Ear Cartilage Piercing Problems and Solutions

Ear Cartilage PiercingWhen deciding on a cartilage piercing you wish to get, it’s important to take both positive and negative aspects of this piercing type. While ear cartilage piercings are very beautiful and rewarding, it’s important to know how to take a proper care of them.

What to Consider

Ear cartilage is very sensitive and can be damaged easily. For this reason, all cartilage piercings should be performed with caution. Choosing the right piercer is essential. You want someone who is familiar with this type of piercing and someone who will know how to perform the procedure in a correct manner. Needless to say, you will need to choose a good, reliable piercing studio to get your ear cartilage piercing.

Keep in mind that while they don’t seem complex, ear cartilage piercings are trickier than they may look. While they are not among the most complicated piercings, they require someone who is familiar with this exact type of piercing. They are a bit more complex than they seem, so it’s something to keep in mind.

It all comes from the fact ear cartilage is extremely sensitive and can break easily. If done incorrectly, ear cartilage piercing can lead to numerous health problems. The cartilage may break and “melt” – meaning, you can lose part of your ear. In the more extreme cases, reconstructive surgery has to be performed to save the ear.

If this sounds too scary, don’t worry. Ear cartilage piercing is not dangerous if done by a knowledgeable, experienced professional and if you follow all recommended aftercare instructions. In these cases, chances are that your ear cartilage piercing will heal nicely and that you will enjoy it for years to come.

Problems and Solutions

Here are some common ear cartilage piercing problems and how to solve them:

  • Complicated procedure. While the procedure itself is not so complex, it should be done with great consideration. Piercing cartilage is not the same as tissue piercing. All reputable piercers are aware of this. Solution to this problem is easy: always get pierced at a reliable piercing studio and by a knowledgeable professional.
  • Pain. Ear cartilage piercings are surprisingly painful. While they are not as painful as certain types of male and female genital piercings or nipple piercings, they do hurt more than what people expect. The solution? Be informed. While ear cartilage piercings tend to be painful, the pain is not unbearable. Also, the procedure itself is not so painful – it’s that your ear becomes very sensitive afterwards.
  • Infections. Infections are dangerous for all new piercings, but with ear cartilage piercing it gets even trickier, because an infection can spread very quickly and damage your ear. The solution to this problem is to get pierced by a reliable piercer and to follow all the recommended aftercare instructions. Don’t forget to clean your piercing regularly with a saline solution or a specialized piercing cleaning product.
  • Discomfort. Ear cartilage piercings tend to cause discomfort during the initial stages of healing. This is normal. You may use some painkiller if your ear is too sensitive after the procedure. However, if the pain and discomfort persist, you should consult your doctor to make sure there’s no infection underway.
  • Soft bump on the back of the ear. These soft bumps sometimes form around cartilage piercings. They are not so dangerous, provided that they disappear quickly. The bumps usually form when you change your jewelry. To minimize this problem and risks associated with it, always use only well-crafted ear jewelry made from body-friendly materials. Never buy cheap jewelry at a mall – it’s a recipe for a disaster!
  • Long healing time. Ear cartilage piercing takes a long time to heal. There is no way around this. You need to give it that time and to perform cleaning routine every day. While your piercing may look fine after a few weeks, keep in mind that cartilage piercing takes between 3 and 6 months to fully heal. Don’t stop your cleaning routine just because your ear is not sore few weeks after getting the piercing done. Just keep the aftercare routine and your cartilage piercing will heal nicely!

Additional Tips

  • Observe your piercing to notice early signs of infection, migration or rejection.
  • During the healing time don’t wear large headphones and try not to sleep on the side where the new piercing is located.
  • Be careful: ear cartilage jewelry can easily be caught on clothes or hair. Be careful when changing clothes and keep your hair away from your ear during the initial healing time.
  • Since special care has to be made during the healing process, it’s advisable to only get one cartilage piercing at a time.
  • Stay away from cheap jewelry made of unsafe materials. Many cheap gold jewelry pieces are made with nickel, which can cause serious allergies. Always buy your jewelry from a reputable store and made of body-friendly materials.

Conch Piercing

Conch PiercingA conch piercing is a stylish ear piercing made on the specific parts of the ear cartilage. The name of this piercing comes from the fact that this part of the ear resembles a conch shell. Conches are beautiful sea creatures known for their elegant shells.

There are two main types of conch piercings: inner and outer conch. Both are very popular among many piercing enthusiasts and are among the most common ear piercings, even though they are not as popular as earlobe piercings or the Industrial piercings.

The Inner and Outer Conch Piercings

The Inner conch piercing is positioned at the cup-shaped area of the ear cartilage in the center of the ear. This area is located adjacent to the ear canal.

The outer conch piercing is positioned on the flat part between the helix and the antihelix.

Both inner and outer conch piercings are considered cartilage piercings and are often worn in pairs, though many people opt to have them only on one ear.

Important Things to Remember

It’s important to note that conch piercings tend to be tricky because they can lead to infections. However, they don’t pose any problem for an experienced pierced. The most important is to take a good care of your new piercing and listen to your body. Proper aftercare is important and you must prevent infection and inflammation at all costs.

Typically, the piercing is done with a 14 gauge needle. In case you want a larger gauge to be pierced with and to have a larger conch piercing, you need to have it done with a dermal punch. Dermal punches are less damaging. Keep in mind that cartilage can’t be stretched, so in order to be able to wear plugs and other large gauge jewelry pieces, the hole has to be cut out with a dermal punch.

Conch piercings are located near the center of the ear, which makes them relatively secure against migration and rejection.

Matching of the conch piercings is not always easy. They are relatively tricky to position to align properly, so it’s another thing to keep in mind if you decide to have conch piercings on both of your ears.

Conch piercings take about 6 months to fully heal.

Jewelry

There are many beautiful jewelry pieces you can wear in your conch piercing. The most common jewelry types are studs and rings. The studs are usually small and discreet. They are made to rest inside the ear.

Thee rings are typically Captive Bead Rings made to encircle the outer rim of the ear. Some people also opt to wear barbells.

There is also another option: conch orbital. Those are actually two piercings (two holes need to be made) connected by the ring. This way, the ring “orbits” around the ear cartilage, giving it a very unique, striking looks.

Helix Shields

5 Gem Shield

5 Gem Shield

Helix shields are among the most beautiful jewelry types. They come in many different designs and varieties, so it’s possible to find just the one that suits your needs. Helix shields are unique and truly draw attention to your piercing. They look very attractive so it’s not surprising so many people choose them as their favorite jewelry types.

Choosing the Best Jewelry

While helix piercing is not rare in any way, it’s not the most popular type of piercing either. It means that sometimes, you don’t use jewelry created specially for this kind of piercing. It’s important to remember that the piercing itself is often made with a small gauge needle, so it usually requires small jewelry. For example, small gauge Captive Bead Rings tend to be a common helix jewelry.

However, keep in mind that a helix piercing is done on the helix of the upper ear, which gives certain options when it comes to jewelry. You can go with a simple jewelry type if you like, or you may use something more attractive. This is where helix cuffs and shields come into play.

Using Helix Shields

Helix shields are great because they are specially designed for helix piercings. They will sure make your piercing more attractive and noticeable. These are also made to rest comfortably against the ear to provide the best experience.

Helix jewelry comes in many different types. There are fancy rings you can use, elaborate cuffs or richly detailed shields. Most of these jewelry pieces have additional decoration, such as gems or charms. These fancy jewelry pieces make a great addition to your ear jewelry collection so you can use them in almost any situation.

Popular Ear Piercing Types

Ear PiercingEar is the most popular body part for piercing. Almost all parts of the ear can be pierced, so there are many different types of piercings performed on the ear. Some are more common than the others, some are more sensitive than the others and take longer time to heal. Regardless of the type, ear piercings are relatively simple to perform and they can be very effective.

Here is the list of the most popular ear piercing types:

Earlobe Piercing

Earlobe piercing is the most popular type of ear piercing. In fact, it’s the most common of all body piercings. Earlobe piercing is so widespread and socially acceptable that many people don’t even consider it body piercing in true sense of the word. Earlobe piercing is easy to perform and it heals quickly. There are many types of earrings suitable for this type of piercing.

A special type of earlobe piercing is stretched piercing. It’s sometimes called “gauging”, though it’s a wrong term: gauge is the size of the jewelry. Many types of piercings can be stretched to a larger size, but the most common are stretched earlobes. There are special types of jewelry made for stretched piercings: ear plugs, flesh tunnels, earlets, tusks, spirals, and more.

Industrial Piercing

An industrial piercing (also known as the scaffold piercing) consists of two holes connected by a single jewelry piece. It’s typically done on the upper ear cartilage. During the procedure, two piercings are made: one close to the head and the other further down the cartilage on the opposite side of the ear.

The most common jewelry type for industrial piercings is long, straight barbell. It’s inserted through the first piercing from behind the ear and it goes diagonally across the front of the ear cartilage to the second piercing. It’s not uncommon to wear a pair of captive bead rings instead of a straight barbell. Those who wish to use straight barbells for their industrial piercings can choose between numerous unique barbells with special decorations or spirals to make their piercing stand out.

Helix Piercing

The helix piercing is performed on the outer curly rim of the ear cartilage. It’s important that this piercing is done with a needle and not piercing gun (in fact, it’s best to never use a piercing gun; it’s only suitable for earlobe piercings and it’s not even the best method to perform that type of piercing). Most people get more than one helix piercing to wear several jewelry pieces on that side of the ear. A special type of helix piercing is the orbital piercing. Here, two piercings are made and the jewelry goes from back to the back of the ear, so it looks like it’s orbiting through the cartilage.

Anti-Helix

The anti-helix piercing is done on the ear part just the opposite of the helix. It’s also known as the snug piercing. This type of piercing requires micro-jewelry. Many people choose to get both helix and anti-helix piercings and pair them with the same jewelry types. The most commonly used jewelry for this type of piercing are curved barbells or circular rings.

Tragus Piercing

The tragus piercing is performed on the small piece of the thick cartilage projecting in front of the ear canal. It’s typically done at a small gauge (16g). The most common jewelry for this piercing is captive bead ring.

Anti-Tragus Piercing

The anti-tragus piercing is performed on the part of the ear cartilage directly above the earlobe.

Transverse Lobe Piercing

This is a piercing that goes horizontally through the ear lobe. It takes more time to heal than the regular earlobe piercing. Typical jewelry worn in this piercing are straight or curved barbells.

Rook Piercing

The rook piercing is done at the folded inner rim of the ear. This inner ridge of the ear runs down the center and it’s parallel to the helix or outer rim. It’s important to understand that the look of this piercing depends a lot on the anatomy of your ear.

Conch Piercing

There are two types of the conch piercing: the inner and the outer. The inner conch piercing is made on the center cartilage adjacent to the ear canal. These piercings are usually done at larger gauges (10g or 8g) and they can be stretched to accommodate ear plugs. The most common jewelry type for this piercing is barbell.

The outer conch piercing is made on the flat part of the top outer ear. It’s done at a smaller gauge (16g). Typical jewelry for this piercing is curved barbell or a captive bead ring.

Daith Piercing

The daith piercing is performed on the outer rim of the ear cartilage, closest to the head. It’s often performed with a curved needle to prevent damage to other parts of the ear. There is another variation of this piercing: the inner daith. This one is performed on the horizontal part of the cartilage, directly above the ear canal. The most commonly used jewelry for daith piercing is a captive bead ring.

Plugs and Flesh Tunnels

Straight Amber Plugs

Straight Amber Plugs

Plugs and tunnels are among the most striking pieces of body jewelry. They are usually simple but very effective. These are among the best and most beautiful jewelry styles specially made for stretched piercings. Most often used for ear piercing, these beautiful items can be used for most types of stretched piercings, regardless of body part.

One advantage to plugs and flesh tunnels is that they look very simple and presentable, which makes it easy to wear them in all kinds of situations, including work. As you probably know, professional situations often require special attire and limited types of jewelry. Many times, body piercing and body jewelry are completely forbidden. Yet, plugs and tunnels are often allowed, which makes them very practical and functional. It doesn’t mean they are boring or overly simple: on the contrary, plugs and flesh tunnels are among the most stunning types of body jewelry you can find on the market.

Plugs and Tunnels

A plug is specially designed piece of jewelry made for stretched piercings. Plugs are most often worn in ears, but it’s possible to use them on other body parts. Plugs create a very interesting effect, especially at larger gauges.

One great thing about plugs is that they are made of many different materials not usually used for body piercing. There are many organic materials used, such as wood, glass, precious stone, amber, bone, horn, bamboo, silicone, stone, and other highly effective materials.

A flesh tunnel is a tube shaped, hollow piercing jewelry. The most common flesh tunnels are those used in stretched earlobes but they can be worn in piercings located on other body parts, as long as the piercing itself is stretched to a correct gauge. Other common names for flesh tunnels are earlets, eyelets, spools, fleshy and expanders.

Flesh tunnels are great because they allow you to see through the piercing, which produces unique effects. Another advantage to flesh tunnels is that they are relatively light and they weigh less than plugs, which may be significant at larger gauges. You can wear flesh tunnels with a captive bead ring or another object passed through them.

Choosing the Right Size

Glitter Halo Flesh Tunnel

Glitter Halo Flesh Tunnel

The most important thing when buying plugs and flesh tunnels is to choose the right size. Body jewelry is available in many different diameters, and this is particularly true for plugs, flesh tunnels and other types of jewelry specially made for stretched piercings. It means they are available in many different sizes (gauges), depending on the size of your piercing.

Before making a purchase, it’s vital that you know your size and to order a correct gauge for your piercing. Using only the correct gauge is essential for the best comfort and pain-free experience.

There are many different gauges to choose. Piercings range in size from 20 gauge to 00 and more. Initial piercings are usually done in gauges ranging from 20 to 14 gauge, and it depends on many factors, such as location of the piercing. These initial piercings can be stretched to larger gauges (such as 8 or 0 gauge) using tapers or another stretching method. When choosing plugs or ear tunnels it’s crucial to know your current piercing size and how much stretched your piercing actually is so you can pick the right size.

In case you are not 100% sure about the size, you can order and try a few different sizes to see which one feels the best. The correct gauge will feel the most comfortable and will “sit” well in your piercing. When you find the size that suits you, make sure to remember the gauge so you will know what’s the size of your piercing the next time you decide to purchase plugs or flesh tunnels.

Different Ear Piercings

 

Ears, July 2011

 

Most people that are into body modifications started with getting their ears pierced. Ear piercings are the oldest, most common, less extreme and more accepted of all body modifications. Piercing the ears can be found in all different kinds of cultures all over the world throughout history. Both men and women have been known to pierce their ears. Depending on the size and shape of one’s ear, there are many different parts of the ear that can be pierced.

 When your Ear is your Piercing Ground:

The ear lobe is the easiest, most common part of the ear that is pierced. This part of the ear can be stretched and gauged because of the type of tissue located in this area. A piercing gun is used to pierce the ear lobe. The ear piercing gun is designed in such a way, so that the ear can be pierced with the jewelry and the earring back be put on the end of the post of the earring, all in one shot. The cartilage of the ear, at the top part of the helix, is another popular area to have pierced. This piercing can be pierced with a piercing gun, however, it is not recommended because the force of the gun can cause cartilage to shatter and take the area longer to heal. The other areas of the ear are usually pierced with a hollow body piercing needle.

The helix is the upper rim part of the ear that goes down the outside about half way and meets the lobe. Many people have their helix pierced multiple times and put captive bead rings in them.  The conch is the portion of the ear that looks like a “shell” adjacent to the ear canal.  A barbell or captive bead ring is mostly worn in this area. The anti-helix is a ridge located under the helix and it contains the snug and rook. These piercings are very painful and harder to heal then most of the other ear piercings. The snug, located on the lower part of the anti-helix, is pierced with curved or straight barbells. The rook, the upper part of the anti-helix close to the head, can be pierced with a curved barbell or a captive bead ring. The folds of cartilage located closest to the ear canal is call a daith piercing. This can have a different variety of small gauge body jewelry put into the piercing.  The tragus piercing is the “little nub” over top of the ear canal.  The body jewelry used for this piercing are usually a captive bead ring, curved barbell or even labret studs.  The ridge located above the ear lobe has been labeled the anti-tragus. This is another painful piercing in the ear. And this piercing usually needs a curved barbell.

Another piercing that is often done is called the industrial. The industrial is when two separate piercings are connected with one barbell. Usually piercings within the helix are used to create an industrial piercing but some use other piercings in the ear and connect them. An orbital piercing is much like an industrial piercing in the sense that it connects two or more piercings, but instead of a barbell a ring is used.

Avoiding Body Piercing Infections is not Rocket Science!

Body jewelry bought from a reputable dealer and going under a professional piercer’s needle are not the only two fool proof essentials to help avoid body piercing infections. Along with these two are some other necessary steps that first timers need to take. Experienced/ initiated body piercing enthusiasts can’t afford to miss these either and should not even try.

Contaminated body piercing equipment can cause Hepatitis or even HIV. If this does not make you more cautious then I don’t know what will! Another fact : Piercing guns cannot be sterilized so it’s safer to even get your ears pierced with a needle than with a gun, which is the only thing that a gun is remotely useful for, and we do not feel that it is good for that either.

Follow the simple steps mentioned below and come out of the piercing parlor cool and clean!

  • If th quality body jewelry bit is taken care of (i.e it’s nickel and other toxins free), then check the body piercing equipment. From sterilized gloves to instruments; everything should be squeaky clean, new, and or sterilized.
  • The parlor should be spic and span too and of course the piercer too. If there’s even a slightest doubt about the hygiene of the place then don’t go ahead with it there, just go to another place.
  • Get piercing done where disposable instruments are used and thrown away after single use.
  • Listen to all the personal care instructions very carefully and follow them religiously. Out of parlor does not mean out of the danger zone. Body piercing infections usually develop After you leave the piercer.

Not rocket science right? Simple but definitely not passable. These may be the difference between  a healthy you or an infected you.  :)

Benefits of Ear Piercing – Early Ear Piercing Helps Avoid Keloids

A recent study published online reveals that early ear piercing reduces the risk of keloids.  The study http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php?id=162745 says that delaying ear piecing until pre-teen or teen years can aggravate the chances of developing keloids.

Keloids are uncontrolled growth of fibrous tissue after an injury or scar on any area of the body. Keloids can occur on ears, scalp, top of the foot and even the chest, especially after first piercings. The findings of the study based on a survey of 27 females and 5 males showed that people who had their ears pierced at the age of 11 or older were more likely to develop keloids than those who took to ear piercing before that. Continue reading

Bamboo Wood Tunnel(s)

Bamboo Wood Tunnel

This saddled tunnel (Earlet) is made of real bamboo so it is an organic piece, and a very nice earring. The bamboo gives it a truly natural earthy look. No o-rings are necessary since it is saddled.

14k Gold Solid Plug(s)

14k Gold Solid Plug

14k Gold Solid Plug

These 14k Gold Solid Plugs would look excellent in you Ear Piercing. These will cost you a little more because they are solid gold but well worth the cost. The 14K Gold we use is; Solid 14K Nickel Free Gold. We use Palladium instead of Nickel in the Gold to help insure you of a healthy piercing. The Gold is available in either; 14K Yellow Gold or 14K White Gold, and all of our Gold is 100% Solid.