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Everything You Need to Know About Ear Piercings

Author:

Raye has many body mods, SFSI training, former CFR-D creds, and a decade-long stint as BellaOnline's body art editor under her belt.

On Ears and Piercing

No one knows how the idea of decorating or piercing the ears first started, but different cultures all over the planet took up the practice. Ear piercing ranges from simple holes made to allow for thin wires that hold larger ear jewelry to enlarging the piercings and jewelry in imitation of traditional tribal practices of South Pacific and African cultures. In some cultures, ear piercing is done in infancy or childhood, and in others, it is permitted alongside rites of passage or when a certain advancement towards or into adulthood happens.

With globalization, people have become aware of the many variations in ear piercing styles and practices, and modern Western piercing fans now take influence and inspiration from within and outside their own cultures.

An Earring Collection

Many earrings featuring 2g, 4g and 6g piercings, plus lots of captive bead rings.

Many earrings featuring 2g, 4g and 6g piercings, plus lots of captive bead rings.

Table of Contents

  • Earring Poll
  • Different Types of Ear Piercings
  • Jewelry Sizes and Conversions
  • Earring Info
  • Shrinking or Closing Ear Piercings
  • Industrials and Orbits
  • About the Pain of Ear Piercings
  • More About Ear Piercings

Earring Poll

Ear Piercing Locations

Ear piercings can go almost anywhere on the ear these days.

Ear piercings can go almost anywhere on the ear these days.

Different Types of Ear Piercings

Now that mainstream piercing has moved well beyond the lower ear lobe, you can see a lot of different types of ear piercings in people's ear now. Here are some of the most popular.

  • Lobes: This area of softer tissue at the bottom of the ear is the most-commonly pierced area and the easier to heal. One variation you see now is stretched lobes, where the piercings have been enlarged to allow a much thicker gauge of jewelry.
  • Anti-tragus: It's still pretty rare, but a few folks have pierced this distinct piece of cartilage adjacent the tragus.
  • Tragus: This small chunk of cartilage is just forward of the opening of the ear and handles a piercing fairly well, however, it can be hard to heal for users of earbud-style headphones.
  • Daith: The name for this unusually-placed piercing comes from the Hebrew word for “wisdom."
  • Conch: Piercing the shell of the ear can be complicated and requires advanced piercing/medical training.
  • Rook: This name specifically refers to piercings in this one particular ear ridge. People without this fold in their ears can't get this piercing.
  • Helix: Tends to refer to the rim piercings at the top of the ear. Piercing all along the ear rim has grown a lot in popularity in Western culture.

Jewelry Wire & Gauge Size Conversion Chart

Once upon a time, earrings were just whatever size earrings were. However, with the rediscovery and popularity of large gauge ear piercings, earrings now come in lots of different sizes. The standard earrings that you buy with little wire loops, hooks or posts tend to be 20g–18g in size. The smaller the number, the larger the wire size. Once you get larger than 000g, earrings tend to be named using their English/standard measurements, i.e. 1/2", 3/4", etc.

Gauges/Inches/Millimeters

Jewelry GaugeInchesMillimeters

20g

.032"

0.8mm

18g

.040"

1.0mm

16g

.061"

1.3mm

14g

.064"

1.6mm

12g

.081"

2.1mm

10g

.102"

2.6mm

8g

.128"

3.3mm

6g

.162"

4.1mm

4g

.204"

5.2mm

2g

.257"

6.5mm

0g

.324"

8.2mm

00g

.364"

9.2mm

000g

.364"

10.0mm

x

7/16"

11.1mm

x

1/2"

12.7mm

x

9/16"

14.2mm

x

5/8"

15.8mm

x

3/4"

19.0mm

x

7/8"

22.2mm

x

1"

25.4mm

Tunnels and Plugs

2g tunnel, 4g titanium plug, 2g plastic plug

2g tunnel, 4g titanium plug, 2g plastic plug

Shrinking or Closing Ear Piercings

Reversing the process of ear piercing—that is to say, reducing or closing a hole made in the ear—can sometimes be a tricky and/or costly process. For the most part, regular-sized ear piercings will just shrink and close if you stop wearing jewelry.

With enlarged piercings, how much the hole will shrink will depend on how big the holes were stretched, how long the body modification has existed and how elastic the individual's skin and ear tissue are. People with more elastic-like ear tissue sometimes find that larger piercings don't close down all the way or even stay fairly large.

Ear tissue is a bit different from other skin and tears or rips along the edges of the ear will not heal back together without being repaired by a plastic surgeon. So if an earring is accidentally torn out, or if you have very large stretched piercings, you may need to get medical attention if you wish to have your earlobe look much like it did before being pierced. For something like ear scalpelling, where a large chunk was cut out, plastic surgery with dermal reconstruction is the only course of action.

See a Tragus Piercing Being Done

Industrials and Orbits

An "industrial" piercing is in fact two piercings, placed and spaced in such a way that a single barbell can be worn going through both holes. Piercings can be done separately or at the same time, but lining up the distance and angle of the piercings for comfort and to reduce healing stress (so the jewelry isn't torqued) are key. When this same style of piercing is done so that a captured or fixed bead ring passes through both piercings, they are often called "orbits."

See an Industrial Ear Piercing

About the Pain of Ear Piercings

Please note, I can NOT answer questions about how much ear piercings might or might not hurt. Pain is "subjective" which means it seems different to each individual person. Some people think ear piercings are painful, some don't think they are very painful at all.

If you are afraid it's going to hurt too much, DON'T GET PIERCED!

Be aware that taking aspirin will not make it hurt less, but it does thin the blood which WILL make you bleed a lot more. The same thing happens when you are drunk. Being intoxicated in any way during body modification procedures is an extremely bad idea.

More About Ear Piercings

  • Ear-volution
    The care, feeding, and growth of an ear piercing collection.
  • Earring - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    An earring is a piece of jewelry that is worn on the ear. They are worn by both sexes, although until recently in western cultures, they were more typically worn by women.
  • Body Piercing Videos
    These videos showcase a variety of body piercing modifications, from ear and eyebrow piercing to tongues studs and navel rings. See corset piercings close up, watch how hook suspensions are done, and be amazed by a belly dancer with pierced wings!
  • Fakir Intensives Body Piercing and Branding Intensives
    Fakir's Body Piercing and Branding Intensives are the only comprehensive courses of instruction available today for those who would prepare themselves to do skilled, safe, aesthetically pleasing, and sophisticated body piercing and branding.

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.

© 2008 Raye

Let's 'Ear From You!

AuntDeb on March 15, 2020:

I think I may have a nickel sensitivity, but also my Rt ear hole is smaller than Lt. I’m interested in “resizing” it to accommodate traditional ear jewelry. Can you help me with this??

AuntDeb on March 12, 2020:

One of my ear piercings has stunk slightly. Any suggestions to work on stretching it back out? I think I hv a nickel sensitivity. I’m 67 & had my ears pierced in1968. I just want to be able to wear pairs of sl. larger posted earrings without pain & irritation! Thanks

alyssa on October 13, 2017:

hey , im planning to get my lobes pierced a 3rd time, and im just wondering if they use the gun or not. Thanks

Jessie on November 03, 2016:

I only have the normal one piercing on each ear but I want more. Which would be better, some more on my ears or one on my nose??

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on June 26, 2013:

Josie, if it was me and my ear, I would not get pierced at Walmart unless the person doing the piercing could show me proof they went to piercing school and knew what they were doing. Also, at your age you will need a parent (your actual parent, not a friend's) to get pierced so maybe Mom or Dad can help you find a better place to get ear piercings.

Josie on June 25, 2013:

ok i got my ear pierced once one the lobe and im getting it done a second time and im kind of scared cause ive heard bad things when you get it done at walmart my friend is going to be there and shes getting her ears priced to is it a good idea to getmy ears pierced at walmart and should i make my friend go first btw i 9 my friend 7 so don't use fancy words lol

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on August 28, 2012:

Eva, things like nerves and blood vessels can vary slightly in location from person to person. An experienced piercer will actually use a flashlight to examine and map the ear before deciding exactly where a piercing needs to be placed so that any interior anatomy that might be damaged is avoided. If your piercer doesn't know about doing this, go find one who does.

Eva on August 28, 2012:

Hey, I am planning to get my Helix pierced, however I've heard from a few people including my cousin who is a certified nurse that the Helix contains a nerve and if pierced will make a person blind. My cousin has handled a case like this before. Where is the exact location of the nerve and which area should I pierce because I plan to get 2 Helix piercings

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on June 26, 2012:

Anna, with that tear, your ear is back to square one of healing. You'll want to wait for that to heal up, and then let the ear settle and toughen up for a few months before you try stretching again. The name of that game is "how slow can you go?"

Anna on June 23, 2012:

Heyy, I need some advise, ive exspanded my right ear lobe with no problems to 12mm and i exspanded from a 10 to a 12 last night stupidly with a plug with a band on the back because i couldn't find my tapered 12. Taken it out this morning because it didn't feel right, it blead quite a lot and ive got a little rip at the bottom and i think part of my ear lobe was in the grove with the band and has cut into my ear pretty deep, ive put the ten back in and cleaned it is there anything else i should do or keep an eye out for?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on March 26, 2012:

akashera, ear piercings should NOT be done with staples of any kind (surgical or otherwise). That's most likely why you are having problems and you should take the piercing out and let it heal up, then get it redone properly.

akashera on March 18, 2012:

i gust got a staple the first couple days it was grate then it swelled up i feel like quazymotto i been putting ice on it but i don't feel any swelling leaving my situation im so irritable how do i get some swelling to leave me alone!

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on March 15, 2012:

uH,,, Wash your ears, plain and simple. This means taking out the jewelry and washing inside the piercings. Dry them (cotton swabs work well) and clean off the jewelry before you put it back in.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on March 12, 2012:

Link, those are called piercings in the upper rim of the ear.

Link on March 05, 2012:

I was wondering of you could help me identify the piercings o. The upper rim of the ear in this picture: http://animediet.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/vl...

Tee on February 15, 2012:

i have 3 lobe piercings on each ear and i LOVE them! i soaked my ears in warm salt water & they healed perfectly!

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on January 30, 2012:

raquel, if your body and mind are afraid, it means don't do it at this time. Wait, learn more about it, think about it and see if your opinion changes over time.

uH,,, on January 27, 2012:

How do I prevent my plugs from smelling like rotting corpse?

raquel on January 15, 2012:

I want to get my snug pierced, but Im kind of nervous about the pain. The man at the tattoo parlor said that it doesn't hurt any worse than getting your ragus pierced ( which didn't hurt for me ) . i really want to get it done, but now Im kinda afraid. :( Any advice?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on January 14, 2012:

Lucy, I have sixteen ear piercings that go entirely all the way around the outside of one ear and no one ever said anything to me about "shattering" nor has anything like that happened. Cartilage piercings can be extremely tender to heal as the tissue is less flexible and the position of the piercings makes them easily snagged unless you take special care. Snagging them is very painful.

Lucy on December 29, 2011:

Hi, I want to get my cartilage pierced with a gun but loads of people have been saying it's a really bad idea for one of those reasons is that my cartilage would shatter.

1: Is a definite that my cartilage would shatter?

2: If so, would it be really painful and uncomfortable?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on December 27, 2011:

Kat, you're going to need to ask that question to a piercer who can see your ear.

Kat on December 26, 2011:

Hey, I have 2 ear piercings on my lobe, but i want a 3rd ear piercing. The only thing is i'm scared to get it on my cartilage so would a 3rd ear piercings fit on my lobe???

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on December 23, 2011:

HdPerry, infections are most often due to piercing conditions and aftercare and not the type of piercing itself. You want to make sure that your piercer uses good sterile technique and you want to make sure you talk to them BEFORE you get pierced and make sure you understand all the necessary aftercare.

HdPerry on December 22, 2011:

So how common are rook and daith infections? I got both pierced and I got an infection. I'm trying to decide whether or not to try it again.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on December 21, 2011:

Lourdes, you have an infection that is the result of being pierced by someone who has no training in infection control or sterile technique. It's going to take longer than usual to heal, and you need to put an antibiotic on it.

Lourdes on December 10, 2011:

Hey,I just got my third piercing on my right ear lobe 3 days ago and now,it's all swollen up and hurting really badly! I checked just now and there were pus and blood coming out from it. I got my ear pierced with a friend at a shop and the lady used a gun, but before she pierced for us,she did not Clean the earrings and when she pierced my ear,the back nut of the earing fell out and she pick it up from the ground without wiping it and placed it back on my ear. And I admit I did eat some seafood and nuts after I got it pierced. But today I tried cleaning it with mild sea salt water and hydrogen peroxide, but nothing seems to work and I'm going off to a camp next Thursday, how do I heal it as fast as possible??

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on November 30, 2011:

Jay, that's completely normal.

Jay on November 30, 2011:

I got my ear done on the lobe n it's extremely sore is this normal I got it done about 3days ago

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on November 24, 2011:

vimala, if the ear piercings are somewhat new, wearing smaller jewelry will allow them to shrink up a bit. If you have had pierced ears for a long time, the holes can sometimes become larger from wearing heavy jewelry or just because you have thin/stretchy ear skin. In those instances, there's nothing that can be done outside of seeing a plastic surgeon to surgically sew up the holes a bit.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on November 24, 2011:

Me..missy T, the further up the ear you pierce, the less generous the blood flow and the stiffer the ear tissue. That makes it more tender and harder to heal.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on November 24, 2011:

Ashley, I have one ear that has earrings around the entire rim, both the lower and upper. No matter where you get pierced, it's tender and hard to sleep on until it heals.

vimala on November 10, 2011:

my ear hole has become big due to my ear studs.

Kindy give tips for reducing hole.

Me..missy T on October 25, 2011:

I've had my ear pierced one at the top and the other at the side, both in the hard cartilage. My ear has gone really swollen and sore is this normal and how long do u think it will stay like this? I've had my ears pierced before as I have my lobes pierced twice and my Tragus done but I can't remember it being this pain full!

Ashley on October 20, 2011:

I have three lobe piercings in each ear and I've been thinking about getting another one. I think I have run out of room on the lobe though so if I want to go higher along the side of the ear would that be called a helix piercing? And also people have told me if you get one at the top part of your ear that you won't be able to sleep on that side for awhile, but what if I got one lower down at the start of the cartilage, would I still have to deal with that?

mariten on October 15, 2011:

i just got my 3rd pair of piercing and i totally love it!

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on September 13, 2011:

Tricia, if you start pinching your ear lobe at the bottom and slowly feel your way up the ear, you'll find a spot where it goes from being totally soft to harder and less flexible. That's cartilage, and most of your ear is that (so is the end of the nose). How painful it is to be pierced through it varies with how people perceive pain.

Tricia on September 06, 2011:

i want to geta 3rd pair of (Lobe) piercings but i keep reading stuff about the cartilage part of ur ear being the most painful, where does the cartilage start on ur ear? cuz i dont want to pierce that lol i just want it above my 2nd piercing.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on August 28, 2011:

Sandy, most people who have earrings that don't fit either get ones that do, or gently stretch the holes to fit the larger jewelry. You can't get repierced unless you have holes that have totally healed shut, and for a lot of people, long-time ear piercings are too established to do that.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on August 22, 2011:

Anne Manson, most of my ear piercings are two to three decades old by now but from time to time, I've got one that gets unhappy. I can never figure out if I slept on it wrong or it it's trying to tell me something is out of balance with my immune system or what. What you are experiencing sounds sort of like that.

Sandy on August 21, 2011:

I have had my ears pierced a very long time and I have just bought some earrings with thread pins, they are in fact to big so I can't get them in my ears. Can I have them pierced in the same place again?

Anne Manson on August 19, 2011:

I have a top ear piercing for about 8 years with an 18c ring. About 3-4 mths ago it started to hurt - red, angry, little swollen and it comes and goes but isn't getting better fullstop!! Can you comment please.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on July 21, 2011:

Marie, pain is subjective which means it feels different to everyone. No one can tell you how much a piercing will hurt for you to get.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on July 21, 2011:

Dasha, only seeing one side of a piercing is a clear indication that the piercing has partially or totally healed shut and would have to be repierced.

marie on July 20, 2011:

does tht really hurt im 11 and i really want to get the dot peircing on my upper ear

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on July 12, 2011:

Jackie, multiple piercings can be traumatic to the ear, plus if you get both multiply done at once, you are going to have extremely sore ears and no side to sleep on or talk on the phone with that isn't painful and more susceptible to infection from contact. I don't recommend it.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on July 12, 2011:

Dell, I have rather thick tragus cartilage myself and got them pierced with a needle. As for costs, you'll have to talk to piercers and see what they charge.

Dasha on July 09, 2011:

In April I got both of my tragus' pierced, and I took care of them religiously because I did not want then to get infected. At the end of June I went on vacation to Europe, so I wasn't able to keep up my regimen but I thought it would be okay since it had been a couple months. Unfortunately they got infected, one worse than the other. I nipped the other one in the bud before it got bad and it's fine now. But the other one I had to take out. It's been out for a week and a half now and it seems to have healed, it's just little scarred. Should I take care of the scarring or can I put my earring back in? I'm also concerned I'll have to get it repierced. I can see the hole from the back, but not the front. Your advice will be greatly appreciated!

Jackie on July 03, 2011:

Do you suggest getting three piercing at once per ear!?

Dell on June 27, 2011:

I want to get my tragus pierced. I don't have much luck with piercing because i have thick ears. I dont mind the pain as much as having to pay to have them re-done. Although i've only been pierced with a gun. Is it more successful with a needle. Is it more expensive to go that route?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on May 03, 2011:

Kari, I'm sorry to hear about that bad piercing experience. The bruising is going to move from the site of trauma, and go downwards along muscles around the ear. Taking a multi-vitamin with extra Vitamin C and zinc can help with healing. Obviously, watch for any signs of infection or scar tissue formation.

Kari on May 03, 2011:

Hi there,

My daughter had her rook pierced on Sunday. The piercer pulled the needle out before feeding the jewelry through, then proceeded to try to force the jewelry through the hole. He ended up re-piercing the rook, the needle went through the original hole on the bottom and created a new hole on top. This time he did feed the jewelry through as he removed the needle. My concern is that the entire back of her ear is completely black and blue, my guess is that was caused by him trying to force the jewelry through the first time. Because of this is there anything we should watch for during the healing process? Thank you!!

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on April 13, 2011:

becca, having multiple piercings done at once can be really stressful on the ear. I found even doing two at a time made things much more tender and uncomfortable during healing than with just one piercing.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on April 13, 2011:

Kay, most "weaving" bars are thicker than the standard 18g ear piercing, but you should talk to your piercer and see what jewelry options are available. Cartilage does not stretch, so you'd have to have larger holes pierced.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on April 11, 2011:

Meghan, either your ear needs to be cleaned more so that the lymph and other fluids don't cause the backing to stick, or you are wearing an earring that is just too tight.

becca on April 10, 2011:

ok so I was planing on getting another 3 peircings a third row just on the lob and 1 cartilage, would you suggest doing em all at the same time or at diffrent times to give it time to heal?

Kay on April 10, 2011:

Hey, I have 2 ear cartilidge piercings and I plan on getting another one. I want to put a weaving bar through, but will they stretch my current piercings, or are the bars standard earring size?

Meghan on April 07, 2011:

I recently pierced my cartilage and the butterfly end is getting stuck in it. What do i do>

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on April 05, 2011:

Dani, regular ear piercings are the smallest you can get. Earrings are sized like wires: the smaller the number, the larger the hole.

Dani on April 05, 2011:

Hi, I have regular pierced ears and I want to move up to the smallest gauges. Can I do that myself or do I have to go to someone and have it done professionally? I don't know much about it at all. Also, what is the smallest gauges you can get?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on March 27, 2011:

Sierra, I've found it's best to get a simple hoop for new ear piercings and once the piercing is healed, then switch to the fancy jewelry of your choice.

Sierra on March 25, 2011:

Hi :) I was going to get my right ear pierced in the cartilage with a circular barbell/horseshoe. My left ear cartilage with a studded bar. What i was wondering is if i get them the same gauge size can i wear a circular barbell/horseshoe in my left and a studded bar in my right? Basically which them around. Also could i put in a spiral bar in both? So if the gauge size is the same does it matter if, after they are pierced, i wear a spiral bar, a studded bar, a circular barbell, or a bar that has something hanging from it?

-Sierra

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on March 24, 2011:

Danielle, I absolutely do not suggest you do any of those piercings yourself. I suggest you find a way to save up the money to pay to get it done professionally (and safely).

Danielle on March 23, 2011:

I pierce my own ears, and have six on one and three on the other. I want to get a tragus, a daith or a conch piercing, but I can't afford it and my parents refuse to pay for it. So should I just pierce it myself or no?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on March 08, 2011:

Nat, the choice is entirely up to you.

nat on March 08, 2011:

I plan on getting my ears pierced on the cartilage with studs. I'm doing one ear at a time because I sleep on my sides.i want to get 3 piercings and I was wondering if I should do all three at once or one at a time?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on March 04, 2011:

Emma, that's going to depend on the size of your ears, the placement of the piercings, what you wear in them and how well or not that Apple earbuds fit you. The piercings might make things unworkable.

Emma on March 03, 2011:

My mom says that I can either get my conch pierced or get a bar in the cartilage. I want to get the conch pierced, but will iPod earbuds (the standard white ones that come with the iPod) bother it? I only have my lobes pierced, and they didn't get infected, even though I rarely cleaned them. So, will the earbuds effect the piercing?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on February 26, 2011:

Megan, speaking as someone who has tragus piercings, I wouldn't recommend having a double done on one ear. It's just too crowded.

Megan on February 26, 2011:

Hi. :)

I was just writing to ask if you can get a double tragus piercing on the same ear in the same trip to the piercers, or do you have to get one bit pierced and then the other at a different point in time?

Thanks for your help!

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on February 24, 2011:

Rebecca, healing multiple piercings joined by one piece of jewelry can be really hard on the piercings. You'll have a better chance of success if you don't do the joined jewelry until everything is healed up.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on February 22, 2011:

Ms Mathews, either is fine. It's really an aesthetic and price decision.

Rebecca on February 21, 2011:

Relache,

I am 17 and really want to get a weaving piercing a little above the pinna I think it's called, but I only want my ear pierced twice for the weaving, not a bunch of times. Is that even possible or should I just get two separate cartilage piercings?

ms mathews on February 18, 2011:

My daughter , age 6 wants to get her ears pierced. I have never had mine pierced so I can't offer much insight. Can you suggest which is better for a child's first piercing - stainless steel posts or gold posts?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on February 11, 2011:

lisa, no one can tell you how much something will hurt you, as everyone feels pain subjectively.

lisa on February 11, 2011:

i have a pretty small ear. i wanted the antitragus or the rook on the side of my ear more, or the conch.

my friend got the antitragus and said it was "absolute hell"... my pain tolerance is moderate...

which one hurts the least?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on February 07, 2011:

Thea, I think there's probably just as much of a chance of something going wrong or healing funky with either method.

Thea on February 06, 2011:

Hey, I'm 13 years old, and currently have 6 ear piercings, 3 in each lobe. I was considering getting an industrial, but i want to get it pierced with the two hoops, and then after it fully heals, switch it out with the bar periodically. Is this an okay way to do it, or is it safer to just get it done with the bar?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on February 02, 2011:

David, of course you can have a starter hoop. That's much better for your ear anyway. Don't be afraid to leave the piercing shop that won't give you a hoop/ring and find one that will.

David on February 02, 2011:

I want to get just a basic lobe piercing, but I don't know a whole lot about it. I hear I need a "starter stud" to begin with, but I don't like studs. I want an actual hoop earring. Is there any way I can get a "starter ring" instead of a stud? Thanks!

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on February 02, 2011:

Miranda, note that if your piercing isn't healed that taking it out for even a short amount of time could result in it closing enough for you to not be able to get the jewelry back in, thus causing you to lose the piercing. And curved barbells are removed by taking off the ball that screws on. How would you not know how the jewelry works if you picked it out to wear?

Miranda on February 01, 2011:

Hi, I got a tragus piercing done not too long ago and I was wondering how I take it out? I only want to take it off for an hour or so. Maybe even less. I've got the curved barbell. Do I just twist it or something?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on January 30, 2011:

Hayley, discuss your sensitivity with the piercer, see what options they offer and pick something you like that fits your budget too

Hayley on January 30, 2011:

Hey, I am about to get my ear pierced (just general ear lobe piercing)

Could you tell me what the best type of ear stud i should get?

I have quite sensetive skin etc

Thanks!

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on January 28, 2011:

Alexander, this is the section to re-read, https://tatring.com/piercing-types/every-ear-pierc...

Alexander on January 27, 2011:

Hi Relache,

I have a 12 Gauge piercing in my lobes. I was wondering If I can shrink this hole down to a more 'normal' ear hole size? i.e. 16 or 18 gauge? I am assuming if I just put normal looking jewelry in the hole, my ear will start to fit to it?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on January 22, 2011:

Kieron, the best way to improve healing conditions is by being healthy. Eating well, getting proper sleep, etc is what makes the body function at its best, and that produces the fastest healing. Two things that thin blood which you should avoid for several days before piercing are alcohol and aspirin.

Kieron on January 22, 2011:

I'm 17 and thinking about getting a Helix piercing (on the highest point of my ear) and I was wondering if you have any ways to make healing go faster? This would be my first piercing and it's something I have wanted to do for the past 2 years but was just to scared to. Which brings me to my next question. It's kinda but not piercing related.

Do you know how to make your blood thicker? I'm fine with a little blood but when I see a lot I pass out and thats kinda the last thing I need happening when I just got my ear pierced. Thanks

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on January 18, 2011:

Samantha V, pain is subjective which means everyone feels it a bit differently based on their own tolerances. And I've never had my conch pierced so I don't even have personal experience to draw from.

Samantha V. on January 17, 2011:

Hi, my name is Samantha. I am 15 years old, and I want to get my conch pierced so bad. I already have my first and second holes on my ear lobes, and I also have my tragus pierced. And I was wondering how bad is it to get your conch pierced? I'm usually good with pain. And how long is the healing process usually? Thanks.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on January 16, 2011:

AmberD, cartilage piercings can be much more painful and are a lot slower to heal than soft tissue ear piercings.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on January 16, 2011:

Lindsey, I've never seen a piercing barbell that's thinner than 14g probably because thinner wire isn't strong enough to make that type of jewelry.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on January 16, 2011:

Emily, I can't predict how long a specific person's ears might take to heal, but people who write to me who got ear gun piercings tend to have more problems all around. You'll want to figure out just what it is in that specific aftercare lotion that you have a reaction to, or other products might cause you problems too.

AmberD on January 16, 2011:

I have my rook pierced and got it done about 8 weeks ago.

is it normal fo rit to still be in a lot of pain. It's really sensitive to the touch and still swollen

Lindsey on January 12, 2011:

How big is the hole for an industrial bar? I have my cartilage and lobes done. will the hole be the same size of those? I was looking above and saw someone post thats its a 14g and if im right thats the size of my belly button peircing it might be a 12g. i dont want a hole in my ear that big. Because if i dont want to use the industrial bar i would like to just use studs like the other parts of my ear.

Emily on January 11, 2011:

Hi relache. I'm going to get my ear lobes double pierced. I live in England and don't no anywhere that does it with a needle. If I have it done with a gun, will it take much longer to heal? How long shall I keep the earings in for? They say 6 weeks but I took my other earings out after 7 weeks and they closed up and I had to get them re-pierced. And also, what shall I clean them with? The "after care lotion" you get makes my ears swell up. Thanks xxxxx luv ur website :)

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on December 29, 2010:

Jakob, ear piercing locations and meanings are now an urban myth thanks to the modern body piercing movement. Pierce whatever you want.

Jakob on December 29, 2010:

i am thinking about getting a ear piercing but i was told a guy should pierce a certain ear because of the message it sends. Is that true and if so which ear is it?

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on December 12, 2010:

Shannon, salt water does not "sterilize" piercings as it has no anti-microbial or anti-bacterial properties. It's just a mild rinse. If you have an infection, you need to apply something that will act to kill the germs. I recommend a tiny dab of an anti-biotic ointment daily.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on December 11, 2010:

Evangel, speaking as someone who has gotten a lot of ear piercings over the years, I found I had much better healing when I let a set of fresh piercings completely heal before getting any new ones.