Accidents happen, and so do emergencies. What do we do when something is wrong with our piercing, at 3am, and there’s no piercers we can contact for help? How do we know what’s the best thing we can do for our piercing, and how to keep things safe? This is the Emergency Series, where I’m hoping to cover common accidents and piercing emergencies with some basic advice intended to help you make it till you can get in touch with your piercer.
Todays topic- loosing a Ball
Sometimes this happens- despite our best efforts and our care, a ball or bead has fallen out of our jewelry and we can’t locate it. Somehow, this always seems to happen in the dead of night when there’s no piercer we could drive to or get to to help us out. If our piercing is still healing, we don’t want the jewelry to fall out overnight and the piercing to close. What are we to do?
In these situations it’s really easy to panic and become stressed, overwhelmed, and scared. Those are normal responses, but they also make it a lot harder for us to think rationally and make good choices. So please, take a few deep breaths. Sip some water. And try to calm down. It will be ok. This sort of thing happens to people all the time, and it is not the end of the world. You, and your piercing, will come out of this just fine!
Can you find the missing piece?
What to do in this situation highly depends on if you know where the missing piece of jewelry is. Often we can spot it in the area we dropped it. Jewelry is shiny, so using a flashlight or your phone flashlight to look around really helps. Take a peek under tables, shake out blankets, and look and listen for the missing piece.
If you are able to find it, you can attempt putting it back on. Some important tips for this-
Wash your hands before handling your piercing.
Clean the dropped piece with some warm water and mild soap. I suggest doing this in a cup Away from the sink, because of the following point…
Cover the sink drain. Most folks will be doing this in their bathroom where they have a mirror and decent lighting. If you leave the drain open you can easily drop the jewelry down the drain and loose it for good. Close the drain, and I like laying a towel down over and in the sink to prevent dropped pieces from bouncing far.
Wear Gloves. If you have them accessible to you, gloves can really help with extra grip to get your missing piece back on.
Gently take the dropped piece and attempt to get your jewelry back together. Threaded jewelry will need to screw together- lefty loose and righty tight. Threadless jewelry pressed together- you’ll need to guide the pin into the hole, and press from both sides. Captive beads pop in with pressure, and these can be the trickiest to get back in on your own.
If you can’t find the missing piece, or can’t assemble the jewelry on your own
Sometimes we simply can’t get our jewelry back together, or we don’t know where we even lost a piece or where to find it. Sometimes we loose a piece down a drain, on an amusement park ride, or out in the woods. There’s just no chance of us finding the piece we need to get this back together. What do we do then? The following are some emergency tips to hold you over till you can get to a piercer. These suggestions are NOT for long term wear. This is just to get you through a few hours/a night so you can get to a piercer asap the next day and get proper jewelry put back in. Some of these suggestions can cause irritation if left in for too long. However, if the choice is between loosing your piercing entirely, or having some irritation, most folks will choose the irritation.
-If you’ve lost the bead on a captive bead ring, honestly you are probably going to be fine. Rotate the ring so the gap without the bead is furthest from either side of the piercing. You can leave it like that, but if you are worried about it spinning you can take a bandage or a small piece of a bandage and bandage it in that position. This should hold it in place and prevent it from rotating out till you can get to a piercer.
-With labret/flatback studs- swap them backwards. This is especially helpful if you’ve lost an end in your nostril or your helix/conch/flat. Trying to leave the jewelry in as is and it can easily fall out of your nose or ear. You can gently remove the post and reinsert it backwards so the flat piece on the back is on the outside. Especially in nostrils this allows gravity to work in our favor and keep the piece in place. Putting a small round bandage over the piercing will also help hold things in place until you can get to a piercer.
-Use an old earring backing- if you have those soft, squishy clear plastic earring backings (not the hard ones or metal ones) those can be slipped over the end of a barbell and hold things in place temporarily to get you to a piercer.
-Use an Eraser- this trick is as old as time. If you have nothing else to use, and no other way of securing your jewelry, taking the eraser off of a pencil and pressing it onto the missing end of your barbell will hold it in place long enough to get you to a piercer, this fix works only very temporarily.
-Use a spare earring- sometimes we’ve lost our entire piece of jewelry and we have nothing in our piercing. While not ideal, taking a spare earring and putting that in the piercing will help keep it open, but do not leave this in for any length of time. Get to a piercer asap to have appropriate jewelry put back in.
I hope if you’ve found yourself in the not so great situation of loosing your jewelry, this blog can help you keep calm and find a temporary solution to get you to a piercer and save your piercing! Please after something like this occurs, even if you can get jewelry back on, follow up with your piercer to ensure your piercing is still ok and healthy. The advice given in this blog does not replace one on one professional advice from your body piercer.