Everything You Need to Know About Cartilage Piercings

Have you always wanted a cartilage piercing but don’t know your rook from your conch? Well now’s the time to get clued up with our ultimate guide to what’s still the hottest trend in women’s fashion. From different piercing styles to the aftercare routine, here's everything you need to know before you take the plunge.  


What Different Cartilage Piercings Are There? 

The cartilage itself is the rigid tissue that maintains the shape of the ear. So really, any ear piercing which is located somewhere other than your soft lobe is a cartilage piercing. But some specific styles are more popular than others.  

Helix: The most popular cartilage piercing on the upper, outer rim of your ear. 

Tragus: Goes through the small piece of cartilage that partially covers your ear canal. 

Rook: Sits in the upper ear through the fold that’s known as the antihelix.  

Conch: An inner conch piercing is one stud that goes right through the middle of the ear. An outer conch piercing (also called an orbital piercing) enables a ring to go around the outer edge of the ear.  

Daith: Goes through the crus of the helix as a hoop that hugs the cartilage on the inside of your ear. 

How Much Do They Hurt?  

Each different cartilage piercing comes with its own amount of pain. Those that go through ticker tissue, like the conch, are likely to make you wince more than comparatively softer areas like the rook.  

Don’t let any pain put you off though. Instead, focus on finding a skilled piercer who uses quality needles. Read reviews of the studio beforehand and go and check it out to make sure it looks clean. If the piercer knows what they’re doing, you can guarantee the pain will be as short-lived as possible and you’ll feel less anxious knowing you’re in safe hands.  

What Metal Should I Get My Cartilage Pierced With? 

The majority of infections people experience after having their ears pierced are actually allergic reactions to any nickel in the earring that’s been used. That’s why it’s really important that your piercer uses a hypoallergenic metal. Ask for allergy free jewellery, like stainless steel studs or rings, that won’t irritate your skin.  

How Long Do They Take to Heal and How Do I Look After Them?  

Cartilage piercings can take anywhere between three and five months to fully heal. It’s important that you don’t take your earring out in this time or it could close up again quickly. Even after it’s healed, you won’t want to leave jewellery out for more than a few hours at first.  

How long your piercing takes to heal also depends on how well you’ve looked after it. Make sure you clean it with soap and water twice a day and avoid any products that use alcohol or chemicals. Try to touch it as little as possible. Just let it do its thing and you’ll soon be ready for your next one!  

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