Category Archives: Body Piercing Diaries

Personal accounts and diaries of piercing and body modification experiences.

Nose piercings, like many cartilage piercings, can be notoriously long to heal. The type of tissue found on nostrils does not get the good blood supply that softer tissues do, such as the earlobe piercing.


Piercings heal from the surface and towards the centre of the piercing, growing a tunnel of new skin inside the hole to form what is called the fistula. The surfaces can look healed, whereas the inside may not be. It is important not to rush to change your nostril jewellery for the first 2-3 months for this reason.


Try to ensure a prolonged healing and aftercare routine with nostril piercings or other difficult healers (such as tragus and surface piercings) as this will help to prevent any accidental irritation and reaction of the piercing.


Nostril Screws


Nostril screws are the most common types of nostril studs, traditionally worn in India for nostril piercings.


Titanium Jewelled Nostril Studs - Pink  Continue reading

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After my frightening experience on day 4 of the healing process, where my tongue piercing looked like a leathery foot, I was more than keen to get back to the piercing studio to find out what was wrong. Fortunately, I was due to go back the next day to get the bar downsized.

Day 5 – Getting downsized:

All morning at work I was itching for lunch-time. Not because I wanted to eat, it hurt too much, but because I could get out to go and see my piercer. I still had the burning sensation at the edges of my tongue, and there was still a hard white ridge on one side of the piercing, but the pain wasn’t as bad as it had been the night before.

When I got to the studio I explained my concerns, but I was quickly assured I had nothing to worry about. The hard tissue was an effect of the swelling and it should, I’m told, disappear as my tongue reduces back down to its normal size. Continue reading

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I had my nape done at Holier Than Thou so I thought I’d start a diary as it’s my first surface piercing and will take a while to heal. I won’t update every day I think, just when significant things happen, like if I catch my hair on it and it gets angry, or if it’s been problem-free for an amazingly long time and stuff like that.

DAY 1:

Kept the dressing on overnight, was able to sleep on my back with my head elevated on the pillow so that my neck didn’t touch anything.

DAY 2:

Took dressing off. I reached to tighten the balls (have to every other day I think) and the right ball unscrewed. I’d had this problem at the studio with the first ball we tried screwing on, so I think I’ll have to go back and get a new bar put in if the ball keeps loosening :(, think the threading on it isn’t right.
Washed my hair and rinsed all the shampoo-water away from my nape by angling the showerhead and holding my hair off it, then did a SSS with a cotton pad. I have to keep my hair tied up and off it for a few weeks/months as it’s shoulder-length and could catch on the balls. I’m going home for my brother’s 18th on Saturday so I’ll have to put my hair down then as my parents would probably disown me, so I might get a dressing for the duration of my hair being down.
DAY 6:
In the evening at my boyfriend’s house my necklace caught on the left ball and it fell off, so I went to the bathroom, washed it and tried screwing it back on. The ball would not thread onto the bar and just kept spinning round the thread without tightening. I managed to make it stay on for a bit but then it fell off again and refused to stay on for any length of time for the rest of the evening. As we had no dressings, my boyfriend tried making something to keep the ball in place, which was a cotton wool pad and medical tape. As you can imagine, all this fiddling had irritated the hell out of the piercing and so I was doing salt water soaks with cotton wool pads every time it needed the ball putting back on.

DAY 7:

I woke up and checked the piercing and the ball had come off again during the night, so I got a spare tiny o-ring I had and pushed it onto the end of the bar, which wasn’t very far, but it had to do. Me and the boyfriend went into Manchester and to Holier Than Thou to get Marcus to take a look. He said the bar didn’t need replacing as he thought it wasn’t the thread on the bar, but the ball that was the problem. So I went into the piercing room and he screwed a new ball on the bar for free, it stayed and all was good. My nape was a little red and sore at that time. The medical tape sticky residue got black bits of fluff from my t-shirt stuck to it, so I had to scrub that off the next day, which hurt a bit and my neck was sore and red.

DAY 8:
Had to go home for a few hours for my brother’s 18th birthday meal with my family, so I bought some dressings to keep my hair off the piercing as I wore it down rather than tied up. The dressings’ cotton pad bits turned out to be smaller than I thought; they did cover the balls, but barely. The dressing went unnoticed and as soon as I got to the train station after the meal I took it off and tied my hair up to let the piercing breathe.
DAY 9 and 10:

Nothing to report except for yellow crusties and slight redness around the piercing site.

DAY 11:
Ran out of cotton wool pads and had to dab solution on with cotton buds, which is not that great, will have to pop to the shop.

DAY 12:

It’s bloody itchy! ‘Borrowed’ a cotton wool pad from someone’s stack in the bathroom before bed last night (I really needed it and I don’t normally nick my flatmates’ things, it’s usually the other way round in fact!) and it was cooling and soothing. I WILL go to the shop today, it’s not like I’m revising for tomorrow anyway.

1 Month Later:

It’s a month and a day old now! Got some pics today. I’ve asked my boyfriend to check on it now and then and I think he said there was scarring on one side.

It survived Download Festival and I wore my hair down most of the time, but tied it up for sleeping, which I have been doing since the beginning. Since coming back from Download I’ve worn my hair up off it quite a bit to give it air.


And now it’s 2009, it’s been 2 years 11 months to the day that I first had it done!

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Browse our body piercing photo gallery for more tongue piercing photographs!

DAY 1:

30 mins later – Quite sore at the moment. They are slightly closer together because my veins sit in the exact place ideal venoms would go, but they are still fab. Cost a bomb though. £70- literally two tongue piercings at £35 each @ Tattoo Inc in Kettering, Northants. Got ‘Easypierce Mouthwash Solution’ for aftercare…ice pops now.

8hrs later – Mega swollen now. Eat normally the piercer says… yeah right, cant move the food to the back to swallow or to the side to chew. Taken 20 mins to eat 5 bits of pasta. Ok its been 8 hrs since getting it done and my tongue has swollen to take the whole of the bars, its not too tight though. The bottom right almost hurts or is the most uncomfortable part but I’m thinking that’s because its the exit point. He pierced my left side from the bottom and the right from the top. So far all I’ve managed is 5 bits of pasta, half a yoghurt, small mug of slim fast and a small bowl of custard and have drank 5 bottles of water. I could talk and twist my tongue as normal for about 4 hours after having the piercing done but now using my tongue for anymore than general swallowing is really hard – not due to swelling but because its an open wound x2 and hurts a little. Poor wee thing is tender.

Its not weird having metal in my mouth like I thought it would be. I can’t feel them on the roof of my mouth despite all the swelling. I also can’t take ibuprofen as I’m allergic to it so its up to my body to sort this out. Am feeling a tiny bit bummed out because I’ve got a mouth full of tongue and I think the price is just mentally scarring me, discomfort just isn’t fun in any way shape or form. I like aftercare and stuff but swollen, tender tongues aren’t going in my book of ‘things I love.’

I can still talk and don’t have a lisp. I sound bunged up if anything. Have the dentist tomorrow so am expecting a lecture and severely disapproving mouth-prodding with various utensils to move the swollen mass out the way.

12 hrs Later – Almost 12 hrs old now and I’m getting use to the swelling and discomfort. Chilled water is a life saver. Also as soon as I rinsed my mouth with the mouth wash it felt a lot better. Expecting not to be able to talk for a while tomorrow after 8hrs of sleep and not using my tongue.


Easypiercing® Mouthwash Solution

DAY 2:


20hrs later – Its almost a day old. I’m pleased to say I woke up and there was no agony.  I mouth washed it, had a smoothie for breakfast and it actually feels better today. Not so angry at me. Think the swelling might have gone down a little too because my mouth doesn’t feel jam-packed. It hurt for the first 10mins after I had to talk straight from waking up without so much as a drink, but that quickly went and now its fine. Soup for dinner! Cancelled the dentist.

Only the front sides of my tongue are swollen now. I can talk almost normally except my ‘L’s are little tender. Chewing is still too difficult but I don’t feel half as bummed out… in fact my mood has lifted loads. I slept brilliantly and warm mouthwashes just make my tongue so happy.

I also have an electric tooth brush which my tongue seems to appreciate. Feels so nice on the back of the tongue. Might add just now that there is NO WAY IN HELL I’d have them done over two sessions. Tongue discomfort sucks. One hit and get it over with. The tip of my tongue, or more the entire area before the piercing is a bit… numb kind of like how it feels when you burn it. I can still taste with that bit but it’s very odd.

DAY 3:


I really want to eat a burger but that just isn’t going to happen for a while. I am eating the best I can and taking some vitamin tablets too. The swelling hasn’t really gone down much more. Tongue is looking pretty gross this morning, bit white and groggy. Might cut to one antibacterial mouth rinse in place of two and carry on swilling with water to see how that goes.

Front tongue area still feels sore and burnt and the right side twinges occasionally. Think its a little bruised too. Have a sore throat and a little cough developing.

Mood-wise the discomfort is still a day-ruiner, can’t wait for the swelling to go. I’m now convinced the piercings are not parallel – but naturally I’ll wait for the swelling to go before I get officially upset over that.

Been casually reading over a few more peoples’ experiences and quite a few people say the clamping will forever haunt them… well I thought they were quite comfy from what I can remember. No attempt to punch a clamp shape was made. He just firmly clamped. I haven’t had any bleeding and have yet to see lymph.

Tongue is still gross. I’m assuming its normal so nothing to worry about, possibly over cleaning the first 2 days. Gross means furry looking and discoloured a little. The left piercing hurt so much earlier. Not sure if some lymph caught and snagged or something but it really wasn’t a pleasant sensation. In all seriousness had I known the healing would be so miserable I don’t think I’d have got them done, but reading other peoples’ experiences isn’t really enough to appreciate. You have to do it yourself to find out why it’s so depressing.

I do still like them though and know when the swelling subsides and the twinges die off everything will be fine. Today I managed to chew up a bit of macaroni and cheese, tiny bits of pizza and had my mashed hot-dogs which were actually were quite nice, note to self not to eat mustard again for a while though. Stings.

At the moment ice water is my life line. Fortunately I’m a student with 2 essays to do for Christmas so have plenty of time to chill out and heal as well as be able to have lots of iced water. Don’t think it would be wise to get venoms if you cannot nurse them properly at all- these aren’t piercings you can just forget about. The swelling is depressing, the pain is sharp when you get it and the fact you sound a little bit dim when you talk just doesn’t make for a nice happy, sociable person.

Tomorrow I’m hoping for a slight reduction in swelling. I find the tongue swells up more towards this time (9pm) making eating and taking just not worth the effort.

Might just get my electric tooth brush and buzz my tongue for a bit, see if we can de-gross it before bed. It’s nearing midnight, soon be onto day four. It just occurred to me also whilst reading other peoples’ diaries that they were in a lot of pain when they woke up or had to pop painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicine. I’ve not experienced pain worse enough or long enough to need to take anything yet, apart from the mustard incident that just needed a lot of water.

Eating spicy foods and stuff is easily solved by chewing a tiny bit and helping it down with iced water. Its also mega annoying that little bits of food seem to cling to the bars, or managed to stick right in between the two piercings so you cant get to it or swallow it; water water water… drink with your meals and they will go a lot smoother…

I think the lack of pain killers and the fact I can’t take any ibuprofen is good as my body can sort this out on its own, but even with the start of the initial piercing its been pretty painless. It seems my left piercing is the one that’s going to play up the most. First pierced and done bottom up. The top is sore all around it, and very tender.


DAY 4:


Swelling pretty much the same. Woke up with a naturally dry tongue hence the tiny, short lived pain of it waking up. Still groggy (white and furry). Front area doesn’t feel so ‘burnt’ today, just a tiny bit numb. I can flex my tongue a little more as well so perhaps the swelling has gone down a little. I can’t remember what it feels like to have a normal sized tongue or a tongue without teeth imprinted on the sides… or one that’s not gross and white for that matter!

I know I’ll be able to dexterously move my tongue around when its all healed up as I could still roll my tongue and stuff 4hrs previous to the swelling so that’s cool. Mood wise – about the same. Once I get talking at length my tongue will get a grip and the uncomfortable feeling won’t bother me so much. My ‘L’s aren’t tender anymore, aside from in the evening when it swells up a little more. Its just my ‘T’s and ‘D’s now because of the tongue clumsily fumbling the roof of my mouth to say them.

Starting to think those with healed venoms should get an award or something for perseverance! Today it is so itchy. All of a sudden it’s started to itch. Its still swollen, still indented with my entire mouth full of teeth and now, now it’s itching. My tongue just feels like its begging me to take the bars out. I managed to find some marshmallows, so they will see me through the hunger and the horrid itchy feeling. I’m also sick to death of drinking water.

DAY 5:


Swelling of the tongue affects the brain. I can bend my tongue so much more than I could yesterday, it just doesn’t visibly look less swollen. Still got the itch every now and again. I have 3 days left before my piercer was planning to change the bars down, we’ll see. I doubt its going to happen.

Q- Does my tongue look fat in this?

A- Yes.

I want a normal tongue and a burger! I bet food will taste amazing once this is all healed, on the basis that you whack the tiny bits of food straight on your molars and only taste it on the back 3rd of the tongue. That and taste is mostly down to smell and you’re ripping up tiny bits of food and practically swallowing them whole so you don’t even get the benefit of smell!


DAY 6:


I am eating fine, just grouchy and the swelling is annoying. I do not drink and I do not smoke. Most fruit juices and smoothies are also overly high in sugar and naturally acidic, which at this stage I don’t want near me tongue because it still hurts.

I’m eating sandwiches, steamed vegetables, vegetable burgers, scrambled eggs, soups, sausages and mashed potatoes. It just takes a life time to eat them. I’m also taking some vitamin  tablets with emphasis on vitamin B and A-C complexes and magnesium to aid in healing, cell renewal and immune boosting. I’m not sure I would recommend meal replacement shakes whilst healing on the basis of reduced calorie intake and empty calories. Don’t want to be messing with my blood sugar at this stage. It’s better to eat a bowl of whatever you like to eat over 2hrs than synthesized, high sugar drinks.

Also I am drinking 2.5 liters of water a day, one bottle being sparkling to make a change, scratch my tongue for me and to add a bit more potassium to my diet. The swelling has gone down! Hurray. It still is a bit ‘painful’ or more of a dull ache when I wake up. I’m not sure I’ll be able to downsize tomorrow though. Think it might be about 10 days before that’s realistic. The grossness is under control, the breath is still a killer. My tongue flexes a lot better but I still cannot roll it.

The right piercing is now playing up more and is still itchy. The right is pierced more at an angle due to me veins, the left is straight, but both have been pierced at the same point of entry at the top of the tongue as marked up.

Toasted muffin for breakfast today!

DAY 7:


Well its the supposed downsize day and I’m not so sure. haven’t gone in yet, only just got up. The right side still twinges and aches, starting to get a bit of scarring buildup around the bottom of the right one too, might explain why its a little more tender. In the mirror with my tongue relaxed it still looks swollen, if I flatten my tongue its gone down and you can see a fair amount of the bar, I can just about roll it and flex it fine, although I still think it needs a few more days.

I’ve swilled and lovingly cleaned and checked the bottom of the right piercing and as long as I don’t catch it at a funny angle it’s happy. Still a tiny bit gross. Was a lot easier to eat this morning, just difficult because there are two balls and bars in the way (and the right one hurts a little). I’m too tired to go into town today to get it checked and possibly downsized.

Might wait and see what happens between now and Friday because my tongue is not flat and even yet.


DAY 8:


Not sure what to do about them not being level. They just don’t look even to me. They really aren’t. It also doesn’t help that the right one is pierced on an angle. I’m hoping that once they are downsized the shorter length will pull them more inline and not emphasize the difference. Think I’ll pop in today and ask him about it. Surely if he was a decent piercer he would be upset about it and WANT to do something about it…right?

Today they hardly hurt at all. Just the odd ache here and there. Swelling has almost gone, eating is a lot easier.

It’s only a tiny bit unlevel and made worse by the angle, however with my now DOWNSIZED BARS its hardly noticeable at all! I speak perfectly normal now, and even bit into a sandwich! I LOVE THEM!

Acrylic Flat Dome Tongue Retainers

My Summary of Venom Piercings:

• They can be very expensive!
• They will make you feel depressive.
• You might or might not require the aid of painkillers…
• Iced water is a godsend.
• You will have nasty breath and a gross white tongue for a while.
• You’ll sound like you have a cold when you talk.
• Eating is okay as long as its tiny bits and chewed on the back molars.
• Decent sleep helps lift your mood (surprise!)
• The piercing clamps didn’t hurt me.
• They are not something to get done on a whim.
• They are not something to get done if you cannot have iced water/ aftercare stuff on tap 24/7.
• Cleaning to much is easily done. I was told up to 3 times a day with the mouthwash. I scrapped that day 3 and just used a weak salt water solution.
• Sipping water throughout meals really helps.
• You learn to appreciate how much you rely on your tongue for so much; swallowing, talking, chewing, coughing, sneezing even straining to pick something up!
• You suddenly have an urge to eat thick steaks and burgers!

Check out our full range of tongue piercing jewellery for a range of tongue piercing barbells, retainers, piercing accessories and more!


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Chapter 1 – To the studio…

“It was almost a week ago now, since I popped over to Manchester with my friend Jen to further decorate my ear with metal! I knew exactly what I wanted – I was starting an ear project after already having my lobes done twice, my helix and my nostril pierced. I always loved the look of a snug more than say a Daith or a Rook. I had read up on snugs for months beforehand so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into – a painful piercing that can be pretty problematic to heal! I figured it would be worth it.
I’d been to ‘Holier than Thou’ before and I believe it to be the very best piercing studio in the North West of England at least! It’s wonderful – they’ll do almost anything because their techniques extend so far. I entered the shop, all bright and full of wonderful body jewellery, and showed my friend Jen (who’d never been there before) around the shop. When it was my turn I asked for a snug and the shop assistant (with the most gorgeous scarification and bright pink hair) put me down on the list and gave me the usual forms to fill in. Because it was a Saturday it was busier than usual, and there was a nipple and a navel before my snug. This didn’t take long though, not when you’re browsing through portfolios. Finally Marcus came out with his smiley face and said “snug?”.
I followed him into the studio (Jen had decided to stay in the shop) which is always bright, clean and comfortable, and I can honestly say I’m not nervous any more before a piercing. I think the adrenaline gets me so much that I don’t panic. I asked him about the jewellery, he said he would be using a titanium curved barbell/bananabell type piece, which would be slightly too long to allow for swelling. This was exactly what I wanted anyway, and it would be pierced at 1.6mm (14ga). He complimented my ear shape and said how much he also loved snugs…but pointed out that they’re still quite unusual which makes them more interesting to look at.
He marked my ear where he thought it would be best for healing and it was in the middle of my ear right where I wanted it. I nodded and sat back down, placing my hands on the padded seat in case I needed to squeeze! He did the “breathe in, breathe out” routine and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt; it did. I could feel the needle going through one side right to the other…it took slightly longer than my nostril because there was more cartilage and it was done freehand. I’d say it was roughly twice as painful as my nose, but with my nose I barely felt a thing. So my snug was also a completely bearable sensation. I didn’t feel the jewellery go in either, which was good.
When it was done I was so happy. It looked beautiful – subtle but very noticeable at the same time. Marcus asked if he could take a photograph for his portfolio because I had such a “prominent ear shape for a snug”. I was flattered and said yes! He took the photo and it looked great! After thanking Marcus repeatedly, I returned into the shop part of ‘Holier than Thou’ where Jen was waiting. I felt fine and already my ear was giving me no stinging or pain. She looked at it and approved of it very much! I paid the lady with the bright pink hair (£20 which I think is a fantastic price) and left in complete happiness.
I will continue to go to ‘Holier than Thou’ – it has a great atmosphere about it. Even though the general type of person that goes in there is very heavily ‘modded’, it is not at all intimidating like I’d have thought 3 years ago when I was 14. It’s actually quite beautiful and very interesting. I love seeing other people’s piercings and tattoos.
Well, it has been almost a week and I can say Miss Snug has settled into the family perfectly! She has not swelled up at all and gets minimal crusties. I have avoided banging my ear and I haven’t slept on the snug side either. I do sea salt soaks once or twice a day with drops of tea tree oil in – works a treat! At the moment my snug, notorious for causing problems, has been the least problematic of ALL my piercings. And I’m not complaining either! If you like this piercing and think it would fit in well with the structure of your ear (because that is important for successful healing – the deeper it can go the better) then I say go for it! It’s so pretty. All my friends have complimented it.”
Chapter 2 – The Healing Process

Picture 2 – (First 2 weeks)

“CONSTANT MAJOR SWELLING! My snug and whole ear is throbbing all the time, even with ibuprofen/ice/warm salt soaks. There’s not much bar left either but luckily there’s no signs of imbedding. I don’t know if I’m just being a wimp or not but it’s really painful at the moment and I’m just trying to stick it out. I was told that this would probably last a week so I’m not looking forward to sleeping.”

Picture 3 – (1 Month in)

“The swelling has gone down somewhat but when I compare my snug ear to my other ear it still looks a lot bigger! And, oh yes…I’ve developed the beginnings of ‘The Bump’. This is a familiar sight. Time for the tea tree oil I think. Sleep is still impossible on my snug side by the way.”

Picture 4 – (3 Months in)

“My snug is still not happy and has swelled up a bit more from when I’ve accidentally slept on it (I’m an acrobatic sleeper!); so temperamental. It still has daily crusties and a bump on one exit hole. I just have my hair over my ear all the time to hide it and I’m beginning to question if this was really worth all the damn effort. I know other people who for one reason or another have retired their snugs…they really can be hell. But I’ve ordered a Bioplast curved barbell which is a gauge lower than it is now and still generous in length (as you never know!), as recommended by a piercer friend.”

Picture 5 – (5 months in)

“My snug is actually bump-less for the first time in about 4 months! It just kept shrinking and growing, shrinking and growing. But I’m determined to keep it away now. My ear’s general swollen state (which I thought would never go) has actually gone down dramatically over the last couple of weeks and there is so much of the Bioplast bar showing as you can see (which seems to really have done it a lot of good!). I’ll have to get another shorter Bioplast bar when I’m brave enough to change it again to avoid any new irritation from the bar moving.”

Picture 6 – 7 Months in

“My snug has gone through so many stages; it’s unbelievable! As it stands now it is FINALLY happy, and loved as though it was the day it was done. I’ve considered retiring it so many times over these 7 months but I’m so glad I didn’t! It’s a big commitment…you can’t just leave snugs alone, you have to look after them or they bite you in the bum (or ear in this case). My ear is “normal” sized again which is great to see, and the Bioplast curved bar I have in is only 6mm (to give you an idea of the extent of swelling it was double that when it was pierced!). I’m so pleased though. I affectionately refer to my piercing as ‘Snuglas’, and now show it off at every given opportunity as it is bump-less, crust-less, pretty and perfect.

If you’re considering getting a snug (because they do look amazing) just make sure you go to a piercer who knows what they are doing and puts a very large curved barbell in – not a straight one. 12mm is usually sufficient but even mine swelled right up to the bar. Also, be prepared for a lot of pain, some headaches, neck ache even, and throbbing pains. Ibuprofen does help but when you sleep it’s very difficult to not sleepily roll over and wake yourself up in agony!

But don’t let this put you off (she says!) because I am so glad I stuck with it. And you never know, everyone’s different, you might have a breezy healing process. It’s a lovely piercing to own and also one you don’t see every day. I love it!”

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