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kids say the damndest things

DJ: You can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex. Me: Yes, you can. I'm glad you are actually learning something useful in that health class. DJ: Health class? I learned that on Beavis and Butthead! And then: Natalie: Mom, would you let me wear a cape to the mall. Me: A cape? Like, a Batman cape? Nat: Umm..maybe. Like a vampire cape. And sunglasses. Me: Why would you be doing this? Nat: To freak out the grownups in the mall. Me: Whatever. Just don't expect me to buy the cape for you. Use your allowance. Nat's 14th birthday is next week. She wants her cartlidge pierced. Experiences, anyone?


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» The Nose-Holes of Youth from suburban blight
Michele's daughter wants to have her cartilage pierced for her birthday. Now, she's talking about ear-cartilage, which is a whole lot more sensible than what I did. Michele wanted to know about the cartilage-piercing experiences of others, presumably s... [Read More]


The higher up on the ear cartilage the more unbelievably freaking painful it is. Believe.

Painful, difficult to do oneself, annoyingly long and difficult healing period, and there's a fairly high chance of developing a cartilage "bump" around the piercing that may never go away.

Other than that, it's not so bad.

Very hard to heal if you have long hair.

Make sure she's able to take care of it and will.
My old boyfriend and I did ours together....mine healed fine, his got infected and almost killed him.
And it still gets sore from time to time and I did it about 20 years ago.
But I am still happy with it. I'm actually flirting with the idea of getting the little ear nub done...but I've grown chicken in my old age:).

I had my nose cartilage pierced once, by accident...

Here. I'll write it up and ping you on it. Don't want to put a book in your comments!

If she can keep it clean, it will be fine but CLEAN is so important. It is very painful, make sure she knows that. Probably worse than any of the ones I have had done.

I didn't find it too painful when I had the cartlidge piercing done, but I do agree that the healing time feels like forever, and infections can strike at any time. (Never occured to me that long hair had anything to do with it!)

the evening after I had it done I felt like I had been hit in the head with a baseball bat. Very slow to heal. My ear hurts just thinking about it.

The only body piercing I support is of criminals, using bullets.

About ten years ago I heard that one of my dad's past students (in college at the time) did that and hit some nerve in her upper ear and like half paralyzed her face. It could have been bullshit, but it's always been in the back of my mind, so you may want to ask a doctor.

On the other hand of the 20 or so people that I personally know that have done it, they're all fine.

What, no nipple?

My 14 year old wants hers done, too. When her brother had his done, it got infected and was very painful for weeks afterwards.

I don't think it's worth it. I'm going to tell Anna that she can do it when she's 18 and will take full responsibility for causing herself unnecessary pain and anguish - until then, part of my job is to keep her from doing things to herself that hurt. And I sure as heck am not going to pay for the privelege of giving her a pus-filled wound.

I'll echo the other sentiments here: takes forever to heal. Mine was tender for many months, and I finally just took it out.

(After which it healed just fine.)

Piercing Rule #1- Never let anyone get within 10 feet of you with a piercing gun. NEVER EVER! Not even for ears. And especially cartilage piercing because it takes longer to heal, anyway, than lobes and regular skin. Imagine pounding a dull framing nail through the web between your thumb and index finger, and that's the kind of wound a piercing gun leaves behind. And they're never really, actually clean or sterile. Piercers use "needles" that are manufactured like the ends on hypo needles, sharp all the way around, and a new one for every piercing. They also hurt less :) Surgical steel is the preferred metal for jewelry. Silver, gold, stainless, all can cause irritation.

(finally. Something i know. Wait. Is that good or bad?)

How cute; she thinks wearing a vampire cape and sunglasses will "freak out" the adults. Does she think we were never 14. Yeesh, kids! It should be amusing though;I'd like to see pictures.

Actually, piercing guns are sterile. "Piercing Gun" is somewhat of a misnomer---it should be called a "pressure gun." Wanna know how I know this? I worked at a Claire's type place in high school---can't tell you how many times I cleaned that damn gun out, which was a pain, even though the gun itself never touches the ear, it only exerts enough pressure to push the earrings into the ear---it's the earrings that need to be sterile, and they're hermetically sealed beforehand. The earrings do the piercing, not the gun. This doesn't sound good, but it's the same sort of thing as a nail gun: the gun just exerts enough concentrated pressure to push the nail through the wall.

It's only if you go to a disreputable place that you have to worry about infection. Besides, we wiped the ears---before and after---with antibacterial wipes. The chances of the piercing getting infected simply from the piercing is slim to none. I pierced--- literally---thousands of ears with a gun and I never had one complaint. That includes babies, too. The key is to take care of the piercing: clean three times a day and most importantly you need to rotate the earrings twice a day. Gold is best, 14K, but surgical steel works fine too. Silver is problematic because many people don't know they're allergic to it and the allergy doesn't make itself known just with skin contact---it's only when it's hitting and open wound that it causes them to react.

Frankly, I would worry more about people who do body piercings and use needles. The one piercing I did see like this, the guy just sterilized a used needle---same one every time. That does not instill confidence, if you ask me. Besides, they seem to take their time, causing pain, when with a gun, Boom! It's over with in a few minutes.

As far as the upper ear, we were never allowed to pierce that portion, so I've never done one. The reasoning behind our lack of service in this regard being that we couldn't guarantee that it would heal. Cartiledge is tricky. Takes a very long time to heal, and from what I understand it's very painful. Doctors do do piercings. Just ask your family doctor. I'm sure they'll be able to help. This is what my mother did for my sisters--my oldest sister decided to have her friend do hers---the old potato behind the ear trick. Got infected, of course. You'll be safe this way.

I'll second Shell's question. Would that be worse? Who knows...

About 4 years ago I yielded to my youngest daughter's coaxing and got my ear cartilage pierced. Hurt like H#%@, got infected, and I still have the lump from it now. I second Trish; when she's old enough to take the responsibility.

Imperial Keeper

Heh. My buddy and I got dressed up in our leather, chains, sunglasses and combat boots one time and went to the Galleria in the rich section of town...you should have seen the looks we got...people gave us a wide berth and shop keepers followed us around as though "steals stuff" was printed on the back of our jackets...funny stuff! 'Course, the fact that I was 24, not 14, may have had something to do with their nerves...

I absolutely agree with Pril, sorry Kathy.

A reputable piercer will NEVER use the same needle on different people. Also, the part about hitting a nerve and possibly paralyzing is true, that's another reason to go to a professional piercer. They have been trained, again "professional" is the operative word, on how to not hit nerves, veins, etc.

I remember getting my ears pierced with a "pressure gun", and the afterheal was absolutely miserable. Going to a professional piercer was much less painful, the healing time was shorter and, honestly, less risk of infection.

The earring that "guns" use are still blunted on the end, so as not to stab you in the neck when you wear them. Places that use guns don't swap the jewelry they pierce with the jewelry you will wear, so they have to be blunted... Which cut will heal faster and easier? Do you use a scalpel or a steak knife in surgery?

Make sure the piercer has and uses an autoclave to clean their jewelry and needles, that they don't let you touch the jewelry with their bare hands (gloves instead). When I go, they open the pouch with the piercing stuff in it right in front of me, so that I know it hasn't been used on anyone else since it was autoclaved.

Long hair does makes a cartiledge piercing even harder to heal... Especially if she fusses with her hair alot, runs her fingers through it alot...

I think it's good we know this stuff, Pril! Otherwise, think of all the folks who would go through useless pain and infection! smile

it hurt to have it done, but the worst part was trying to sleep with the ear ring. i can't do it after five years. it pushes against my head and feels like it's trying to drill a hole through my skull

I had mine done when I was 16 (I'm almost 25 now) and it was slow healing in the beginning and a couple of painful nights if I rolled over onto my right side, but it's fine now. Betadine solution is the absolute BEST thing to heal all piercings, especially the ones that get a little infected. don't use anything with alcohol b/c it just dries it up. and also, if you have the opportunity, I would suggest going to an actual piercing parlor that pierces with needles and not piercing guns b/c those guns will do more damage to her cartilage than a quick poke with a needle by a professional.

My college roommate had his sac pierced. He said it hurt less than his (ear-protruding-thingy). Tell Nat to go for it and have fun.

I'd vote no. It may make the piercing idea all the more alluring to forbid it, but 14 is too young. I'm 30 now, and regret like hell the three pierces in my left ear and the two in my right. No one can really see them, but they're noticeable to me. I'm really grateful that my mother refused to let me get a tattoo when I was a teenager. I wish she had taken a harder line on piercings.

Kathy- I know what i know from working for Steve Haworth at HTC in Phoenix, AZ. (steve's moved on to become a pioneer of a sort in subdermal implants that he's designed). I know i wouldn't set foot in a Claire's to get my dog's ear pierced (if i had a dog). To buy cheap shiny things, yes.

Just a cape and sunglasses, huh?

When my daughter smiles at me lately, half the time it's to show off her fangs....and she's got her friends doing it. It's like a vampire coven of gothyboppers.

I don't regret any of my piercings or tattoos and it's a shame that someone would try to discourage a person just b/c they do. I thought long and hard before every single one of my piercings and tattoos to make sure I wanted them and I still love them. in fact, I'll be getting another piercing and tattoo this year. all of them are fairly well hidden and for my own benefit, not to show off to the world. I have 5 hoops in one ear, 3 in the other, my tongue, and my navel pierced.

my cartilidge wasn't too bad, pain-wise. my trageus (small piece of cartilidge in the middle front of the ear) hurt so bad i thought i was going to vomit. i have a good piercer here in the city, if you email me i'll give you the info.