Today I went to a tattoo parlor
But the only ink I brought home is the positioning marks they put on my earlobes. I finally decided it was time to try earrings again. I had terrible problems with knots no matter what kind of metal posts or wires I used and I gave up and let the holes close years ago. The knots went away, and so did all my earrings :-(
Well, according to the nice folks at Sacred Heart Studio, some or all of my problems could have been a result of having the holes made with a piercing gun. (Over 20 years ago, I certainly had no idea there was any alternative to going to the mall store and getting that horrid pointy stud thing blammed into my earlobe.) The stud isn't sharp enough to cut the skin--it just rips through. This hurts (why yes, it certainly did), causes swelling (oh yes, that too) and also leaves a wound that is going to take longer to heal (now I suspect that it never did really heal inside the hole, because sometimes even years later the holes would get weepy, and of course there were those knots).
The needle they use at a piercing studio, however, is super sharp and although they promised me it really wasn't going to hurt much, I didn't believe it. Happily, they were right! I mean, it's not completely painless, but it hurt way less than getting a shot (probably an overused comparison--something about the needle just brings that to mind). There was just a sort of twinge and it was all over. No residual pain and no swelling at all!
Also, now you can get a hoop instead of a stud, which is better in so many ways. I won't wake up with dents in the side of my neck from sleeping on the earring, and it's supposed to be much better for cleaning the wound while it's healing. And I got to pick out a little bead to put on the hoop, so how cool is that?
The third big difference was the aftercare instructions. No alcohol! No peroxide! Wow.... Times they have changed.... Instead, they gave me a bottle of some hippy-dippy soap, and all you do is wash your earlobe, turn the hoop a few times to get the soap through the hole, then rinse and use the hoop again to clean out the hole. Totally different. So I have high hopes that I'll be wearing fun earrings by Christmas-time without the frustration that I experienced before!