet to have a problem with credit cards or computers. Many of them work as musicians, computer technicians, etc, and they do not have any problem with the magnet affecting their equipment. You will likely be able to sense the fields vibrating your magnet, but the magnet is too small to affect your equipment.

What if any effect will it have on implantable defibrillators/pacemakers?

The two have not yet been combined in one body, so I cannot provide a guarantee about something that could potentially affect your medical equipment, however I can’t see there being an issue with it since it’s too small to affect credit cards or other types of equipment.

How many problems will it create with security, since it is not a medical procedure and not removable without being cut out?

I do not know personally of it ever setting off any metal detectors going through at airport. A wand may recognize it, but it’s unlikely they would point it at your finger. Explaining that you were testing a theory of magnetic vision so you have a tiny magnet implanted should clear it up. TSA have been known to be jerks to the modified, so that is a potential risk you will assume if you get this implant.

What if you have an abnormal magnetic field to begin with? I’m one of those people that drains batteries, breaks watches and cell phones, etc.

It isn’t likely that you would drain this type of magnet. It takes thousands of years to drain a normal magnet and one rated so high as the neodymium magnet is expected to take longer. If this is truly the case with your body then I’m not sure what would happen with the magnet inside you. I’m not sure if you would receive the same response from the magnet as a normal person would. Again, keep in mind that this is an experimental procedure, so I cannot give you any guarantees of performance.

What if I need an MRI?

Originally it was thought that the magnets would always rip out of the skin and attach themselves to the MRI. However, I now know of a few people who have the magnets have gone through MRIs and this did not happen. One person reported that the magnet just vibrated very strongly. Another person reported that the techs shielded his hand, as they would with someone who had shrapnel or other implants. However, there are several different types of MRIs, so I can make no guarantee of what will happen during your MRI, so you must discuss it with the technician. It is likely that they will give you a hard time about it, so you should be prepared for this and for any possible risks to yourself. It’s also possible that the MRI might demagnetize your magnet.

What if I want to remove it but I have no way to get to Craig?

Removal is as simple as insertion, but should be conducted by a professional. A small slit should do the trick. In any case, should the professional want basic instructions from me, feel free to email me with a request and phone number with the best time to reach them.

What is the safety record of the magnets? What about what I’ve read of the silicone breaking down?

Most of the information on the web refers to the early trials done with the first-generation magnets. Those magnets were dip coated, and the bubble shape that caused irregularly covered the pill-shaped magnets. The second generation magnets are evenly coated via injection molding. These magnets have now been in use for around six years or so, and have not been subject to the same failures. They have now been implanted in over a thousand people. While there have been some rejections as there can be with any implant or piercing, there have not been any reports of breakdown of the silicone coating as was seen in the first generation magnets.

What are my odds of rejection?

On some occasions, usually if it is played with too much during the healing stage, it can reject out of the body like a splinter would push out. If this occurs, I should be able to insert another magnet and it usually takes the second time. Rejection is always a possible risk with any implant or piercing, as your body is doing what it’s supposed to do, repelling a foreign invader, and you should be aware and prepared for this, though the likelihood of it is small.

I’ve heard magnets have healing abilities. Can these magnets heal?

We have heard of cases where having a magnet implants did bring alive what had been considered dead nerves, but there have been no studies to my knowledge to back up this theory, and I can make no claims to this.

If you have any other questions or would like to schedule an appointment to have the procedure performed in my body piercing studio in Arlington, Virginia, please feel free to contact me here…http://craigpokesu.com/contact/ or schedule an appointment here…http://craigpokesu.com/calendar/.

Please note that a deposit of $75 will be required when making an appointment for this procedure.

See You On The Sharp End!

~Craig

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HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO HURT?!

1

That question is virtually impossible to answer because pain is a personal experience. Pain is different for each piercing and for each person. In fact, the same piercing could feel vastly different on the same person on a different day. What one person might  think is terrible pain, another person may think is not painful at all and, even enjoyable. There are a couple of things I can tell you on the subject of pain that may help:

1) Any standard piercing performed by an experienced, professional piercer should only take a second for the actually needle stick. Then, it will take a moment or two to insert and affix the jewelry and it’s parts.

2) I have found that the vast majority of my clients who walk in to my body piercing studio in a state of fear or panic have the same response after the piercing. It goes something like this…”I don’t know why I was so afraid. That wasn’t bad at all!”. The reason for this is because people are naturally afraid of the unknown. The anticipation is where the fear lives. Not in the piercing.

3) Try not to get yourself too worked up. If the piercing is something you really want, it’s totally worth the momentary discomfort of the piercing.  Just breathe and relax and accept that there will be some level of discomfort. Remember, you will be so proud of yourself and have a beautiful new piercing that is yours and only yours every day after!!!

4)I am very patient and I will work with you to overcome your fear or hesitation. If you have any questions or concerns, always feel free to contact me through my website, http://craigpokesu.com/contact/,  or stop in to see me at my studio located at 4818 Lee Highway. Arlington, Va. 22207.

See You On The Sharp End!

~ Craig

 

 

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TRIPLE FORWARD HELIX PIERCINGS

Triple Forward Helix And Snug Piercings

Triple Forward Helix And Snug Piercings

By far the most commonly asked for cartilage piercings that I have been asked about over the last year are the triple forward helix piercings. There are many misconceptions about these piercings. While I don’t wish to speak ill of anyone, the reason for this is bad information passed along to folks by piercers who have not performed the piercings or have performed them incorrectly.

That being said, let’s straighten these issues out so you can receive great triple forward helix piercings!

First, they are not dermal anchors or surface piercings. They are standard cartilage piercings. if someone tells you differently, run away and don’t let them touch you! While this particular configuration of piercings has recently become very popular, it isn’t “brand new” or overly advanced. If a piercer can’t figure out what is going on with the triple forward helix, it probably says something about their experience and/or understanding of basic body piercing.

Second, I recommend that with these and virtually all piercings that rings NOT be used for initial healing. Rings will tend to move much more than studs do and they will also tend to get bumped/snagged much more often. This combination makes the piercings much harder to heal with rings and greatly increases the likelihood of healing problems and excess scar tissue formation.

Lastly, as with all piercings, insure that your piercer is using quality jewelry. Here at my body piercing and jewelry studio in Arlington, Va, I use ONLY implant grade materials for all body piercings.

See You On The Sharp End!

~ Craig

 

 

 

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IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY BODY JEWELRY

bvla_naval_piece

The importance of quality body jewelry for your piercings can not be overstated. Poor quality jewelry leads to a myriad of unsavory problems for your piercings, skin, and body. I always carry high quality jewelry for your initial piercing as well as healed piercings.

I make sure to have all ranges of price points in my piercing shop in Arlington, Virginia so that you can choose something that suits your personal style as well as your budget. It’s so much better to purchase one or two quality pieces rather than continually buying body jewelry of poor quality. I have seen it time and time again where people keep buying cheap “mall jewelry” in large quantities. Purchasing a couple of well-made, highly polished pieces of a quality material from a knowledgeable piercer, in the end, would have cost the same.

The bottom line is this…wear something that will promote your personal health and well-being and that you will be proud of!

See You On The Sharp End!

~ Craig

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DERMAL ANCHORS

Dermal Anchors

Dermal Anchors

Dermal anchoring is a single-point pocketing. A small core of skin is extracted using a dermal punch. A small anchor is then inserted under the skin with the top attached with internal threading. It looks like a small single top(usually a gem stone)on the skin.  It is a very simple procedure to have a dermal anchor implanted under your skin. It can be installed almost anywhere on the body. The footing, which is under your skin, has holes in it that your body will grow into and anchor itself into place. Until it has been “anchored” and accepted by your body you will need to be very gentle as to not snag and pull it out. I recommend bandaging the anchor while at home and while sleeping for the first few weeks.  Dermal anchors that I install are made out of grade 23 titanium.  Titanium is the only material acceptable for implantation of dermal anchors.  I also sell a variety of different tops to the dermal anchors that are interchangeable with a universal threading. I recommend that dermal tops not be changed for one year from the time of installation. This gives the skin time to completely grow into the anchor. And remember anytime you buy jewelry from me, I change it for free!  Removing dermal anchors is not as difficult as you may think.  In most cases they may need to be removed with a very small incision. These are small so they are not going to leave a huge scar and in time, become nearly unnoticeable.

See You On The Sharp End!

~ Craig

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MODIFICATION VS. MUTILATION

Ear Cartilage Piercing With Beautiful Gem

Ear Cartilage Piercing With Beautiful Gem

At my body piercing and jewelry studio in Arlington, Virginia, at least three times a week I have a new customer come in and tell me that they have had their cartilage pierced with a gun at a discounted price at a place that is neither sterile nor knowledgeable regarding body modification. Their complaint is always the same. The “procedure” was “performed” years ago and they never healed and are either still in pain or had to remove the jewelry altogether to avoid further pain. In some cases they even complain that it got infected.

The use of a gun to pierce your cartilage is not modification; I contend that it is body mutilation. The gun causes a great amount of trauma to an area that already takes a great deal of time to heal, In addition, NO NEEDLE is used, rather a blunt stud is jammed with great force through the cartilage! Does this sound healthy to anyone? Of course it is not.

I understand that money is tight and people are looking to cut corners. I am, however confident that you wouldn’t go to the cut-rate surgeon or, for that matter, you would be upset if someone butchered your haircut. If you have saved $20 to go to an establishment for a piercing using a gun, I IMPLORE you to wait an extra week or month and save the extra $30 or $40 and have your piercing done by a licensed professional in a reputable establishment with a sterile environment.

You owe it to yourself to have someone with knowledge and a passion for your health and appearance to perform this and all modification procedures on you. Read reviews and choose wisely. Nothing is more important than your health and well-being.

See You On The Sharp End!

~ Craig

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