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Where on Your Body Should You Get a Piercing?

Where Should You Get A Piercing?

So, you know for sure that you want a piercing, but don't know where on your body. Let's take a look at some of the classic spots to get pierced.

Close-up of a tongue piercing

Close-up of a tongue piercing


  • The ear is the most basic site.
  • The soft lobes are the easiest spot on the ear to pierce, and the process is the least painful.
  • The top of the ears, where there is more cartilage, is more difficult and thus more painful—expect a crunch when the needle goes through, and don't be grossed out!
  • Healing times vary, of course; ear lobes usually take about 6-8 weeks to heal, but cartilage piercings can take anywhere from four months to one year to heal. My cartilage piercings took about a year.


  • The bacteria in your nose can cause infections, but I rarely hear of an infected nose piercing because these are usually left alone for the most part.
  • Nose piercings can take 2-4 months to heal.
  • Changing jewelry in a nose piercing can be really annoying to change out.


  • Eyebrow piercings are tricky because they can be disturbed easily when you sleep. Makeup can also irritate the piercing.
  • There is the risk of migration, in which the piercing shifts and moves over time.
  • Piercings in this area can take 6-8 weeks to heal.
  • Barbells, curved barbells, and captive bead rings are worn in the eyebrow.

Belly Button

  • Navel piercings are more likely to become infected because of irritation from tight clothing. A pierced area needs air to heal.
  • These usually take 4-12 months to heal.
  • My friend says it's annoying to clean and sterilize belly button piercings when they're healing; she would have to take a cup of cleaning fluid and hold it to the piercing to cleanse it.
  • Usually, the belly button is pierced with a barbell, which is worn until the piercing has fully healed. Once it has healed, however, most kinds of ring or bar jewelry can be worn in a navel piercing.
  • A wide variety of decorative jewelry is available for the navel: simple navel barbells, navel barbells with dangling pendants, and navel barbells with attached belly chains.

Lip and Cheek

  • Piercings in the lip and cheek are a bit more prone to infection, but my lip didn't get infected, and I played with the piercing a lot.
  • It's supposed to take 2-3 months to heal, but I remember mine healing fairly quickly.
  • I had to use mouthwash throughout the healing process. Gum damage is possible. Basically, the ADA (American Dental Association) is against any oral piercing.
  • Rings and studs are generally worn in the lip, while cheeks usually have studs.


  • Tongue piercings swell a lot at first but heal fairly quickly (around four weeks) if the right type of jewelry is used.
  • Infections can occur because of the bacteria from your mouth.
  • Mouthwash is recommended during the healing process.
  • Your teeth can get damaged from the piercing rubbing and hitting them so much, which wears down the enamel.
  • Gum damage is also possible. Again, the ADA advises against getting an oral piercing.
  • Tongue piercings are most often pierced with straight barbell-style jewelry.


  • Nipple piercings can damage some of the milk-producing glands in a young woman's breasts. This can cause infections or problems later if the woman decides to breastfeed her baby.
  • These piercings take 3-6 months to heal, and it may take longer if tighter clothing slows the healing process.


  • Ouch! Nerve damage is an issue with genitalia piercings.
  • People are advised to abstain from sexual intercourse during the healing process.
  • Blood loss is actually a risk with these piercings.
  • Female genitalia takes about 4-10 weeks to heal while male genitalia takes about 4 weeks to 6 months.


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.


riana on December 27, 2013:

I just got a nose piercing 2 days back, but I can see that my nose stud is starting to sink making the hole look bigger. I want to change it into a ring and I'm gonna wait 3 more days and get it changed, this stud is scaring me. What should I do? Also, its painful to touch the piercing I tried to remove it on my own but its too tight. :/

cabbieb00 on February 24, 2012:

i have a dermal anchor on my chest and its pierced right next to a vein. can it shift and hit the vein? or can anything bad happen if it does??

cabbie on February 24, 2012:

i have a dermal anchor on my chest and its pierced right next to a vein. can it shift and hit the vein? or can anything bad happen if it does??

Lily Kingston on February 01, 2012:

I have a question about snake bites and angel bites , does they heal fast or slow or what do you do to take care of it? i'm not really afraid that it hurt or not but just want it to heal faster or don't get infection or something :/ im thinking of getting them soo....oh and btw belly piercing doesn't hurt at all(for me) but for my friend it hurt a little but its all worth it! it looks so gawsssjusss now :p

koolbeanz123 on January 24, 2012:

hey 12 years old i want my navel pirced but im scared about wats gunna happen some one help do i do i do it myself or do i go and get it done a pro my mum sed get it done next year i cant wai that long help !!!!!!!!!

ash on January 13, 2012:

Hi I have both nipples and navel pierced, my navel took a year to heal and was done with 14 g curved barbell. My nipples still in the process if healing had them for a month and a half... Every piercer gives different advise.. my piercer says never put otiment on the site and do salt soaks so being a professional doesn't make your word law....

Tattoo on January 02, 2012:

Amia on October 31, 2011:

Bree ur an idoit. Idfc if ur a pofessional piercer it doesn't mean shit. My sister has gotten her bellybutton twice both with a curved barbell. It can be used as a ring or curved barbell doent matter. My friend got hers pierced with a ring.

Summer Keck on October 18, 2011:

i have no peircings im going to save this website but i want some more professional opinions about nose piercings .. like on the nostril. I want to get my nose pierced but my vanes are a little bit to close to the skin inside my nose which causes nose bleeds every now and then (it doesn't happen to much) it happens about once a month i get a nose bleed .. will this infect my piercings any ? im getting mine done by a proffessional who actually worked in a shop. i am 11 yrs old and i really want to know this before i get it done incase any infections. My head is filled with info with all different websites. But none of them would tell me this. My parents think its unsafe to get it before i get this checked out i need to know from a professional please Thankyou :D

Tmims on September 27, 2011:

Bree, I have also never heard of anyone being pierced with a ting for their naval. I've been with my mom, sister, my girlfriend and a friend to get theirs done.. All at different shops, and not one used a ring. They all used curved barbells. 14g.

And try not to be so rude :)

Kaylie on September 05, 2011:

With my mom it's this: belly I'm too young. Nose makes people sluts and me hanging out with guys more than girls justifies that. Cartilage is that it would get infected. Which annoys me alot.

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on September 05, 2011:

Hi Kaylie. When I was younger, I wanted piercings, though I just wanted multiple ear piercings. My mom didn't like it, but even her friends would say that piercings can close up, so they're not a big deal, unlike tattoos, which are more permanent. Good luck!

Kaylie on September 04, 2011:

I'm 13 and I really want a belly button, cartilage and a nose piercing. If you guys could help me out by ways to persuade my parents and helpful tips that would be great! Thanks :)

kayleigh on February 16, 2011:

Bree: never seen or heard of anyone getting navel done with a ring because that will only increase chance of irritation and getting it caught on clothing etc.

cloudhardy from United State on November 10, 2010:

Good Hub!!!!

The information shared is incredibly valuable. Piercing is a very common phenomena among the masses, in one way or another. Therefore the text shared is very much fruitful for keeping ourselves in good health.

Taylor on November 05, 2010:

Way to go Bree ! Yes, being a piercer and owning a shop are completely different . She was not hating, she was correcting . I don't want assumptions, I want facts . If I'm going to get microdermals I want to know what to expect , not what could maybe happen . Thanks everyone for the information .

kazemaru2 from usa on October 28, 2010:

nice hub the last two piercings are the most painful but they look the most tasteful.

kingkhan78 on August 22, 2010:

great information and very informative to hub page community

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on August 13, 2010:

Thanks for the comments. Good input Darcy, but if I shouldn't base my Hub on information even from a professional, then it seems hard to say what is even accurate and what isn't, because apparently everyone seems to have differing views and opinions. And to be honest, if someone out there is actually using this Hub or any Internet website to decide where to put a hole in their body, then yikes! This is just meant to be a basic overview, not a professional medical document.

Darcy on August 13, 2010:

Not to be mean, but I agree with Bree's stand point. I'm not a professional but I have done some piercings on myself. I currently have 18 piercings, but that doesn't really make all the difference. To pierce something isn't just a matter of EVERYONE being different, although I know that is a factor. You need to research not just the healing time and the jewelry to put in, but the needles and tools, sterilization, location and what's there that you want to miss (veins, nerves, etc.), the risk of different infections, aftercare, the risk of migration, and so on. Whether or not she was being mean, I understand why she posted. She's a professional and it's a little negligent for someone to just post something based on loose information that they know. I empathize with her frustration. I felt the same when I read this post. Especially since your healing times are wrong. Yes everyone is different, but GENERALLY it doesn't take that long to heal. And as far as a navel, I have had mine done three separate times, and it was ALWAYS done with a ring. It is the best way for it to be cleaned, and for it to heal. In my experiences and knowledge (I also am friends with many professional piercers and have asked many questions and had many discussions with them) you need to take every precaution. My nipple piercings have never affected lactation, and for the most part, genital piercings aren't painful. I haven't found many of my piercings to be painful, although I know that this also depends on each separate person. I think if you want to post a blog on piercing info, you should do a little more research then just what your friends have told you, or even just one professional (always get a second opinion, not every professional knows EXACTLY what they're doing), and you should be more specific.

2pretty2sweat from Long Island on July 30, 2010:

I have my lobes pierced, my tragus pierced and my belly button. I used to have my septum pierced! None of them got infected.

melissa on July 22, 2010:

gettin my belly pierced in august/september :)

tobkum on June 08, 2010:

Good article, thumbs up! I'm a professional piercer, glad to see some people that are not spreading false infos ;)

mic-mac on May 30, 2010:

quick question, i love how experienced u guys are saying you are, and im not doubting it, but you haven't really explained what are the best preparations and what needles are recommended for where to be pierced.... im generally asking which needle to use and how to prpare it to go through the top of your lip near the front and going downwards toward ur chin so to place like a mini industrial (haven't a clue what they are actually called) through it... plus theres other spots to pierce that id like to know about or try... can anyone offer these small tips to help us amature piercers, plz

borge_009 from Philippines on March 17, 2010:

I have tried mainly some of that but I have never tried or will try piercing my nipples and genitalia. LOL. Thanks for this hub

Bree on January 14, 2010:

Aaaactually, Mini-freedom; the jewerly is different. The piercings are done pretty much the same, but the jewerly is COMPLETELY different.

So nice try - Asshole. Owning a shop, and actually BEING A BODY PEICER, are ALSO completely different things.


Mini-freedom on January 04, 2010:


to add on to your hatin'

Someone with sooo much experience should also know that a dermal anchor and microdermal are the same thing, nice try poser.

My family owns a piercing shop, too. I like to think of myself as pretty knowledgeable.

Keith Schroeder from Wisconsin on December 27, 2009:

Very informative article. I personally don't like the idea of body piercing, but that is just me.

Your article is a great way to start thinking about piercing issues before you take the plunge.

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on December 17, 2009:

Thank you, Lin! And thank you to anyone who is willing to add their input to mine... Piercings are tricky things sometimes!

Lin on December 13, 2009:

Wow, while both this hub and Bree's response were helpful, both of you have forgotten to take into account that everybody is different. Bree didn't need to be as mean when trying to correct glass's healing times, because I DO know people who've taken that long to heal when pierced correctly by a professional and taking great aftercare of their piercings. Granted, I only have 7, mine have all healed pretty quickly. With the exception of my left nostril which I only had done yesterday and it's not red or irritated at all, so I have high hopes for it. I've known people whose ear cartilage piercings have taken 6 months to a year to heal, and EVERYONE I know who's had a navel piercing had a curved barbell at first, not a ring.

Glassvisage did a good job finding information, considering that she's been piercing herself. And Bree, I'm surprised that someone with so many piercings and training in the field wouldn't know that some people can take a much longer time to heal, and that some piercers tend to use different body jewelry as per their own method.

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on December 11, 2009:

Nice :)

Bree on December 09, 2009:

It doesn't matter how I say something, you'll always take it as the wrong way. You're am immature little kid, grow up, go to an actual piercer, get over yourself.

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on November 29, 2009:

Bree, thanks for the extra information and advice, but I could have gone without the meanness. I was just trying to help... Experiences like these make the Internet pretty miserable...

Bree - Again. on November 25, 2009:

Sorry guys, I forgot a couple of my piercings and didn't realize it until afterwards. I also have my tongue done 3 times, the web underneath my tongue done twice, my lip done twice on the right side, and once on the left. I have my nose, septum, and medusa done, as well as my eyebrow - twice.

Thought I'd add that in.

Bree on November 25, 2009:

This page is horrible. First of all, you decide to call it, "facts..." You don't have the right to call any of these facts, most are generalizations ; and are also wrong.

I am a professional body piercer, took a 3 year course - I know it all. I own my own shop in my city. I've got a few main things to point out to you.

First of all. Cartilage piercings - I don't know what you're on to figure they should take 4 months to a year to heal. A proper piercing is pierced with a needle one guage larger than the actual jewerly, so there is space to room, and cleaning can be done properly. Since most piercings are done with hollow needles, this will remove the cartilage (or skin) therefore shortening the healing process. A PROPERLY pierced ear in the cartilage should take between one month, to three months to heal. If it does take longer, there is most likely a problem. But cartilage should never take anywhere near to a year for healing.

Belly button's are pierced with a RING, not a stud, or curved barbell. They need to be pierced with round jewerly to allow proper healing. A small dab of polysporn on the bottom, slide the bead to the top, and back down again, then wipe away any access ointment. That's so the inside of the piercing gets what it needs to heal. How are you supposed to do that if you were pierced with a curved barbell? Also, this piercing is also quick healing. It should never take anywhere close to a year. Generally it will heal between 2 - 4 months.

Now, a nipple piercing is going to affect a mother's nursing? That is a myth. I have 3 kids, all breastfed, and I have had my nippled pierced for probably 9 years. Also, nipple piercings are fairly fast healers - Generally around the 2 - 4 month mark. Ladies - Want your nipples pierced, but scared because you haven't had kids yet? Go for it. There is no danger, pain, or any harm for you or your newborns.

On a side note - If the nipple is pierced wrong, you may have extra milk "leaking out." Not like the regular nipple does when breastfeeding, but little drops every once and a while. EVEN IF THIS DOES HAPPEN, it won't do harm. It may make your baby a little chucky, and you'll lose your baby fat that much quicker.

Now, for the dreaded genitalia piercing. 4 - 10 WEEKS?! I don't think so. For a man, healing time will be about a month, maybe two. For a woman, they are THE FASTEST healing piercings one could get. Most will heal up PERFECTLY in matter of 3 days, to a week!! And no sexual activities? False. You can be throwing your man, around in bed the very next night - if you're comfortable with yourself. A suuper fun piercing, where the pain really isn't that much worse than your lobes.

Now, I am 26 years old. I have had over 75 piercings. I have Dermal Anchors, on my hips, stomache, and thighs. Micro Dermals on my collar bones, wrists, sternum, and the back of my neck. I have my ears done - 27 in one ear, 31 in the other. I have a surface piercing below my Micro Dermal on my sternum. As well as both my nipples pierced. My belly button done, 4 times. I have 4 below the waist.

Little kids like you, who think you know everything about piercings, tattoos, everything, need a bracing reality check. And you also shouldn't be doing piercings on your own. If any of your equipment isn't sterile, you can get many of different infections, and some have been known fatal. Don't pierce your tongue yourselves guys.. If pierced through any of the main veins, you can be paralyzed.

Any more questions, any of you can e-mail me. My address is I can also answer anything you need to know about tattoos, as I have been professionally tattooing for 3 years now. Thank you.

johnmce from Brighton, UK on November 25, 2009:

pierce yourself?! can you pierce your own tongue?!

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on November 17, 2009:

Thanks guys! Those are some crazy stories... That's why I like to pierce myself, to save money :)

Julieann on November 17, 2009:

ive had 4 bottom lip, 2 angel bites, septum, nose, smiley, 2 web, 3 surface napes, 2 surface collar bones, cheeks, all up my ears, 2 on the sides of my upper lip, and one dermal on my sternum.

i don't even want to calculate how many that is and the cost. all in all i only have about 6 left and none of mine have ever gotten infected. it all depends on where you go to get them done. i got over mine purely because i wanted tattoos.

i think the worst piercings ive had to heal were my cheeks as my face went so fat for like a week that the other two i got on the sides of my top lip started growing in and under the skin i had to take them out. you get sick of them after a little while but i don't regret any.

nice blog thingy

MS on November 06, 2009:

i've got 14 piercings myself (i'm 18). to be honest my belly and nose piercing didn't hurt at all (except for when they put the jewelery in my nose). i have a surface piercing on my lower back and that was probably the most painful to get done, followed by my self-pierced septum.

septum piercings are a bitch, i was in constant pain for the first 5 days.

ciidoctor on August 28, 2009:

bretty cool

Kay on August 17, 2009:

hi i'm 14 and i have...13 piercings i think?:)

in my experience rook or industrial(upper ear piercings) were the worst to get done, but tragus and tongue are the most painful when healing---stomach and ear lobes were nothing

But i guess everyone has different pain thresholds, so no one can really tell people exactly how sore something would be, they could just give how 'twas for them(:

TicketyBoo on August 11, 2009:

I'm 16 and have a fair few piercings but I really want my nipple done for the first time. Does anyone have any advice/tips? Or even whether to opt for the left or the right!


glassvisage (author) from Northern California on July 23, 2009:

Thanks for your experiences, you two!

loopy lou on July 22, 2009:

Well... so far in my limited (32 piercings so far) experience I have this to say:

The most painful was my tongue but it healed 1st time withing a week or 2. I have had to re-do it myself since because i'm a teacher and then it only takes a couple of days to be back to normal.

The least painful was the one which did not hurt at all and that was downstairs! LOL! Seriously, no feeling or pain when it was done but felt ace afterwards. Completely healed within a week.

Eyebrows are easily knocked, pulled and damaged. Mine came out and has left a scar which is annoying. Can't really recommend it because it's rubbish!

Piercings hurt at 1 point but as long as you're healthy and take care of them they are fine. My bellybutton was my first and that was painless too. x

duettes on July 10, 2009:

i have done ear piercings,nine on each ear.tattoos on my arms, legs, chest, lower and upper back but nuthing feels as painful as my navel piercing. i was close to yelling lol and was holding on to my piercer's hands out of sudden when he pierce thru my flesh as it was so so so someone just stab u right in the stomach..that was the most scariest moment of my life, i thght i couldn't take it anymore. I don't feel much after it was finished.

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on June 23, 2009:

Thanks for your comments! Not to be a bad influence, Jessica, but I always felt that piercings are better than tattoos, anyway, because you can just take them out and it'll probably just close up and look like nothing was ever there :)

Jessica x on June 23, 2009:

im 12 and i have 9 piercings- 5 on my right ear, 3 on my left ear and also my belly button.

it really annoys me when people are always ranting on that im too young and everything, but i think that im not and piercings represent who i want to be and who i am.

tbh, its only a piercing so if its fcks up it will soon get better.

its weird, because of of the ear piercings that i got done by a gun got infected very easily, but then i pierced 2 myself with a needle and to be honest it didn't get as infected as the ones done proffesionally. just don't get it done by a gun and your best to go to a tatto parlor.

ive had my belly button done for a few months now, and that hasn't been infected. i took it out only a few weeks after getting it pierced, but it looks better :) x

great page btw XD x

kappa022 from Florida on February 16, 2009:

Eyebrow piercings can get infected very, very easily. Anyone who is thinking about getting one needs to make sure they clean it thouroughly at least three times a day. Granted, you should do this with all piercings. =)

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on December 27, 2008:

Thanks everyone! I agree that I don't have the most experience with piercings based on the number... but I've done nearly all of them myself! :S

Niki on December 26, 2008:

You said "as a girl with nine piercings"

i personally don't think that's anough expierience, considering in 16 years of my life ive had 27 piercings...

but ehh... i say as long as you clean the time to time, they're be fine... none of mine have ever been infected...

i took mine out due to pure boredom... i lost interest in most of my piercings.

vipey on July 18, 2008:

i allways though the tongue would hurt most to get pierced but yeh down below must be terrible

Raye from Seattle, WA on January 19, 2008:

Since the glands that are responsible for lactation are not located in the nipples, how would they be aversely affected by a piercing? You've got some very bad generalizations listed here...