8 Cartilage Piercing Myths You Need to Know

Cartilage ear piercings are some of the most common piercings out there. They’re known under various names, such as the helix, rook, daith, conch, and more.

Since these piercings are so commonplace, there’s tons of information floating around about the process, the aftercare, and the general location of cartilage piercings. While some of these might not be new information, we believe they’re worth repeating for the sake of safety and your general piercing knowledge.

In this blog, we’ll cover the top eight cartilage piercing myths that you need to know, no matter what type of cartilage piercing you have (or plan to get).

1. Cartilage Piercings Heal Quickly

Contrary to popular belief, your cartilage piercing will not heal quickly. In fact, cartilage piercings take the longest to heal out of all the piercing possibilities. This is because cartilage does not regenerate as fast as other tissue does. There’s not as much blood flow in cartilage either, which is vital to the healing process.

Though it will vary from person to person, you can expect your piercing to heal anywhere between 3 months to a whole year, depending on the piercing and the aftercare process.

2. Spinning or Rotating a New Cartilage Piercing

This is the myth that makes your local professional piercing cringe. You should never spin, rotate, or otherwise touch your fresh piercing outside of cleaning it with saline solution. Rotating your jewelry can not only irritate the piercing, but it can introduce bacteria from your hands into the wound and cause infection.

Cartilage Piercings No Spinning

Even after it’s healed for several weeks, you should still avoid moving your piercing at all, especially with your hands. If you must touch your piercing, ensure that you wash your hands first and clean your piercing directly afterwards.

3. Cleaning a Piercing With Cotton Balls/Swabs

It might feel like second nature to clean your cartilage piercing using a cotton ball or cotton swab, but this is exactly the opposite of what you should do. Even though cotton balls/swabs are clean, they can leave tiny fibers behind that could cause irritation or lead to infection. These fibers might not be visible to the naked eye, so it’s generally better to avoid them. Instead, you can clean your piercing with a clean paper towel, a lint-free cloth, or gauze. These methods are less likely to leave any fibers or residue behind.

Cotton Swabs

4. Piercing Guns Being Safe And Effective

This is another myth that professional piercers are tired of hearing. Piercing guns are never safe or effective, especially for a cartilage piercing. In fact, piercing guns cause blunt force trauma to the cartilage which can lead to a longer healing period and more intense pain. Not to mention, a piercing gun is made of plastic, which can’t be properly sterilized in between uses.

Piercing Guns

No matter what you’re getting pierced, you should always seek out a professional piercer. They’ll use a needle that’s made specifically for piercing—never a piercing gun.

5. A Daith Piercing Can Cure Migraines

The daith is a location in your ear cartilage that has stepped into the spotlight over the last couple of years. This is due to a rumor that piercing your daith can help cure migraines. While the myth is based on Chinese acupuncture—because the daith is near a pressure point thought to be associated with headaches—there’s no scientific evidence to back up the claim.

So, if you want your daith pierced, you should do it for the piercing itself. Any extra benefits are great, but they’re not guaranteed.

6. You Can’t Over-Clean a New Piercing

Cleaning your healing cartilage piercing is the most important part of the piercing process. However, there is such a thing as too much cleaning. Over-cleaning your piercing can cause more irritation and actually delay healing. This is because you’re touching it more often than you should, even if it’s for cleaning.

You should always listen to your professional piercer when it comes to your aftercare routine. Typically, they’ll recommend cleaning it one or twice a day—anything else is overkill.

7. Once It’s Pierced, It’s Pierced Forever

Getting a cartilage piercing once doesn’t guarantee it’s pierced forever. In fact, even fully healed cartilage piercings can close up if jewelry isn’t kept in them for prolonged periods of time.

Tragus Piercing

While the close-up process can look different for everyone, it’s best to keep body-safe jewelry—such as titanium or stainless steel—in the piercing indefinitely. If you don’t want the piercing anymore, you can simply remove the jewelry.

8. Treating a Piercing With Antibiotic Ointment Will Help It Heal Faster

This myth couldn’t be further from the truth! Antibiotic ointments like Neosporin can actually trap bacteria and other debris inside the piercing which increases your risk for infection. This, in turn, can slow down the healing process.

On the same topic, it’s also important not to use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide for cleaning. These are too harsh for fresh piercings of any kind, causing excessive dryness or damage to new skin cells.

Saline solution is the only acceptable cleaning solution for fresh piercings. Products like H2Ocean are sterile and fit for cleaning your piercing safely and effectively. Ask your local professional piercer what aftercare products they recommend.

Learn Something New?

We hope that debunking the most popular myths about cartilage piercings can help you make more informed piercing decisions in the future. And remember, if you need high-quality piercing jewelry for your next piercing, Urban Body Jewelry has you covered—cartilage and beyond.