Everything You Need to Know About an Orbital Piercing

Are you looking for a unique but versatile piercing? Consider an orbital piercing! In this article, we’ll go through everything you could possibly need to know about an orbital piercing before you decide to get one, including what it is, how to heal it properly, placement options, and jewelry options.

What Is an Orbital Piercing?

An orbital piercing is when you have two separate but parallel piercings that are connected with a ring or circular barbell. It is very similar to the industrial piercing, except it’s with a ring and not a barbell.

Orbital vs Conch Piercing

Recently, a mislabeled diagram has been shared widely across the internet. In this diagram, a conch piercing with a ring in it is labeled as an orbital piercing. However, these two piercings are drastically different. A conch piercing goes through one singular hole (fistula) in the bowl part of the ear’s cartilage.

Orbital Piercing Placement

One thing that makes an orbital piercing unique is that there are so many placement options to choose from on the ear.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Conch to flat
  • Helix to helix
  • A large enough tragus
  • Helix to rook
  • Tragus to conch
  • An earlobe piercing to another earlobe piercing

However, one thing to consider when deciding placement is to ensure that the piercing isn’t pulling tissue together or pushing it apart. If the piercing is doing either of these things, it will not be able to heal properly. An experienced piercer will know how to work with the anatomy of your ear and the curvature of the jewelry you pick out so it is placed properly and can heal.

How Much Does an Orbital Piercing Hurt?

The pain you might experience during the piercing process will be more than if you got a piercing involving a single hole. This is because you’re getting two holes that are right next to each other. Then, when the jewelry is inserted, the piercer must work with both holes simultaneously, increasing the pain level a bit.

Additionally, because of the close proximity of the two piercings involved in creating an orbital piercing, the piercer has much less space to move or hold onto the jewelry. While it isn’t the worst piercing pain there is, it is definitely more than a standard lobe piercing.

Another thing that affects the pain level is the placement of your piercing. If you opt for placement on your earlobe, the pain will be much less than if it was through thicker cartilage, such as a conch-to-rook orbital piercing.

The Healing Process

Much like the placement affects how painful the piercing will be, it also affects how difficult the healing process will be.

Orbital piercings on the earlobe have become increasingly popular, and for a good reason—they’re easier to heal than ones located along the ear’s outer rim. If you want an even easier heal, you can create an orbital piercing using a preexisting lobe piercing, such as a second or third hole, or even an awkwardly placed lobe piercing.

Earlobe orbital piercings do take less time to heal than ones through the cartilage, which is another reason why they’ve become increasingly popular. If you decide to opt for lobe placement, it will generally take around six weeks for the piercing to fully heal.

If you’re up for a more challenging healing process, or you’re an experienced client, then definitely go for an orbital through cartilage. However, it’s important to know that there will be a lot of exposed ring on the front and back of the ear that can easily get caught or snagged on clothing or a towel. It also poses a greater risk of getting bumped or irritated in general.

Additionally, these piercings do take a long time to heal. The fastest time they would heal would be around six months, but they typically take one to two years to fully heal.

One reason why the healing process is so much longer is due to the swelling that will occur. There’s not a lot of room for the extra swelling, and it cannot move around very much. Therefore, it will be difficult to sleep on, and you will likely experience irritation bumps.

This is a piercing that takes patience, but the payoff is definitely worth it!

Proper Aftercare for an Orbital Piercing

Practicing proper aftercare is vital for an orbital piercing to fully heal and heal with as minimal issues as possible.


  • Clean the piercing daily with warm water and unscented antibacterial soap to help remove the “crusties,” or crusted on lymphatic drainage. This drainage is totally normal. Do not be alarmed if you see whitish fluid oozing from your piercing. Your piercing is not infected. Dry the piercing with a clean paper towel. Using a regular towel or a cotton swab can cause the piercing to snag or be caught. Additionally, a cotton swab’s fibers can come loose and get stuck in the piercing.
  • Spray your piercing with a saline solution spray, such as NeilMed’s, two to three times daily.
  • Avoid sleeping on the piercing. Using a donut pillow, or an airplane pillow, is especially helpful because you can place your ear in the center of it, and the pillow will prevent you from sleeping directly on the new piercing.
  • Clean your hands before ever touching your piercing.
  • Avoid wearing headphones or putting pressure on the piercing if it is pierced in an area where the headphones will rest or touch the piercing.


  • Swim in a public body of water (pools, oceans, lakes, hot tubs, Jacuzzis), as this can introduce bacteria to your healing piercing and cause an infection.
  • Touch your piercing (unless you’re cleaning it and have properly sterilized your hands)
  • Try to change the jewelry prematurely; let the piercing fully heal before you switch out the initial jewelry.
  • Use anything other than unscented antibacterial soap or a saline solution spray to clean your piercing. Bactine, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide are all too harsh and will irritate the healing piercing.

Jewelry Options for Orbital Piercings

Since an orbital piercing involves two piercings that are connected with a ring, your only jewelry options are rings. However, this doesn’t mean there’s a lack of variety to choose from.

When you’re getting pierced, it’s best to pick either a captive bead ring or a circular barbell. This is because if you pick a clicker or seamless ring, there is a chance that the gap or opening in the jewelry for insertion and removal will get into one of the piercing holes, and it can close around it. Once your piercing is fully healed, though, go with any typed of ringed jewelry you’d like. One thing to note for the orbital piercing is when you are pierced with a ring, the piercing will be harder to heal. Consider getting this piercing done with two separate labrets and when they are fully healed switching to the hoop ring.

Orbital Piercing Jewelry

It’s also important to note the size of the jewelry you were initially pierced with—the gauge and the diameter. While switching between different ring styles is possible, you will need to keep the jewelry the exact same size it was when you were initially pierced.

The Main Point

Orbital piercings are super badass and, depending on your placement, aren’t something you see everyone with. If you’re looking for a rather rare piercing, this is definitely one for you.

For all your orbital piercing jewelry needs, browse our collection of captive bead rings, circular barbells, seamless rings, and clickers.

Written by Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel is a poet and Content Account Manager. She has been getting pierced for over 16 years, while taking the time to learn proper aftercare techniques from the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) members. Always enamored by the jewelry options that exist for body modifications, she one day hopes to assist clientele with picking out jewelry and styling ears.