Body piercings are popular worldwide. Appearing in almost every culture, some piercings have deep meanings ranging from religious and spiritual to personal significance. Others, however, are merely ornamental or social identifiers. In this article, we explore the different types of piercings.
The most common type of piercing is the earlobe. In modern society, some people get this piercing as a baby or young child. If a parent wants to pierce a baby’s ears, it’s recommended to wait until the child is at least 6 months old to ensure the piercings stay centred as the baby grows. As they do not go through cartilage, earlobe piercings are almost pain-free.
Cartilage or helix piercings are any piercing of the cartilage in the top of the ear. Some people decide to wear several studs that go all the way up, while others prefer to stick to one.
A tragus piercing is a piercing in the lower section of cartilage that connects the ear to the face. To fully heal, this type of piercing takes 4 to 8 months.
An anti-tragus piercing is directly opposite the tragus in the inner portion of cartilage. Just like the tragus, the anti-tragus takes between 4 and 8 months to heal.
A daith piercing is a piercing where the ear curves in, right above the tragus. This type of piercing is very close to the conch area of the ear, too.
A conch piercing is a piercing in the lower cartilage inside the ear. For this piercing, there are 2 different piercing options: a ring or a stud. The conch takes between 6 months and 1 year to fully heal.
An industrial piercing is a combination of 2 piercings at the top of the ear. The ear is pierced in 2 adjacent points of the cartilage. Often, a straight barbell is used to connect the two piercings; however, the ear may heal better using 2 captive bead rings for the first year, instead.
An orbital piercing is 2 earlobe piercings that are connected along the outer edge of the ear. Typically, orbital piercings take 6 months to 1 year to heal.
A rook piercing is a piercing in the cartilage above the tragus. To be exact, this piercing is usually between the upper half of the conch and the top curve of the ear. Sometimes, this piercing is referred to as the anti-helix.
A snug piercing goes through the cartilage in the inner section of the ear. Typically, the snug takes between 8 months and 1 year to fully heal.
A triple helix piercing is 3 helix piercings in a row. Often, the piercings are connected with a single spiral-shaped piece of jewellery. Less commonly, they may be connected with a triplicate of studs. Triple helix piercings usually take between 6 months and 1 year to heal completely.
Eyebrow piercings can be pierced either horizontally or vertically through the eyebrow. Vertical eyebrow piercings are the most common of the two. As eyebrow piercings are a surface piercing, they are prone to rejection and must be cared for accordingly. A ring or curved barbell is worn in the piercing for the first two to four months.
Cheek piercings are designed to create the illusion of dimples. If you naturally have dimples, cheek piercings can be used to add a bit of sparkle to the area. It’s important to get this pierced by an experienced piecer to avoid nicking the parotid duct. If the parotid duct is nicked, saliva will leak out of the piercing onto the outside of the cheek.
The most popular type of nose piercing is the nostril. In several Asian cultures, nostril piercings have a lot of significance. The type of jewellery worn in this piercing can vary in size and style, though the most popular option is a stud or loop.
Septum piercings are placed in the cartilage between the two nostrils. The high amount of nerves in this area make the piercing painful for some.
A bridge piercing is a surface piercing done through the skin at the top of the nose. This is normally done right between the eyes, though it can be slightly lower if preferred. Typically, a straight or curved barbell is worn in this piercing.
The medusa piercing is centred above the cupid’s bow, between the upper lip and the bottom of the nose. Typically, it is pierced with a labret stud with the ball sitting on the outside.
Monroe piercings are pierced to the left-hand side above the upper lip. They are designed to mimic the iconic birthmark of Marilyn Monroe.
A vertical lip piercing is any single or set of piercings that go completely through the lip. Instead of going from one side to the other, vertical lip piercings go from the top to the bottom.
A labret piercing is a central piercing placed right below the lower lip.
Angel bites are placed symmetrically on either side of the upper lip. This type of piercing is a modification of the Monroe.
Spider bites are a pair of closely placed, off-centre studs. Typically, they sit on either the left or right of the bottom lip. Instead of being pierced at the same time, it is advised to get each of the piercings done individually. To avoid inflammation, it’s best to wait until the first has completely healed before having the second piercing.
Regardless of the type of piercing you choose, always use a reputable piercer to ensure it’s done correctly. Also, remember to follow the aftercare instructions provided and wait the recommended time before changing your jewellery.