» Piercing Services
» News & Information
» Bill of Rights
» Contact Us
» Partner Login

Frequently Asked Questions


Please consult with your doctor before you get a piercing. Eat about an hour before your appointment, and, by all means, NO alcohol or mind-altering drugs. Some people like to make an occasion of their piercing so feel free to bring a friend, to witness the event.

Does it hurt to be pierced?

Yes, but for less than a second, significantly less than most people anticipate. We are often told "that didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would." We are constantly refining our techniques to make the experience comfortable as humanly possible.

Can you numb the area to be pierced?

For a lot of reasons, the answer is NO! For one, only registered medical professionals can legally administer injectable anaesthetics. For another, when performed by skilled professional Piercer, the actual piercing is quicker and considerably less painful than the injection would be. An injection also distorts the tissue, which can result in a crooked or misshapen piercing. Topical anaesthetics penetrate deeply enough to provide any significant numbing.

Will it hurt after it's healed?

The tenderness present with a new piercing usually diminishes rapidly during the healing period. Healed piercings often bring people a great deal of pleasure in addition to the aesthetic appeal.

How long does it take to heal?

Healing times vary from piercing to piercing and person to person and can be affected by the aftercare the piercing receives. Touching a healing piercing with dirty hands, contact with body fluids, rough treatment, and use of cleaning agents which are inappropriate or to which one is sensitive can cause problems and significantly lengthen healing time. Following our aftercare instructions closely, will minimize healing time and the risk of problems.

What are the chances of getting an infection?

If you're pierced at Pierce de Resistance (PdR), and follow our aftercare instructions faithfully, the chances of an infection are virtually non-existent. We take extreme care to assure that all piercings are performed in a appropriately clean environment using sterile equipment. After that, it's up to you. We will never discourage you from consulting your doctor if you believe you have an infection. If you're not comfortable going to your usual doctor, we can often give you names of "piercing friendly" doctors. There are however, many conditions which are not infections, and may be mistaken as such. They include reaction to the metal or, more commonly, to the cleaning agents you're using. If you want, we are happy to consult with you and suggest possible approaches based on our experience as professional Piercers. The percentage of people who contract infections in their piercings is extremely small, and these are usually the result of inappropriate aftercare practices.

When can I take the jewellery out and not lose the hole?

There are two stages to healing. The initial stage seals the piercing and thus reduces the chances of infection dramatically. The second stage is longer and is the time it takes for the piercing to "toughen up and season." During and after the latter stage jewellery can be removed for varying lengths of time. The piercing will begin to shrink as soon as you remove the jewellery. How long it takes to shrink to the degree where you cannot re-insert the jewellery varies. Never force jewellery into a piercing which has shrunk. Obtain assistance from PdR where we will happily re-insert the jewellery for you.

Will I set off the metal detector?

Probably not unless you have a large concentration of piercings in one area of your body, or if your piercing jewellery is of a very thick gauge. Most airport security staff are now aware of the more common existence of personal piercing jewellery. If you are worried about setting off the detector, consult them discreetly before walking through the metal detector area.

How will exercise and sweat affect a new piercing?

For most people this does not cause problems. Riding a bicycle should be avoided with a guiche or fourchette piercing, as pressure and rubbing against any healing piercing causes irritation. While your own urine and sweat are sterile to your own body, it's a very good idea to clean the piercing after your workout. Wearing clean, absorbent clothing with a minimum of dyes can be helpful.

What about swimming pools and beaches?

Pools, beaches, and natural bodies of water are teeming with potentially harmful organisms. For the first month of healing, the cell walls inside the piercing are simply not strong enough to defend your body against an invader. A product called Tegaderm, a waterproof bandage available at pharmacies, will provide a measure of protection. If you simply must go swimming in the first month of your healing period, schedule one of your two daily piercing cleanings for immediately after being in the water. Try to avoid chlorinated pools if your jewellery is gold as the chemical can cause it to discolor. Swimming at the beach can be less of a problem. It is advisable however to apply pevilane-iodine solution immediately after the activity.

Do navel piercings usually grow out?

Of the more usual piercings in susceptible clients, navels have a greater tendency to grow out than average. Placement has a lot to do with success, so you can increase your chances by having the piercing done by a skilled professional. Be sure to follow proper aftercare and minimize as much as possible the irritation caused by clothing which is tight or restrictive especially buckled belts, elastic waistbands and especially panty hose tops.

Besides PdR where can I get professionally pierced?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people cashing in on the popularity of body piercing. These typically range from street corner kids with a dirty needle and flea market hustlers with an ear piercing gun to a handful of conscientious people with limited knowledge, skill, and experience. Don't let your passion for piercing prevent you from doing careful research. Ask as many questions as you can, and be sure to get a guided tour of the piercing room and the sterilization area. If you can, speak to several of their customers, and try to see some of their work. Shopping for a good piercer is like looking for a good tattoo artist or hair stylist. A piercer flaunting a fancy title on their card, or claiming to be "certified" or "masters in body piercing" should be held up for special scrutiny, as there is currently no certification process for Piercers. If you are in doubt about your local "Piercers", PdR offers "Pierce With A Pro" articles and videos for people who need more information or who think they might want to attempt their own piercings.

What about the more unusual piercing techniques?

As piercing becomes more and more common, some Piercers are seeking to distinguish themselves by offering "new" piercings, or using "new" techniques. While a very small number of these may indeed be legitimate advancements in the art of piercing, the vast majority of such offerings are either inappropriate, unsuccessful, or dangerous, possibly even fatal. When considering any piercing or technique which falls outside of the range of the common or traditional, both the piercer and the piercee should carefully consider the risks and possible consequences of their decisions, and when in doubt, stick to the tried and true.

Are the piercing needles used only on one person?

We absolutely never use a needle on more than one person. At PdR the needles are presterilized and are deliberately opened in front of the client prior to use and disposed of in a sharps container.

How many piercings can I get in one session?

Three piercings in one appointment is not uncommon. Having many more than that can be a bit too stressful for your body to cope with and can prolong your healing time.

Can I lose sensation in the pierced area?

For most people, a piercing increases sensation. That is one of the main reasons people get pierced i.e. to heighten the stimulation of a particular body part. The number of people who have reported no change or a loss of sensation is actually very small.

How does nipple piercing affect breast feeding?

Since the nipple secretes milk through a system of hundreds of ducts, which are not blocked by a nipple piercing, a healed piercing should not interfere with breast feeding. A piercing in the process of healing would be problematic, so we advise for a lactating mother to wait until having a nipple piercing. We strongly suggest that the mother remove her jewellery while feeding her baby.

What metals are safe for piercing jewellery?

316L surgical implant grade stainless steel, solid gold of either 9 or 18 carat, niobium, or titanium work well for the vast majority of people. Platinum and some other exotic metals also work well. Metals to avoid include silver, gold plated or gold filled, brass, bronze, and copper. The initial "savings" on a cheaper ring are quickly forgotten when infections and reactions to poorly made jewellery necessitate additional medical expenses.

What size jewellery is standard?

Usually a matter of individual custom fit, some piercings do have "standard" sizes which work for most people, and often there is a minimum size. The look is only part of what makes a piercing work for you. It must function properly as well. Jewellery which is not the right size can cause healing problems. Consult PdR for advice.

Why can't I have a smaller ring?

Sometimes, what you imagine would look best will not work best. Your preferences in look aside, the size needs to be tailored to your body's individual structure, and, most importantly, what will be the most comfortable and promote carefree healing.

Thanks to Gauntlet International San Francisco for their assistance in preparing this information.