While the phrase ‘cartilage piercing’ is an umbrella term that covers quite a few different types of piercings, all of them involve piercing the cartilage of the ear.
Cartilage piercings have been rising in popularity, and what was once a unique and alternative piercing option, has now become more mainstream.
While many people are led to believe that they are painful and prone to infection, this is not the case. If done by a professional piercer such as those at Chronic Ink Tattoo, these don’t hurt much more than a traditional earlobe piercing, and regular piercing aftercare is all you need to do to avoid infection.
If you’re curious about getting a cartilage piercing, or just feel lost in the lingo, here’s a quick guide on cartilage piercings and what they’re called.
What are the Types of Ear Cartilage Piercings?
Because there are so many places on the human ear, there’s a lot of ground to cover when coming up with piercing names. “Cartilage piercing” is too broad when you’re referring to a body part that’s almost entirely cartilage, so people came up with names to refer to the various areas and their piercings.
Here’s some information on the different cartilage piercings, and where they’re located in relation to the ear:
There are two different types of helix piercing, but both are located on the ‘helix’ of the ear, or the curve. Forward helix, or anti-helix piercings are located at the root of the curve, which is closest to the head. Standard helix piercings can be found on the far outside, near the rim of the ear.
Piercings that connect two different holes on either side of the ear, usually by a bar. Individually, these two piercings might be helix piercings, but the bar connecting them an industrial piercing.
These are done at the very middle of the ear, on the outside curve. Like a helix piercing, only lower.
Done on the outside of the ear, but in the shell known as the “conch”. Inner conch piercings lie higher in this area, while outer conch piercings are found lower.
The tragus is the cartilage overlapping the entrance to your ear. Piercings done here are usually small studs or rings.
Piercings found opposite to the tragus, on the small curve below the entrance to the ear.
These are piercings done to the small area inside the ear, where the root of the helix begins.
These piercings are done to the middle curve of the ear, and can be found a little above the daith.
Found below rook piercings, through the middle curve of your ear.
Regardless of what type of piercing you get, all ear cartilage piercings should be done by a professional, and piercing guns should never be used to complete these piercings. They lack the accuracy necessary, and can cause infection or damage to these areas.
Ear Piercing Chart
Below is a visual chart showing the placement of many popular ear piercings
How to Care For Cartilage Piercings
Once the procedure is done, you should talk to your piercer about aftercare. They might give you a slip of paper or a website to check out once you get home. Saline solution is the only product you really need, along with q-tips and cotton balls.
To care for your piercings and speed up the healing process, you should use the saline solution twice a day. Once when you wake up, and again before bed. Gently swab the area with a salinated q-tip, and then hold a soaked cotton ball to the piercing area for a few minutes.
At Chronic Ink our Piercers recommend using NeliMed Nelicleanse Piercing Aftercare for any of your Ear Piercing aftercare needs.
Always wash your hands before touching your ears, and don’t fiddle with your piercings throughout the day. The germs on your hands can cause infection.
Which Cartilage Piercing Should I Get?
This depends on you, really. Your personal preference and style play a large role in what kind of cartilage piercing you get. While some people might play it safe with helix piercings or auricle piercings, others might like the aesthetic an industrial bar gives them.
If you’re new to piercing, consider getting an easy-to-access piercing first. If you enjoy the look, you can move on to more complex piercings like snugs or rooks. You can also talk to a piercer about the process, and get their personal opinion on what might be best for you.
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