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Troubleshooting Photos- Help Us Help You

In an ideal world, every piercing we do would heal perfectly with no issues, no irritations, and no problems. Alas, we don’t live in an ideal world, and many of us will experience bumps, over-swelling, or problems during the course of our piercing healing. And somehow we always deal with these things when we are away and unable to get to our piercer, traveling, or just really busy. Thankfully we have the internet and social media- meaning virtual checkups and troubleshooting are possible. Send your piercer some photos of what’s going on, and we can take a peek and see how we can assist or offer advice.

But there is a….skillset to taking good photos for troubleshooting your piercings and the issues they are having. And it’s not a skillset I expect anyone to just know. So today’s blog is all about how to take good photos for troubleshooting piercing issues, and also…what not to do.

Here are some examples of the ideal photos to use when troubleshooting. They are clear, well lit, easy to see the piercing. They feature multiple angles that showcase exactly what may be going on, and the tissue is in its natural position. If we need any further shots like of you moving or adjusting the piercing, we can ask for them. But these are the perfect baseline photos. How did I get them? I used the rear camera on my phone sitting near a well lit window. I used a mirror to help me align the photos correctly, and if the lighting wasn't good enough- I turned on the flash. If possible, I'll ask a friend or family member to get some good photos for me as well. These steps will all help you get good results from your troubleshooting pictures.

So then…what should you not do?

Shots like these are too blurry for me to really tell what’s going on. I can't see the piercing or the jewelry clearly, or they are too compressed for me to be able to get an accurate read. It’s really important that photos for this are in focus. To help with focus issues, try using the back camera with the flash on. Doing this with a mirror will help you make sure your shot is aligned, and the flash often helps with focus. Alternatively, have someone help you take the photos.

Now, I understand that maybe you don’t like how the rest of your face or body looks in this image. But scribbling all over it actually removes important information about the surrounding tissue and what could be going on with your piercing. If you are that unhappy with the picture, take a different one you are ok with, rather than scribbling over the image.

Unless we ask you for a video of something specific, videos are often not very helpful for troubleshooting. They move too quickly for us to tell what is going on, and often are sent at a lower resolution so even if we try to pause them to assess something, the quality is too low for us to get an accurate look. Again, unless your piercer has requested specifically a video for troubleshooting- stick with photos, please!

I know photos like this may seem helpful- to get a better angle or show the bump or issue off more. But when you do this, you actually distort the tissue and we can’t tell if the piercing is placed well, crooked, or what exactly may be going on. We’ll just end up asking you for photos of things resting naturally. And moving your piercing around like this can actually cause further irritation, so if you are doing this often this could be contributing to the issues you’re been having.

So in short- we want troubleshooting photos to be clear, in focus, well lit, and the piercing to be sitting naturally. If we need to see anything else- we’ll ask for that! And remember to try using your back camera, turning on the flash, and using a mirror or asking a friend for help to get a clear shot. Help us help you by getting some good photos we can better assess and offer advice from. Happy healing!

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