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Ear Piercings Explained

Multiple ear piercings have definitely become a trend.  I myself have eleven and planning my next few.  While multiple piercings are on trend, don't let trend dictate where you get what.  The choice is totally yours.  To help you, below we will explain the various types of ear piercings.  

Before i get into the explanations - just a disclaimer.....  I am the worst person to ask if it's going to hurt.  I have a very high pain threshold and so none of mine have hurt.  But....  if it does hurt, not only will it be worth it, but the pain will only last a few seconds.

As we explain the various options, refer to the image below for context:

piercing.chart

Standard Lobe Piercing:

Most of us had this done before we could walk, and you can get it done in almost any jewellery store or beauty salon.  Earlobe piercings are the quickest to heal. They typically take about one to two months to fully heal.  The lobe piercing tends to be an almost universally accepted body modification, so much so that we sometimes forget to mention it when it comes to body piercings.

Transverse Lobe Piercing:

A transverse, or horizontal, lobe piercing is done in about the same spot as a traditional lobe piercing, but rather than being pierced from front to back, it's pierced from side to side.  The inside of the earlobe consists of mostly fatty tissue and there are not many nerves in the path of the needle.  The transverse lobe piercing will take 2 - 10 months to heal. The lobe is an easy area to heal, but since the piercing hole is so large, it can take a long time. 

Tragus Piercing:

A tragus piercing sits on the small area of cartilage that partially covers your ear canal. Tragus and daith piercings are novel treatments for migraine headaches and pain.  You may feel a pinching sensation as the needle goes through the tragus. But the tragus heals fast, and you may not feel any pain as quickly as a few minutes after the procedure is done.  

Forward Helix Piercing:

A forward helix piercing is located on the upper cartilage of your ear, facing forward. This part of your cartilage is directly above your tragus.  The most common body jewellery types for the forward helix piercing are CBRs, seamless hoops, or small helix studs with flat disc backing. While you might get over a lobe piercing in around a month, a helix piercing can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months to heal.  Many people also do double or triple forward helix piercings.  I actually have a triple helix and I love it!

Industrial Piercing:

An industrial piercing, sometimes called a scaffold piercing or construction piercing, is any two pierced holes connected with a single straight piece of jewellery; however, it typically refers to a double perforation of the upper ear cartilage specifically.  Since the industrial piercing is simply a combination of two cartilage piercing types, the piercing shouldn't hurt more than any other cartilage piercing.

Outer Conch Piercing:

The conch piercing (pronounced “konk”) takes place in the middle portion of your ear cartilage, making it probably the most customisable body piercing.  The conch piercing doesn't hurt any more than any other cartilage piercings. In general, cartilage piercings fall about halfway on the pain scale, and the conch is the same. It will hurt more than a lobe piercing, but it shouldn't be anything that most people can't handle.

Orbital Piercing:

Generally, an orbital piercing is a type of piercing where a piece of circular jewellery enters and exits two or more perforations in the ear. Typically, two holes are made for a ring to go through the piercing.  This type of piercing is unique and versatile. It brings a new look to the way piercing jewellery is placed in the ear. It is very versatile in a way that there are many variations you can with it. 

Snug Piercing:

A snug piercing is a horizontal piercing that sits right above the anti-tragus (or the inner ridge of the cartilage part of the ear). Something unique about a snug piercing is that its entrance and exit points are visible from the front of the ear, rather than going through to the back.  The snug piercing is a little bit more painful than the standard ear piercing, due to the thickness of the cartilage in the area. It is also perfectly normal to experience some pain or swelling in the first couple of weeks as your body adjusts to its new piercing.

Helix Piercing:

A Helix piercing is situated along the firm curved ridge of cartilage of the outer ear that is at the top of your ear.  This piercing is considered pretty middle-of-the-road on the pain scale because it is cartilage and therefore slightly more pressure is required to puncture the hole.  

Rook Piercing:

A rook piercing goes though the inner edge of the uppermost ridge in your ear. It's one step above a daith piercing, which is the smaller ridge above the ear canal, and two steps above the tragus, the curved bulb covering your inner ear.  The rook piercing is one of the more unusual inner-ear piercings.

Daith Piercing:

A Daith piercing is an ear piercing that passes through the ear's innermost cartilage fold, the crus of the helix. The piercing is usually performed with a straight hollow needle. Captive bead rings are the most common jewellery type used.  While they're not the most painful piercing you can get, daith piercings will certainly cause you some discomfort during and after the procedure.

Inner Conch Piercing:

The inner conch piercing is when a hole is punctured right through the middle of the ear to make way for a stud.  The conch piercing doesn't hurt any more than any other cartilage piercings.  

Anti-Tragus Piercing:

The anti-tragus is located opposite the tragus, directly above your earlobe. If you pinch your earlobe, you'll likely feel a triangular-shaped piece of cartilage sticking out above it. That’s the anti-tragus.  The anti-tragus is perfect for those wanting to add a bit of variety to their cartilage party, those who want to add some flair to their ear lobe piercings, or for anyone looking for a piercing that’s a bit off the beaten path.


Well, there you have it.  As you can see... definitely a piercing for all tastes.  If you are Johannesburg based then I highly recommend Beyond Body Modification - they are awesome!!   


My two cents would be - find a piercing studio.  You want to go to someone who specialises in piercings.


Happy piercing ya'll.