Snug Piercing Information & Aftercare

Snug piercings are one of the most popular ear piercings at the moment. These unique piercings puncture the ridge of hard cartilage that wraps around the inner part of the ear. Snug piercings have gained popularity recently compared to some other ear piercings. These piercings are a sleek ear-piercing option, since usually the only thing visible is the two balls at the ends of the barbell. However, these piercings take longer to heal than some and may involve changing some habits to heal them. Read on to see what’s involved in getting a snug piercing.

How Much Does a Snug Piercing Hurt?

Since snug piercings require puncturing a thick layer of cartilage, they are more painful than most. Thankfully, an experienced piercer will help you get through the process and can be trusted to push the needle through as quickly as possible. Snug piercings are in a general spot on the ear, so there won’t need to be as much planning or marking like with some other piercings. Focus on breathing and staying still in order to get through it. This will ensure your piercing is as precise as possible.

Getting a Snug Piercing

What Should I Expect When I Get Pierced?

It is of the utmost importance to make sure you choose a reputable piercer who you trust to do your snug piercing. They should be able to answer any questions you might have about the experience of getting pierced and how to care for your piercing afterwards. Since this is a slightly more technical piercing, you want to take extra care to ensure you get it done right. After signing some paperwork, you will lay on your opposite side and have the area cleaned. Once your piercer is ready, they will usually instruct you to take a deep breath. Upon the start of your exhale they will puncture your ear with the needle quickly and then replace the needle with the jewelry. Congrats, you now have a snug piercing!

Snug Piercing

Do I Have Jewelry Options?

The standard jewelry upon piercing is a 16g 3/8” curved barbell. Curved barbells are ideal for snug piercings because they allow the piercing room to breathe without hugging the ends too close together like a ring would. You will need a longer barbell initially because your snug piercing will swell more than most immediately after piercing. You want to have room for it to breathe without the jewelry causing problems. The barbell will probably look like a long antenna at first with the extra length, but it’s necessary since the swelling will overtake most of that length soon after.

Snug Piercing Jewelry / Rings

Assuming your healing process has gone smoothly after a month or so, and your piercing is much less swollen, you can downsize to a 5/16” curved barbell. A shorter barbell will be a tighter fit to your ear without the extra length. Using a ring in your snug piercing during the healing period is absolutely not recommended since rings do not compensate for ear thickness or swelling. Using ring jewelry can lead to excess scar tissue and cause other problems that extend the healing period. After your piercing is fully healed you might be able to switch to a ring instead, but this will depend on your anatomy and should be done with caution. If your piercing feels squished or uncomfortable, switch back to your normal curved barbell immediately. Even if rings aren’t an option for your snug piercing, there are plenty of curved barbell variations to suit whatever style you’re looking for!

Can I Sleep on my Snug Piercing?

It is best to avoid sleeping on any piercing, and this is certainly true for snug piercings. Sleeping on it can cause excess scar tissue since continual pressure is being put on the piercing for a long period of time. This is especially true for the healing phase, since there are so many other ways to bump it on things. There isn’t any protection on your ear when you sleep, so this is an important time to be careful. The less you sleep on it, the better.

How Long Do Snug Piercings Take to Heal?

Most snug piercings take at least two to three months to heal, possibly longer depending on how well you’ve kept up with aftercare. Since the piercing goes through thick cartilage it takes a while to heal back to normal. Try not to touch it, bump it or rotate it as much as possible. All of these movements are similar to picking at a scab and will only cause scar tissue and delay healing. Avoiding these motions will keep outside dirt and bacteria from interfering with the healing process.

How Do I Keep my Snug Piercing Clean?

First, do not use any products like hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, bactine or Neosporin to clean your snug piercing. These products will only do more damage than good. This is also true for cotton swabs since the fibers can get tangled in your piercing and cause irritation. The best way to clean your piercing is with a saline mixture. Saline sprays such as Neilmed and H2Ocean are also available for purchase if you need an on the go option. To make a sea salt solution, get a gallon of distilled water from the store, and some non-iodized sea salt. Measure four teaspoons of salt and dump them into the gallon. Shake the gallon up until the salt is dissolved and you have an excellent piercing cleaner! Once or twice a day, shake your solution to ensure it’s still mixed before pouring a small amount into a shot glass. Glass or porcelain shot glasses are best, since you’re going to be heating them up. Wash your hands and microwave the saline mixture until it’s warm (around body temperature) and take it out. Then, hold the glass to your ear and soak your snug piercing for 7-15 minutes. This habit decreases swelling as well as softens and cleans any debris that may have accumulated on your piercing. After removing the shot glass, you can gently pick off any remnants of debris while drying it off.