What is Cartilage Piercing?
Cartilage piercing is old school yet youngsters in their ploy to become fashionable don’t look deep into the matters and end up with an infection or damage to the ear. For all intent and purposes, piercing isn’t anything negative but a little knowledge won’t hurt anyone, would it?
Types Of Cartilage Piercing
The ear cartilage is thicker compared to the cartilage on the forehead or the neck. So, many ornaments assist the process of perforation by allowing air absorption which helps in healing of the wound. Although jewelries made out of various materials are available in the market, doctors recommend use of stainless steel elements like gold, diamond and titanium. Depending on the choice of jewelry, the piercing is categorized into the following segments.
- Industrial Ear Piercing: The helix of the ear is pierced twice in this type of piercing. The same jewelry could be used on both the perforations or different jewelries could be worn. Helix is a sensitive area and should be pierced only by an expert. It takes as much as a year to heal completely.
- Helix Piercing: Upper ear when pierced is commonly termed as Helix Piercing. A needle or hoop is used to pierce the helix and it gets healed in around 8 months. Forward helix Piercing is also one type that is widely popular.
- Earlobe Piercing: This kind of piercing is the most common of all and least painful as it is done on the part which is not on the cartilage. For the same reason, it heals in around a month.
- Conch Piercing: Conch piercing includes inner conch piercing and outer conch piercing. Inner is performed in the middle of the cartilage while the outer one is performed on the outside rim of the cartilage. Usually, it also takes from 6 to 8 months to heal.
- Tragus and Anti-Tragus Piercing: Tragus piercing is piercing the thick fold of the cartilage of the ear which is actually quite painful. Anti-tragus piercing, on the other hand, is conducted at the part opposite to the Tragus, over the earlobe.
- Rook Piercing: The thickest part of the ear, the area above the tragus is fleshy and hence pains a lot when pierced. This is Rook Piercing.
- Dermal Piercing: It could be done on the earlobe or ear cartilage’s flat portion. The name is derived from the way it is performed.
- Daith Piercing: The fold closest to the canal is pierced in Daith Piercing and it takes 6-8 weeks to heal.
Ear Cartilage Piercing Procedure
Any doctor would suggest that you take extra precaution when you are getting a piercing done. Of course, all is not in your hands but you can still make sure safety measures are being taken by the professional.
- To start with, he should wash his hands before touching anything with anti-bacterial soap.
- Furthermore, the needle, jewelry and any other equipment that is required should be sterilized.
- Alcohol and anti-bacterial soaps clean them up all nice.
- Once the piercing is done, rinsing the pierced area with water and leaving it untouched to dry itself is the best possible way to ensure it is dirt free.
- The discharge should be cleaned with a cotton bud and needles should be cleaned again. Furthermore, you should avoid wiping the pierced area with a towel as it could lead to infections.
Ear Cartilage Piercing Infection
When an infection in the pierced area occurs, it usually causes a burning feeling, releases yellow fluid, irritation and pain. It may also get swollen and the area could get red due to the infection. A pathogen called Staphylococcus Aureus causes the infection after the cartilage has been pierced. There are many other reasons that lead to infection, some of them are listed below:
- Improper technique of perforation or incision
- Swimming in contaminated water
- Using unclean tools
- Playing with the piercing with dirty hands
- Wearing jewelry of poor quality
Warm water mixed with salt should be applied in case infection occurs. Cleaning it with salt solution often makes it better. Furthermore, rubbing ice gently on the ear also helps. But if the condition is still not improving, you should seek medical help.
Ear Cartilage Piercing Healing
It can take as few as 3 months or as long as 12 months for a cartilage piercing to completely heal. Because aftercare is essential regardless of the kind of piercing you have, it usually involves the same steps. These include:
- Cleaning the piercing at least once everyday
- Avoiding application of beauty creams on the ear
- Letting the jewelry on until the piercing gets healed
- Avoid fidgeting with the jewelry or touching it with dirty hands
- Swimming is off limits for the contaminated water can make matters worse
- Anti-bacterial soaps work best on the pierced surface but again, overusing them can cause irritation too
Cartilages are sensitive and they should only be pierced by an experienced professional. Any kind of mistake can make the pain worse so try to stay on guard as much as possible. Don’t delay in consulting the ENT or a dermatologist if you suspect that the condition is getting worse.