Ear Piercings | Everything You Need to Know | Complete Guide

Ear piercings are those piercings that we perform in any area of ​​the ear. There are many different positions, and each one receives a name according to its location.

If you are interested in doing a piercing in this area, I recommend that you read this page beforehand to know all the possibilities you have, the peculiarities of each area, its care, healing time.

This is the beginning of everything. That will be the only time when they will decide for the baby, but from then on after the years, if you want to have a perforation, you will already determine for yourself.

When we decide to perform our first perforation, in most cases, we are in adolescence, in a stage of change from childhood to youth, as a symbol of rebellion, of freedom of choice. This first perforation reflects the desire to mark our personality and show it to the world.

Although not all parts of the ear have a lot of room or have simple shapes, at least we can present 20 ear piercings options.

Ear Piercings Chart

Ear Piercing Chart
                                                     Ear Piercings Chart

Different Types of Ear Piercings

I will show you the different types of ear piercings and what they are called. We have as many parts of the ear as types of piercings. The first decision is to know where in the ear you are going to put the jewel.

1. Piercings in the Earlobe

In case you don’t realize, the earlobe is that fleshy part that is at the bottom of the ear and has a rounded shape. He is best known for being a piercing that is done to girls as soon as they are born.

Features of the Lobe Piercing :

  • Perforation: through the fleshy part of the ear.
  • Pain: 2 out of 10
  • Healing: 1 to 2 months.
  • Initial jewel: ring type (BCR) or barbell.
  • Jewel diameter: from 0.8mm (20g) to 2.5mm (10g).
  • Initial jewel change: 6 weeks.

In addition to classic drilling, there are two variations.

2. High Lobe

It is made a little above the traditional site in the upper part of the lobe. If you are looking for a piercing that is unimpressive, this is undoubtedly a good option.

3. Transverse Lobe

It is done through the lower part of the lobe and perpendicular to the traditional hole, going from one side to the other through the thickest part. The jewel is of the bar type and with equal terminations on both sides to give a touch of symmetry.

Being composed of flexible tissues, piercing it is easy, nothing hurts, and healing is rapid.

4. Tragus Cartilage Piercings

It is located in a small cartilage bump that comes out of the inside of the face and coincides with the outside of the ear, over the center of the ear canal.

In its conventional form, it is drilled horizontally, from the outside towards the center of the ear. If you are interested, I tell you more things in the tragus piercing guide.

Features of Piercing in Tragus cartilage:

  • Perforation: through the swallow cartilage.
  • Pain: 5 out of 10
  • Healing: from 3 to 9 months.
  • Initial jewel: BCR, straight barbell or mini barbell, labret.
  • Jewel diameter: from 1mm (18g) to 1.6mm (14g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

But this is not the only version; variations can be made.

5. Vertical Tragus

The same part is perforated as the conventional one but in a vertical direction, parallel to the face.

There is a possibility that it is torn by what some choose the option to do it in the same way but on the skin of the face in the area near the drink itself.

6. Piercing Antitragus

It receives its name for being located on the side of the ear opposite the tragus. Although it does not seem like it, it is one of the piercings in the ear that hurt the most.

Features of Piercing Antitragus:

  • Perforation: of the small vertical crest of cartilage over the earlobe.
  • Pain: 6 out of 10
  • Healing: from 3 to 9 months.
  • Initial jewel: BCR, “barbell,” mini “barbell,” or curved bar.
  • Jewel diameter: from 1mm (18g) to 1.6mm (14g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

7. Piercing in the Helix cartilage

It is a trendy and very customizable area because the jewel can be placed anywhere around the cartilage, from where the thickest tissue begins to the top of the ear.

Helix Piercing Features:

  • Perforation: on the curved edge of the upper outer ear.
  • Pain: 4 out of 10
  • Healing: from 3 to 9 months.
  • Initial jewel: BCR, straight “barbell”, mini “barbell”, or “nostril screw”.
  • Jewel diameter: from 1mm (18g) to 2.5mm (10g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

If you’re interested, We will tell you everything with details in the helix piercing guide.

8. Antihelix Cartilage Piercing

It is also known as “forward helix” or “forward helixThis piercing is placed on the curved edge that is at the upper confluence of the ear and head.

Piercing Antihelix Features:

  • Perforation: at the root of the helix in relatively delicate cartilage.
  • Pain: 4 out of 10
  • Healing: from 3 to 9 months.
  • Initial jewel: BCR, straight barbell, mini barbell.
  • Jewel diameter: from 1mm (18g) to 1.6mm (14g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

9. Daith Piercing

He is known for fighting migraines. It is located at a position in the ear that is used in acupuncture to eliminate the headache.

With a jewel that was in the center of the ear, it takes on a subtle but, at the same time, attractive appearance. Due to the location, it can be confused with a tragus.

The first impression is that of being painful, but in reality, it is not, and being inward is more protected from infections.

Piercing Daith Features:

  • Perforation: in the innermost crest of the cartilage just above the ear canal.
  • Pain: 4 out of 10
  • Healing: from 3 to 9 months.
  • Initial jewel: BCR and curved bar.
  • Jewel diameter: from 1mm (18g) to 1.6mm (14g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

10. Rook or Tower Piercing

Due to the shape and size of the area, it is a complicated perforation for which experience and precision are needed.

If you are a person who spends many hours stuck on a phone, you may find it annoying and get infected frequently.

Rook Piercing Features:

  • Perforation: on the one small crest of cartilage at the top of the ear.
  • Pain: 5 out of 10
  • Healing: 3 to 9 months, usually for six months.
  • Initial jewel: BCR and curved bar.
  • Jewel diameter: from 1mm (18g) to 1.2mm (16g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

11. Industrial or Transversal Piercing

Not everyone is the right candidate by not having enough tissue where the perforations should be done. It is advisable to have a suitable ear shape so that the holes can be connected without causing tension.

Industrial Piercing Features :

  • Perforation: two perforations joined with a straight bar.
  • Pain: 6 out of 10
  • Healing: from 3 to 9 months.
  • Initial jewel: straight barbell.
  • Jewel diameter: 1.6mm (14g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

There is a variation that joins two different parts of the ear.

12. Vertical Industrial

Join vertically two ear piercings such as the shell with the helix, the rook with the helix, or two piercings in the shell.

If you are interested, We will tell you more about the industrial piercing guide.

13. Anti-Swallow Piercing

The anti-drink is in the bottom of the drink, above the lobe. This perforation attracts a lot of attention and is very unique, but you have to be careful because it costs to heal and it is painful.

14. Orbital Piercing

Usually, two perforations are made, and a medicinal earring is placed. When they are healed, the jewels are exchanged for one that joins the perforations. This strategy seeks to avoid complications.

Orbital Piercing Features:

  • Perforation: two perforations joined with a ring.
  • Pain: 6 out of 10
  • Healing: from 3 to 9 months.
  • Initial jewel: curved “barbell,” “D,” shaped hoop, or simple hoop.
  • Jewel diameter: 1.6mm (14g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

15. Shell Cartilage Piercing

It is also called conch piercing.

Conch Piercing Features:

  • Perforation: in the central cartilage of the ear-shaped like a fossa.
  • Pain: 5 out of 10
  • Healing: 3 to 9 months, usually for six months.
  • First jewel: “barbell.”
  • Jewel diameter: from 1.2mm (16g) to 2.5mm (10g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

Depending on the position, there are two more variants besides the conventional one.

16. Inner Shell/Conch

It is the most popular variant. It is done in the center ear bowl near the ear hole.

17. Outer shell/Conch

It is a more unusual and complicated location. It is made in the flat area of ​​the cartilage on the upper outside of the ear.

18. Snug Piercing

It receives its name from the portion of the cartilage of the ear that it crosses.

Snug Piercing Features:

  • Perforation: in the vertical protrusion of cartilage.
  • Pain: 6 out of 10
  • Healing: from 3 to 9 months.
  • First jewel: “barbell” or BCR.
  • Jewel diameter: from 1mm (18g) to 1.6mm (14g).
  • Initial jewel change: 2 months.

19. Ragnar Piercing

There is a variation known as Ragnar piercing. The piercing enters the same place as Snug piercing but then comes out behind the ear. Being a perforation through a large amount of tissue, the cures are complex. It also passes through essential points in the cartilage that makes the perforation fragile.

20. Lobe Dilatations

It is not a perforation in itself; it is an expansion of the earlobe once the initial perforation has healed.

Ear Earrings

Perhaps it is the earlobe where we can find more offers of designs and shapes, but in general, they have put earrings in the ear with the shape of a ring or bar.


The most recommended materials are those that are free of nickel since it is one of the metals that most allergies produce by simple contact with the skin.

  • The titanium is my favorite for being one of the best materials accepted by the body, so it is a guarantee to avoid problems.
  • The surgical steel is an option, but not recommended for the first slope or if you have skin problems.
  • The gold I recommend it if you prefer precious metals, the best choice is from 14 carats.
  • I don’t recommend silver because some alloys have nickel. If you are interested, it is best to use it only when the holes are completely healed and use it only if it is in the earlobe.


If you have not just decided in which part of the ear you would like to have one and you prefer to try how it looks before taking the step, you have the option of buying a fake ear piercing.

The upper cartilage or the earlobe can be used for the area, and you don’t need to have a hole. They have the shape of one or several rings, and you just have to adjust it to the part of the ear and press to hold it tight.

How to Pierce the Ear

The second important decision, after deciding where you put it, is to choose how you do it.

The usual methods to do an ear piercing, are with a needle or a gun.

  • The hollow needle or catheter is the tool used by professional piercers. The recommended diameter is 1.6mm (14g) for the needle or 1.2mm (16g) for the catheter. With these tools, a clean and hygienic perforation is achieved.
  • The gun is the usual method used by pharmacies to make perforations in the lobe. When the gun is activated, the projectile earring pierces your ear. When crossing, it produces small tears, which increases the probability of infection and takes longer to heal. I do not recommend placing earrings on the ear with the gun system.

Essential steps to do an Ear Piercing

  1. Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and wear disposable gloves.
  2. Disinfect the area by applying an antiseptic such as alcohol.
  3. Make a mark at one point and make sure you want it there.
  4. Fasten with professional tweezers that allow you to bore with comfort.
  5. Drill with a hollow needle or catheter sold in pharmacies.
  6. Insert a disinfected earring with the same diameter as the needle hole.
  7. Remove the needle leaving the jewel in its final place.

To give you an idea, I leave a video of the Daith piercing :

How Much it Hurts to Pierce the Ear

Obviously, everyone feels pain differently, but as a rule, the piercing that hurts the most is the piercing in the cartilage of the ear and the least done in the lobe.

Perforation in the earlobe is not painful at all, although you may experience some discomfort. Remember that if done with a gun, it will hurt more than if it is done with a needle.

Perforation in the cartilage of the ear tends to be a bit painful, although most of the pain comes after the piercing and during the first days of healing.

We give you two tips that work very well to reduce the pain of perforation:

  • The attitude is the first; the nerves will make you hurt more, try to relax as much as possible, and take a breath while drilling.
  • It numbs the area with cold, either with an ice pack or with a spray that sprays cold packed.

To prevent it from hurting you after putting it on, I recommend:

  • Avoid infections by maintaining hygiene and healing routines.
  • Do not dry the area; it will be irritated. If you use soap, remove your remains with plenty of water and do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or iodized solutions such as Betadine.
  • Try to touch the slope as little as possible. Limit yourself at the time of healing, and do not move the jewel until the hole heals.
  • Do not put pressure on the area. Avoid resting on that ear, especially when you sleep.
  • Do not wear accessories such as earmuffs or shower caps while it has not healed.
  • In the first few days, you can use painkillers sold in pharmacies to relieve pain.

Care in Ear Piercings

Many of the problems of ear piercing come from poor attention after piercing. Care and cleaning routines are the best method to avoid them.

  • Before touching the ears with a recent piercing, you have to wash your hands with soap.
  • Carefully wash the ears with neutral soap and warm water at least twice a day.
  • Use paper or disposable towel to dry the area. Towels may have fungi.
  • After washing, apply a saline solution or physiological serum with a swab or swab.
  • Avoid infections by washing your ears after exercising or swimming.
  • Be careful when using lacquers, perfumes, or makeup. They should not touch the perforation.
  • Do not change the jewel ahead of time. Wait at least one month for the lobe and two months for the cartilage

Risks of Ear Piercings

Any perforation has its risks, and in the ear piercings, we can find infections, allergic reactions, keloid, and torn scars.


They are the most common risk of perforations, especially when freshly made. Among the usual symptoms of an infection are redness, pain in perforation, swelling, and segregation of liquid of a color between white and yellow.

Do not take off the jewel because if the hole is closed without eliminating the bacteria, the infection continues.

Try to follow the routine of care, and in the presence of pus or fever, go to your doctor.

Allergic Reaction

It can be confused with the infection, so you must know that a differentiating symptom is a burning sensation and that the wound expands without being swollen.

An allergy may cause it to the metal with which the jewel has been manufactured. My recommendation is that you change the jewel to one made of titanium or surgical steel.

Keloid Scars

These are formed as an exaggerated scar reaction that grows beyond the perforation and can cause itching and discomfort when touched.

In these cases, you have to go to a dermatologist to study our case.


They are the result of the stretching of the hole that can reach complete breakage. The most common case occurs in the earlobe, either because of the weight of the earring or because of a pull.

The only solution involves reconstruction with plastic surgery.

How Much do Ear Piercings Cost

If you have decided to do an ear piercing, I recommend that you go to a qualified professional, with professional tools and in a study that ensures quality and hygiene.

As usual, the price varies from one place to another, but as an orientation, I give you the average rates of drilling without including the jewel:

  • The perforations in the lobe, the cartilage, and for any of the Daith, Rook, Tragus, or Antitragus cost about $ 15.
  • The price of an Industrial or an Orbital is about $ 30 since two holes have to be made.

Ear jewelry is very affordable, especially if you want a classic design.

A simple or ball hoop, a circular or straight barbell, or a fake one made of surgical steel or titanium can be purchased from $ 2.

What Piercing would you Choose?

Now you know the great variety of piercings you can do in the ear and what each one consists of. If you finally decide to become one, remember to do it in a reliable center and maintain proper hygiene to avoid infections in the hole. You will look great!

How to Cure an Ear Piercing?

The important thing is that when you go to do a piercing is in the area that is always go to a specialized center. If it is in the lobe area, you can go to a pharmacy, but when it comes to cartilage, we must go to a center where, for example, they do tattoos. Make sure that where you do, it is clean and have all the utensils sterilized. If you have references to the center much better.

To take care of the ear piercing and not to get infected, you must be aware and be careful. Usually, the healing process in the ear is about a month or a month and a half. During this period, you mustn’t take off the earring that you have put at the beginning to avoid being infected. Also, from this, you must carry out a thorough cleaning routine. It is recommended to use a liquid or antibacterial soap and gauze. Avoid cotton in case you accidentally tangle the earring and can create an infection. Try to make this routine two or three times a day. The cleaner and more careful you have the piercing area, the better.


The best thing about ear piercing is that there are almost as many areas to make one as there are likes. The majority of the surface is cartilage, so healing is slow and prone to infection easily. It resembles the navel piercing for having to devote time to healing.

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