How quickly will my tongue piercing close?
February 18, 2005 12:15 PM   Subscribe

I'm singing in the chorus of an opera, and the director wants me to remove my tongue stud, because it glints in the stage lights, and it's pretty anachronistic. How long can I have the stud out without the piercing closing over?

My girlfriend used to have a nose piercing, but she took it out when she got a cold (yuck) and it closed up very quickly - although hers was still fairly recent, while I've had my tongue piercing for a few years.

I'd like to oblige the director, but I've heard that the mouth heals very rapidly, and I'd be a bit bummed if I couldn't get the stud back in. Am I vastly overestimating my mutant healing factor?
posted by wilberforce to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
With a tongue stud, you do not have long -- I removed mine for three hours and was never able to get it back in again. I'd hit a jewelry shop and see if they have something in matte clear plastic that wouldn't catch the stage lights.
posted by jennyjenny at 12:19 PM on February 18, 2005

What you're looking for is something called a tongue retainer -- this site has one [disclaimer: i've never bought anything from them]

It's also largely dependant upon the gauge of your tongue piercing. Most people get pierced with a 14ga, which heals extremely quickly. I've got an 8ga in my tongue, which takes somewhere around 24-36 hours before it even feels tight when i'm putting the barbell back in.
posted by fet at 12:25 PM on February 18, 2005

I've had a tongue stud for about four years now, and can easily take it out for two-three weeks. Sometimes it needs a little pressure to get back in, but definitely not impossible.

When it was newish i had trouble getting it back in after a pretty short while.

I say experiment a little bit: try for a few hours/the duration of the play, and you should be fine.

On preview: Yup, I've also used a plastic stud for those occasions. Works pretty good, although they tend to shatter if you accidentally bite them.
posted by AwkwardPause at 12:27 PM on February 18, 2005

black candlewax'll work fine too
posted by luriete at 12:37 PM on February 18, 2005

excuse me, can't you try to paint the stud's tip with a black nontoxic paint right before going onstage? would that work?
posted by matteo at 12:58 PM on February 18, 2005

As you may already know, BME is the best source of bodmod-related information on the web (great work, Shannon).

The guiding rule for these things is YMMV--some folks' piercings close up almost immediately, others' never. That said, I agree with everyone who encouraged you to get a retainer. Or, more broadly, get a piece of jewelry that doesn't glint in the lights. Tribalectic has a broad selection, though I've never bought anything from them.
posted by box at 1:17 PM on February 18, 2005

I eventually took out my tongue piercing because I got tired of it. However, the retained will work out great. I had one and used it to avoid parental guff in college. But, if you don't use one, you will be fine for a few hours. I had mine for five years, and by the time I took it out, it took a week to close up totally. You may have to (sorry, this is sort of gross) punch through some skin that heals over the hole, but that's not such a problem.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:22 PM on February 18, 2005

Although O/T, as I don't think it would work for a singer with a tongue piercing, I understand that a loop of transparent fishing line or monofilament can be useful for keeping some piercings open invisibly.
posted by obloquy at 3:30 PM on February 18, 2005

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