There are many popular piercing types, such as earlobe piercing, navel piercing, nostril, eyebrow, tongue, nipples, and more. It’s important to know that each piercing type has its own standard gauge. It means that the piercing will typically be performed using a needle of a particular gauge.
It’s useful to know the standard sizes for the most popular piercing types:
The most common piercing in the world is earlobe piercing. It’s sometimes not even considered a “true” piercing, because it’s completely normalized and socially acceptable. The most common gauge for this piercing type depends on the procedure. Earlobes pierced with piercing needles are typically 16 gauge or 14 gauge. Piercing guns use smaller gauges, typically 18 gauge or even 20 gauge. Needless to say, piercing guns are harmful and should never be used. Also, 18 gauge and 20 gauge tend to be too small anyway – it’s best to be pierced with something bigger.
Earlobes are also easily stretchable, so you won’t have any problems stretching your ears from 14 gauge or 16 gauge to larger ones. However, it’s important to start small and build your way from there.
Other Ear Piercings
There are many other ear piercings that are very popular. Cartilage piercings seem to be particularly common among both men and women. Typical gauges for these piercings are the same as earlobe piercing: 14 gauge or 16 gauge. However, keep in mind that these piercings are much more difficult to stretch. In some cases, stretching is nearly impossible, so make sure you are satisfied with the gauge you are pierced with.
This is the second most common piercing type (after earlobe piercing). The standard size for belly button piercings is 14 gauge. This is almost universal. Sometimes, a piercer will choose 12 gauge, but this is rare.
Eyebrow piercings are very popular and easy to perform. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that this is a surface piercing and thus prone to migration and rejection. Typical gauge for this type of piercing is 16 gauge, though some piercers choose to perform it at a smaller size (18 gauge). As usual, larger gauge might lessen the risk of migration and rejection, though this is not guaranteed.
Nostril and Septum Piercings
The standard size for nostril piercings is 18 gauge or 16 gauge. The only difference is if you are pierced with a gun, which produces a 20 gauge hole. However, guns should never be used, but some people still don’t understand all the reasons why guns are so bad.
Septum piercings are typically pierced at 14 gauge, though there are variations (some are pierced at 12 gauge).
There are many different lip piercing types, starting from a common labret piercing to more complicated double or multiple piercings (the so-called “bites piercings”). Regardless of the piercing type, these piercings are typically performed at a bit larger gauges than other starter piercings. Typically, lip piercings are done at 14 gauge or even 12 gauge.
What is important to note is that the length of the jewelry is determined by the thickness of your lip. Lip thickness can vary greatly between individuals, which means there are different labret lengths to accommodate it. Your initial jewelry will always be a bit longer, to accommodate for swelling. It will later be changed to a shorter one that will fit your lip. It’s vital to achieve a good fit or else you are risking damage to your teeth and gums.
Tongue piercing is the most common oral piercing. The standard size for this piercing is 14 gauge, so chances are that you will be pierced with a needle of this size. However, some tongue piercings are done at 12 gauge.
Tongue piercings are stretchable so many people can easily wear 12 gauge jewelry even if they are initially pierced with a 14 gauge needle. However, we don’t recommend to go any further: do not wear any jewelry larger than 12 gauge or else you may risk injury.
Just like lip piercings, tongue piercings use initial jewelry that is longer than regular one in order to accommodate for swelling. Once the swelling is gone you will have to switch to shorter jewelry.
Nipple piercings are typically done at 14 gauge or 12 gauge, depending on the individual in question. The gauge does not differ between men and women: both are pierced with standard 14 gauge or 12 gauge needles.
What differs between men and women is the length of the jewelry. Typically, women will wear longer jewelry.
There are many different genital piercings so standards vary greatly depending on the type. Also, male genital piercings and female genital piercings are somewhat different in this regard. What’s important to remember is that genital piercings are never done at a very small gauge. This is particularly true for penis piercings. Penis piercings are done at bigger gauges, such as 12 gauge or even 10 gauge. It’s crucial to never do any penis piercings at a very small gauge, since too thin jewelry can pose numerous problems for the wearer.