Cartilage Ear Piercing

Considering a Cartilage Ear Piercing?

Have you finally decided to look into a cartilage ear piercing? The idea can seem a little freaky at first, but learning about the piercing process as well as what to expect during recovery can really help to put your mind at ease. We are going to talk about how a cartilage ear piercing is done and what equipment you will need to care for the piercing properly.

The Cartilage Ear Piercing Process

A piercing in the cartilage of the ear is a little more complicated than a standard lobe piercing. There is a higher chance of the cartilage becoming infected and if the procedure is not done properly, it can result in scarring or uneven skin in the pierced area. Don’t let this put you off of getting a piercing, though. Just take the time to seek out a professional piercing studio and even ask around to see if any of your friends can recommend a good body art pro.

The technician will likely wear gloves or at least wash their hands before the procedure. The area to be pierced will be cleaned using a sterilizing fluid such as alcohol. Both the front and back of this area should be clean and free of cuts, acne, or dirt which could lead to complications or even infection in the piercing later on. The technician will mark the area to be pierced using a marker. A simple dot will do the trick. They will likely then ask you if this is definitely where you want the piercing. Upon your approval, the technician will load the piercing gun with the stud of your choice. They will line the gun up in the appropriate position and insert the piercing. Most technicians work quickly so that their client doesn’t experience any more anxiety than necessary. The piercing itself—that is, from the time the trigger is pulled to when the stud is inserted—happens in a matter of a second and is often compared to feeling like a sting or simply a bit of pressure.

Caring for Your Piercing

Before leaving the piercing studio the technician should explain the healing and cleansing process to you, however it is a good idea to learn about the recovery process before you commit yourself to a piercing. There are many different types of cartilage piercings depending upon where you get the piercing done. Some areas are more sensitive and take a great deal longer to heal, such as the “rook” or “helix”. It can take anywhere from three months to a year for the piercing to completely heal, and even longer if there are complications such as infection or a reaction to the metal in the stud/loop.

Your basic care for a piercing of any sort should include at least one good cleaning every day until the hole has fully healed. A saline solution can be used or—if you’re brave enough—rubbing alcohol may be used. The first step in cleaning the hole is to wash your hands with soap and warm water. If you use your fingernails to remove the stud (many people do), then be sure to clean under your nails really well. Use your fingers to gently twirl the stud until the crusty seepage gives away and you can freely move the stud. Remove the stud gently and clean the bits of crusty seepage from the stud using a cotton ball or ear bud soaked with rubbing alcohol. Drop the stud into a cup of alcohol. Just add enough alcohol to fully submerge the stud. The hole must also be cleaned of the crustiness which builds up throughout the day. Dip a cotton ball into the saline or alcohol solution and gently dab at the front and back of the hole until all of the seepage comes away from it. Allow the piercing to dry. Remove the stud from the alcohol and gently dry it with a clean towel. Make sure that there are no particles from the towel on the stud before you replace it in the piercing. It is important to keep the area clean and dry because warm, wet areas make the perfect place for bacteria to breed which can result in infection. Until the piercing heals completely it is recommended that you do not sleep on the newly-pierced side. This can result in discomfort and extend the healing time indefinitely.