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  Body Piercing Glossary


Acrylic Type of clear plastic derived from acrylic acid used in making jewelry among other things. Steel Skin uses Dental Acrylic, which is a much stronger type of acrylic, nearly indestructible.
Alloy A mixture of metals.
Ampallang Horizontal Male Genital Piercing through the glans penis. Also called palang.
Anodize Using electric oxidation of metal to color it.
Anti-Eyebrow Surface piercing located on the upper cheek to the lower outside edge of your eye.
Anti-Tragus Opposite side of Tragus piercing, just about the lobe through the cartlidge.
APP Association of Professional Piercers.
"The APP is an international non-profit association dedicated to the dissemination of vital health and safety information related to body piercing to piercers, health care providers and the general public. This group believes that it is the obligation of all professionals in the field to assume responsibility for their continued education. The organization dedicates itself to enabling this responsibility to be met."
Apradavya Vertical male genital piercing through the glans of the penis.
Argyria The discoloration of the skin caused by the effects of silver jewelry on the skin in healing piercings.
Aspiration Inhalation of any object into the lungs.
Austin Bar A horizontal piercing through the tip of the nose which does not pass through the septum.
Autoclave Device used for sterilization of piercing tools and jewelry using high pressure and temperature. Also known technically as a "Sterilizer".
Bactine After-care product used to heal piercings. Many piercers are choosing not to use this product for aftercare as it may cause adverse reactions.
Banana Bar Another term for curved barbell.
Barbell A type of Jewelry , usually metal, that consists of a straight shaft or bar with a ball on each end.
Beading Implantation of 4-10mm beads or pearls under the skin, traditionally of the shaft of the penis.
Benzalkonium Chloride Commonly used antiseptic with ear piercing.
Bifurication Genital splitting.
Blowout When a piercing is stretched before it is healed causing a build up of extra tissue around the back of the piercing.
Body Suspension The act of hanging oneself in one of many positions by means of objects in the skin.
Brace Piercing Piercing through a brace placed under the skin in order to reduce rejection.
Bridge Horizontal piercing through the upper part of the nose between the eyes.
Caliper A measurement tool used for the accurate measurement of jewelry.
Cannula A narrow tube of plastic carried on a needle. When piercing, the cannula passes through the piercing with the needle and serves to keep the piercing open in order to insert the jewelry.
Captive Bead Rings (CBR) A type of body jewelry ring where a bead is held in a section of the ring by the rings pressure. See side column or our catalog for a picture.
Cartilage A tough, elastic, fibrous connective tissue found in various parts of the body such as the joints, outer ear, and larynx. Tough tissue which construct the nose and ears. Piercings here generally heal slower on account of the low blood supply.
Cheek A piercing in your cheek.
Chest bars A long and deep piercing through the skin of the chest.
Chloroxylenol Popular antiseptic used in body piercing.
Christina Female genital piercing of the mons pubis.
Chrome Crawford A labret piercing at the side of the upper lip, much like Cindy Crawford's mole.
Chrondritis The bacterial infection of cartilage.
Circular Barbells (CRBB) Basically, it is a barbell which is bent into the shape of a ring or circle.
Clamp Surgical tool designer to 'clamp' or hold tissue during certain piercing procedures.
Clavical A deep piercing that actually goes under the collar bone.
Cleavage Piercing of the cleavage, usually vertical but horizontal is possible in some cases.
Cleopatra Another name for a reverse prince albert. A male piercing entering through the urethral meatus of the glans of the penis and exiting on the superior aspect of the penis at the coronal sulcus.
Clitorial Hood A cover of skin overlying the clitoris on its superior aspect. Much less sensitive than the clitoris itself and commonly pierced without complications.
Clitoris A piercing through the clitoris.
Conch Piercing through the inner cartilage of the ear.
Crusties The term for the stuff that forms around a piercing during the healing process.
Curved Barbells (CVBB) Not a straight barbell, but not extreme enough to be a circular barbell. A curved barbell is slightly curved. Also called a banana barbell.
Daith Piercing through the piece of cartilage that sticks out of your inner conch.
Deep Chest A deep, long piercing through the skin of the chest.
Dental Acrylic Very strong type of Acrylic used in dental applications. Its application to body jewelry was pioneered by Steel Skin.
Dermal Punch Means of piercing by a tool that removes a round area of skin. Used in body piercing to instantly create larger piercings typically in the ear.
Diameter Body Jewelry is measured by the inner diameter. Size Chart for more info.
Disinfectant A chemical which inhibits disease causing microorganisms.
Dolphin A single piece of jewelry connecting two prince alberts, one deeper than the other.
Dydoe Male genital Piercing through the ridge of the glans.
Earlobe The soft lower part of the external ear containing no cartilage.
Externally Threaded Jewelry Externally threaded jewelry is when the threading of the jewelry is located on the shaft as opposed to the ball or end piece. While external threading is common and generally cheaper, it is far less safe than internally threaded jewelry. External threading damages by cutting or scraping cells from the inside of a piercing when jewelry is passed through the piercing. This is particularly a problem in new or unhealed piercings.
Eyelet A hollow cylinder that is used commonly in large gauge ear piercing.
Flesh Tunnel A large gauge jewelry that acts as a see through tunnel through the piercing.
Foreskin Male Genital piercing through the foreskin.
Fourchette A fourchette is a labia piercing done at the rear rim of the vagina.
Frenum Male genital piercing of the shaft. Frenum is the fold of skin supporting an organ.
Frowny Opposite of the scrumper piercing. Through the lower lip webbing - the fold of skin in the midline between the inside of the lower lip and gum.
Gauge Gauge refers to the thickness of the jewelry shaft. See our Size Chart for more info.
Glans Clitoris The very sensitive small round visible part of the clitoris.
Glans Penis The round head at the end of the shaft of the penis.
Glutaraldehyde Disinfectant used in the cleaning of instruments prior to sterilization.
Guiche Male genital piercing directly behind the scrotum on the perineum.
Hafada Piercings at the side of the scrotum.
Hand Webbing Piercing through the webbing in between your fingers.
Helix Piercing through the rim of cartilage of your upper ear.
Hood Female genital piercing through the clitoral hood.
Implants The inserting of objects partially or fully under the skin for a more 3D effect.
Industrial The use of a long barbell to connect two or more piercings. Generally, a set of piercings on the ear designed to hold a single piece of jewelry.
Infibulation Infibulation is the process of piercing of the male foreskin or female labia in order to prevent sexual intercourse. Jewelry connects the two sides of the piercing so that the glans penis cannot be exposed in males or the vagina penetrated in women.
Ink Rubbing Scarification with the addition of rubbing ink into the cuts to produce a pinch of color to the effect.
Internally Threaded Jewelry Internally threaded jewelry is when the threading of the jewelry is on the ball or end piece as opposed to being on the shaft. Internally Threaded Jewelry is much safer because there are no threads on the shaft to scrape the flesh of the piercing.
Isabella Deep clitoral shaft piercing.
Jestrum Vertical upper lip piercing.
Jungle Piercing through a stretched septum that goes from the inside of the piercing and out the bottom of the septum.
Kanji The tattooing of Asian letters and symbols.
Karat A measure of the proportion of gold in an alloy. Expressed as the number of parts of gold in 24 parts of the alloy. 18 Karat for example would be 18 parts of gold (of 24 total parts) and 6 parts of other metals.
Keloid A type of overgrown scar tissue occurring around piercing holes.
Labia The plural of labium, meaning lip. The labia are often called the lips of the vagina. In the female genitalia there are the two round larger outer labia (labia majora) and two smaller inner labia (labia minora). The inner labia are most frequently pierced with rings.
Labia Inner "The inner lips that protect the vaginal opening. Single or multiple piercings in either of the inner labia. 14ga or thicker rings are the most suitable jewelry. If placed opposite of each other, a padlock can be worn as a chastity devise. A very fast healing piercing."
Labia Outer "The outer lips of the vulva. 10ga rings are the best option for these piercings. Placement can be single or multiple in either or both sides. A slower healer at 8-12 weeks."
Labrets (LB) A labret is a piercing below the lower lip. Labret studs, or 'Labrets' are like small barbells with a flat disc on one end.
Lidocaine Powerful common anaesthetic.
Madison A throat piercing placed in the soft recess above the collarbone. A tricky piercing to heal as it can reject easily. The best results tend to be with a 14ga surface bar worn until the piercing has healed and toughened up. Then rings or curved barbells may be worn.
Madonna A labret piercing at side of the upper lip. Also known as a chrome crawford.
Mastitis Inflammation of the breast usually caused by bacterial infection. Possible complication of nipple piercing.
Medusa Central upper lip piercing.
Migration The movement of piercing jewelry away from its original position, usually towards the surface of the skin.
Nape Back of the neck piercing using a surface bar.
Navel The hole in the center of the abdomen.
Nickel A silvery white metal used to strengthen steel and to prevent corrosion.
Niobium An elemental metal used to make colored body jewelry.
Noble Metals Metals which are non-reactive, inert or resistant to oxidation. Traditionally includes, gold, silver and copper.
Oral Piercing Pertaining to the tongue, lip, labret, and cheek piercings.
Orbital An ear piercing where a ring follows through 2 piercings, most commonly seen in an earlobe, but can be through any 2 piercings in the ear. An appropriate diameter ring can be worn once both holes are fully healed (two piercings connected by a single ring).
Palang Horizontal male genital piercing through the glans penis. Also called ampallang.
Perineum The area of the body between the genitalia and the anus.
Peritonitis Infection of the lining of the abdominal cavity.
Piercing Gun A spring-loaded device that is used to fire jewelry through the skin, most often the ear lobe.
Piercing Needle A hollow needle specifically designed to cut a round or oval hole through skin and flesh for the subsequent passage of jewelry.
Play Piercing "Temporary piercings usually performed in multiples with fine gauge hypodermic needles. Originally an S/M activity piercing the nipples or genitals for heightened awareness or genitorture. More commonly seen in live piercing shows where numerous needles are placed in patterns anywhere on the body arms or legs."
Pocketing An anti-piercing, where the ends on the jewelry are under the skin and the bar is exposed.
Prepuce The retractable skin folding over the glans penis or the clitoris. Also called the foreskin.
Prince Albert A male piercing entering through the urethral meatus of the glans penis and exiting through the underneath of the penis at the coronal sulcus.
Princess Albertina "The female equivalent of the Prince Albert. Very rare and one to avoid for those prone to urinary tract infections. A speedy healer, this piercing enters the urethra and exits just below the urethral opening. 12ga or thicker rings are the most suitable jewelry."
Pubic "More decorative than functional this is placed in the dip of the pubic area above the penis. Options for a healed pubic are rings, barbells or curved barbells. As this is a surface piercing the healing is better if a surface bar is fitted as the initial jewelry. 12ga or thicker is suggested. Larger men with a fattier layer in this area are less likely to heal this piercing."
Queen Victoria This is not a female piercing but an alternative name for the Reverse Prince Albert.
Rejection "The worst part of healing a piercing is that suddenly there is very little flesh left supporting the jewelry. The piercing is rejected and your body is trying to heal itself as quickly as possible so it pushes the jewelry out somewhat like a splinter. Rejection can be the result of illness, harsh cleaners, trauma to the piercing or constant infection and other circumstances. If a piercing is rejecting,  it is advisable to remove the jewelry to prevent too much scarring."
Retainer An item of jewelry designed to keep a piercing open and/or to not attract attention.
Reverse Prince Albert A male piercing entering through the urethral meatus of the glans of the penis and exiting on the superior aspect of the penis at the coronal sulcus.
Rook A piercing of the anti-helix.
"The upper most cartilage ridge running diagonally above the tragus. This piercing can be done at 16ga or 14ga rings or curved barbells are suitable. Curved Barbells are more comfortable to heal and wear."
Scaffold "aka Industrial is the name given to 2 ear rim piercings with a long Barbell linking the 2 together. Placement can be a matter of choice and anatomically suited. Correct alignment is necessary so the piercings aren't distorted when the barbell is worn. It is advisable to have these piercings done at the same time and to heal them with short barbells or rings. Once healed and there is no further tenderness a barbell can be worn. 14ga jewelry is the most common sized used."
Scalpel piercing Initial large guage piercing, performed using a scalpel.
Scalpelling Enlarging a stretched lobe through cutting.
Scarification The artistic application of applying scars.
Scrotal The adjective applied to any piercing passing through the skin of the scrotum.
Scrotal Ladder A series of aligned piercings forming a ladder like pattern on the scrotum.
Scrumper/Smiley Upper lip frenulum piercing.
Snug Inner cartilage helix fold piercing.
Staphyloccus The bacteria usually responsible for most infections of the skin including abscesses, boils and carbuncles.
Sterilizer The technical term for autoclave. It is a device for sterilizing surgical instruments at high temperature and high pressure.
Straight Barbells (BB) Quite simply a shaft with balls on each end.
(See Barbell)
Stretching "Refers to any enlargement of a piercing in order to wear thicker jewelry. Most commonly seen in stretched earlobes. Most piercings can be stretched either with an insertion taper or multiple rings and even layers of Teflon tape wrapped around a barbell or plug. Only fully healed piercings should be stretched and then only one gauge thicker each stretch. Cartilage piercings do not respond well to stretching but with time can be enlarged."
Subincision Splitting the underside of the penis.
Surface Piercing "Refers to any piercing that is placed parallel to the skin. These are tricky to heal unless to correct type and size of jewelry is inserted. A surface bar is the only practical jewelry for these piercings, the ball ends are bent outward at a 45 or 90-degree angle that avoids tension at the exit points of the piercing. 14ga or thicker are the suggested gauge for surface piercing."
Surgical Stainless Steel The term "surgical stainless steel" refers to stainless steel that releases very little nickel into the body. ASTM 316LVM F138-97 Grade Implantation Steel is the only acceptable form to use in new piercings and is designed to comply with the European Nickel Directive.
Taper "Term used to describe an insertion taper pin. Used to insert jewelry into a piercing that has shrunk or to stretch up an existing piercing. The taper is rounded and thinner in gauge at the tip and progressively thickens at the jewelry-coupling end."
Titanium An elemental metal used for body jewelry much lighter than other metals used in body jewelry. with virtual nickel-free properties, titanium has less incidences of skin allergy than any other metal.
Tongue "This is one of the most popular piercings as it has shock value, fairly pain free to pierce and very fast healing. Initial healing requires a longer barbell to accommodate the swelling during the first week; after the piercing has healed a comfortable fitting barbell is worn. Starting at 14ga is the most popular size for a tongue, however thicker gauges can be pierced or the piercing stretched up a gauge at a time. The tip of the tongue heals quicker, but is a sharper piercing in comparison to the standard placement. Most people can support multiple tongue piercings, the longer your tongue the more room there is. See also Viper Bite."
Tongue Rim Piercings on the lateral assect of the tongue. Usually done with rings.
Tongue Splitting Splitting the tongue to achieve a forked effect.
Tongue Web "The Underside of the tongue is pierced horizontally through the frenulum web. A unique piercing that is fast to heal but tends to migrate over time. 14ga curved barbells or rings tend to be the best jewelry."
Tragus The prominence of skin-covered cartilage forming the front wall of the ear canal.
Transcrotal Piercing from front to rear of scrotum.
Transdermal Implant An implant which passes through the skin.
Transverse Lobe Piercing through the length of the lobe.
Triangle "A horizontal piercing resembling a horizontal hood piercing except that it passes underneath the clitoral shaft, providing stimulation not possible with other piercings. This piercing is anatomy dependant and requires a very prominent clitoral shaft and room for a 12ga or thicker circular barbell."
Ultrasonic Cleaner A device for cleaning surgical instruments and jewelry prior to sterilization.
Venom Pair of off centre tongue piercings.
Vertical Bridge Surface piercing between the eyes.
Vertical Labret Vertical lower lip piercing.
Viper Bite " aka Venom.
This is a double tongue piercing, placed opposite each other and to the side of the centre line of the tongue. Viper Bites are best done in a single sitting to ensure symmetrical placement and to heal them both in one healing period."
Zircon A mineral yielding brilliant clear gemstones called "cubic zircons" or "cubic zirconia". A cheap alternative to diamond.
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