At Altin Jewellers we have provided an ear piercing service ever since opening our retail outlet in Parkview Shopping Centre on 24 November 2012.
The idea is to provide a service to our community and hopefully, as all of us who have had our ears pierced can remember where we had it done, win the hearts and support of a next generation of customers in our area.
Subsequently, we only charge R270 for ear piercing, which includes the Studex Tiny Tips training studs we pierce with, a salve to keep the piercings clean and hydrated afterwards, a sweet and a special certificate for bravery for the smaller kids.
We have a few staff members who are able to pierce ears, and they take however much time is needed to put the child and their guardians at ease, and to ensure a generally pleasant experience for all involved.
We pierce ears using the popular Studex ear piercing system. Studex studs are made from surgical stainless steel, suitable for even the most sensitive ears.
The following are questions that we often encounter around ear piercing:
Does it hurt?
The simple answer is yes, a little. The moment of piercing can feel sharp, but the sensation dissipates almost immediately to no pain at all. To manage the initial prick a little, we apply a topical anesthetic cream to each earlobe a few minutes before we start. We then proceed to prepare the child: choosing a stud and marking each earlobe, which gives the cream a bit of time to take effect before we pierce.
Children’s reactions to being pierced varies greatly. We get every response from an amazed ‘that did not even hurt!’ to tears of surprise. Even with babies the reactions are different. Some will cry, others only look mildly startled. Your baby’s reaction to being vaccinated should give you an indication of what to expect when piercing her ears, though we believe that having your ears pierced is way less painful than getting vaccinated.
For older children, we find that a bit of prep work from the guardian’s side helps a lot. Although the process is not really that painful, children may feel nervous at the idea, or they may have heard exaggerated stories from classmates and will be expecting the worst. The key is to focus on why you are going through all this trouble in the first place; to be able to wear beautiful earrings!
At what age should I let my child’s ears be pierced?
From talking to parents and guardians, we find that there are two schools of thought on this:
- The first is that the child should be as young as possible, still a baby, so that there will be no fear for the process and any trauma will not be remembered. Here at Altin we will pierce babies older than 9 months. Bear in mind that your baby needs to be able to hold its head still before piercing can be done safely. For babies, we prefer that an adult holds the child on their lap while we pierce, one ear at a time.
- The second is that the child should be old enough to have asked for it; it is their bodies after all… We find that at age 4 and upward the kids are easy to instruct. We can engage with them and help build a bit of excitement around the whole process. With older children two of our staff members will pierce both ears at the same time so that it is over and done with in one go!
We believe that the decision about when to pierce is entirely up to you and your family. What is right for one child may not be right for the next. The key is to know your child and to communicate with her to gauge whether she will be ready.
No matter how young the child is, if she says no as we are about to pierce, we stop. Under no circumstance will we force something on a child against their will.
What do the studs look like?
We have a selection of about 10 different stud designs to choose from. They range from small metal ball designs in white or yellow metal, to sparkling hearts, daisies and butterflies in white, blue and pink gemstones.
Children that are of school going age may have to opt for simpler designs, depending on their school’s rules.
How do you make sure the piercing is in the right place?
Before we pierce, we make a tiny little dot with a pen on both earlobes. Only when all the parties are happy about where it is placed do we proceed with the piercing.
Unless the child makes a sudden movement right when we pierce, there is no way that we can miss the mark we made. With Studex the pin of the stud is easy to line up to the mark and no force is required to push the pin through.
What about hygiene?
The studs used to pierce with comes in a sealed container and is opened in front of the customer and placed into the piercing system without us having to touch any part of the stud. The system also secures the butterfly onto the back of the earring pin, so we do not even have to touch the ear to secure the earring either.
After piercing, it is all about keeping the piercing clean and hydrated until it has had time to heal.
It takes four to six weeks for the little holes to heal. For this time Studex recommends that you keep the same earrings in place that the piercing was done with, even when sleeping. If one were to remove them prematurely, the holes will start to close again and re-opening them can be painful.
The training studs that we pierce with has a bit of play on the post between the actual earring and the butterfly at the back. Under no circumstance should the butterfly be tightened right up to the earlobe at the back. As the holes heal, you do not want the earring to become stuck. In fact, we recommend that when cleaning the earlobes, move the post back and forth a little, or rotate it in place to prevent this from happening.
All that is left is to keep the earlobes clean and free from infections. We supply an antiseptic salve that should be applied twice daily to the earlobes, or even just once after bathing. There are other products that you can buy from a pharmacy that will also do the trick, and we can advise on those too. We do not recommend surgical spirits as an antiseptic. Though it may work to keep infections at bay, it will also dry out the little holes and leave a painful crust that can take an even longer time to heal.
After the four to six weeks you can start changing the earrings around to others.
Will you pierce other body parts?
We will pierce through other parts of the ear, apart from the earlobe, but not on other parts of the body. For body piercings we recommend that you go to a special body piercing or tattoo parlour.
Please note that piercings through cartilage DOES hurt a bit more. We will only pierce in other parts of the ear for teens older than 16.