So... after a time of long tumultuous debate, I finally decided on getting my cartilage pierced as my first piercing- ever. I chose Piercing Pagoda because, well, it seemed like they might have less cheap quality jewelry over Claire's. Maybe they're the same, I don't know, just the stigma. And for all you people who as soon as you read the title of this post are all going around screaming your heads off about how cartilages should be done with a needle- spare me. Sure, when people ask me, I tell them to go get it done with the needle, but come on, let's be honest. Some of us don't have that kind of money to spend.
So there I was kinda freaked out about all the pain I was hearing about. I decided on this earring that was $16/ pair. A thicker gold heart shaped one. Then the lady told me it was plated and asked if I had any allergies, so of course that freaked me out, and I ended up with the $34 14k one. I asked if I could buy a pair, and come back at a time of my choosing to get another piercing done, but they said no. I figured I'd ask anyways- never know. So thus I paid their little $2 extra fee for only buying one. I also didn't realize at the time that they charge an extra $2 to do cartilage. My total with tax was $22.50 @.@.
And onwards with the actual piercing. You sit in this chair with a light shining uncomfortably on you- it gets hot- I guess it's so they see better. When the lady first put the dot on, my initial reaction was IT'S WAY TOO LOW! So I had her move it up, and down, and up, and down again for about 10 times. When I said up or down i just meant a couple mm, but she would move it .5 cm. In the end I got so flustered that I just said ok because amidst it all I managed to get myself all confused and turned about X_X. The result- I think it ended up right where she suggested to me at first- way too low. I've gotten used to it now, but I think i'll want another one on top of it.
I had been staring at my ear so much when she was dotting it, that when she took the actual piercing thing to it, I felt a little prick (like someone poked you with a .7mm mechanical pencil) then in my head I could just see it- feel it- as it pushed through my ear. And then it was over. Not too much pain at all. For the next 30 min my ear was warm, and occasionally it would have a slight throbbing along with the once in a while tiny sting. Just enough to let you know it's there.
After that, nothing. Only when I actually touched it. It's since been two weeks, and I can touch my piercing without any pain, only when I move the stud funny does it hurt a little.
The one thing they don't do well is teach you how to clean it. It seems straightforward, but if you think about it, are you supposed to drizzle the cleaning solution on? or just simply swipe around the stud trying to get as much as you can? I've decided on a method in between. Load up the Qtip as much as you can, then swipe and try to squeeze out as much of the solution onto the ear. Some people say the cleaning solution isn't good and it'll cause irritation. I bought sea salt in case I needed to do soaks. But an acquaintance tested Claire's solution and said that the stuff's pretty good as far as antiseptics go. I figured I'd test it out on myself first, if I get irritated, then I'd switch. So far so good. No irritation, no bumps.
The staff at Piercing Pagoda are really nice. They're totally willing to help and assist to the best of their ability. They don't know everything, but what they do know, they try to help with. I'll definitely go back there for the other...6 piercings that I'm planning, even if their jewelry seems overpriced.
THE AFTER: I thought I imagined that my ear swelled, but from this picture I guess it was for real. It's since gone down though.