I've been an online writer for over four years. My articles often focus on piercings and how to prepare for piercings.
This article discusses helix and forward helix ear piercings. A helix piercing is most commonly called the "top ear" piercing or the "ear cartilage," and the forward helix is the small piece of skin at the very front of the helix that attaches the ear and the temple together. The forward helix is also a cartilage piercing—you can see images of this below.
In this article, I'll discuss:
- Frequently asked questions about these kinds of piercings
- What to expect when you get your ear pierced
- How to take care of your piercing afterwards
- Danger signs of an infected ear
- Common myths about cartilage piercings
What You Need to Know Before Getting Your Piercing
Here are some of the most common questions that people have before they get a new piercing.
How Painful Is It?
I've had both my helix and my forward helix pierced. I'd rate the helix piercing as a 2 on a pain scale that goes from 1–10, with 10 being the most painful. The forward helix was a 7. This is because the helix is less sensitive, easier to pierce and very straightforward whereas the forward helix can be difficult to get to, fiddly, and far more sensitive. However, the discomfort does not last for very long.
Where Can I Get My Piercing Done?
You can get a standard or forward helix done in almost any piercing studio. You should choose one that has been around for a long time, has quality and professional piercers, is carrying a full government license, and has good reviews. You should shop around and ask as many questions as you need until you find a place that clicks with you.
IMPORTANT: Do not base your choice on price. Some places charge more and some charge less, but 99.9% of the time, the place that charges more will give you better service and a better piercing. They also use higher-grade equipment. Don't skimp on price. Your health is worth it.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get One or Both of Them?
This depends entirely on the studio. Most places in the UK will pierce a helix from the age of 12–14 with parental consent if you are under the age of 16. Consent can be provided with a landline call or by having the person come in with you.
If they suspect you are underage or giving them false information, they will refuse to pierce. It's a good idea to phone ahead and check with wherever you're planning on going.
How Do They Pierce It?
Cartilage piercings should only be done with a needle. They should NEVER be performed with a gun. If somewhere is piercing cartilage (including the nose or anywhere else) with a gun, they should be reported as this is not only illegal but potentially dangerous.
The gun cannot be sterilised as well as a brand new needle under autoclave, and a gun can also cause permanent damage to the ear as it can shatter your cartilage, causing the ear to collapse or become deformed.
A good piercing studio will pierce your ear with a needle and a small tube. For a forward helix, they will clamp the area first, slide the needle through, and put the jewellery into the tube thread, sliding it in and screwing the ball on tightly so it doesn't fall out. The piercer should mark the dot on your ear and allow you to check the position before they pierce you.
What Jewellery Will They Use?
For a standard helix piercing, the piercer will use a stud very similar to what is commonly used to pierce earlobes. It will nearly always be titanium since it is the least reactive metal (though some may use surgical steel). The jewellery will also have a very tight back on it to keep it from falling out.
Read More from Tatring
Some places may also pierce with a ring. However, this is more likely to cause problems and discomfort. It may also cost extra.
A forward helix will be pierced with either a 1.2mm curved barbell (aka an eyebrow bar) or a 1.2mm labret stud. Either is a good option, and for both piercings you will be able to choose which piece of jewellery you would like.
Below, I'll discuss aftercare, what to expect during the piercing, complications, and the dos and don'ts of your new piercing.
What Should I Expect During the Piercing?
In a fully licensed studio, you should expect nothing but friendly, professional service and a sterile environment. You can ask to see proof of anything if that would make you feel more comfortable. You can even ask to see the equipment and how they clean their tools before they use them if you'd like.
After signing your consent form and choosing your jewellery, you will be taken into a small cubicle or private room for the piercer to set up. They will put on clean gloves, sterilise the jewellery, and take out the already sterile equipment. They will clean the area around the piercing, often with an alcoholic wipe. You will be asked to sit down while they mark the dot for you and allow you to check the position.
Most piercers will not pierce you until you allow them, since the more relaxed you are, the less it will hurt. Some may allow you to lie down during the procedure if you feel more comfortable doing so. Please let your piercer know of any allergies, if you are on medication, unwell, or prone to fainting or dizzy spells. They will talk you through each step and pierce you as gently and as quickly as possible.
Once the piercing is done, they will talk you through aftercare, make sure you are okay, and allow you to check out your new piercing in the mirror before you leave. Many sell a special aftercare solution which is much better than anything you could buy at a regular store and it often comes free with the piercing.
Helix Piercing Aftercare
Once you've had your piercing done, it's important to take proper care of it.
Do not touch the piercing at all and do not allow anyone else to touch it either. Touching a piercing, especially with unwashed hands, can contaminate it which could cause infection or other problems. If you must touch a fresh piercing, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands in warm water and soap for two minutes and do not allow your hands to come into contact with anything else before you touch it.
Cleaning the Piercing
You should clean the fresh wound several hours after it is pierced, before you go to bed at night. Use the piercing liquid they gave you and do not use any form of cream, peroxide, or anything else that has been used by another person. Creams can cause bacteria to build-up and clog the piercing, possibly leading to infection. Peroxide is too strong for most piercings and can prolong the healing process, cause a lot of pain, swelling, or even blistering of the skin.
You can buy a special cleaner in most studios or online. Many of them consist of saline with tea tree oil. Clean the piercing one or two times per day and leave it alone as much as possible.
Changing the Jewellery
Ideally, you should not change your jewellery for at least eight weeks after getting the piercing, because it is an open wound and needs a chance to heal properly. The backs on new earrings can be very stiff and getting them off can put a lot of stress on a new piercing.
Cartilage piercings are known to take up to two years or more to heal fully, but most are ready to be changed after two to four months. The longer you leave it, the better it will be. You should ask your piercer for their advice, and you can even return to see if they can change a piercing for you or if the piercing is ready to be changed or not. Some piercings can close up within seconds of being removed, and it is always a good idea to be sure the back is very secure.
What Is Normal After Getting a New Piercing?
Here are a few things about new piercings that are totally normal!
Your new piercing is a wound, and it will swell up due to the aggravation. Because this is very normal, your piercer will use a longer bar or larger ring to allow for proper swelling.
A small amount of redness may be present for a few hours after a piercing is done. It should go away on its own by the second day.
Especially with a cartilage piercing, there will be discomfort, pain, and sensitivity. You may find smiling or sleeping on that side to be painful. This is normal for the first few days. Your cartilage is a very sensitive area and will cause more discomfort than an earlobe piercing.
Feeling "Run Down"
This is a very common feeling after most piercings. This is because your body sees the piercing as a foreign object and will send out its troops (the immune system) to fight it. Don't worry, your piercing will stay intact and your body will heal around it. Common symptoms are tiredness, feeling run-down, feeling a little warm, a sore throat, or swollen glands.
A small amount of itching is normal during the healing process.
Signs Something Is Wrong With Your New Piercing
- Swelling that gets worse: If the longer bar becomes embedded, or swelling increases after the third or fourth day of your new piercing, then something might be wrong.
- Redness: Any redness without the piercing being snagged, rubbed, or freshly pierced is not normal.
- Heat: If the skin around the piercing increases in temperature, becomes uncomfortable or is accompanied by swelling and redness, then this could be a sign of allergic reaction or early infection.
- Dark brown, green or dark yellow pus: While it is normal to have some white or very pale yellow pus leaking from a piercing, it is not normal to have anything of a darker colour, especially brown, since this is a sign of a bad infection.
- A bad smell: If you can smell your ear piercing without taking it out, this is not a normal symptom.
- Fever, high temperature, chills, nausea, vomiting, fatigue or flu symptoms: These can be a sign of a severe infection and you should see a doctor or go to the hospital.
- "Migrating," or when the piercing moves from a normal location to somewhere else: This is where the piercing may leave scar lines, be rejected, or just move anywhere from a small amount to a completely different spot. It can still heal normally but you should have a piercer check it out.
- Severe itching: If your piercing is itching excessively or very badly, this can be a sign of an allergy to the metal or the cleaning solution used. Speak with your piercer.
- Bleeding: A small amount of blood is common after a piercing with some people, however, if your piercing is bleeding without getting caught on anything or if it's bleeding a lot, you should speak to your piercer.
- Skin turning black: Though in some piercings this can be a sign of bruising, piercings in the ears are different. In the ears, this can be a common symptom of a metal allergy, especially with surgical steel or anything that contains nickel.
- Blistering, scales or a rash around the area: This is most commonly a sign of allergy or the use of peroxide.
Please be aware that many of the symptoms above can signal allergy, infection, or problems with cleaning. It is not healthy to over clean the piercing just as it is not healthy to be unhygienic with it. See more information on the dos and don'ts of a new piercing below.
If you have any concerns you should speak to a piercer right away.
If your piercing happens to be infected, DO NOT remove it as the hole can close, trapping the infection inside your body.
The Dos and Don'ts of Your New Piercing
- Clean your piercing every day for two to three weeks after having it done, since this is the primary healing stage.
- Keep the area around the piercing clean and free to the air. Air can help make a difference in the healing time. Avoid letting hair become entangled and try to wash long hair upside down over the side of the bath as this can help prevent irritation or snagging.
- Consult your piercer if you feel anything may be wrong.
- For your own health and safety, find a decent, reputable studio, and do plenty of research before you get anything pierced.
- Buy the correct aftercare solution.
- Listen to the advice of your piercer or your aftercare sheet.
- Submerge a new piercing in water, go swimming, or share any personal liquid items e.g. cleaning solution or towels. This can cause serious infection and damage the piercing. Your piercing is an open wound directly linked to your bloodstream.
- Touch or allow other people to touch your fresh piercing.
- Scratch, rub, soak, salt, pick, play with, or remove a new piercing since this can cause a lot of discomfort and problems.
- Put a fresh piercing in direct sunlight or in freezing cold air as this will cause pain and even excess swelling.
- Ignore professional advice.
- Use any form of peroxide, bleach, or cream on a fresh piercing.
- Allow a friend or someone to pierce you at home or in their home "studio," even if the equipment was labelled as sterile. Chances are it has only been washed with alcohol or boiled rather than properly sterilised. You can never be sure whether it is truly sterile or not, especially if it came through the post. Even if something has been cleaned beforehand, nowhere will be as clean as a professional, licensed studio.
Myth vs. Fact
- Myth #1: Piercings can damage your ears.
Fact: Piercings done correctly cannot and will not damage your ears. Some people have adverse reactions to piercings, but in general, migration or rejection in ear piercings is very uncommon and most can still have very good outcomes without losing the jewellery.
- Myth #2: All piercings get infected.
Fact: All piercings can become infected but if the piercing is done properly and cared for correctly it will not become infected.
- Myth #3: If you get an infection you should remove the piercing.
Fact: If you have an infection, removing the piercing is the worst thing you can do as it will trap the infection inside your body, potentially causing blood poisoning.
- Myth #4: You can go swimming or take a hot bath after having a piercing.
Fact: You should NOT go swimming until a piercing has been fully healed as chlorine and the filth in the water can cause a serious health risk. A hot bath is fine if the piercing is not submerged.
- Myth #5: It is okay to pierce the helix with a gun.
Fact: Piercing the helix with a gun can cause serious and permanent damage to the ear. It is also illegal.
- Myth #6: It is okay to change a cartilage piercing one month after getting it done.
Fact: While some people may be okay changing the piercing after a month, generally it's better to wait in order to prevent infection, rapid closure, pain, migration or swelling.
- Myth #7: A helix piercing isn't as serious as other piercings so it doesn't need to be treated as seriously.
Fact: A helix piercing should be treated just as seriously as anything else since it is still an open wound.
- Myth #8: You can do a piercing at home by yourself just as easily.
Fact: You should never attempt to pierce at home even with the "proper" equipment as you could end up with a serious infection or injury.
- Myth #9: You can't wash your hair after getting your helix pierced.
Fact: You can wash your hair like normal. However, you should be very careful. Washing hair upside down over a bath is much easier as it will cause less distress to the piercing.
- Myth #10: A helix piercing will cause agonising pain.
Fact: A helix or forward helix is very unlikely to cause much pain. If it does, there is usually an underlying cause.
- Myth #11: Infection is very common with helix piercings.
Fact: Infection is less common in ear piercings.
- Myth #12: The cheapest place is the best.
Fact: The cheapest place is rarely the best. You pay for quality.
- Myth #13: If you fake your age, the studio won't get in trouble because it's your fault.
Fact: Faking your age to get a piercing can not only be illegal, but it can also cause a piercer to lose their license and their studio. This is especially true with a more intimate piercing (which can be classified as a minor form of assault on a minor).
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 XVampireX
Dylan on April 21, 2020:
Wow. I wished I saw this before. I got mine done at Claire’s, with a gun, and I always twist mine around because that’s what I’ve always been informed to do. Luckily, I’ve had mine for about 6 weeks and it’s ok
Jeanna on March 03, 2020:
Is there anything I can put on my helix piercing to ease or numb the pain? I got it 3 days ago and it’s not red or bleeding but it really hurts. I haven’t slept on it and I’m soaking it with saline water and cotton ball.
Oddz on August 13, 2019:
Hi i do hope i get a response... i juz had mu cartilage pierce 2 days ago... and i dont want it anymore cause anxiety started to kick in...basically coz i coulnt play with my toddler due to fears of getting my new piercing kick or touch... is it ok if i take it off? Its not sweeling or anything as of now.. not swollen. Plz help.
Danielle on April 28, 2019:
Had my helix for a week now and as it’s my first peircing the sight of blood and puss shocked me , I love this page ! So much help for me ! Thank you ❤️
drummergirl15 on March 07, 2019:
Thank you, this is very useful, as I just got my helix done today! Great info.
Victoria Sobocki on February 14, 2019:
What a great site. Just got a helix yesterday and wanted to know more. Thank you!
bob on June 17, 2018:
what if you have a kind of pipple below your piercing is it an infection?
and how long should you wait before swimming?
Dailey on April 29, 2018:
Hi I was wondering can u have ur hair down with your helix or does it have to be up
me on January 27, 2018:
For everyone who is using hydrogen peroxide and alcohol, please don't! It is way too strong for your piercing. Do what your piercer tells you to use when cleaning your piercing. Even though peroxide and alcohol clean, it is not a great idea to use for your ear pierced hole thingy.
Michelle on December 31, 2017:
I just got my helix piercing a couple days ago and the top area of my ear is purple (kinda like a bruise) my ear isn’t red, swollen, or warm. Is it normal?
Meg on December 19, 2017:
All the people talking about how they’re fine after getting their cartilage done with a gun are probably unaware that it’s just more of a risk. You may be fine but there are other people who had their cartilage shattered because it is actually a thin bone. Also just because the gun is a faster and less expensive option than the professional piercing doesn’t mean it is better. Before I did a lot of serious research on piercings I was considering getting my cartilage done with a gun but then after doing some research I realized that the gun is a higher risk and usually you don’t get someone who’s profession is to pierce you. You usually get some 18 year old who gets paid like $10 an hour who isn’t thinking about the structure of your ear and where the piercing will look the best. Also this upper cartilage piercings which are called helix piercings are only about $20-$35. It might be more expensive but you’re paying or the experienced professional with a license and sterile jewelry. Not even mentioning the amount of time the piercer spends ensure that their atmosphere is safe and welcoming. So really compare the choices someone who isn’t professionally licensed with a tool that uses blunt force trauma to create a hole in you ear or someone who’s certified and has a sterile environment with a needle made only for that part of your ear. So yeah you pay more but you’re getting a professional and better jewelry. So if after reading this you’re still thinking about getting a cartilage piercing done with a gun also remember there’s no way to effectively disinfect and sterilize a gun and you are more likely to permanently damage your body.
Helix issues on October 10, 2017:
I've had my helix piercings for over a year now (I got two at the same time on the same time), and the upper one seems to have made the earshell permanently swollen in that area. It never got infected, so I'm not quite sure what the problem is. It was done professionally with needle at a tattoo parlour. Does anyone know if the swelling will go down? The piercing isn't really painful at all anymore.
Amie Doucette on September 24, 2017:
Got 3 forward helix 5 days ago still red and swallon?? New to this wat to do
Daisy on July 25, 2017:
Is it normal to feel pain while cleaning your healing helix then it will take off ?
Lydia on June 22, 2017:
You said don't submerge your piercing in a hot bath ... But are cold showers okay? And if they're not, if there any way to effectively insulate the piercing from the water?
Amber lenior on June 12, 2017:
Hi, I got a helix piercing 2 days ago. But my ear is really red around the piercing and it also hurts.. is this dangerous or will it go away? I also feel some kind of throbbing in my ear. I did touch the piercing.
Sarah on June 04, 2017:
So I took a double helix piercing literally 8 hours ago. The guy who took it wasn't really a proffesional, but my friend got a piercing there and someone else I know got a tattoo there and everything went perfectly fine. I was supposed to get hoops/rings but it was too thick, but we didn't notice so he had to stick the needle in again and put in another piercing. It didn't really hurt, but it was bleeding. The two piercings aren't really parallell, but I think it is okay.
How long do i have to wait until I can change the piercings? I want to change them as fast as possible because I don't like the ones I have in now.
Soph on May 31, 2017:
I just got my helix pierce a couple of hours ago... didint reasearch anything ... didint even think about it till ten minutes before I went. Didint hurt at all... only con is I got kicked off the soccer field because I couldn't take it out
Dana on March 15, 2017:
This is my second day I've had my triple helix and it looks a little swollen. Is that normal?
Martine on March 12, 2017:
Wait, so I'm confused... I just got my helix pierced 2 days ago and it's my second time cleaning it and since the first time, I have been feeling dizzy and felt like throwing up and sweaty. It only happens when I clean it otherwise it doesn't hurt or anything.
and I got it pierced with a needle of course ! I was just wondering if it's normal and for how long it will last?
Lily on February 24, 2017:
I just pierced mine myself I'm 13 BTW and how long should I wait to put a ring in it
Zoe on February 17, 2017:
I'm just about to get mine done, I'm 13 and I'm just a little nervous, this article really helped.
Beck Spry on January 15, 2017:
Just thought I'd add my 2 cents to this. I have a helix piercing that I've had for a little bit over 2 years. It was healed OK and I could change the jewellery within 4 months, but I had to for a play. Would have left it longer if I could have. In Australia, the piercers recommend waiting 6 months, if possible, before changing the jewellery.
One thing that hasn't been touched on, that I can see, is ongoing care. These kind of piercings, for me at least, have a problem with any metals that you may be allergic to and, because they take so long to heal, can have problems with dirt, oils, etc. For instance, I got an infection in the over-two-year-old piercing just a few weeks ago, but salt water baths and antiseptic spray work as well to heal that as they do with the initial healing.
Another thing that I have not noticed many people talking about is sleeping, and having just gotten my triple forward helix done, I can guarantee that this is a thing. Sleeping on your ear, especially for the first week or so is practically impossible, and I've even had trouble with my first one with it waking me up because I rolled onto it. Just keep in mind that it may effect your sleep, so don't do these at an important time, like exams or something.
Last thing, I promise, is the actual jewellery that you use. I would definately recommend using surgical steel or titanium for the piercing, and most reputable piercers won't use others, because they are the ones that the least people react to. When you get to the point where you can change your jewellery, never use the cheap but pretty looking stuff for longer than a day. Try not to sleep in this stuff. They are pretty, but they are horrible for the piercing and, because they generally aren't as sterile as the surgical steel/titanium stuff, they can cause infections.
Other than those things, keep in mind that the piercings, while there are problems, and they can be painful, they are very pretty and I tend to get a lot of compliments on them, so don't be afraid to get them because of short term problems.
Kylie on January 01, 2017:
So I got a Helix for my 14th birthday and the place was really cool a d it who does who it was super sweet and always asked I felt I was doing ok, he did it with a needle (and after reading this I'm so glad he did) but now 5 days afterward I still can't even barely touch it without it being super painful. I clean it every morning and night with a ear care solution. I do have sensitive ears though, I know it's not infected. I'm hopefully it will stop hurting in a few more days and hopefully I can sleep on it soon. (If you are having trouble sleeping, get a neck rest pillow or a donut pillow or something with a hole in the middle and just put your ear in the hole very carefully and put your arm under the pillow for a little More support, works fine for me) I'm so glad I got this piercing, girls at my school wear those fake cuff rings and I'm the only student at my school with an actual helix piercing, kinda badass, maybe I'll start a trend at my school. In all seriousness please please follow what this article says, it's SUPER helpful
jane on December 13, 2016:
hi. ive had my helix pierced 4 to 5 months ago. but sometimes they still bleed but tho. what do i do?
Hayley on November 02, 2016:
It is not illegal to get a helix done with a gun. I got both helix done on my ears and it is not an easier way to get an infection. In fact, it is safer with the needle and it is done within a second.
Rodeojoe on October 01, 2016:
I have a helix piercing and used saline soaks for the first couple weeks, ive seen a lot of recommendation for that, and my piercing healed pretty quickly and the swelling/discomfortes subsided within a week. After then I just cleaned with a saline solution and cotton ball.
Essjay on September 06, 2016:
I got mine upper cartilage done at Claire's with a gun?! And it was nowhere near the dot, it's in a right stupid place! Shouldn't they no better? Two years later and I still have trouble with it!
Lauran on August 11, 2016:
I'm confused I have my lobes pierced twice with a gun (4) 2 years ago nothing was fine then this year for my 16th got my cartilage done with a gun 5th piercing I had an infection I think just after school finished I'm better now I had it for nearly 7 weeks (Saturday ) my ear still a little sore but it does not hurt even when I'm sleeping I can sleep on it but I want to change it to a ring but what type of ring the ring with the ball or the ring just like the sleeper also getting nose done soon and getting stud as school I don't know if they would like it but my cartilage they liked it so might aswell get nose,done soon then before school starts in September eh
Maria on August 04, 2016:
This article is helpful, however I got my helix pierced 1.5 months ago and it was done with a gun in a fully licensed place and it was good! No pain at all and nothing bad happened (I am sure you can't sue salon for using the gun, it is the matter of personal preference). I would say for 2 weeks after your piercing has been done using peroxide is good for avoiding any infections (in addition to other liquid to be used in combination). If it is healing pretty good, don't touch it for 2 months and after that if swelling and pain goes away you can change the earring, however it is very common for body to reject the piercing (some Russian roulette going on).
Faith on July 12, 2016:
I got mine done yesterday and it went fine. The only thing I scared about is washing my hair/brushing aha.
Gabriëlla on July 06, 2016:
Well i just got mine 2 days ago and they did it with a gun (in my island its normal to get a helix earpiercing with a gun ) and it isnt bad if you did it with a gun or a needle because my mom has a helix earpiercing since almost 5 years and she doesnt have any problem with it it heeled fine and didnt cause any infection
And i did touch mine is it that bad???
And can i clean it with alcohol??
Christina on June 09, 2016:
I didn't know that white pus was good! That makes me so relieved because I thought mine was infected but it wasn't swollen so then I thought I must have gotten some allergy over the years or something but it still felt fine. Anyway this website is SO informative and helpful.
Kel on April 26, 2016:
Hi I've had 2 piercings (forward helix) about 3 weeks ago, was normal red and painful for first couple of days and settled down pretty quickly. However, this morning it's swelled up again and the smaller stud at the top seems to look like its disappearing in the swollen part of my ear. There's no pus or anything it's just swollen again. I haven't knocked it or anything all I can think of is that I must of slept on it in the night. Any ideas what I can do or why it's happened?
(Originally, the idea was to have 3 but I was told to wait for the third one)
Hannah on April 09, 2016:
Guys I got a helix piercing last summer in a Woolwich jewellers with a gun. Worst decision ever, it got infected, swollen and after 6 months it still never fully healed and was always painful to sleep on both sides and even worse a giant red lump filled with keloid scar tissue pus and blood formed and I still have the scars from it on both ears. I was being rash and ridiculous and just wanted a cheap piercing even though I usually go for piercing studios that are licensed and only use needles etc
Emily on March 22, 2016:
For those of you in the comments below me, NO piercings should be done with a gun!! If the place you're going to is going to use a gun, turn your happy little butt around and run for the hills. Piercing guns crush the skin/cartilage while needles actually /pierce/ through it. They're not sanitary and most of the time people with piercings guns (ie: Claire's, Piercing Pagoda's etc mall crap) are not license professionals that know their shit!
I have plenty of piercings, double helix in my left ear, with two in my earlobes on that side, on the other side one helix, one 12g conch and as well as two earlobes and my nose pierced. I know what I'm talking about! Take the advice of the article you read, and don't use piercing guns or peroxide. Peroxide kills bacteria, yes, but it also kills GOOD bacteria!
Macey on February 19, 2016:
Great Advice! I got my pair of double forward helix done about a five days ago. It was pretty painless. My piercer just popped my earrings in and that was that. They seem to be doing well. I try to spin them while I clean them which hurts a little for a minute or so but I guess that's normal seeing as they're still open wounds . I have been cleaning them with alcohol hoping it's still as effective. They are really cool though and where I'm from very unique. I Love Them :)
Jamie on February 05, 2016:
i got my double cartilage/helix piercing done 2 days ago WITH A GUN and it feels heated around them and i kind of feel like they're sort of swollen. i'm scared if they get infected or if my ear gets deformed cause i got them done with a gun HELP :( i did touch my piercings after i got them (i didn't know that you weren't supposed to) and i've been cleaning them with alcohol. I don't know if that's bad or not?? It doesn't say on here that it isn't
MJ on December 17, 2015:
I got my forward helix pierced 2 months ago but there's no signs of it healing.. It's extremely painful and sensitive but it doesn't look like its migrated, maybe slightly but not a lot. Any tips?
jtrader on October 25, 2015:
Caring for piercings takes time but it's worth it.
Bevana from Tauron on October 12, 2015:
Very good post about piercing.
Tim on August 30, 2015:
I got a triple forward his piercing 2 days ago and I was sitting down watching a movie and it just randomly started gushing blood any suggestions on what to do?
email@example.com on August 14, 2015:
For helix piercing, gun and needle. Which is better?
Zoey on August 10, 2015:
I got my helix piercing about two weeks ago and it's already healing up pretty fast from what i can judge - unfortunately i didn't read the caretaking instructions, meaning: i went swimming and played with it.
There is NO change to be seen. Nowhere. Nothing changed.
It is a little swollen, but given the fact that it's barely two weeks old, i think that's fine.
Convincing my parents (i'm 16, and in my country one has to be 18 to be allowed to get that stuff done on one's own) was pretty hard - my dad said no to any kind of piercing i wanted. He only agreed with the ear lobes because my mom told him they would look cute on me.
My mom then also gave me the helix piercing as a birthday present - WITHOUT talking to my father about it, he found out after my birthday and two days later i got it pierced.
Mine was also done with a needle, the woman piercing me was really cool and chilled. She told me she'd be there waiting until i was ready (yes, i was a *little* nervous...), then popped back up with a needle in her hand, winked and said, "you ready?", then started to laugh and took one of the sterilized, packaged ring piercings and put it next to me.
She's the coolest piercer ever, if i ever get a piercing again, I'll definitely ask for her!
The shop is called Rattlesnake and it is located near one of the biggest shopping streets in Vienna, Austria, EU.
If any of you ever get here, check it out! :)
Constance on August 09, 2015:
Wow. Great advice. The best advice by far. I love the fact about not overdoing the antibacterial or using any antibacterial until it may be needed. I've found that one of the most exciting thing about a new piercing is taking proper care so I can put cool hardware in them.
Keep your hands OFF your piercing! Be patient!! Heal Happy!!!
Ciara on August 04, 2015:
All my friends have some sort of helix piercing and I always though they were so cute so I decided I wanted to get one too! My mom was just a simple "Sure. I don't care" but now I'm thinking "what if it gets infected?!", "what if it hurts for a very long time?!" Should I get it? All I wanted was a single helix, maybe a double helix, no double forward triple back trunk stuff. Help? I was going to go to Metamorphis, a tattoo and piercing salon. Has anyone ever gone there? Is it good? Should I go there? If anyone has any recommendations for where I could get it done, I'd be happy to hear! It has to be in Winnipeg and/or the Winnipeg area! :)
It's me on August 03, 2015:
I had my helix pierced about 5 weeks ago and I had to change my metal bar to plastic 2 week after I got it done. I asked my mum if I could get a helix piercing and she didn't mind at all, but she had to sign papers saying it was okay for me to get my helix pierced.( I am 13 years old ) after I changed it, I have been getting this crunchy stuff all around my piercing.
gregory miller on August 01, 2015:
I'm getting mine done tomorrow and my friend said use sea salt I'd that gkod
Britney Scicluna on July 27, 2015:
Hi, I really want to get my triple forward helix pierced but I'm really scared of the pain, because I have seen a lot of videos and they are getting me nervous. I already have two cartilage piercings, help me please!!!!!!
Sierra on July 14, 2015:
I am thinking of getting a double helix because I always thought it looked cool. But anyways this site has a lot of good information and I might be able to convince my mom easier by showing her this site. Thanks so much!
Kyra on July 01, 2015:
I'm getting mine in 3 days ( helix) and I'm 12 !! I'm Sao excited/nervous and my dad didn't care but it took s lot of nagging to get my mum to agree!
eleutheria on June 28, 2015:
To tell you the truth mine caused a lot of pain for about 6-9 months and it was last year when i was 13 ... now I'm 14 and a half and it still hurts i lil bit but i did it on summer and i was going to the sea and seating to the sun and i also cleaned it with perioxide cause i though that it would heal quicker (my friend that gone to a piercer was husting for ONE week only)
Aoise on June 25, 2015:
I just got my upper cartilidge pierced, with a gun, a few hours ago. After reading this I'm seriously starting to panic. It is a reputable place, as in it has a very good name, so I trusted them completely. Surely they should know what they're doing, right ? Should I be very worried ? I don't want a disfigured ear.
Tianna on June 21, 2015:
It's illegal to pierce your upper cartlidge with a gun because it's illegal and can cause serious swelling and discomfort , maybe go to the piercer and ask them to take a look if they say take it out get them to re do it again but with a needle
Amanda on May 13, 2015:
I got mind done 4 days ago befit looking around unfortunately. The piercer did use a gun and I got a double upper cartridge piercing. Any tips? It's pretty swollen
Anagha on April 13, 2015:
I just got mine done two days ago, and let me tell you, convincing my parents was a huge ordeal. The best way to convince them is to show them that you've done your research and know what you're getting yourself into; you should inform them of the prices, what tools are used and tell them about the process and aftercare, and last but not least, if they're still no convinced, take them to the best tattoo shop near you which has great reviews for its piercers and have one of them talk to your mom or dad. This will definitely calm them down.
Hope this helps !
Sarah on March 16, 2015:
How can your ear reject it? Also how can you convince your parents to get it? My mom isn't too keen on it and my dad is flat out saying no for like the rest of my life, any tips?
Chelsey Ross from Memphis, TN on March 07, 2015:
This is a great post. I had a double forward helix, but unfortunately, my ear rejected both piercings. I miss them a lot, but your tips are great.
Go to your piercer, or call them, if you want to know the gauge of your piercing.