The jewelry used in body piercing is designed to remain in the piercing for extended periods of time. One of the features of body jewelry is a secure closing mechanism. Jewelry can be screwed closed or use tension to hold the jewelry shut. This can make it difficult to remove body piercings. Piercers have several tools at their disposal for removing body jewelry safely and without damage.
Rubber gloves are an important tool in a body piercer's arsenal. They have several roles in removing jewelry.
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Gloves can prevent the spread of infection when changing jewelry in a fresh piercing. Since changing jewelry in a new piercing involves handling an open puncture wound and can affect the overall healing of the piercing, this process should be performed by a professional piercer using freshly autoclaved jewelry and sterile surroundings. Rubber gloves prevent the piercer from coming in contact with lymph and wound drainage present in a healing piercing, reducing the risk of infection and the potential to spread bacteria.
At home, using rubber gloves to change a piercing allows a better grip on the jewelry. This can help when unscrewing jewelry such as barbells and labret studs. Hands can easily slip on metal jewelry; gloves provide purchase and prevent excess pulling and tugging at the piercing site.
Inverse pliers are sometimes called jewelry openers or ring openers. These are commonly associated with the type of jewelry called a captive bead ring. This jewelry uses tension in a metal ring to hold a small, decorative bead in place. The force applied to the bead keeps the jewelry closed securely. Captive bead rings can be tricky to remove without the use of inverse pliers.
Inverse pliers work like pliers in reverse. When the handles are squeezed, the pliers open outward, rather than pinch inward. This allows pressure to be applied to the inside of the captive bead ring, loosening the tension and allowing the bead to be slipped out. This leaves a gap in the ring, so the jewelry can be removed.
There are two different types of tool used for holding the bead of a captive bead ring. These tools prevent the bead from being dropped when jewelry is removed. Beads with gems and stones in them can be expensive to lose or shatter if they are dropped; holding the bead during the removal process can prevent the piece from rolling away when the tension is released on the ring.
The first type of grab looks like a standard pair of pliers. The inside of the pliers is hollow, made to hold a bead. The hollow interior is clamped around the bead before the inverse pliers are inserted and the ring is opened, releasing tension on the bead. The bead stays safely in the hollow, allowing it to be saved for later use.
The second type of grab has arms which extend when the spring is pushed down. These wire arms wrap around the bead and contract when the spring is released, holding the bead. The inverse pliers can then be inserted into the ring and opened, allowing the bead to be removed safely.