Read these tips before getting a cartilage piercing so you know what to expect. We’ve compiled the most important items so you can be better prepared for your new piercing.
Go to a Professional Piercing Shop
Going to a professional piercing shop for your cartilage piercing will decrease the chances of infection and complications in the new piercing as it heals. A piercing shop will use sterilized tools and will have quality jewelry, which will help ensure your piercings heals well. Avoid going anywhere that uses a piercing gun because they can’t be sterilized, and the force of the piercing can damage your ear cartilage.
Ear cartilage piercings, like the helix piercing, range in cost from as low as $40 and up to $80 or more. The cost is based on factors like the shop’s price range, the quality of the cartilage jewelry, and the type of piercing.
It Can Hurt More Than a Traditional Ear Piercing
Some people have reported that a cartilage piercing hurts more than an earlobe piercing. This is because the cartilage tissue is a different and tougher tissue to pierce through than an earlobe, so it is a bit more painful as a result.
The Healing Time is Longer Than an Earlobe Piercing
Cartilage piercings (like helix piercings, conch piercings, and industrials) can take longer to heal than most piercings: anywhere from 4 months to 1 year, depending on the placement of the piercing. Cartilage piercings heal from the outside in, so they can look healed before they actually are.
Clean it, But Not Too Much
You will only need to clean your cartilage piercing once in the morning and once at night, by soaking with a saline solution. Don’t use soap, hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol to clean your cartilage piercing—these are too harsh. Read our full article about Cartilage Piercing Information & Aftercare for all the details about saline solution soaks.
Avoid Public Bodies of Water, Sleeping on it, and Touching it as Much as Possible
While your cartilage piercing is healing:Don’t go in the pool or jacuzzi, to the beach or a lake, or take baths and submerge your ear Try to avoid sleeping on the ear with the piercing Be cautious about hair and clothing to avoid snagging the jewelry Avoid touching your piercing, but wash your hands with soap and water if you have to touch it with your hands
Watch Out For Infection
Keep an eye out for redness, excessive swelling, sharp pain or throbbing, and bleeding (after the first few days). These are likely signs of infection, and you’ll want to address them right away to avoid damaging the cartilage of your ear. Call or visit the piercing shop so they can help you figure out what to do.
Don’t Take the Jewelry Out if it Does Get Infected
Cartilage piercings are different than soft tissue piercings. If your cartilage piercing does get infected, don’t remove the jewelry. Taking the jewelry out will trap the infection inside your ear, and it could cause damage to your cartilage. Keep the jewelry in so the infection can drain and be treated.