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About Anne, the Countess of Creepy and Madame of the OokySpooky

Why choose OokySpooky?

With Anne’s years of study and practise in the fields of anatomy, physiology, embalming, biology and restorative art from her University degree in Funeral Services from St. Petersburg College (St. Petersburg, Florida) prior to her career in modification, she brings a medical background and unique perspective to her craft. She also completed a year long apprenticeship in piercing and body modifications training under Alfie Baker along with years of working in the field that a 4 to 6 day piercing course cannot compare with. All of her equipment and jewellery is medical grade and is one of the few studios with a medical autoclave from Prestige Medical Equipment to ensure everything she uses is medically sterile.

For Anne, piercing and modification are her passions and she focuses exclusively on body piercing (including genital/intimate and microdermal implants), scarification, transdermal (silicone) implants, and branding. Her goal is for every client to express themselves and realise the vision they have for their body.

Anne endeavours to provide every client with exceptional professionalism, eye to detail, design, and technique at a competitive price given her abundant qualifications. Anne also holds all necessary registrations, insurances and certifications with the local authority to practice her craft.

Not All Titanium Jewellery Is Created Equally, or: Why Cheap Jewellery Isn’t Safe Two, Electric Boogaloo

As a preface, I’d like to state that one of the things I have always striven for is providing the highest quality and safest piercing and/or modification experience at the best value for money and price I can possibly offer. Please be cautious of compromising quality for a lower price. This is your body and piercing is a cosmetic implant that should not be taken lightly. Not all piercers are the same, and not all body jewellery is made equally…always research your piercer to see if they are right for you.

I posted a bit ago about the dangers of cheap jewellery and have had a few questions from clients asking about titanium that they have purchased from various places online. All titanium jewellery is not the same. Titanium, like many metals, comes in different grades with varying level of purity and quality. Implant-grade titanium (which is the material all my jewellery is made of) is the most appropriate material available for surgical implants and can help piercings heal more quickly compared with other metals such as steel and lower grades of titanium. The composition of the titanium alloy used in ASTM F136 is tightly bound so that it cannot break down under the skin and release metal particles inside the body.

Although other grades of titanium, such as grade 23, do adhere to the EU Nickel Directive they are not as biocompatible as ASTM F136 titanium and are not designed for long-term wear under the skin. The use of ASTM F136 titanium ensures the greatest possible chance that a piercing will heal properly.

As I mentioned in a previous post, in addition to differences in metal composition, badly polished cheaper titanium has a nearly undetectable rough surface texture and is severely problematic. It can cause irritation, micro-tearing in the piercing itself, and allergic reactions as it is generally not implant grade. Is that neat looking piece of jewellery titanium? Sure. Is is a quality piece of jewellery? Perhaps not. Always ask if an XRF certificate is available. This test shows the composition of the metal and if the jewellery seller cannot provide it, the quality may be questionable.

What about gold?
Gold, regardless of the karat, is not recommended for initial piercings because gold is an alloy, made up of not only pure karat gold but base metals as well. The fluids secreted by a healing piercing cause corrosion of the base metals in the gold. Once a piercing is fully healed, gold can be worn (9 karat gold is recommended), although it is best that the jewellery is worn for limited periods of time as it will tarnish and discolour when in contact with bodily fluids.

Surely Silver is Alright!?
Actually, it’s not! Silver should not be used for body piercing jewellery but is totally safe to be worn on the body as necklaces, bracelets, and rings. The reason silver is not suitable for body jewellery is that it corrodes when it comes in contact with sulphur, which is a substance your body contains. This contact forms a toxic substance: Silver Salt. This is why silver must be kept clean and polished regularly to prolong the quality.

A Quick Word of Caution…(Or Why Buying Cheap Jewellery is Not a Good Idea)

Over the course of lockdown I have received quite a few messages from clients who purchased jewellery online from various sources and have had reactions, infections, and other issues with their piercings after changing to the new jewellery. Additionally I have had people who were pierced elsewhere contacting me with issues about their piercings as the piercer who originally performed the piercing was unable or unwilling to help. In these cases, most of the problems could be attributed to poor quality jewellery and improper placement, though the most worrying thread throughout them has been the fact that the piercer did not tell them the metal that was being used or when asked would not disclose the source of the jewellery.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to purchase body jewellery from a reputable piercer who will willingly disclose the company who produces their jewellery or reputable online retailer. A reputable online retailer will have their XRF test results certificate available upon request. XRF stands for X-ray fluorescence which is a technique used to determine the elemental composition of materials so you know exactly what the jewellery is made of and any impurities it might contain.

Badly polished titanium has a nearly undetectable rough surface texture and is severely problematic. It can cause irritation, micro-tearing in the piercing itself, and allergic reactions as it is generally not implant grade. Cheap jewellery from the Far East is now flooding the UK and is very low-cost so it can be incredibly tempting to pick up a few new shinies from Amazon resellers or Wish. Please be careful and shop with caution!

QualiTi Luxury Jewellery Information and Pricing

I am now exclusively stocking QualiTi Luxury Titanium Body Jewellery. After much thought, consideration, and client feedback it became clear that many of you are searching for high-quality jewellery that is not only beautiful and the safest metal for your piercing(s) but will last like any fine jewellery would. Many clients have voiced frustration with the inability to find luxury body jewellery at a reasonable price. My main goal has always been to provide the highest quality and safest piercing and/or modification experience at the best value for money and price I can possibly offer to put massive smiles on my clients’ faces, so the search began.

Finding jewellery that offers both high quality as well as affordability led me to apply to be a QualiTi artist and stockist. The difference with QualiTi jewellery is amazing – even I am exclusively using it in my own piercings!

Some of the things that set QualiTi apart from other manufacturers are:

~ QualiTi uses high-quality stones such as Swarovski Crystal Elements and semi-precious stones that are carefully set using prong and bezel settings to ensure that the jewellery can be used continuously for years to come. No glue is used at all!

If you’ve ever experienced losing a stone or having it become dull and scratched in a much-loved piece of jewellery, it can be devastating. The shine of cheaper quality gems comes from foil laid underneath a rhinestone to enhance its sparkle. They are easily scratched, become dull and colourless over time and, due to the use of glue to set them, often fall out completely. QualiTi pieces are an investment – they’re built to last.

~ All jewellery is made of implant-grade ASTM F136 titanium. The composition of F136 titanium is tightly bound so that it cannot break down under the skin and release metal particles inside the body.

~ Though I have always used jewellery where I have the XRF (elemental analysis) certificates to ensure that the metal is of the highest quality, QualiTi takes this a step further. They regularly take random samples of their jewellery for analysis at the Goldsmiths Assay Office in London. It is regularly tested for compliance with the highest international standards.

All initial piercings will be fitted with either plain or anodised (coloured) QualiTi basic titanium jewellery with the option of a single Swarovski crystal available for applicable piercings. The option to upgrade jewellery is available with a £5 discount on the piece if used for initial piercing.

I am currently working on photographing the pieces I have in stock and listing them on the OokySpooky website for purchase. For now, you can browse https://www.qualitijewellery.co.uk/ and should you see something you like, please send an email or message me on the OokySpooky Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OokySpooky/). I can order it in for you and have it sterilised and ready if you’d like it for an initial piercing! Please let me know 3-5 days before your appointment to ensure that it is delivered and sterilised on time.

Prices are as follows (please subtract £5 if the jewellery is desired for initial piercing):

~ Flower: £25
~ Delta Cluster (5 Stones): £30 – £35
~ Trio (Triangle): £20 – £25
~ 3 Stone Crystal Drop or Cluster: £20 – £25
~ 4 Stone Crystal Cluster: £25 – £30
~ Navel: £25 – £30
~ Special Attachments, Single Crystal, Natural Stone, or Opal (Claw or Bezel Set): £15 – £20
~ Ball Captive Ring with Stone: £15 – £20
~ Hinged Rings: £15 – £20 (Price varies on number of stones)
~ Forward Facing Circular Barbell (Horseshoe) with Dual Swarovski: £15
~ Curved Barbell (Banana) with Dual Swarovski: £15

Please feel free to message me with any questions!

OokySpooky Covid Protection and Prevention Protocol

I have had a few clients who have contacted me to make appointments and have asked what they need to do when they arrive to be Covid safe. OokySpooky will be using a few protocols that we kindly ask all clients to follow.

~ Only one person will be allowed in the studio at a time. If necessary, a friend or family member may accompany the client to provide support, but for the most part, I strongly recommend that you come on your own or have anyone accompanying you wait outside. This does not apply to children under 16 as a parent or guardian must be present to sign the consent form and stay with the client.

~ If you must bring someone for emotional support be aware that due to distancing they will NOT be able to be with you inside the studio during the procedure. They will need to wait in the hallway outside. This includes parents and guardians accompanying clients under 16.

~ I would suggest anybody who is nervous or unsure to book when restrictions are removed. Please be aware that as things look at this moment, I am going to be fully booked. Appointments are booked to allow enough time to complete the procedure. If you are late, the appointment will be forfeited as there will be people waiting to enter the studio for their procedure. To reiterate: if you are unsure or afraid, as much as I would love to and as calming and reassuring as I try to be, I cannot run over your time slot as it will affect future clients and jeopardise safe clinical and studio practises.

~ All clients will be asked to wash their hands and apply sanitizer when they arrive for their appointment. Though you will still be able to choose your jewellery, to maintain a sterile environment I will show you the jewellery to limit the number of people touching the sterilised autoclave bags.

~ Although it is not mandatory, I would advise wearing a mask into the studio. If you are having a facial piercing, microdermal, or transdermal implant in an area the mask covers, I will ask you to remove it prior to your procedure. If you are not having a facial piercing, please wear the mask for the duration of the appointment. This includes multi-hour procedures such as scarification, branding, transdermal implants, or RFID/NFC implants.

~ Clients will have their temperature taken with a forehead thermometer prior to entering the studio.

~ As always, I will be using medical-grade disinfection and sterilisation procedures featuring Clinell medical professional products along with the use of a heat and vacuum autoclave for all instruments and jewellery. Instead of pure alcohol wipes I will be using a combination chlorhexidine and alcohol wipe to prepare the skin as chlorhexidine is a strong antiseptic and adds an additional layer of protection. For those allergic to chlorhexidine, I will still have alcohol wipes available. Of course, I will be wearing a mask anytime I am in the studio.

I know that these protocols may seem strict but I want to do my best to keep all my clients safe during these uncertain times. There are still many things we do not know about the novel coronavirus and preventative measures, especially in an environment where invasive procedures are carried out, are very important.

Thank you all in advance for your cooperation!

Can I Have It Pierced With a Ring?

One of the questions I am asked most frequently is if I can pierce nostrils, cartilage, lips, and nipples with a ring rather than a labret stud, nostril screw, or barbell.

The answer: Yes, I can…but I recommend against it.

Nostril, lip, nipple, and cartilage piercings heal far faster and with fewer complications when they are initially pierced with a straight piece of jewellery. Rings can encourage scarring and in some cases can even cause the piercing to migrate. However, it is still your body so if after taking my recommendations and experience into account you would still prefer a ring it is something we can discuss in further detail at your appointment.

NFC and RFID Implants Coming Soon!

Anne will be offering programmable RFID and NFC implants from Bioteq pending further training.

The implants are chemically and biologically inert and have been tested in many millions of mammalian insertions plus an increasing number of human situations. Bioteq has worked with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to confirm the legal status of their implants.

The implants are pre-loaded inside a sterile injection assembly, which is then used to inject the implant into the hand. It is recommended that it is injected between the thumb and index finger.

If you have an NFC implant you can store a small amount of text based data, for example your name, address and contact information. You can potentially clone your work ID card if the system is compatible with the Bioteq implant range. Contactless payments are not currently possible, but the technology is compatible to make this work. The main issue currently is being allowed to integrate the system with credit providers such as Visa. This is something that is being currently worked on by Bioteq in the UK.

For more information, please email via the website or message the OokySpooky Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OokySpooky/

Needle Piercing vs. Gun Piercing: Why I Refuse to Use Guns

Why Not?

I am often asked by prospective clients if I pierce ears and nostrils with a needle or gun. The answer? NEEDLE ONLY. Guns may be a quick, easy to operate, and popular method but they have significant drawbacks. The most pressing issues regarding gun piercings are inappropriate jewellery design, sterility of the implements, and tissue damage. In this post, I will explain these points in detail as I believe that educating others about the dangers of gun piercing is crucial.

Inappropriate Jewellery Design

The length of ear piercing studs is usually too short for most cartilage and some earlobes. The initial force of the implement is usually enough to force the earring to close over the tissue but after the piercing is completed and the jewellery is locked on there is not sufficient space for the tissue to decompress which can cause significant issues. In addition to irritation some of the lesser complications are decreased blood flow and air circulation to the area which can lead to scarring, minor complications, and increased healing time. If the jewellery is far too tight additional swelling and possible impaction can occur.

In my career, I have had countless clients who have experienced gun piercings come to my studio with stud gun jewellery totally embedded in the lobe, cartilage, nostril (and even some other locations). In some cases, the impaction is so severe that they need to be referred to a medical professional because they need to be surgically removed as one or both sides of the stud have disappeared completely under the skin. These consequences are far less likely to occur with needle piercings as the jewellery is selected to the unique anatomy of each client to allow ample room for swelling. The jewellery is also put in through the needle piercing process which is far less traumatic to the tissue and creates less swelling.

Additionally, when jewellery fits too closely against the skin it can prevent proper cleaning and hygiene practices. This increases the risk of infection as bodily fluids containing cellular discharge and other byproducts of the healing process that are excreted can become trapped around the hole. As the fluid coagulates and becomes sticky it traps bacteria against the skin. This can lead to secondary infections. Using implant-grade jewellery that is specifically designed for long-term wear and ease of cleaning can prevent this.

Sterility of the Implements

Piercing guns can come into contact with multiple bloodborne pathogens over the course of a day but are not sanitised in a medically recognised way. A plastic ear piercing gun cannot be put in an autoclave (it will melt) and are not able to be fully sterilised. Even if the isopropyl alcohol or clinical antiseptic wipes were able to eradicate all pathogens on contact they would still be unable to reach inside the working parts of the gun. A client’s blood can aresolise (become airborne in microscopic particles) which contaminates the inside parts of the gun. Due to this, the subsequent client’s jewellery and tissue are exposed to the contaminated surfaces. Per medical study reports, there is a possibility that bloodborne pathogens can be transferred through ear piercings performed in this method.

Some diseases such as Hepatitis and common staph infections can live for extended periods of time on inanimate surfaces and can remain on the gun for several weeks or potentially even longer. If you take into consideration the volume of clients whose initial piercings come in contact with the gun’s surface, it can pose a significant health risk. Those who are immunocompromised or immature immune systems such as babies, children, and the elderly can be at even higher risk.

Piercing guns can and do malfunction and it is not documented how often this occurs. It has been reported by some operators that the earring becomes wedged in the gun and does not release it, requiring it to be removed with pliers. These pliers come into contact with contaminated jewellery after it passes through the client’s tissue and can be used on multiple clients without proper sterilisation which increases the risk of infection. There are few gun piercing establishments and mobile services that possess the expensive sterilisation equipment (steam autoclave or chemclave) necessary for this procedure.

Tissue Damage

Gun piercing studs might appear quite pointed at first but in reality are rather dull. Due to this, piercings must be accomplished via putting excessive pressure over a larger surface area in order to force the metal jewellery through. This is referred to medically as “blunt force trauma,” which means that the effect on the body is similar to crush damage rather than a piercing and causes similar damage to the tissue. The most common scenario is significant pain and swelling for the client but in the worst cases scarring and potentially increased incidence of auricular chondritis, a severe tissue disfigurement, can occur.

Sometimes the intense pressure and speed of the gun’s spring-loaded mechanism is simply not sufficient to force the stud through the client’s tissue. In these cases the earring becomes lodged partway in the client’s anatomy. There are two options available to gun operators (who may or may not be trained to deal with an incident of this nature). They can either remove the stud and repierce the ear which can contaminate the surrounding tissue and gun due to the blood flow from the original piercing wound. The other possibility is for the operator to force the earring through which can cause significant tissue damage to the client and present the possibility of a needlestick-type injury to the operator.

Cartilage and other structural tissue such as nostrils can lead to more serious complications including auricular chondritis, shattered cartilage and excessive scarring. To get medically technical, gun piercings can result in the separation of subcutaneous fascia from cartilage tissue, creating spaces in which fluids collect. The result of this is swelling that is temporary and permanent lumps of tissue on or near the piercing site. The lumps can range from mildly annoying to seriously disfiguring and in some cases can require surgery to correct. Piercing with a single-use, sharp, sterile medical grade needle slides smoothly through the tissue and causes less separation. Trained piercers also use a post-piercing pressure technique used to minimise the formation of these hypertrophic scars.

Cartilage has less blood flow that other types of tissue which means that the healing time for these piercings is longer. Due to this, infections in the tissue are more common and can become more severe than those that occur in lobe piercings. Non-sterile piercing equipment and improper aftercare can result in the previously mentioned auricular chondritis. This is a severe and disfiguring infection of the cartilage tissue which can result in the collapse of structural tissue and deformity. Antibiotics and reconstructive surgery can be required to correct this.

Medical literature has many documented reports of such cases and some incidences can be found in the materials cited section at the end of this post.

Further Facts and Conclusion

Gun piercing establishments usually train their operators, but many times this training is limited to an instructional video, reading a training booklet, and/or practising on cosmetic sponges or other employees. A few allegations have been made that some establishments do not inform their employees of the serious risks involved in both performing and receiving gun piercings, and do not instruct staff on how to deal with situations such as client medical complications or gun malfunction. There are surveys conducted in jewellery stores, beauty parlours and mall kiosks in England that revealed that many employees had little knowledge of risks and risk management related to gun piercing.

The terrifying truth is that piercing guns can be obtained through Amazon, eBay, and at beauty supply stores which means that training may not be given to an operator at all. I’ve even seen kits available on AliExpress and Wish.com that include a gun and jewellery!

Worryingly, most ear piercing studs are not made with materials certified by the ASTM as safe for long term implantation in the human body. Even when coated in non-toxic gold or other coloured plating, materials from underlying alloys can leach into human tissue through corrosion, scratches and surface defects, causing cytotoxicity and allergic reaction. Since manufacturing a durable corrosion and defect-free coating for such studs is extremely difficult, medical literature considers only implant grade (ASTM F138) steel and titanium (ASTM F67 and F136) to be appropriate for piercing stud composition. Studs made of any other materials, including non-implant grade steel (steel not batch certified as ASTM F138), should not be used, regardless of the presence of surface plating.

Though there are significant risks associated with gun piercing, lack of awareness and education about potential complications means many clients may not associate their negative experience(s) to the gun implement itself. As gun piercings are easy to obtain, they are usually assumed to be risk-free. Usually the connection is only made after medical attention is required.

Despite these risks there is not a great deal of regulation in regard to gun piercing compared to other cosmetic procedures such as needle piercing, tattooing, microblading, acupuncture, and permanent makeup. Hopefully with education and a more readily available wealth of information the risks associated with gun piercings the public will be able to understand why this piercing implement is dangerous and opt for the safer option of needle piercing.

Sources

  1. Scottish Medical Journal. 2001 February 46(1): 9-10.
    The risks of ear piercing in children.
    Macgregor DM.
  2. British Journal of Plastic Surgery. 2002 April 55(3): 194-7. Piercing the upper ear: a simple infection, a difficult reconstruction. Cicchetti S, Skillman J, Gault DT.
  3. Pediatric Emergency Care. 1999 June 15(3): 189-92. Ear-piercing techniques as a cause of auricular chondritis. More DR, Seidel JS, Bryan PA.
  4. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 1990 March 19(1): 73-6. Embedded earrings: a complication of the ear-piercing gun. Muntz HR, Pa-C DJ, Asher BF.
  5. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2003 February 111(2): 891-7; discussion 898. Ear reconstruction after auricular chondritis secondary to ear piercing. Margulis A, Bauer BS, Alizadeh K.
  6. Contact Dermatitis. 1984 Jan; 10(1): 39-41. Nickel release from ear piercing kits and earrings. Fischer T, Fregert S, Gruvberger B, Rystedt I.

Information and Prices

Anne only pierces using needles, as piercing guns can cause trauma to cartilage due to the nature of the implement. The needles she uses are Braun Introcan. They are individually sealed using EO gas meaning that sterility is guaranteed.

Scarification, RFID/NFC implants, subdermal, and transdermal implants require a consultation. A 30% deposit is required for scarification appointments and a deposit to cover the price of the implant(s) is required for all RFID/NFC, transdermal and subdermal implant bookings. The price of the implant varies with size. These deposits are non-refundable.

Please be advised if you are interested in a transdermal or subdermal implant, Anne will not put them anywhere near the spine, back of the neck, stomach, shins, or over moving joints for safety reasons.

Piercing prices include basic titanium jewellery (plain or anodised with the option of a single Swarovski crystal available for applicable piercings), topical anaesthetic (numbing spray), and aftercare for life of the piercing (jewellery changes for applicable piercings, availability to answer any questions, etc.)

All initial piercings are fitted with medical implant grade titanium jewellery. OokySpooky is proud to exclusively offer jewellery manufactured in the UK by QualiTi Body Jewellery.

A large variety of luxury jewellery is available in the studio and many can be used for the initial piercing. Please contact Anne if you are interested in this option as she can provide more information and have the jewellery sterilised so it is ready for your appointment.

Body Modification:

Scarification:

Prices vary depending on size and design complexity. Please schedule a consultation for a quote.

Please Enquire or Book a consultation.

Transdermal and Subdermal Implants:

From £450. Please schedule a consultation for exact pricing.

Please Enquire or Book a consultation.

Microdermal Implants:

£50 each, £95 for two

Body Piercing:

Ears:

Lobes – £25
Transverse Lobe – £25
Scaffold – £40
Trident – £100
Multi-Bar – Please contact for a quote, price depends on the number of piercings
Cartilage Punch – £55
All Other Cartilage – £25
~ Daith, Tragus, Rook, Helix, Forward Helix, Snug, Orbital, Anti-Tragus, Inner Conch, Outer Conch

For curated ear piercings, please contact Anne to schedule a consultation so you can discuss jewellery and placement prior to the piercing itself.

Nose:

Nostril – £25
High Nostril – £35
Septum – £35
Nasallang – £100
Austin – £50
Rhino – £50

Navel:

Jewelled Barbell – £35
Reverse Navel – £35
Multi-Bar – Please contact for a quote, price depends on the number of piercings

Mouth:

Labret (Including Lowbret, Medusa, and Monroe) – £25
Vertical Labret – £35
Vertical Bites (Two) – £65
Bites (Two Hole) – £45
~ Snake Bites, Angel Bites, Cyber Bites, Spider Bites, Viper Bites, Dolphin Bites, Dahlia Bites, Joker Bites
Bites (Three Hole) – £70
~ Triangle Bites
Bites (Four Hole)  – £95
~ Canine Bites, Shark Bites, T-Rex Bites
Tongue – £35
Tongue Venom – £65
Dimples – £45 for one, £85 for two

Other Facial and Body:

Bridge – £40
Eyebrow/Surface Piercing – £25
Corset: Varies, please contact for a quote

Nipples:

Ladies: £25 each, £45 pair
Gentlemen: £20 each, £35 pair

Genital:

Please Enquire or Book a consultation. Prices start from £100.

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