Barbells, Thread and Push Pin Jewelry Removal

Barbells and Threaded jewelry can be a great option if you are prone to change jewelry on a regular bases or have to remove the jewelry for one reason or another. Some piercing like most oral piercing(Tongue, Labret and Beauty Marks) or Industrials can only be done with Threaded jewelry. Other piercings depending on the location may also best done with threaded jewelry.

The jewelry does create a good balance between security and easiness of removal but it's the easiness of removal that also creates a problem. Unlike Captive Bead Rings, contact with the body, clothing and etc.. can cause the balls or ends to loosen. In the worst case scenario, the end will fall off and the jewelry will fall out. Usually this happens at the worst time and at the worst place. Like for example in the shower, a grassy field, while you are eating or over the bathroom sink. For this reason the tightness of the ends needs to be checked regularly. I do not suggest tightening the balls on with pliers or using products like Lock tight. Both can cause damage to the finish or the threading. With Lock Tight products you can create a situation where you have an adverse effect to the product or be unable to remove the jewelry. Finger tight and continuing to check the tightness are the best option.

There are two different styles of threading. The most common and least expensive is external threading. This is where the post is threaded and the ball like a nut screws on to the post. The only real advantage is that it is cheaper to produce. The disadvantage is that the threading is in contact with the piercing during insertion and can cause damage. With internally threaded the post is hallow and the end have a screw like threaded post that threads into the jewelry. They are more expensive to produce and cost more but the advantage is there is no rough threading to cause damage during insertion and usually they have longer threading meaning more spins of the ball to remove and less likelihood of striping out. However removal is the same for both.

I do not stock Push Pin jewelry. The main reason is security. Since the only thing keeping the push pin in place is pressure, they can fall out. Also it can take a lot of force to remove the pins which could cause damage to the piercing. Basically a push pin or pressure pin is threadless barbell or labret stud. The post section is hallow and the end has a long post that is either slightly bent or has wire wrapping around it. You push the pin into the post and the pressure of the bent pin or wire wrapping keeps it from falling out. They have grown popular as an alternative to barbells because the ends do not need to be as large as traditional ends, they are cheaper to manufacture and they are easier to close then threaded jewelry. The problem is they either fall out fairly easily or are require a great deal of pressure to remove.

Though it is pretty straight forward here is a step by step guild to removing threaded Straight, Curved and Circular Barbells:

  1. Grab the post or other end with one hand.
  2. Grab the ball or end with your free hand.
  3. Rotate counter clockwise(righty tighty lefty loosy) and unscrew the ball or end.
  4. Once the ball or end is free, rotate the jewelry out of the piercing.

Removal of Labret Stud Style Jewelry:

  1. If you can grab the disc with one hand. If not your best bet is a pair of locking hemostats. If you don't have a pair, I would suggest a pair of needle nose pliers. Use medical cloth tape or slide the pliers into the fingers of an examine glove to cover the pliers. This is not only going to reduce the likelihood of contamination but the possible damage to the finish and jewelry. You may find pushing the disc outward and clamping down on the post just under the ball easiest.
  2. Grab the ball with your free hand.
  3. Rotate counter clockwise(righty tighty lefty loosy) and unscrew the ball or end.
  4. Once the ball or end is free slide the jewelry out of the piercing. 

​Removal of Push Pin Jewelry:

  1. If you can grab the disc or other end with one hand. If not your best bet is a pair of locking hemostats. If you don't have a pair, I would suggest a pair of needle nose pliers. Use medical cloth tape or slide the pliers into the fingers of an examine glove to cover the pliers. This is not only going to reduce the likelihood of contamination but the possible damage to the finish and jewelry. You may find pushing the disc outward and clamping down on the post just under the ball easiest.
  2. Grab the ball or end with your free hand
  3. Pull the ball outward and away from the body. They can sometimes give suddenly, so start gentle and increase pressure slowly.
  4. Once the ball or end is free slide or rotate the jewelry out of the piercing.

Hints:

  • I found a long time ago that wearing medical examine gloves will increase the traction and grip you have on the slippery jewelry. 
  • Make sure that you have a paper towel or other safe place to place the ball or end after you remove it. They are in cases perfectly round and will roll whatever direction gravity pulls them. Also if you are removing the jewelry over the bathroom sink, put a towel in the sink to avoid losing the jewelry down the drain.
  • Have someone else help you. Piercings especially those located above the neck are hard to see or to get ahold of. Save yourself hours of frustration and have someone else help remove the jewelry.
  • If you are going to be changing jewelry on a regular bases, I would suggest some practice with a piece of jewelry that is not in a piercing. Removing and replacing the ball can be tricky and the only way to learn it is through practice. I would suggest that you sit at a table with a towel laid out in front of you to avoid spending all your time chasing after escaping bead and balls.
  • It is easier to remove jewelry after a shower, soak or compress. This will not only remove anything that has deposited on the jewelry but will also cause the piercing to expand. Soaks and compresses should be done with a sea salt and warm water mixture. 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per cup or 8oz of warm water. Soak are done by inverting a small cup over the piercing area or submerging the piercing for around 10 minutes. For piercings where is not possible, take a folded up clean paper towel or sterile gauze sponge, soak up the liquid and lay it against the piercing area. Re-submerge the compress when it cools and apply it for roughly 10 minutes.
  • A small amount of water based lubricant can be used to make the jewelry easier to remove. 

Storing Jewelry:

  • Jewelry needs to be stored alone. Placing a number of pieces of jewelry into one container or bag will increase the likelihood of damage to the jewelry's finish from the contact with other jewelry.
  • The most common and easily available form of container is a zip lock baggy. It should be new to avoid contaminates. Also any air tight container will work including plastic ones.
  • The best option is to have your piercer wrap and sterilize the jewelry in an autoclave. The jewelry will be sterile kept sterile for a few months as long as the pouch is unbroken. 

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