The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

How to put holes in your body
City College student Michael Lewis shows-off his 1-inch tunnels. Photo by Sierra Popp // Staff Writer // [email protected]

Body modification, known as body mods, seems to be all the rage these days. Gauges, and piercings are more popular than ever, but so are infections, rejections and the career shutouts that come along with them. Most problems can be prevented with proper post-care and common sense.

Body modification can be a tricky situation. Using a professional is the safest route, but there is always some risk with every mod. Always do your research before you have someone give you something permanent.

“Always make sure your shop is state and OSHA-certified within the last six months and Autoclave spore testing was validated within the last month,” says senior body modification expert De’Von White.

Go into the shop beforehand, talk to a couple piercers, always look at a portfolio.  Ask about experience and certifications. Check into the cleanliness behind the counters. Some shops are slum shops. You do not want your opened skin in a dirty environment, that’s just asking for infections.

Piercing is a generally low-risk body mod. You can take a piercing out when you want or need to. Piercings are becoming more acceptable in the work place, but there are still a number of jobs that do not allow facial piercings.

“Put some thought into it, your body is a temple,” says City College journalism major Morgen Whitesel.

Infections are common and are easily preventable. There are infection and rejection horror stories everywhere.

Salt water is your friend when it comes to cleaning a piercing. Hydrogen peroxide tends to dry piercings out, and anti-bacterial soap may irritate it. A simple solution of ¼ tablespoon of sea salt and one 8-ounce cup of warm water will clean the hole and the jewelry. A stronger solution is not a better solution. It may irritate the piercing.

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Swell bars need to be switched out by a professional. They will be able to give you the right length for the piercing. Your piercer will give you a date to come back in. In a good shop, they usually will switch it for free. If you had your piercing done outside of a shop, there may be some guess work as to which length and when too switch.

Gauging is a high-risk body mod, seeing as you may ruin your ears forever. Ripped lobes are a common occurrence in the gauging world, right along with over stretching and job shutout. You also run the risk of needing plastic surgery when you no longer wish to have gauged lobes.

If you plan on joining the Army or becoming a police officer or a firefighter, gauging your ears is not the best idea. All these professions will require you to have plastic surgery to fix your lobes.

Stretching your lobes is relatively simple, just follow the gauges. Gauges go backwards in number. A zero is much larger than a 14.

You will want to use a taper, but beware of cheap plastic. You should only go up one size every six weeks. You need to give your ears time to heal.

“Take [stretching] slow, if you are having problems, don’t force it,” says City College history major Michael Lewis.

So in a society where body mod is becoming more acceptable, where do we cross the line between modification and mutilation? It’s all a matter of opinion.

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