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stretched nostrils
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September 24, 2012
2:38 am
amber visions
reno, nv
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Sorry if this has been posted before but would anyone like to share your experiences with stretching your nostrils? I am currently contemplating stretching mine and would like some tips, pointers, advice, do's dont's everything under the sun! Thank you in advance!

September 24, 2012
6:00 am
Oakbear
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I've not stretched my nostrils, but have stretched cartilage on my ears quite a bit, and know others who have stretched nostrils. It is a tough challenge, and punching is much easier.

 

The key thing, which i think you know, is slow. Really slow, small jumps with long breaks inbetween stretches (a few months type long).

Taping seems to irritate more than anything, so dead stretching small amounts is the order of the day. Customs made 'tweeny' sizes is ideal.

Stretching cartilage may well hurt, and require a degree of force. Judging how much is ok and how much is too much is tricky. I'd recommend caution if you are unsure. It's better to have to wait a few more weeks than risk complications from trauma.

It will swell, so any jewellery needs to take this into account. You also need to be aware that it may be sore for a week or so, and swelling may mean you have  a blocked nose for that period. Ibuprofen helps with the swelling, and for the nose maybe a decongestant such as pseudoephedrine might help.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
September 24, 2012
1:15 pm
amber visions
reno, nv
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the only problem with punch is my state doesnt allow it. I am currently looking for a shop in the san diego area to get my flats punched, I havent had much luck ive emailed a couple shops and everything. waiting to hear back from them. Im going to san diego next summer for a trip and thought Id pretty up my face while i was there. Either that or Sacramento area. as thats only a couple hours to drive for me from where im at now.

October 24, 2012
4:30 am
strommer
Portland,OR
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i had mine punched but did a bit of stretching after and yes it hurts feels a lot like getting punched in the nose i totally agree with oakbear tape sucks in cartalige if you can get them inbetween sizes its the way to go i oops had mine at a 9.5mm and got some new jewelry seeing that it was marked at a 00g and put em in and it was 10mm wow it sucked but now im at 10mmWink

October 30, 2012
4:28 pm
SasQuatch9585
USA
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Speaking of stretching with between-size custom jewelry…

I've been doing this with my lobes for several months now and have increased from 00 to 3/4 with no trouble.

Thing is, I'd also like to stretch my dual labrets and my conch piercings.  All four of these are at 14g right now and I'm wondering how large a jump I can safely make at once.

For the labrets, I was thinking half-sizes, like a 13g, then 12g, then 11g, and so on until I start getting to larger sizes.  With my lobes I've been stretching 1/32" at a time (about 0.8mm) and that has worked very well.

However, this is obviously too much at smaller sizes, since there is less than 0.5mm between 14g and 12g.  A 13g works out to be about 0.2mm larger than a 14g, and like I said I think that'll be okay for the labrets, but I'm worried about the conch.  Cartilage being tougher, I'm not sure how much it'll handle before cracking.  I'm especially concerned about cracking or any other kind of irritation because I'm making my own jewelry from wood finished with acrylic.  Anything I do that so much as breaks the skin will require aftercare, and I absolutely will not take the risk of having acrylic in a fresh mod.

The lobes have stretched up just fine without a bit of blood or lymph, so I know I've done well in that regard.  I'd just like to keep up the success with the cartilage piercings, and I don't want to try a 13g and find out myself that it's too large and I've torn the skin and I need to put my steel jewelry back in, wait for it to heal, and start over.

I have a digital micrometer, so I can make any size I need.  I was just hopping someone might offer a bit of advise.  I'm not afraid to figure it out on my own, but I'm all about learning from others if I can.

Amber, best of luck with your nostrils.  Unfortunately, I can't offer any advise on the subject, but I'll talk to a guy I know at work who must have at least 000's in his nostrils.  He used to be a tattoo and piercing artist as well, so he'll probably have some good info.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
October 31, 2012
7:03 am
Oakbear
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You have to heal each stretch, meaning you break the skin, whether you notice or not. Therefore materials and hygiene should be the same as for initial piercings imho.

Blood and lymph is a sign of more serious trauma, which for any stretch means you went too fast.

 

From 14g i'd go to 2mm, then 2.4, and maybe 3. Turning at that size is a pain, so i'd buy pre made jewellery. You can also get jewellery which is not the size advertised, so could find 2.8 if you shop with a micrometer!

 

I stretched my labret and conch in 0.5mm steps, with a good wait in between. I think maybe now i'd have gone for 0.2mm or 0.3mm at larger sizes to make the process easier. (The increase in circumference is bigger at each size up, so 0.5mm is a smaller stretch from 2mm, then from 10mm).

 

I used teflon rather than wood (which i wouldn't recommend for stretching, coated or otherwise).

You can turn teflon (ptfe) or delrin using a wood lathe. It turns wonderfully, and is pretty cheap. It is also suitable for healing.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
November 1, 2012
10:02 am
Sommersett
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I do not work as a professional piercer in a studio anymore and I haven't for several years, but I did for about 10, so my information is good but possibly dated.  I'd like to think some techniques are so simple that they could be practiced for who knows how long.  I know a totally clampless technique for piercing everything, and that's what I believe is best.

    I suggest to NOT stretch in the cold months.  I'm sure you can understand why without me going into a long tangent of how our skin reacts to temperature… I know you are smart. 

    I had several clients with larger nostril piercings and I did ask them questions.  Also, Brian Skellie is a wealth of information and is a member of the APP and prompt to answer any questions. 

    For stretching the nostrils I suggest you do it over a few hours in your own home.  Cramming the taper in can totally damage tissue.  Buy a taper that graduates 1 gauge at a time and some tiny o-rings.  Put the taper in until it gives resistance and adjust the o-rings to hold it in place.  I have heard it done with the insertion from the outside (top)  and you may not even need a o-ring if you sit there with your finger on the end.  The trick is lubricate and patience.  You will feel your skin and nerves relax and you will know when you should push a tiny bit more. 

    If this process sounds unappealing, then I suggest you let gravity and time do it's magic.  You will stretch and it sounds like your body is pretty forgiving with those big ear stretches.  Does 3/4 inch look small yet?  (nudge nudge)

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
November 2, 2012
1:07 am
SasQuatch9585
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I suppose my ears have been quite forgiving, considering the jump I've made in less than a year from 00 to 3/4".  I've stretched roughly once a month (no less, but sometimes more time between stretces).  All of this since about January.

As for blood and lymph meaning you've gone too fast, every time I've gone to a pro, that pro jumped a one size at a time.  From 10 to 8 to 6 to 4, and so on until I got to 00.  Every time it required aftercare, and every time I went to a pro I used titanium or implant-grade steel or other such acceptable materials.

It has only been my own stretching that I've used wood, and only because I could to it very gradually, slipping in the new jewelry without significant resistance and without irritation, discomfort, or tenderness.

I know I am only one example; one test-case.  However, I am satisfied so far with my technique.  I would admit if there were any problems and seek advise because my well-being is more important to me than my ego.  In fact, nearly everything in life is more important to me than ego.  Ego is a curse of the survival instinct which I feel I must grow beyond.

Suffice it to say, I'm sticking with my current course.

And yes, 3/4" is looking smaller than I thought it would.  I now believe I'll be going up to at least an inch before I stop.  Then again, who knows?

I want to reach a size I'm satisfied with before I do any detailed carving in my plugs because it takes so much time, I'd hate to dedicate that kind of time to a set of plugs that I'll wear for a month or two and then move past.  It's not like I'd sell plugs after I'd already worn them myself.  That's just gross, no matter WHAT they're made of.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
November 2, 2012
1:38 pm
Oakbear
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SasQuatch9585 said
 

As for blood and lymph meaning you've gone too fast, every time I've gone to a pro, that pro jumped a one size at a time.  From 10 to 8 to 6 to 4, and so on until I got to 00.  Every time it required aftercare, and every time I went to a pro I used titanium or implant-grade steel or other such acceptable materials.

I think there is a pressure on pros to make a noticeable difference in size, rather than send someone home with good advice they probably won't take (and the pro doesn't get paid for). Small taper jumps at small sizes should be fine, but i still maintain that if it needs aftercare, it's way too fast. Just because someone is a pro doesn't mean they're not providing poor service.

I'm not suggesting this is the end of the world, but jumps like this can cause scarring which leads to a less pleasing end result ime.

I know the desire to stretch fast and the feeling that when it works you've made the right judgement call. I also know that for those that have reached a goal size and been there for some time never seem to wish they'd gone faster, and in fact usually acknowledge it'd have been better going slower.

That's a mistake i made and one i'd encourage others not to follow in.

 

Suffice it to say, I'm sticking with my current course.

 

So you're stretching your labret and conch with acrylic coated wood?

I hope it works out ok, but i do suggest trying delrin. If nothing else it's fun to turn! I could send you some if you'd like?

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
November 3, 2012
4:30 pm
SasQuatch9585
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Assuming that I can do the stretching without needing aftercare, turning accurately enough to be 1/2 gauge jumps (14g to 13.5g to 13g, etc) or even smaller jumps if it is necessary, then I will stick with it.

However, I am intrigued by the possibility of new materials.  I will definitely have to get hold of some delrin.  Does the stuff take paint well?  I could always do carving and accent painting on this material as well.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
November 4, 2012
9:56 am
Oakbear
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My guess is labret and conch will be more sensitive to stretching with wood/acrylic as they are generally less forgiving stretched than lobes, and some swelling can be normal. Of course that's just a guess.

How have you found the acrylic finish in contact with saliva? I've never really got on with wood labrets, even with very dense wood, but that has been unfinished.

 

As for delrin, very little sticks to it as it's very slippery when smooth. It can be used as bearings due to that.  I can't imagine being able to paint it. It should carve though, but might be fiddly.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
November 10, 2012
5:22 pm
SasQuatch9585
USA
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At the moment I haven't started stretching my conch or labrets, so I can't tell you how the acrylic finish reacts with saliva.  However, I'm not expecting it to react any differently than solid acrylic.

Bummer about the non-painting delrin.  Perhaps I can rough-sand it to make something stick.  I'll have to do some research on the stuff before I invest.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
March 26, 2013
10:01 pm
joshie_
Ulludulla, Australia
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Could someone explain to me the best way to stretch my double high nose piercings? My peircer reccommends buying some 16g jewelery and then using tapers after thats been settled for a few months – any thoughts? :)

March 27, 2013
2:06 am
Oakbear
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It depends how high they are, what angle they are pierced at, and what jewelry you are using tbh.
I have to say that tapers could be awkward in that spot. Does your piercer have curved tapers?

As a general rules with cartilaginous areas use quality jewellery of the next size up (or in between sizes if you have them), leave good breaks between stretches (the longer the better), lube well and try a dead stretch. It can be uncomfortable, but is much less likely to blow out than ears. Still try and listen to your body for when it's ready though, be prepared to stop should it not fit, and be patient.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 27, 2013
6:15 pm
joshie_
Ulludulla, Australia
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Yeah, thats pretty much the same way my piercer reccommended… now i just need to wait for the jewelery to turn up in the mail!

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