Piercing FAQs

About Piercing At Fiat Lux +

Our piercers are all outstanding members of the Association of Professional Piercers, with one piercer on the APP Board of Directors. Our studio is SF Health Department Certified & we're one of the only fully disposable studios in the US.

Shop owner Marie McCarthy opened her first tattoo & piercing shop in 1999 in San Francisco and led the charge for disposables. That kind of leadership & care applies to eveything we do in our Piercing Studios.

Email piercings@fiatluxsf.com if you have questions!

What piercings can I get? +

We offer a variety of ear, facial, body and genital piercings. Some piercings can be anatomy dependent. Please book a consultation appointment so our piercers can see if your anatomy is suitable for the piercing you're interested in. We do not offer horizontal tongue or tongue web piercings, smiley piercings, surface bars, or surface anchors.

How much does piercing cost? +

The service fee for a single piercing is: earlobe $25, genital $50, everything else is $40. The service fee for an install or removal is $5 and a healed piercing stretch fee is $10. We offer solid 14k gold body piercing jewelry, solid 14k gold flat back labrets, and implant grade titanium flat back labrets. All piercing jewelry is sold as a single and starts around $150, gold labrets are $60, and titanium labrets are $15. The install/removal service fee is waived when you downsize piercing jewelry during the healing process.

What is the deposit for? +

The deposit paid at the time of booking your appointment is for holding your spot and will be refunded during your appointment. Deposits will not be refunded in the case of no-shows.

How long will my piercing appointment take? +

Piercing appointments are 45 minutes long. If you arrive late, there may not be enough time to perform your piercing. If you are running late, please text us, so we can do our best to accommodate you.

Do you pierce with a needle or gun? +

We only pierce with sterile single use disposable needles. Using a needle is safer for you and also allows for our piercers to get a more precise piercing angle for the perfect piercing! Piercing guns cannot be sterilized, and can cause blunt force trauma to the tissue.

Can I get pierced with a ring or stud? +

Daith and septum piercings are the only piercings that we pierce with rings initially. All other piercings are pierced with a flat back labret stud and should not be switched to a ring until they are fully healed and well established.

What’s a flat back labret and how does it work? +

You may be familiar with traditional butterfly back earrings where the post is a fixed length and you use the butterfly back to adjust how it fits your ear, often resulting in an earring that’s too long and can poke you while you sleep. A flat back labret comes in a variety of lengths and gauges, allowing the post to be well fitted to your ear with no extra length when fully healed. The jewelry “top” can often be interchanged between labrets so you can wear them in different parts of your body. Flat back labrets trap less bacteria, and are the safest option for both fresh and healed piercings! Flat back labrets come in threadless (also called tension or press-fit) and threaded. Visual learner? Watch our video here to learn how to set the tension, put in and remove flat back labret earrings.

What is your piercing jewelry made from? +

All of our piercing jewelry is made from natural stones and solid 14k nickel-free yellow gold, nickel-free rose gold, white gold (certain pieces do contain a trace amount of nickel). We also offer nickel-free platinum by special order. We offer implant grade titanium or solid 14k nickel-free gold flat back labrets. We proudly carry BVLA, Pupil Hall, Mettle & Silver, Jalnar, & our Fiat Lux house-line body piercing jewelry.

Do you have silver body jewelry? +

Sterling silver is not biocompatible and therefore not recommended for body piercing jewelry. If you’re looking for a silver color metal, we offer 14k white gold and by special order, platinum.

How long will my piercing take to heal? When can I start changing out my jewelry? +

This is going to depend on what kind of piercing you get. Heal times range quite a bit from piercing to piercing and person to person. We want to let the piercing fully heal before changing out jewelry. When in doubt, book a check-up appointment to see if it’s fully healed! On average, earlobe piercings take 3-4 months to fully heal, ear cartilage piercings such as helix / conch / flat / daith / rook / tragus piercings take 6-9 months to heal, septum piercings take 2-3 months to heal, nostril piercings take 6-9 months to heal, nipple & navel piercings take 9-12 months to heal, bridge piercings take 4-6 months to heal, eyebrow piercings take 3-4 months to heal, & for genital piercings please consult with your piercer for approximate healing time as it will depend on the specific piercing.

Can I go swimming after getting pierced? +

It is highly recommended to avoid submerging your new piercing for at least the first three months and ideally, until fully healed. Chlorine in pools and hot tubs can be an extremely irritating chemical, while any outside bodies of water such as the ocean, lakes, rivers, etc can have a wider range of bacteria, putting your healing piercing at risk of an infection. Consider things like summer plans and vacations when planning your new piercing, especially any below the neck. Submerging or soaking your piercing can adversely affect the healing. Letting water run over your piercing at the end of your shower is encouraged as it will help remove any buildup.

Do you pierce kids? +

Yes! We offer earlobe piercings for kids 7+, ear cartilage piercing for teens 14+, and nostril or septum piercings for teens 15+. We do not pierce babies under any circumstances. Please follow the ID requirements very carefully prior to your minor’s piercing appointment. We invite you & your kid to watch this video to see what a kid's ear piercing experience at our Studio is like.

Will my piercing hurt? +

Getting a piercing is very quick. It does feel like a quick pinch, and certain piercings can sometimes feel like a lot of pressure, but it is very tolerable. Most of our clients say that the anticipation leading up to the piercing is the worst part. Expect the area to feel warm afterwards.

Do you take walk-ins for piercing? +

We accept walk-ins if our piercer has availability, but most often, we are fully booked day-of. We highly recommend making an appointment in advance to ensure that you have enough time for the service you’d like. We pierce Tuesday-Sunday at Fillmore and Thursday-Sunday at Mission. All available time slots are visible in real time on the appointment page. If you don't see an available time slot, that means we're fully booked at that specific time.

What gauges do you pierce with? +

Most piercings are done at a 16g initially with the exception of nostril piercings which are done at an 18g, nipples at 14g or 12g, bridge at a 14g, or genital piercings done at 12g+. Septum & daiths are pierced with 16g rings. We are happy to pierce with larger gauges on a case by case basis.

Can I get pierced if I’m breastfeeding or pregnant? +

No, we cannot pierce anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding. The body is undergoing major hormonal changes while also focusing all of its attention on growing/nurturing a baby. Due to these changes in the body, wound healing becomes incredibly difficult if not impossible; it's not uncommon for even well healed piercings to flare up during these times. The likelihood of infection and rejection increases considerably, which can harm not only the pierced person, but also the baby. In order to guarantee the safest piercing and the easiest heal, wait until you are finished breastfeeding.

How do I open or close a seam ring? +

Opening and closing a seam ring is best shown visually. Watch our video here to learn how they work. Seam rings are best for piercings where you want to put a hoop in and leave it in! Gold is very soft, so we want to minimize how often we are bending it, so that the ring doesn’t get distorted. Want a ring but planning on switching out your jewelry often? Ask your piercer if that style can be made as a hinged ring or “clicker” instead!

I’m having trouble changing out my piercing jewelry. Can you help? +

Our piercers are happy to assist you install or remove your piercing jewelry. Please book an appointment here. The service fee for an install or removal is $5. Or click here to watch our video on how-to install & remove threadless flat back studs.

How do I care for my new piercing? +

Congrats on your new piercing! Click here for our detailed piercing aftercare instructions. Most importantly, do not touch the piercing or jewelry, avoid sleeping directly on it, only use sterile saline spray to clean 3-5 times a day (do not use alcohol, tea tree oil, peroxide, soap, or ointments), and book an appointment for a check-up around 4-6 weeks after your piercing to see if it’s ready for a downsize.

What’s a downsize and do I need it? +

In general, most ear piercings are done with a longer post to give room for swelling to occur. A checkup is recommended, and very important to schedule around 6 weeks into healing to see if the piercing is ready for a shorter post. If your piercing looks ready, the longer flat back labret will be switched with a shorter one. This will allow a more comfortable healing process and prevent any unnecessary irritation from long jewelry. There is no charge for the checkup service and the install/removal service fees are waived but each shorter labret will cost $15 for titanium and $60 each for solid 14k gold.

Help! I think my new piercing is infected. +

Irritation and infection are two different things. Light bleeding, bruising & swelling is normal and not always cause for concern. If you aren’t sure, please contact us at piercings@fiatluxsf.com or make an appointment for a check-up. Your piercing will discharge fluids during healing, this is totally normal and to be expected. If that discharge begins to form crusties or becomes hardened on your jewelry, you might need to spray the sterile saline more often. Letting warm water run over it in the shower will also help it to loosen and fall off. Avoiding picking the crusty material off of your piercing or jewelry as this material is attached to healing tissue. Do not swim, soak, or submerge your piercing in any bodies of water, pools, tubs or saunas until it is fully healed. Doing so can lead to serious issues including bacterial infections. It is best to consult with your piercer first if you have irritation that you may suspect as a potential infection. Our piercer can often tell you at an in-person check-up appointment if your piercing is more than just irritated. We will direct you to please contact your medical provider if we suspect infection.

Help! There’s a bump forming around my new piercing. +

This is most commonly what we refer to as an irritation bump, and it’s caused by exactly that, irritation! Most often we see bumps forming following a hard snag or pull, or on piercings that weren’t downsized at the 6 week mark, as that longer post can cause pressure resulting in a bump. Please schedule a check up appointment as soon as you notice this! There are a few other reasons as well, but it’s best to come in and have us take a look. Irritation bumps are NOT the same as keloids. Keloid scarring is often a genetic condition, and if you have never had keloid scarring before, that is most likely not what’s happening!

Help! I got pierced recently and lost my earring. +

Be careful to avoid snagging your piercing on towels, clothing, bag straps, pillow cases etc. Refrain from contact sports or activities where your piercing could be bumped or snagged until it is fully healed, including sleeping directly on the new piercing. If your jewelry is hit or snagged it can potentially loosen, pull out of your piercing, or break. Click here for detailed piercing aftercare instructions. If you lose your earring while healing a piercing, it’s important to get a new flat back earring installed as soon as possible. Otherwise the piercing may begin to close. If that’s the case, then we will need to wait several months for the piercing to fully heal before re-piercing to avoid scarring or damaging the tissue. If your jewelry needs repair, bring it to the shop or email us at piercings@fiatluxsf.com to mail it in. We will be happy to get it fixed for you. We cannot guarantee that your jewelry will not come loose, fall out, or break. We are not responsible for lost jewelry and will not be able to provide replacements or refunds of any kind. With proper daily care, you are not likely to experience any issues, but in the unlikely case you do, please contact us at piercings@fiatluxsf.com so we can troubleshoot with you.