Planning to get your ears pierced can be an overwhelming task, as there are so many different ear piercing names and terms. Sure, you can imagine what a lobe piercing is, but what about a helix piercing or an industrial piercing? In this guide, we’ll cover each type of ear piercing one by one, assess them on a pain scale, and provide average prices.
But first, let’s talk about how ear piercings are done in the first place.
How Are Ear Piercings Done?
There are two types of equipment that can be used to pierce your ears: piercing guns and piercing needles. Piercing guns only pierce your earlobe, but piercing needles are more versatile and can be used for different types of piercings.
Can You Pierce Your Ears By Yourself?
Technically, you can. But it’s not really recommended to pierce your own or someone else’s unless you have enough experience in ear piercing.
Without the proper equipment, you increase the possibility of contracting an infection. Using a blunt piercing needle for the procedure can also lead to a very painful experience, and if the needle isn’t very sterilised, it can expose your new piercing to bacteria.
How Do Ear Piercings Heal?
Similar to tattoos, piercings require some aftercare. It’s best to follow a consistent aftercare routine so as not to invite any infections to the party!
But there will be a necessary healing period where you are encouraged to really take the time to take care of your new piercing until it actually becomes permanent. A common lobe piercing takes four to six weeks to heal completely, while any piercing that goes through cartilage can take six to ten months of healing time.
It’s best to keep your new piercing intact at all times while it heals; this will help avoid your piercing closing up. If your ear piercing is itchy, avoid the urge to itch and scratch or you might spread bacteria from your fingertips. You’ll also need to learn how to clean your piercing properly – trust us, you do not want an infection!
What Should You Do If You Have a Sore or Infected Ear Piercing?
Symptoms of an infected ear piercing can include itchiness, redness, pain, swelling, burning, and yellow discharge. To care for your infection it’s best to follow these steps:
- Make sure your hands are clean before touching or handling your piercing.
- Clean the infected ear piercing site with sterile saline or distilled water with diluted salt three times a day.
- Healthcare professionals caution anyone from using antibiotic ointments, hydrogen peroxide, or even rubbing alcohol, because they can irritate and dry up the skin and even slow down the healing process.
- It’s not recommended to remove the piercing right away. This may cause the hole to close and trap the infection.
- Dry off and clean both sides of the piercing with a clean paper towel.
If the infection spreads and you’re beginning to get a fever, it’s best to go to a doctor to get it treated right away!
Is Re-Piercing Possible?
If you don’t continually wear your piercing, it can close up for good. If you’ve grown attached to a spot and want to get it re-pierced, you’ll need to remember a few important things first.
You can technically ask for re-piercing in a spot that has closed up for good, but you need to have it assessed by a professional. Although it may seem like the hole has closed up, the hole could have simply shrunken. In this case, a professional can help you with reinsertion.
If your piercing has closed for good, you still need to seek advice on how to proceed, as it’s possible that the scar tissue that your body has built over the hole is too thick or too tough for a re-piercing to be done comfortably. This means that getting a piercing here will be more painful and take more time to heal.
What Are the Different Ear Piercing Names?
Now that we’ve covered the basics, you can now take the time to choose which piercing will work best for you.
To the untrained eye (or ear), all the ear piercing names may be a little confusing. So first, let’s do a quick rundown of the parts of the ear you can get a piercing. You can refer to the diagram below.
Pain level: 5/10
Lobe piercings are the most common types of ear piercings for both men and women. They are simple, versatile, and discreet. On top of that, they’re relatively low on the pain scale and heal faster than most other ear piercings.
The piercing process itself is also quite hassle-free and can be done with either a piercing gun or a needle.
Lobe piercings are cheap and typically go for $AUD15-25.
Pain level: 8/10
Piercings placed in the upper part of the ear on outer cartilage are called helix piercings. There’s also such a thing as a double helix piercing, which is what you call it when a second piercing is placed under the original helix piercing.
Helix piercings are much more painful than lobe piercings because the outer cartilage area is harder and therefore not as easily penetrated as the earlobe. There are also a lot more nerve endings here.
Helix piercings are done by hand using a piercing needle. The most common type of helix earrings are rings, followed by small studs.
Helix piercings typically go for $AUD15-35.
Pain level: 9/10
An industrial piercing is a double piercing that goes through the middle part of your outer cartilage to the top part of your ear. This is usually connected by a long bar-type of jewellery or, in some cases, a chain.
However, because you’re getting two holes put in, it also means you’re getting double the pain. And since industrial piercings are done in the same outer cartilage area as helix piercings, you can just imagine what that feels like.
Industrial piercings typically go for $AUD20-60.
Pain level: 10/10
The tragus piercing is done on that small and thick piece of cartilage that rests right outside your ear canal. Usual pieces for this type of piercing are simpler ones like small studs.
The tragus piercing is one of the most painful types of ear piercings you can get, so it tends to be pretty uncommon. But if you really want to stand out and wear a piercing that will give you some street rep, then maybe you should pluck up the courage to try a tragus.
Beware though, this piercing has a higher rate of infection compared to the others.
Tragus piercings typically go for $AUD15 to 35.
Pain level 8/10
The daith is located at the endmost part of the helix, right at the innermost part of your cartilage, near the tragus. Although the evidence has been mostly anecdotal, it has been said that having a Daith piercing can aid in anxiety and migraine relief.
The part of the ear where one gets a daith cartilage is pretty thick compared to the rest of the ear, so expect to experience a high level of pain with this one.
Be cautious with this type of piercing though. Since it’s closer to your ear canal and has a kind of nook situation going on, it’s susceptible to infections.
Daith piercings typically go for $AUD15-35.
Pain level: 9/10
This type of piercing is placed on the “flat” area of your ear, which sits between the ear canal and ear cartilage. Because it’s on a flat surface that’s inside the ear rather than out, the best type of jewellery for this type of piercing is something flat as well like a stud.
This is another one of those piercings that is prone to infection, so take a lot of care in the healing process and make sure you clean it regularly.
Flat piercings typically go for $AUD15-35.
Pain level: 10/10
This piercing is done around the middle part of the ridge of your ear. Unfortunately, the auricle is packed with A LOT of nerves, therefore having it punctured can be a little too painful for people with low pain tolerance.
Auricle piercings are similar to helix piercings, so jewellery used for either are relatively interchangeable. Ear cuffs look cute in this area as well.
Auricle piercings typically go for $AUD15-35.
Pain level: 8/10
This piercing is similar to the industrial piercing, but the jewellery isn’t connected horizontally. Generally, a circular ring is used to accentuate the delicate outer rim. It can both look cute and dainty or rugged and punk depending on the jewellery.
Orbital piercings typically cost $AUD15-35.
Where Can I Get An Ear Piercing Near Me?
An ear piercing can be easily done in most jewellery stores and tattoo and piercing studios around Australia.
It’s important to note that laws on body modifications laws vary per state or territory. For example, Under 16s cannot get an ear piercing in Melbourne, or anywhere else in Victoria without written consent from your parents. Meanwhile, if you live in Perth, or anywhere in Western Australia, you’ll need parental consent all the way up until 18 years old.
You also have to keep in mind that certain schools have dress codes that may or may not restrict certain types of piercings.
Piercings have become so common these days that you can go to most shops and have it done in a jiffy. It’s important that you research beforehand and prepare yourself not only for the pain but for the weeks of aftercare as well.
And if you need ideas for your first, second, third, or seventh piercing, just come back to this article for inspiration!