The Rook Piercing
The rook piercing is a cartilage piercing in the upper ear. It is located above the tragus in the anti-helix. The rook is the ridge that sits between the outer ear and the inner conch. This is one example of how piercing professionals have gotten creative over the years. A rook piercing is done on a vertical orientation, this allows both sides of the curved barbell to be shown. Due to the placement of the rook you can get extremely creative with your jewelry. It can be done with a curved barbell or a circular ring.
Most piercers prefer to start with a 16-gauge curved barbell because it has less movement then a ring. It is important that the piercing remains stationary during the healing process. While the piercing is healing leave it alone, avoid touching it, moving it, or rotating it. Try to sleep on the opposite side of the piercing and if you wake up on the piercing be conscious and flip over to the other side. The curved barbell will move less than a ring, a ring is going to move naturally disturbing the healing process.
When you go in for your piercing appointment your piercer will help you pick out a 16 Gauge barbell that is 5/16" in length. When you go back the piercer will clean the ear with an antibacterial/antimicrobial solution. The piercer will mark the spot where the jewelry will be inserted, and have you approve the placement. Once you agree on the placement a piercer will use a hollow needle to pierce through the cartilage of your rook and then insert the jewelry.
Rook Piercing Healing Time
Cartilage piercings take a long time to heal and you want to make sure they are being taken care of for optimal healing. The primary healing stage is 6 months, but the secondary healing process takes between 12 to 18 months. This is when the fistula is considered to be fully healed. During this time, it is important to keep the jewelry as stationary as possible. The jewelry does not need to be moved or rotated while healing. Try to avoid public bodies of water such as; Jacuzzis, pools, lakes, and oceans. These bodies of water all contain bacteria that can enter the piercing and cause infection and other healing problems. If you do go into something like a jacuzzi make sure to go in waist deep, do not submerge you head in the water and open up the ear to the water. Keep the piercing clean and let your body do its job.
Avoid any bottle cleaners such as; Bactine, Neosporin, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Alcohol. These cleaners are all too harsh and can cause more harm than good. They can kill of both the good and bad tissue that is trying to heal. Use your basic sea-salt solution and let your body heal the piercing on its own.
Rook Piercing Pain
A rook piercing if done properly should be a very easy piercing to get. The pain should be no more than a quick pinch and then some slight pulling and tugging on the jewelry during insertion. The piercing itself should last no more than a split second. Most people can handle any amount of discomfort for a split second. Make sure you seek out a professional qualified piercer in your area to make sure it is as quick, safe, and easy as possible.
Rook Piercing Aftercare Information
When caring the rook piercing the only suitable cleaner is sea salt. You want to go to your local grocery store or pharmacy and pick up a gallon of distilled water and Non-Iodized Sea Salt. Make sure that you are buying distilled water and not substituting it with any other type of water. Non-Iodized Sea Salt is easy to find, it is pure organic sea salt. If you look at the ingredient list the only ingredient that should be listed is sea salt. When you get home pour four teaspoons of the Non-Iodized Sea Salt into the gallon of distilled water and shake the jug well. When you are ready to clean the piercing pour the solution into a coffee cup or a shot glass. Be sure that you are only using glass or porcelain, paper and plastic products will contaminate the sea salt solution. Put the cup into the microwave for a few seconds.
The goal is to make the solution body temperature or luke warm. If it is in the microwave for too long it will burn both you and your piercing. Everyone has a different microwave, so it may take a few times to get the right temperature. Once you have the correct temperature you want to tilt the cup up to your ear and submerge the ear into the solution for 7 to 15 minutes. Since the rook is in the crevice of the ear it might be difficult to get it completely submerged in your solution. The second-best cleaning method is a compress. This is very similar to a soak, you will take a paper towel and submerge it into the solution that you microwaved. Take the paper towel and hold it up to the piercing for seven to fifteen minutes.
Make sure you are only using paper towels. Q-tips and cotton balls can leave behind fibers that can become stuck in the piercing, which can cause healing complications. After you are done with the soak or the compress rinse the piercing with water and pat it dry with a clean paper towel. Cleaning should take place throughout the entire healing process, once in the morning and once at night.
The most common jewelry size is a 16 Gauge, 5/16" and this will leave room to accommodate for some swelling. If the bar is touching the skin and the balls are “dimpling” into the skin, it’s time to have your piercer re-asses the size and put a longer barbell in the piercing. After a few months you can down size the piercing or you can keep it at a 16 Gauge 5/16".
If you downsize your piercer will be able to verify the size of your ear and recommend a specific size that will fit snug to the ear. If you want to insert a captive ring in the piercing it is usually okay to do this when you see your piercer to downsize. Downsizing is for when the piercing is done swelling and is healing well.
Disclaimer: If you have any questions or concerns about your piercing make sure to go to your Professional Piercer or Medical Doctor.