Ear Piercings

Ultimate Guide to Ear Piercings

Ultimate Guide to Ear Piercings

Piercings in the ears are one of those fashion fads that never go out of vogue. When it comes to putting together a beautiful and unique ensemble, a little ear jewelry never hurts. However, with so many ear piercings available, things can become a little perplexing.

People no longer have a single piercing in each ear. You can have up to five on each of these days! If you’re thinking about having a piercing but aren’t sure which one to get, our professional guide will help you figure out what you want and make you sound like you know all there is to know about piercings.

Types of Ear Piercing

While many individuals use the phrase cartilage piercing to refer to a specific piercing type, such as an industrial or a snug, the term really refers to a category of piercing rather than a specific one. Your ear is made up of skin covered by cartilage, and any piercing that goes through that cartilage is, well, a cartilage piercing! There are many different types of cartilage piercings, each with its own unique placement and appearance.

Helix Ear Piercing

A helix piercing is any piercing of the ear’s top cartilage, but there are various types of helix piercings. A basic helix piercing is performed in the outside upper cartilage, however, there are also forward, backward, double, and triple helix piercings available.

Forward Helix Ear Piercing

The placement of a forward helix piercing differs from that of a standard helix piercing. The forward helix piercing is located towards the root of the helix, near the bottom of the ear. For the most part, studs are popular for this type of piercing, however, forward helix piercings can be worn with a variety of jewelry.

Tragus Piercing

The tragus piercing is extremely adaptable and complements a wide range of jewelry types. However, depending on the size of your tragus, the part of your ear in front of the ear canal, can be rather unpleasant to get.

Anti-Tragus Piercing

An anti-tragus piercing is located on the tragus’s outside border, above the earlobe, rather than the section closest to your head. This is another piercing that is partly tailored to your body, as it necessitates a rather prominent anti-tragus. If it isn’t, the piercing will be more difficult, and some piercers may even refuse to conduct the procedure if they don’t believe they can work with the shape of your ear.

Daith Piercing

Daith piercings go through the small flap of cartilage directly above the ear canal, close to the middle of the ear. While these piercings look cool, they also serve a medical purpose: daith piercings help with migraines. Since these piercings align with acupuncture points, getting one is like constant pressure on that point, and some people have found migraine relief from it. Another unique aspect of deaths is that, unlike most piercings, a ring — rather than a stud — is suggested during the healing process.

Industrial Piercing

An industrial piercing, also known as a scaffold piercing, bar piercing, or construction piercing, is a double puncture of the upper ear cartilage. If you want an eye-catching piercing, industrial piercing is the only one on the market.

Conch Piercing

The conch is divided into two portions that result in two types of piercings: an inner conch and an outer conch. Both are pierced through the ear’s middle shell, the thickest section of cartilage on the body. An inner conch puncture is located near the ear canal in the top section of the middle shell. In contrast, an outer conch runs through the lower section. The piercing gets its name from the middle shell, which resembles a conch seashell.

Rook Piercing

Rook piercings are vertical piercings that are inserted directly above the front helix on the cartilage. The most crucial thing to understand about rook piercings is that they are commonly regarded as one of the most painful ear piercings accessible, yet they are not always that unpleasant. “The Rook piercing isn’t too painful; it’s about a five on a scale of ten,” Robone says. “Most of my clients tell me it’s not nearly as horrible as they expected.”

Standard Lobe Piercing

A lobe piercing, as the name implies, is a piercing in the earlobe. It is one of the least painful to get because it is in the fleshy, bottom region of the ear. The recuperation duration is also one of the shortest, lasting about six weeks. Once healed, this piercing is highly versatile, so feel free to explore with other styles! The options are limitless.

High-Lobe Piercing

The high-lobe piercing is a fashionable approach to adorn the lobe. They’re especially useful for drawing attention to a badly placed piercing you may have had done previously. Because the lobe is so fleshy, the level of piercing pain is a very low two out of ten. While healing time is quite short (six to eight weeks), that doesn’t imply you should be lax about aftercare. You should always follow your piercer’s post-care and maintenance guidelines.

Traverse-Lobe Piercing

Transverse lobe piercings are a new twist on an old favorite. A barbell is pierced horizontally through the earlobe rather than from the inside to the outside with this piercing. The transverse piercing angle is determined by the shape and size of the ear lobe. The sole negative of this piercing is that it typically takes longer to heal than other varieties. This also indicates that a transverse piercing is more likely to become infected.

Cartilage Piercing

If a regular piercing isn’t enough, why not try a cartilage piercing? This style of piercing is extremely popular among both men and women. Getting a cartilage piercing isn’t a bad idea for most people. The difficult phase is the first two weeks after the procedure when you might expect some mild pain and discomfort. But after that’s all done, you’ll be fine.

Orbital Piercing

Any two piercings joined by one piece of jewelry are considered orbital piercings. It is orbital piercing is another less frequent type of cartilage piercing, yet it provides a unique aesthetic for individuals looking for something a little unusual. As it joins two different piercings, this form of piercing is akin to an industrial piercing.

An orbital, on the other hand, is pierced with a ring rather than a barbell. This gives the piercing the appearance of floating and orbiting the ear, hence the name. Helixes, rooks, and inner conches are examples of common orbital piercings.

Snug Piercing

The piercing is located in the inner cartilage, near the outer rim of the ear. This piercing is one of the most distinctive you may get if you’re looking for something different. Because of the shallowness of the location, you’re more than likely to wear micro jewelry.

How to get your Ear Pierced?

When it comes to piercing your ears, there are numerous options to explore, each with differing degrees of pain and difficulty. Because most ear piercings pierce through cartilage, they must be done with a needle in a skilled studio. Earlobes are an exception because they are one of the least painful and most regularly pierced locations.

It is possible to perform it with a needle or a piercing pistol. However, there are several disadvantages to using a piercing gun, such as sufficient sterilization and the fact that the equipment requires minimal ability to operate, which means the person conducting the piercing may not be adequately trained. This is especially true if you choose to have your ears pierced at a mall or a jewelry store.

Preparing for the Piercing

When preparing for an ear piercing, consider the location of the piercing as well as the varying levels of discomfort. The conch and helix are the most painful areas, while the earlobes are just mildly uncomfortable.

It is vital to do your homework ahead of time in order to have realistic expectations for the pain and healing durations, as well as to pick a trustworthy business. If you get your ears pierced using a needle, it is sanitized and separately packaged for one-time use. You can also choose from a variety of metals for your piercing. Stainless steel, titanium, and yellow, white, and rose gold are among them.

Use a Professional Service

It is critical to choose a professional establishment because this personnel is educated to pierce in a safe and efficient manner. Because these clinics take the highest care with sanitation and sterilization, your piercing will not be botched, and there is little risk of infection. You also want your piercing to be done by someone who has been properly trained and in a licensed establishment. Do your homework ahead of time to identify the finest shop for you. Read reviews from others who have used it in the past. Prior to the appointment, ask the professional any questions or concerns you may have.

After Care

Your ears may bleed after a piercing, and this is entirely normal. Other things to consider with aftercare are how you will clean your piercing and how long it will take to heal. Depending on the chosen location, there are varying healing times, with a conch piercing taking around three to nine months to heal fully, while earlobes are the quickest with just one to two months.

Do not use hairspray or perfumes near your piercings, and avoid touching them with your hands as this can introduce bacteria. Instead, use a cotton bud and clean it every day with a gentle, antibacterial soap or saline spray. Don’t change the jewelry and leave it in; continue to clean it. You should also not remove your piercing before it has had time to heal, or it may close. If you do get an infection, consult a medical professional.

Side Effects of Ear Piercing

  • Infection: An infection occurs when adequate treatment is not followed or the piercing becomes overly inflamed. Infection symptoms include redness, swelling, green or yellow pus, and discomfort. Seek medical attention right once if you notice any symptoms.
  • Scarring: Scarring occurs when the piercing becomes excessively irritated during the aftercare process, and it can leave some ugly markings around the piercing site.
  • Keloids: Keloids are elevated scars that form after the skin heals around a wound, causing extra scar tissue to grow as an over-response to the physical trauma of a piercing. They might vary in size, but they are normally not painful and contain only scar tissue.

What Is the Most Painful Ear Piercing?

Industrial ear piercing is the most painful ear piercing, according to studies and evidence. Double piercing is used in industrial ear piercing, with one on the upper ear helix and the other on the opposite side of the ear. Both holes are connected by a single piece of jewelry. Because it includes two pieces of cartilage, industrial piercing is the most painful. This increases the discomfort and lengthens the time it takes to heal. It is, nonetheless, the most fashionable type of ear piercing.

Although there is some agreement on pain scales for piercings, the truth is that everyone’s pain experience is unique. A piercing may not hurt at all for some people, and may even feel like a relief. Many people claim that the piercing equipment (such as a clamp) is more painful than the actual piercing. Others may consider a piercing to be one of the most painful pinches they have ever felt.

How to take care of the wound after piercing?

To avoid infection, ear piercing should be performed by a specialist. Following are a few general guidelines to follow after ear piercing:

  • A piercing is the equivalent of an open wound. Before touching the piercing, wash your hands to prevent bacteria and germs from entering the area.
  • The most important recommendation for aftercare is to keep the piercing area clean. Keeping it clean will help prevent infection, keloids, and make the healing process go more smoothly. It is possible to do so by soaking the punctured region in saltwater. This speeds up the healing process and removes any debris or crust from the piercing.
  • When you have a new piece of jewellery in your ear, it’s natural to want to move it around and play with it. This should be avoided since fingers carry a lot of bacteria that could infect the piercing. It should only be touched when the area is being cleaned.
  • If you notice any signs of infection, wait to see a doctor before applying any ointments. Despite the fact that it is technically a wound, it has the potential to cause more harm than benefit. This might cause the area to get clogged, preventing oxygen from reaching where it is required. Creams can also trap dirt in and around the healing piercing, which invites infection.

Tips: Alcohol or peroxide should not be used. These two items have the ability to dry up the area and damage fresh, healthy cells. Instead of assisting the ear in healing, this hinders the process.

When will Ear Piercing Heal?

The healing time after ear piercing varies from person to person and is dependent on the location of the piercing, age, comorbidities, and other factors. The amount of time it takes for the pierced area to heal also depends on the area that was pierced (lobe or cartilage). Lobe piercings heal in four to six weeks, but cartilage piercings can take anywhere from three to twelve months to recover. The reason it takes so long is that blood flow in the cartilage area is reduced, causing piercings to heal from the outside in.

Which Is Better for Piercing: A Gun or a Needle?

The short answer is that a piercing needle is far superior to a piercing gun for a variety of reasons. Guns are generally more accurate, cleaner, and less uncomfortable than needles. The advantages and disadvantages of both piercing guns and piercing needles are listed below. Take a look at them. Examine them. Make the decision you believe is the best. You don’t want to make a mistake when it comes to your body (or your child’s!).

Many individuals want to know which piercing method is best because piercings are prevalent among people of all ages—parents pierce their newborns’ and young children’s ears, and many adults add additional piercings as they grow older. You’ll want the quickest, safest, cleanest, and pain-free piercing approach no matter who you are.

(Note: The technique is just as crucial as the aftercare techniques when it comes to the piercing method—needles or piercing gun.) Of course, each piercing carries some risk, but most people can heal a new piercing with little difficulty if they use proper technique and treatment. Even if the treatments are excellent and the aftercare practices are sound, not everyone can effectively heal a piercing.)

The Pros and Cons of Piercing Guns


Accessibility: Because it’s easier to educate someone to use a gun than it is to use needles, finding a place that employs a gun will probably be easier than finding a facility that uses needles.

Convenience: It is handy to get your ears pierced while shopping at the mall.

Affordability: Getting a piercing at a mall or a booth can be less expensive than going to a qualified piercer. They can charge less because there is less talent and training required.
Speed: With one rapid pull of the trigger, it’s all over.


Tissue Risk: When a piercing is done with a pistol, there is a risk of significant tissue trauma. When blunt studs are driven into the tissues with piercing guns, the tissue is physically ripped apart to create a way for the jewellery. If your piercing goes through the cartilage, it may break if you use too much power.

Messiness: It might get nasty when the blunt stud is fired through your flesh. However, a wipe with alcohol or an antiseptic pad will not remove all of the blood particles, and piercing guns cannot be sanitized properly. They are often used and come into contact with biological fluids nevertheless, simply wiping the device with an alcohol swab between usage is insufficient to disinfect it. Some say the instrument never touches the skin, but the piercer’s hands do, and they’re touching the potentially contaminated gun and contaminating it even more with your blood.

Training: Employees at malls and booths are usually given a two-week course on how to use a piercing pistol. That’s not a lot of time to teach adequate infection control or healing practices.

Infection Risk: Blunt studs with butterfly backs are used in piercing weapons. Bacteria and muck can readily get into them, infecting a fresh piercing. Low-grade materials are sometimes used in the studs, causing allergic reactions, scars, and infection.

Swelling Risk: The gun squeezing the rear of the jewelry tight into place prevents the piercing from breathing and healing correctly. You will suffer increased swelling as a result of the butterfly backing being applied too tightly (it will swell naturally as part of the healing process, but it will swell harder if it doesn’t have room to swell).

Designed Just for Earlobes: Although these guns were created only for piercing earlobes, mall staff frequently use the same device for cartilage and nose piercings. With the pressure and force of a piercing rifle, cartilage can readily shatter.

Loud: Piercing weapons are noisy, which is more than enough to frighten young toddlers. If the youngster jumps, the stud may become trapped halfway through, necessitating its removal. The pistol will have to be recocked, and the stud will have to be shot through the tissue again, causing more agony, bleeding, and the possibility of problems.

Aiming and Angles: Because piercing guns are difficult to aim, the piercing is more likely to be crooked or imprecise. If the employee doesn’t get it quite right, the stud may go in at an unusual angle or in the wrong spot, causing your body to reject the jewelry.

Irritation: The majority of mall stores and piercing booths will tell you that you should turn your piercing a couple of times a day. This may appear to make sense, but all it does is irritate the new piercing while also introducing bacteria, which can lead to infection.

The Pros and Cons of Piercing Needles


One-Use: Because the needles are single-use only, you don’t have to worry about other people’s bodily fluids getting on yours.

Cleanliness: Piercing instruments can be cleaned quickly and effectively in an autoclave, which employs high-pressure steam to completely disinfect the instrument. Used needles are thrown correctly, but jewelry and hemostats are thoroughly sterilized in the autoclave.

Training: Professional body piercers are given rigorous training in piercing procedures, infection prevention, and healing treatments. They’ll also learn about how the body reacts to new piercings and how to prevent causing nerve damage (which will reduce the pain the customer feels when getting a new piercing). They also learn how to sterilize properly.

Less Pain: When piercing needles are used, there is less pain. The needle is hollow and razor-sharp, slicing into the skin and pushing the tissues aside to create a way for the jewels. Even though it appears to be a lengthy procedure, it is actually quite simple.

Fewer Bacteria: When piercing needles are utilized, it causes less discomfort. The hollow, razor-sharp needle rips through the skin, pushing tissues aside to create a place for the jewelry. It’s a rather quick process, despite how difficult it sounds.

Material: The majority of piercing jewelry is constructed of high-grade stainless steel or titanium, which provides the best possibility of healing without causing a response or infection.

Versatility: A needle may puncture practically anything, including cartilage and non-cartilage tissues.


Inconvenient: Going out of your way to finding a reputable tattoo shop that offers needle piercings can be inconvenient.

Expensive: It can be more costly than shopping at a mall. You must add a gratuity to the total cost charged by the piercer.

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Sphie Ross

Sophie Ross has written, edited, and produced beauty and fashion content for more than 3 years. She works full-time in the fashion and beauty categories as a copywriter, but she is passionate about all things related to beauty.