Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Holes. In Your Ears. On Purpose.

"Holes - in my ears? With a needle?? On purpose?!?" was S's 5 year old response as we strolled by a tween getting her ears pierced in the mall a few months ago. She knew mommy could wear earrings but hadn't determined how I arrived at that privilege. I think she figured the holes grew in when you got older - like boobs.

My memory of getting my ears pierced around 12 was mostly, well - unsettling. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I can still recall the spine tingling *sound* of the gun and the pain and tears that followed. I was super freaked out, but my desire to adorn dangly and sparkly trinkets made me claim my spot in the chair.

One day a few weeks ago S came to me and said she wanted her ears pierced because one of her friends had it done. I was fine with her getting them pierced when she was ready. I explained the process again from soup to nuts, but she was not dissuaded. Then began the research on my end. I had read an article about how using a professional piercer provided a more sterile, less painful experience versus using a piercing gun.

I was somewhat skeptical about my un-pierced (other than my ears), un-tattooed self toting my 5 year old in to be pierced at a piercing/tattoo studio. Was it really going to be a better, more sterile, more professional environment? I reached out to my friends on facebook for suggestions on where to begin looking for a good piercing studio and one of my friends told me she brought her daughter to Sadu.

I contacted Sadu Body Piercing & Modifications in Charlotte with my list of questions, and spoke with Diana who had all the answers.

  1. I inquired about how they sterilized their tools. Sadu uses a steam sterilizer for the jewelry and tools/clamps. Needles that go through the body are pre-sterilized for one time use, and discarded in a sharps container. Each piece is thoroughly sterilized. Piercing guns used at Claire's or even a physician's office cannot be thoroughly sterilized. If an ear was to bleed during the piercing there would be no way to remove the tiny blood splatter. They may use alcohol or antiseptic to 'clean' it, but that doesn't kill all blood-borne pathogens that could be on to the gun.
  2. I asked about the quality control for the sterilizer, and they had up to date records of their biological indicators (spore tests) that determine that the sterilizer is achieving and maintaining the proper temperature to kill all blood-borne pathogens. 
  3. The hollow needle they use is claimed to be less painful than the piercing gun. This is why.  The hollow needle cuts through the skin more fluidly because it's extremely sharp. A piercing gun uses a blunt stud that essentially rips through the tissue to create the hole.
  4. I asked how they cleaned the skin, and they use betadine and alcohol.
  5. Diana has had 6 years of experience which included a year long apprenticeship. 
Diana explained that she only pierces people who are five and older, and told me she wanted to talk to S first to discuss everything that would happen and make sure she would be willing to follow the rules for after care and healing.

When we arrived I was impressed with how patient and sweet Dianna and Mattye were as S prepared for her big girl experience. S picked out crystal studs, they sterilized them and the rest was captured on video below.

I can't lie, there were tears, and apprehension for the second ear. Mommy held back tears (you can hear my voice getting reaaally high in the video as I'm trying not to cry). Dianna suggested giving her a breather and got her an ice pop as she prepared for the second ear. She was so sweet to my baby girl. Finally, the second ear was pierced, the tears were quickly dried and S was checking her ears out in the mirror.

We have used H2Ocean sterile saline for her aftercare. The second night there was some blood from her ear, but now we are two weeks out and her ears look wonderful and we have had no other issues. She's so excited about going shopping for her earrings after her 8-12 weeks of healing. Piercing prices vary depending on the jewelry that is selected, but Dianna encourages you call them at 704-344-0011. Sadu Body Piercing & Modification is located at 1515 Central Ave in Charlotte and you can find more info at

I want to thank Dianna and Mattye for being so wonderful, professional and kind during the entire process. I'm so glad we decided to use Diana's professional piercing skills.

I received a $10 discount and was given the H2Ocean aftercare spray for free, but I planned to have her ears pierced with Diana at Sadu regardless of any discounts.


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