Different Types of Ear Piercings

Industrial piercing
Industrial piercing

The ear is by far the most commonly seen placement for a piercing and also the most socially acceptable. You will find people from all walks of life with their ears pierced.

There is a massive variety of different types of ear piercings. Whether you would like to choose an ear piercing for yourself or memorise the names for professional reason, you are in the right place.

Here are some of the different piercings people get on their ears:

Ear Lobe

Ear Lobe Piercing
Standard ear piercing with stud earrings

The most popular piercing you will see day-to-day is the standard lobe piercing. Did you know that 83% of Americans have their earlobes pierced? That is a staggering amount of people. In fact, if you don’t have your ears pierced, that makes you the odd one out! (Not that being the odd one out is a bad thing)

The lobe is relatively painless to get pierced. It is also very easy to hide by wearing your hair over your ears and wearing  small stud earrings.

Helix Piercing

Helix Piercing
Helix Piercing

A helix piercing is placed at the top of the ear through the outer side of the cartilage. One of the many forms of cartilage piercing.

This is relatively painless body part to get pierced due to the fact the cartilage is thin. It is also easy to hide under your hair or a hat. If you work and your boss is not open minded to self-expression.

Tragus Piercing

Tragus Piercing
Tragus piercing

A tragus piercing sits on the small piece of cartilage on the outside at the front of the ear canal.

In order to pierce this part of your ear you will need a small hollow gauge needle, a 16 gauge would be the perfect size.

If you are considering getting this piercing but already have your ears pierced in other places, make sure that there is enough room on your ear. Over crowding makes cleaning tricky, so can lead to infection.

Rook Piercing

Rook piercing
Rook piercing

A rook piercing is placed in the anti-helix of the ear. That part of your ear above your tragus. If you still don’t  know what I’m on about, have a look at the photo to the right.

The rook piercing is an “unusual” kind of ear piercing, in comparison with a lobe or normal helix/cartilage piercing. It is the kind of piercing that could start up a whole conversation.

It barely hurts at all to get done and looks awesome with whatever type of jewerly you want to wear in it. I would recommend a small ring or stud.

Conch Piercing

Conch Piercing
Conch piercing

The conch is another type of cartilage piercing (yes, there are a few). it goes straight trough the anti-helix and out the back of the ear. Such as shown in the photo to the right.

If you would like to get a cartilage piercing, it is best that you go to a professional. Unless you really are certain you know what you are doing. You do not want to experience complications with your new piercing.

The conch piercing is interesting to look at and can be shown off with many different types of jewelry.

Snug piercing

Snug piercing
Snug piercing

The snug piercing is found on the same part of the ear as the conch piercing. Do not mix them up though as they are different.

The snug piercing goes through the anti-helix at a horizontal angle, whereas the conch piercing comes out at of the back of the ear. Versatile piercing which can look cool with any combination of other ear and body jewelry.

Cartilage piercings like this should always be done by a professional who knows what they are doing. Make sure it is done with a needle rather than a gun.

Industrial piercing

Industrial piercing
Industrial piercing

The industrial piercing also known as scaffolding, a bar or construction is characterized by two or more pierced parts of the ear connected by a long bar.

The two parts of the ear which are pierced does not matter, it is still known as an industrial.

The piercings are usually placed at the top of the ear at a horizontal angle. Sometimes the bar is worn vertically through different points of the ear.

I will post a photo showing a vertical industrial piercing sometime soon.


You know what’s really cool about ear piercings?

The fact that just about any combination of these piercings can look really freakin’ cool.

Plus there’s so much versatility you can create even with just the use of interesting jewelry and earrings.

I will be writing the next part of this post within the next week or two, so keep your eyes peeled. Next time I will be showing you all the different facial piercings.

2 Comments on Different Types of Ear Piercings

  1. Many people out there enjoy the art of ear and body piercing. You are right in that ear piercing is the most sociable of all body piercing. Your article was very educational in showing the different types of ear piercing people can get. I never knew what the type of piercing is called when it is done along the upper edge of the ear, but now I know it to be called Helix piercing. I have a couple questions:

    1. I have heard of Medical Ear Piercing Clinics. Do you know what they are and do you recommend them?
    2. What is the minimum age a parent should wait until getting their child’s ears pierced?
    3. Is topical anesthesia typically used to avoid any pain?
    4. What should you do if you think you are getting an infection from your ear piercing?

    • Hi Stephanie.

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Now to answer your questions..
      1. Medical Ear Piercings are done by qualified physicians. For anyone who wants to get their child’s ears pierced I would highly recommend them. As a doctor they are a lot more knowledgeable about the anatomy of the ear so know the correct position on the ear to pierce. Also they use properly sterilized equipment and high quality metal in the jewelry.

      2. Although I do not personally agree with piercing a baby’s ears, the minimum recommended age is 6 months as the immune system is still developing before this age and risk of infection is higher. If the parent would rather their child make the decision, they should wait until the age of 10 to have a discussion about whether they want their ears pierced.

      3. Generally speaking, anaesthesia is not used when the ear lobes are pierced as the pain is not too bad. Although Medical Ear Piercers have the option to use numbing cream on babies and children.

      4. If you get an infection you should first make an appointment to see a doctor or your piercer.

      Make sure to clean it thoroughly twice a day using either saline solution (warm water and 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt) or antibacterial soap and warm water. Apply a warm compress to the infected area to help any puss drain.

      If the infection is severe you might need to get some antibiotics or antibiotic ointment from your doctor.

      Hope I answered your questions.

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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