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Body Arts Dictionary






Photos of piercings can be seen at  Piercings We Do




  • 316L - stainless steel is commonly used in applications requiring high corrosion and heat resistance, toughness and long life. High aesthetics and polishability are added benefits. A virtually non-magnetic material, 316L applications include a wide variety of medical devices, hardware components and small tools.
  • 30316L - S30316L is an identification numbering system used by the SAE () to help identify the type of steel.
  •  316L - is the old SAE number that was changed to 30316L and now there is an even newer Unified Numbering System (UNI) number is S31603.
  • 316LVM - When 316L stainless steel has been vacuum melted it becomes 316LVM (VM = vacuum melted). This process prevents air/airborne contaminates to become attached to the molecules in the metal. This results in a more consistent steel.

           316L & 316LVM  Grade is the only jewelry Guns 2 Roses has used in tens of thousands of body arts procedures.

  • acrylic - a type of plastic used in body jewelry. It is not appropriate for new piercings.
  • aftercare - the things one does to care for healing body arts. Proper aftercare is necessary.
  • age - see "minimum age"
    alcohol (rubbing alcohol) - Alcohol does not sterilize and is inappropriate for body arts. It merely moves the germs around; it does not kill them. Good for cuts and scrapes, but not appropriate for aftercare.
  • ampallang - A male genital piercing. It enters the glands on one side and exits horizontally the other side. In the US this piercing is normaly done just above the urethra, and in the UK the piercing is normaly placed so that it goes through the urethra.
  • anneal - a way of strengthening jewelry. The metal is heated, then cooled, which makes it more flexible and less brittle.
  • anodize - a way of coloring titanium and niobium. Electric current is run through the metal. The metal reacts with the air, forming oxides. The color of the oxide depends on the amount of electric current.
  • anti-eyebrow - a surface piercing on the cheek bone underneath the eye
  • anti-helix (rook) - a piercing of the largest wrinkle in the inner portion of the ear. Also called a rook.
  • anti-tragus - A piercing of the lower projection of skin-covered cartilage in front of the opening of the ear.
  • apadravya - A male genital piercing. It enters at the side of the fremum and travels to exit at the top of the glands.
  • apadydoe - A Male Apadravya/Dydoe orbital piercing - A single ring passing through a crooked apadravya and an off-centre dydoe. These are typically done in pairs.
  • APP - Association of Professional Piercers
  • autoclave - a machine mandatory in body art studios that sterilizes equipment like clamps, and jewelry.  Totally inappropriate for cleaning anything soiled for re-use except for some simple clamps after they have been cleaned with other methods prior to cleaning in the autoclave.  Also inappropriate for sterilizing needles as this process dills sharp instruments.


  • bactine - Good for cuts and scrapes, not appropriate for piercing aftercare.
  • ball closure ring (BCR) - european term - alternate term for a captive bead ring (CBR), typically used in europe and australia.
  • bamboo - a snack for pandas. Can also be used to make jewelry such as plugs.  Not for healing piercing - ever!
  • banana bar - Another name for curved barbell. Also banana bell.
  • barbell (BB) - a straight bar with a ball on both ends.
  • bb (barbell) - barbell
  • bbb (bent/curved barbell) - bent/curved barbell
  • bcr - Ball Closure Ring (same as CBR - Captive Bead Ring)
  • beauty mark - a piercing done through the skin above the upper lip. Also called Monroe or Madonna.
  • belly button -A cute name for navel
  • blowout - Piercing - a risk of stretching too fast, when the flesh tube is forced out the front or back of the piercing.
  • Blowout - Tattoo - Ink (pigments) placed too low in the skin that flows into the fatty tissue area, making the tattoo look out of focus.
  • bridge - Also called an 'earl'. This is a piercing at the top of the nose, through the fleshy part between the eyes, not the cartilage.


  • captive bead (or ball) ring (same as CBR) - American term.
  • cartilage - a fibrous body tissue that can be found in the outer ear and has no blood vessels inside.
  • cbb (circular barbell or curved barbell) - circular barbell or curved barbell
  • cbr (captive bead ring) -  captive bead ring
  • cheek - a facial/oral piercing through the cheek, typically in the dimple.
  • chin - rare piercing through the chin itself, not entering the mouth.
  • christina - A female genital piercing. It enters at the top of the hood, and exits the pubic mound.
  • circular barbell - horseshoe shaped barbell
  • clavicle - a deep piercing passing underneath the collar bone (clavicle) on either side of the neck, between the neck and shoulder.  Not a piercing at all, this is a foolish project at best that could and most likely will result in long term medical complications.
  • cleavage piercing - a surface piercing (usually vertically) done on the sternum between the breasts
  • cleopatra = reverse PA
  • clitoris - A (rare) female genital piercing. The piercing can be done horizontally or vertically. Not many women have the anatomy to have this piercing. Many women who say that they have it actually have a clitoral hood piercing.
  • conch - A piercing through the 'shell' of the ear.
  • corset piercing - Normaly done as temporary piercings, they are placed in two lines down the back so that they can be laced, like a corset.
  • crusties - lymph discharge that usually appears as clear yellow crust on the jewelry and outside edges of the piercing a few days after piercing, indicating proper healing. A piercing is healed after "crusties" disappear for 2 weeks straight without returning.
  • curved barbell - a barbell with a slight curve in it


  • daith - This ear piercing is done on the ridge in the ear that is the continuation of the inner helix.
  • deep PA - a Prince Albert done with a large diameter ring, exiting further behind the glands, on the shaft of the penis, than a PA normally would.
  • dermal punch - a tool used by doctors that cuts out a circle of epidermis. not for use by piercers. Ever!
  • diameter (of jewelry) - the size of a ring, measured straight across on the inside.
  • disinfect - NOT THE SAME AS STERILIZING! Disinfecting is NOT sterile, and is not satisfactory when it comes to piercing.
  • DIY - stands for Do It Yourself...but PLEASE DON'T!
  • doctors - doctors are sadly uninformed when it comes to piercings. Trust your piercer. And never take the ring out of an infected piercing. if your piercer is not helpful you should in all cases contact your doctor!
  • dolphin - This is the term given when you have a PA and a deep PA and join them with a curved barbell.
  • dydoe - Male genital piercing of the ridge around the glands.


  • ear -On each side of your head, look for a deep hole in the middle!
  • earlobe - the fleshy part at the bottom of your ear.
  • external threading - a barbell is said to be externally threaded when the threads stick out of the end of the barbell; the ball screws ONTO the barbell.
  • eyebrow - a piercing on the upper face, where the bar/ring passes underneath the eyebrow. It is typically done vertically though can be done horizontally.
  • eyelet (flesh tunnel) - another name for a flesh tunnel


  • fishtail labret - a type of jewelry for a labret piercing which minimizes the average wear-and-tear on gums caused by the backing on a labret stud (the flat back) fixed bead ring - looks like a CBR, but the bead is attached to one end of the ring, the ring is merely pinched together to close.
  • flatback - the backing of a labret stud
  • flesh tube - the healed "tube" of flesh inside your piercing
  • flesh tunnel - a round, hollow form of a plug
  • flexible bar piercing - a surface piercing done with a flexible bar, such as pfte or tygon.
  • foreskin - Male genital piercing of the foreskin.
  • fourchette - a female genital piercing where the piercing is on the lowest part of the vagina, near the anus
  • frenum - Male genital piercing of the frenum (the little 'web' of skin attached to the glands)
  • frenum ladder - a row of frenum piercings done along the penis is referred to as a frenum ladder, the piercings forming the "rungs" of the ladder.
  • frowny - a piercing through the gum frenulum behind the upper lip. (also see- scrumper/smiley)
  • gauge - the thickness of a piece of jewelry, abbreviated 'g' or 'ga'. Smaller gauges are thicker than larger gauges. For example, a 0g plug is larger than a 6g plug.
  • gauging - gradually stretching a piercing to wear larger gauged jewelry.
  • glass - see Pyrex
  • gold - although people don't react to pure 24k gold, body jewelry is not pure gold. The metals mixed with gold to make it stronger and less expensive, can cause reactions in people. Gold should not be worn in healing piercings for this reason.
  • guiche - the male form of the fourchette, placed between the scrotum and the anus.
  • gun piercing - EEEEEEVIIIIIIIL!!! Piercing guns are inappropriate for piercing and cannot be sterilized properly. They traumatize the tissue causing excess reduced discomfort and swelling, lengthen healing time and do not use appropriate jewelry for piercings. They can also transmit bloodborne pathogens. www.bmeworld.com/heidi/guns.html
  • gum recession - withdrawl of gums from teeth, caused by the rubbing of oral piercings on the teeth/gums.


  • hafada - A male genital piercing that sits on the side of the scrotum.
  • hand web - a temporary surface piercing on the slight web between fingers or finger and thumb on the hand.
  • helix - any ear cartilage piercing around the rim of the cartilage is a helix.
  • hematite - a grayish blackish kind of stone. Many CBRs come with hematite beads.
  • hepatitis - a blood borne disease. Can be transmitted by needles and/or piercing guns if not sterilized. (STERILIZATION IS NOT THE SAME AS DISINFECTING)
  • HIV - a blood borne disease. Can be transmitted by needles and/or piercing guns if not sterilized. (STERILIZATION IS NOT THE SAME AS DISINFECTING)
  • hood - clitoral hood, can be pierced vertically or horizontally.
  • horizontal cheek - a horizontal surface piercing on the cheeks, typically from the corner of the mouth out towards the ears.
  • horizontal eyebrow - a horizontal eyebrow piercing, running along the brow
  • horizontal hood - A female genital piercing done side to side on the clitoral hood.
  • horizontal lip - This piercing is done from one side of the lip to the other side. A flexible bar is normally used.
  • horizontal navel - a navel piercing done along the navel rim instead of through it. this is a surface piercing prone to rejection
  • horizontal tongue - a piercing through the tongue but goes the the sides of the tongue, as opposed to the traditional tongue piercing which goes through the top and bottom
  • horizontal upper lip - a facial piercing done between the upper lip and the nose, it runs horizontally, passing underneath the slight recess in the outer lip and exiting on either side. this piercing never penetrates into the mouth.
  • hymen piercing - An (ultra rare) female genital piercing. This is a piercing of the hymen itself.


  • Ice - A few piercers in the country have tried Ice for the reliving of pain in their studios.  One was Jim Ward of Gauntlet in San Francisco.  Jim soon figured out it was a foolish idea that has lots of negative side effects including the effect of people bathing their own skin in your lobby (taking a bath in your lobby is what it amounts to.) The curious thing about ice, it does not numb!  No Hospital uses it for numbing, no Doctor, no Dentist (ice can cause a tooth ache but never relives one.)  You never hear of ice as a numbing agent.  So just because we had a local misguided piercer that did it for years, does not mean it had one single positive effect, except it tricked many people into thinking they were numb.  Why trick them into thinking they are numb, when over the counter topical medications do work, and every good body arts studio uses them.
  • industrial - two piercings connected with one long piece of jewelry (typically cartilage piercings)
  • industrial navel - two navel piercings connected with one long piece of jewelry. Vertical industrial navel could potentially complicate sitting and bending more so than a horizontal.
  • inner conch - the inner shell of the ear
  • inner helix - The part of the helix near the cheek.
  • inner labia - Female genital piercing of the inner labia (labia minora).
  • internal threading - a barbell is said to be internally threaded when the ball has threads which screw INTO the barbell.
  • inverse navel - piercing the bottom rim of the navel
  • isabella - A (very rare) female genital piercing. It enters at the top to the clitoral shaft and exits bellow the clitoris, having traveled along it's length.
  • isopropyl alcohol - good for cuts and scrapes, inappropriate for piercings. disinfects but doesn't sterilize.


  • jestrum - a vertical labret type piercing for the upper lip


  • keloid - a raised, fibrous scar tissue, normally dark red to purple in color that forums at the site of surgery or trauma to the skin (such as piercing). people of African and Asian decent are more prone to keloids. keloids can only be removed surgically.


  • labia - Female genital, there are two areas, the 'inner' (labia minora) and the 'outer' (labia majora).
  • labret - A piercing done through or below the lower lip.
  • labret stud (LS) - jewelry for a labret piercing, typically a short barbell with a flatback.
  • lip - those things that hold your mouth together. (see labret or vertical labret)
  • lobe - A piercing through the ear lobe.
  • lobe orbital - two piercings in the ear lobe sharing one ring
  • lorum - A male genital piercing, this sits where the penile shaft meets the scrotum (a low frenum).
  • lowbret - a form of a labret piercing. the piercing is placed as low as possible on the inside of the lip, but is known for discomfort, since the flat backs are right against the gums at all times
  • LS - (labret stud)
  • lucite - a kind of plastic used in large guage body jewelry.
  • lymph - a transparent yellow fluid, composed mainly of dead white blood cells. Secreted by healing cuts, scrapes, and piercings.


  • madison - A surface piercing at the base of the throat.
  • madonna - another name for a beauty mark
  • marilyn - another name for a beauty mark
  • medusa - a piercing done above the upper lip, in the center.
  • migration - movement of the jewelry/piercing within the body, moving the jewelry to a different place or possibly migrating completely out of your body. Signs of migration are redness, a line-scar where the jewelry has traveled, more of the jewelry showing than used to (different than swelling reduction), or a thinning of the skin holding the jewelry.
  • minimum age - you must be 18 years old in most states in the USA to be pierced without parental permission. Even if the state/country where you live has no age laws for piercings, many shops do. If you're under 18, it's a good idea to call first and ask.
  • monroe - another name for a beauty mark


  • nape - a surface piercing on the back of the neck
  • nasallang - 3 piercings in one. A barbell enters the nostril, then passes through the septum, then exits the other nostril.
  • navel - a piercing anywhere along the rim of the navel (also known as the belly button). Typically done on the top but can be done on the sides or bottom as well.
  • navel industrial - two navel piercings connected with one long piece of jewelry
  • needle - the only thing that is appropriate to use to pierce with. needles must be sterilized, opened in front of the customer, then disposed of in a sharps container immediately after use
  • needle piercing - A piercing done with a needle. The PROPER way to be pierced!
  • niobium - An elemental metal, very useful for body piercing jewellery as it is hypo-allergenic. Heavier than SSS and titanium.
  • nipple - A piercing of the nipple. Male and female placement is different.
  • nipple shield - A piece of jewellery with a hole in the middle for the nipple to poke through. The shield is held in place by the nipple jewellery
  • nose bone - inappropriate jewelry for any piercing, it has a ball at both ends of the bar. once it is left in the nostril for any length of time the nostril will grow shut around it and the nose bone will have to be cut out.
  • nostril - A piercing done through the nostril. Should never be pierced with a piercing gun!
  • nostril screw (NS) - jewelry for the nostrils that is a stud that spirals in a flat circle on the bottom, the "screw" is what holds the jewelry in place once inside your nose.
  • NS - (nostril screw)
  • nylon - can be used as temporary jewelry, such as a retainer. inappropriate for long-term use as it can absorb bodily fluids.


  • o-ring - a rubber ring used on retainers and beadless jewelry such as plugs or fleshtunnels, to hold the jewelry in place by surrounding it (with one on each side of the jewelry) so that it cannot fall out.
  • occlusive bandage - a bandage that lets air in and water out but does not let water in. The only kind of bandage acceptable for covering body arts if you MUST swim.
  • orbital - a piercing where the ring passes twice through the ear or other pierced body.
  • organic (jewelry) - all natural (bone, stone, wood)
  • outer conch - the outer shell of the ear
  • outer labia - A female genital piercing of the outer labia (labia majora).


  • PA - see "Prince Albert"
  • penis - can be pierced more ways than any other body part (see Prince Albert, Frenum, Ampallang, Hafada, Dydoe, Guiche, Reverse Prince Albert, Foreskin, Pubic, Apadravya, Dolphin, Deep Shaft, Apadydoe)
  • piercing gun - EEEEEEVIIIIIIIL!!! Piercing guns are inappropriate for piercing and cannot be sterilized properly. They traumatize the tissue causing excess reduced discomfort and swelling, lengthen healing time and do not use appropriate jewelry for piercings. They can also transmit bloodborne pathogens.
  • piercing license - there really is no such thing...there are no accredited institutions of piercing. Some states/counties/cities require a piercer to obtain a license from them after completing certain courses (such as a bloodborne pathogens course), but this does not make them a good piercer.
  • piercing risks Body Arts Risks
  • plastic (jewelry) - see acrylic or nylon or PTFE
  • plug - a type of jewelry used for large gauge piercings, usually ear, which is wider on the ends and will sit flush with the body
  • pocketing - This is where the 2 ends of the jewellery are under the skin, and the middle is exposed
  • portfolio - something every good piercer has -- a book of pictures of piercings they've done. ask to see your piercers portfolio before they pierce you!
  • prayer piercing - (see hand web)
  • prince albert - A male genital piercing. It enters directly behind the glands on the back of the penis head and exits through the urethra.
  • princess albertina - A (rare) female genital piercing. It enters in the urethra and exits the vagina. Many piercers will not do this piercing due to worry of bladder infection increase.
  • ptfe - See 'Teflon'
  • pubic - A male genital piercing. This is a surface piercing that sits just above the base of the penile shaft.
  • Pyrex - A kind of glass that is heat and chemical resistant. It can be autoclaved. It is used in large gauge jewelry, such as plugs.



  • rejection - when the body literally forces the piercing out, leaving behind a scar. these can usually be repierced behind the scar tissue and are less likely to reject a second time. (also see "migration")
  • reverse PA - the opposite of the PA, it enters through the top of the glands and exits through the urethra
  • rook - a piercing of the largest wrinkle in the inner portion of the ear.


  • S31603 - see also 30316. This metal has excellent ductility, good strength, non-magnetic properties, good weldability and very good corrosion resistance. It is often used on boating supplies: Railings, masts, anchor, etc.
  • sadhu - a term for a large gauge inner conch piercing, usually with the help of a dermal punch.
  • salt soaks - part of proper aftercare, sea salt soaks help piercings heal properly by drawing impurities out of the piercing. the proper mixture is 1/4 tsp. sea salt to 8 ounces (1 cup) warm/hot water. (also see "sea salt")
  • scrumper - the opposite of a "frowny", a piercing of the slight web (frenulum) between the upper lip and gums
  • sea salt - a non-iodized form of salt. also kosher salt. used for sea salt soaks. Best proper way to heal your piercing.  Contact your piercer for details.
  • septum - A piercing of the nasal septum (the middle of the nose, between the nostrils).
  • septum retainer - a staple-shaped retainer specially designed for the septum
  • shaft ampallang - an ampallang piercing passing through the penis shaft directly behind the glans, instead of the glans itself
  • shaft apadravya - an apadravya piercing passing through the penis shaft directly behind the glans, instead of the glans itself
  • smiley - the opposite of a "frowny", a piercing of the slight web (frenulum) between the upper lip and gums
  • snug - a piercing of the vertical cartilage fold directly inside the rim of the ear
  • soap - a mild antibacterial hand soap is optimal, fragrance/color free is best. oatmeal based soaps are also prime, especially when tea-tree-oil is an ingredient. optimally, specially formatted piercing soap can be purchased from Crazy Chameleon that will promote healing and drainage.
  • sprung - a deep piercing that begins under the tongue and emerges underneath the chin
  • SS or SSS - stainless steel or surgical stainless steel
  • stainless steel or surgical stainless steel - most people can wear steel jewelry, even those allergic to other metals. typically implant grade, one of two materials acceptable for new/healing piercings.
  • sterilization - cannot be done without an autoclave, kills all bacteria and germs on the object being sterilized.
  • sterling silver (jewelry) - Many people have bad reactions to wearing silver in piercings. Silver is inappropriate for new/healing piercings for this reason.
  • stretching - increasing the size of piercing to wear larger gauged jewelry
  • stud - a piece of jewelry that is not a ring. For example, a labret stud, a gun stud, a nostril screw or a nose bone.
  • surface bar - jewelry used in surface piercings, staple shaped |__|
  • surface piercing - a piercing on flat skin, can be anywhere on the body.
  • surface wire - a thinner form of a surface bar, also used in surface piercings.
  • swimming - swimming before your piercing is healed is not recommended. The water (regardless of its type--pool, lake, ocean, bathtub, etc) contains bacteria and microbes that you do NOT want in your piercing. If you MUST swim, cover your piercing with an occlusive bandage (see "occlusive bandage") and then wash your piercing with the proper aftercare once you finish.


  • t-bar - a piercing with 3 or more exit holes, or jewelry that has 3 or more exits, such as barbells shaped like a T.
  • taper - a cone shaped, needle-like object used to stretch piercings while gauging or stretching.
  • Tattoo Risks Body Arts Risks
  • tea tree oil - Said to reduce scarring and promote healing in piercings. Great to have in your soap, not so great to apply directly to your piercing. Lethal to some pets.
  • Teflon - Also known as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), it is used for implants and is also available as barbells, these can be very useful when having x-rays. PTFE is also useful where a flexible barbell is needed.
  • tegaderm - a type of occlusive bandage (see "occlusive bandage")
  • third (summary) nipple - can be pierced just like the first two nipples.
  • threading - The ridges that screw together a barbell and its ends. see "internal threading" or "external threading"
  • thrush - a fungal infection on the tongue, caused by using too much mouthwash. It can often be cured by simply diluting the mouthwash and never use an alcohol mouthwash, never!
  • titanium - a bio-compatible metal used in medical implants and body jewelry. It can be anodized (link to anodized) to add colors.
  • tongue - an oral piercing through the tongue, usually vertically from top to bottom.
  • tongue rim - oral piercings located on/near the outer edge of the tongue.
  • tongue web - The thin piece of skin that attaches the bottom of your tongue to your mouth.
  • tragus - The small piece of cartilage at the front of the ear, joining on to your cheek.
  • transverse lobe - an earlobe piercing passing through the length of the lobe, instead of merely piercing the width of it.
  • triangle - A female genital piercing. It is a piercing that travels under the clitoral shaft horizontally. Not all women have the anatomy for this piercing.
  • true navel - a piercing of an "outie" navel, passing through the navel itself instead of the navel rim.
  • tygon - extremely flexible plastic tubing used mainly for surface piercings.


  • upper sadhu - a large gauge piercing of the outer rim of the ear..


  • venom - a tongue piercing off to the side of the tongue, instead of the center. Usually done in pairs ("venoms")
  • vertical bridge - a vertical surface piercing above the nose on the forehead between the eyes.
  • vertical hood - a female genital piercing that passes vertically through the clitoral hood.
  • vertical industrial - two piercings connected with one long piece of jewelry, done vertically.
  • vertical labret - a labret piercing which instead of being pierced perpendicular to the teeth, is pierced parallel. the bottom ball is in the normal place of a labret, but up through the lip, and the top ball lays on the top of the lip.
  • vertical lobe - This piercing travels top to bottom through the lobe.
  • vertical lowbret - This is a piercing that travels from inside the mouth, between the gum and the cheek/lower lip, and exits at the chin.
  • vertical tragus - A piercing of the tragus that goes from top to bottom.


  • wood (jewelry) - jewelry made out of wood, typically larger gauge such as plugs.
  • Zylociane Not for use in body arts.



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