Ear Cartilage Piercing
Ear cartilage is the rigid tissue that gives shape to the outer ear. When we talk about ear cartilage piercings, we’re referring to ear piercings that do not pass through the fleshy tissue at the bottom (the earlobe). There are many possibilities for ear cartilage piercings—from their location and angles to connections, projects, and jewelry options—and the possibilities are seemingly endless. However, the slow regeneration of ear cartilage makes constant care essential to healing, and some find they do not have the time, lifestyle, or patience to heal them successfully. These piercings do require a commitment.
Ear cartilage is typically slow to heal, taking six months to a year—or even longer. During this time the piercing may be achy, tender, or sore, and can feel better one day and aggravated the next. Special care should be taken to not put undue pressure on the piercing during healing. This means avoiding sleeping on that side of your head, holding a phone tightly against it, wearing ill-fitting headphones or bike helmets, and otherwise trying to avoid bumping or hitting it. (This is often easier said than done!) Ear cartilage piercings are not very forgiving, and clients are often surprised at how much time and care they demand. (You can read more about suggested aftercare and troubleshooting infections and irritations on their respective pages.)
Ear cartilage piercings done at Infinite are performed in the same manner, and with the same procedure, used for the rest of our piercings: we employ a single-use sterile needle to pierce your ear and follow through with appropriate jewelry. We don’t use ear piercing guns for any piercing, and you can read more about why here. Never let anyone near your ear cartilage with a piercing gun. Getting your upper ear pierced with a gun usually guarantees extended healing, extra pain, and unnecessary scarring. Gun studs are not recommended for use with ear lobes, but with ear cartilage piercings they are even worse. Just don’t do it.
Some ear cartilage piercings will work for almost anyone (tragus, outer helix) while others are more dependent on anatomy and the shape of your individual ear (forward helix, industrial). Since everyone has slightly different folds and surfaces, customizing projects to your ear is sometimes the best way to go. If you come in and talk to one of our piercers we can help you to work with what you have; for more inventive piercings outside of the ones outlined here, search for the tag #earproject in our galleries.