Cartilage Piercings

Has anyone had them done? I've wanted my industrial done for quite a while, and my mom said she would sign the waiver once I got the money to pay for the initial piercing and a spare barbell. I also had to research all of the piercing places in town and make sure I picked a reputable one (I did. Several of my friends have gotten pierced there and I've heard nothing but good experiences.).

Now, do they really hurt as badly as everyone says? What is standard piercing procedure? Has anyone had any major problems after being pierced?

Thanks in advance!!
Rock Chalk Baby!! If you aren't from Kansas, you just won't understand!

Dame Kenz Matilda Jayhawk-Rocksalt, heir to the family diamonds.
I have my rook, tragus, and nose done. I would say the Rook hurt the most but it honestly wasn't that bad ... just took awhile since the cartilige there is so thick, you hear a little pop when it goes through.

Pain is temporary. If you want it don't let it sway you.
My oldest son had his ear cartilage pierced when he was a teenager. It didn't really hurt him, but it took forever-and-a-day to heal. In fact, I don't think it ever really healed. After reinjuring it over and over and over again, he finally took it out after a year or so, because he was just tired of it not healing. He had short hair too...I hear it's a lot harder to heal if you have longer hair and hit it while caring for your hair.
I've had my cartilage pierced not too long ago, maybe about 4 years ago. It's nothing, really. People have exaggerated way too much. It honestly feels just about as painful as a regular lobe piercing to me. However, if you don't already know, it does take a lot longer to heal than a lobe. It usually takes about a year to fully heal (when you can remove the earring for longer than just changing the earring you got pierced with) and, for some reason, it's more prone to infections than lobes.

Cartilage is avascular so it takes a longer time to heal than other, more fleshy areas. Also there is a chance that if you decide to remove the piercing, the holes will never close.
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I have a helix piercing. I've had it done twice and each time it got infected despite taking care of it.
It got so bad that the pain was radiating down my neck. My dh took the earring out and squeezed the pus out. We did that for a few days and it finally cleared up. He had to do this for my sister and neighbor too.
Cartilage doesn't heal as quickly since the blood supply is limited.
I've had it done. It's just a bit more painful, but not too bad. It did bleed a lot, but it's definitely not excruciating. The only two drawbacks is that 1. it took a long time to heal, as most have already said, and 2. you won't be able to sleep on the side you had it done for a while.

The hole never closes though, due to circumstances I could not wear anything in it for a good while, but I was able to put an earring in without a problem after about 3 years.

Kenzie, don't let the "pain" hold you back, it's not bad at all.
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You should absolutely wear a ring style earring as your new piercing is healing.

I made the mistake of wearing a stud earring with my new cartilage piercing (I pierced mine myself). The normal swelling of a new piercing will cause squeezing with a stud and the inflammatory process will become a vicious cycle. The ring allows the skin to swell and contract without being restricted. I had a persistent scar/nodule/yucky thing on the back of my cartilage piercing and the very day I changed my jewelry to a ring it got better.

Hopefully your piercing place will use rings, if it's a quality place. Most likely for an industrial they will pierce your ear with two tension ball rings and will eventually change it to a barbell after the acute inflammatory phase (a few weeks).

The other posters are right-- cartilage takes a looong time to heal and will get irritated from time to time even after several years. I have found it worth it though .
Not all who wander are lost.

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I have my cartilage and tragus pierced. I agree that you should wear a ring style earring if you decide to get your cartilage pierced because I too made the mistake of wearing a stud and it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to heal. Actually, it didn't fully heal UNTIL I put the ring earring in.

As far as pain goes, the cartilage piercing wasn't horribly bad. The worst part about it for me was that I couldn't sleep on it for a long time without being uncomfortable. But for my tragus it was the opposite -- a little more pain during the piercing process, but I was able to sleep on it just fine.
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I have my cartilage and tragus pierced. I agree that you should wear a ring style earring if you decide to get your cartilage pierced because I too made the mistake of wearing a stud and it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to heal. Actually, it didn't fully heal UNTIL I put the ring earring in.

As far as pain goes, the cartilage piercing wasn't horribly bad. The worst part about it for me was that I couldn't sleep on it for a long time without being uncomfortable. But for my tragus it was the opposite -- a little more pain during the piercing process, but I was able to sleep on it just fine.
Originally Posted by jenny curl
that's what i remember the most about having mine done. i couldn't sleep on my right side for what fel like forever because it hurt so bad. i've had my nose pierced on 2 seperate occasions and it never would heal right (which is why i had it done twice).

after abandoning all of them, they healed fine and there is no trace of a hole.
Thanks everybody.

I think I'm going two weeks from now, and I'll be sure to post a picture after I get it done.

Lauraloo, the place I'm going to uses a barbell for the first week or two to make sure that everything lines up properly and then they'll switch it out to rings.

And I plan to get my left ear done since I sleep on my right side. One of my friends said that the only thing that bothered him about his piercing was that he got it on the side he normally slept on, so he had to re-train his body to sleep on the other side, or deal with the pain.
Rock Chalk Baby!! If you aren't from Kansas, you just won't understand!

Dame Kenz Matilda Jayhawk-Rocksalt, heir to the family diamonds.
I got mine done in 2001. And it's still not completely healed.

The pain of the piecing was nothing, and honestly even the discomfort now isn't a HUGE deal, but like some people said... they take ages to heal. And like my piercer said, sometimes (like mine, I guess) they never do. I can only wear an earring in there for a day or 2 before it starts to get irritated and crusty. Leaving it be for a little while clears it up, but only until I put another ring in.

That being said, I've had it empty for about 2 years now and it's probably still not closed up...
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've had my helix for over 20 years, I did it myself when I was 13 (while on the phone with a friend talking me through it!). Honestly, I remember it hurting and I couldn't sleep on it. It did get the wierd bump thing on the back, but I switched it to a VERY thin hoop earring when I was about 21. Changed it to a CBR when I was about 25 and it's been great ever since. I never take it out, and I never have any problems.

I do remember it taking well over a year to heal.

If you get an industrial and they do two CBRs instead of the bar, it can be tough to go back in and have them put the bar in, the holes have to be aligned perfectly, or the bar won't work and it's pretty painful from what I've read.

I've always wanted an industrial, but stuff like the above kind of turns me off to it. Also, depending on the size of your ear and the cart. area, you may not be able to get one. They work best with certain kinds of ears, and the amount of folds/cart you have can really hinder the healing process. You should go in and at least talk to a piercer first and have them check your ears; they may also have to send away for the right size bar for you.
You should absolutely wear a ring style earring as your new piercing is healing.

I made the mistake of wearing a stud earring with my new cartilage piercing (I pierced mine myself). The normal swelling of a new piercing will cause squeezing with a stud and the inflammatory process will become a vicious cycle. The ring allows the skin to swell and contract without being restricted. I had a persistent scar/nodule/yucky thing on the back of my cartilage piercing and the very day I changed my jewelry to a ring it got better.

Hopefully your piercing place will use rings, if it's a quality place. Most likely for an industrial they will pierce your ear with two tension ball rings and will eventually change it to a barbell after the acute inflammatory phase (a few weeks).

The other posters are right-- cartilage takes a looong time to heal and will get irritated from time to time even after several years. I have found it worth it though .
Originally Posted by lauraloo
There's nothing wrong with using a bar so long as it's the right size. A good piercer, if he uses a bar, will use a longer one to account for the swelling.

The industrial uses a bar -- and should absolutely include enough length to allow for swelling during the healing period. Once it's healed, a shorter bar can be put in. Rings can be too small, too, but you see that less often. As M2LR said, doing an industrial with rings can cause problems with fit once a bar is put in. I'm not sure I see any reason to change the bar to rings if you're planning to ultimately wear a bar; at two weeks, the piercing is still new, and the jewelry change, especially from straight to a curve, seems unnecessary and likely to cause irritation.

I have my helix, tragus and snug done as far as cartilage go. My snug healed no problem, but my tragus and helix had some trouble. The quality of the tragus jewelry was lower than I was told, I was allergic to an aftercare product, and then I developed an ear infection -- unrelated to the piercing, but it didn't help matters. I keep bumping my helix, so that's the cause of my trouble there, but I plan to change the jewelry to something less ... in the way.

The pain from piercing isn't anything major, in my experience, but cartilage does take longer to heal and requires some patience with aftercare. (Here's the industry standard for aftercare.)
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I wouldn't say they hurt that bad because they're using a real needle. My best friend said that the industrial hurt a bit more with the hoops because the bar is thicker than the hoops typically are. As long as you really take care of them and actually clean them, you'll be fine. Warning, they take about a year or more to heal fully.
I got the money for the piercing and a spare barbell.

Hopefully I'm going tonight.....!
Rock Chalk Baby!! If you aren't from Kansas, you just won't understand!

Dame Kenz Matilda Jayhawk-Rocksalt, heir to the family diamonds.

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