Getting to Know Your Piercing Sizes

Body Piercing Sizes

Determining that you want a piercing is the first step. Next, is to determine where you want that piercing to be located. Then you must select the type of body jewelry you are interested in wearing and the size of the hole you would like to have, termed gauge in piercing language.

So, first things first, gauge numbers get smaller as the hole gets bigger. Knowing this information is pretty helpful, since we always assume higher numbers mean larger things. The piercing that you receive in a particular location, may not be the same gauge that your friend received. This can be due to placement or the thickness of the area being pierced. Remember, a good piercer will assess you as an individual and decide what will work best for your particular piercing.

Belly button piercings

These are pretty standard piercings at 12 or 14 gauge in diameter. If you are concerned with migration, consider getting a larger diameter piercing.

Bridge and eyebrow piercings

These piercings are on the surface, so 16 or 18 gauge diameter is the suggested size.

Cartilage piercings

These piercings can range from 16 to 22 gauge, but due to the longer healing time for these piercings, it is recommended to use a smaller diameter piercing.

Cheek piercings

These piercings are from 12 to 16 gauge in diameter.

Dermal piercings

These piercings can range from 12 to 18 gauges in diameter depending on the location on the surface of the body. Chest piercings may be larger in size than a facial piercing.

Earlobe piercings

Traditional ear piercings are from 14-22 gauge in diameter.

Genital piercings

The male type of piercings can be anywhere from 8 to 16 gauge in diameter. It is best to start out a smaller in size to let your partner become used to the piercing. Female genital piercings are much smaller, due to delicate skin, so 18 or 20 gauge diameters are suggested.

Lip piercings

Depending on where you would like your lip piercing, the gauge will differ. For medusa piercings and labret studs, a 16 or 18 gauge piercing is recommended. If you want something more delicate, a 20 gauge piercing can be obtained. Horizontal piercings can be 12 to 14 gauge in diameter.

Nipple piercings

The nipple piercing can be small or large in diameter depending on your preference. Typical gauge sizes are 12 to 14 gauges in diameter. However, some will go larger to make more of a statement.

Tongue piercings

Tongue piercings are usually 12 to 14 gauges in diameter. You can go bigger, but you should not go smaller than 14G, because the piercing may migrate in the tongue. Higher gauge piercings can prevent this movement.

Now that you have determined where you would like your newest piercing, consider the recommended options and go with your preferred size. Remember, that many of these piercings can be increased in diameter with stretching in the future if desired, so start out small and move up later.