Are you looking for your first or a new piercing? While piercings aren’t as permanent as tattoos, you’re bound to have a few questions before you take the plunge. There are so many different places, types, and styles. Not to mention the pain and healing times that vary depending on the type of piercing. Knowing all of these factors can help you make the right decision.
Pierced ears are a perennial favorite. They are the most popular piercings with a dozen possible locations and an infinite number of jewelry combinations.
The Helix is becoming increasingly popular. It is located on the upper part of the outer ear cartilage. It is possible to get two or even three helix piercings in this area.
This piercing is not particularly painful if done well, as it is on a relatively thin section of cartilage and heals quite well.
Healing time: 3 to 12 months to completely heal.
Anti Helix piercing:
The anti-helix piercing is on the part of the helix closest to the face, above the tragus, and is less common. It is also possible to have multiple piercings here, as with the helix. Like other ear cartilage piercings, it can be a little painful; however, this part of the cartilage is also quite thin.
Unlike the helix piercing, the anti-helix piercing may take longer to heal because it is more exposed to bacteria. It can therefore take 6 to 12 months for it to heal.
Once healed, these piercings are very easy to maintain.
The Rook piercing gets its name from piercer Erik Dakota, or his nickname Rook, who first got it done.
It is considered one of the most painful ear piercings because the cartilage in this area of the ear is very thick. The rook piercing is located on the part of the cartilage that forms a fold in front of the anti-helix.
The rook is not possible on all ears; if the crease is not pronounced enough, it will not be possible to pierce this piercing.
Full healing can take up to 12 months.
Industrial piercing (or “scaffold” piercing) is a combination of two piercings, one in the direction of the helix and one in the direction of the anti-helix, which are connected by a straight rod, i.e. a scaffolding.
As with a rook piercing, some people may not be able to wear an industrial piercing depending on their ear shape.
Industrial piercing is a rather painful experience as it is essentially two piercings.
An industrial piercing can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months to fully heal.
In addition to the aesthetic aspect, daith piercing also has advantages for migraines. The daith piercing is located at the exit of the ear canal. In the extension of the antihelix, this area is an acupressure point used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve chronic headaches and migraines. The daith piercing is quite painful due to the thickness of the cartilage and its location and is one of the most painful cartilage piercings, but it is bearable and goes very quickly!
The pain after the piercing can be more severe than with other piercings.
Daith piercing takes about 6 months to heal.
The snug piercing is not very common. This piercing sits on the same cartilage as the Rook piercing but deeper.
It can be a little painful as it goes through two layers of cartilage, but since the cartilage is thinner it should be less painful than a rook piercing.
The snug can take more than 12 months to heal.
The conch piercing is located in the middle of the ear cartilage. It can be positioned in a variety of ways – inner or outer shell – depending on the style you want.
Everyone’s pain is different, but the conch piercing shouldn’t hurt any more than other cartilage piercings.
Full healing can take 3 to 12 months.
Tragus & Anti-Tragus:
The trendy tragus piercing is located on the piece of cartilage called the tragus, which protects the exit of the auditory canal. The opposite of the tragus piercing is the antitragus piercing, which is located just above the upper lobe on a thicker part of the ear cartilage. These piercings don’t hurt any more than other cartilage piercings.
The healing time for these piercings is one of the shortest for ear cartilage due to the more protected location, averaging between 2 and 6 months.
The earlobe piercing is undoubtedly the most commonly pierced area in the world and is the piercing that causes the least pain and heals the fastest.
Because the earlobe is the softest part of the ear, the pain is very minimal.
If the size of the earlobe allows, it is possible to have up to 3 or even 4 piercings! The earlobe piercing is also the easiest to stretch to insert studs or tunnels – these can reach impressive diameters.
The earlobe piercing heals the fastest, namely within 1 to 2 months.
Piercings aren’t just for the ears. Those who prefer a bolder look should consider a face piercing. This is of course all the rage, but it requires more thought. Face piercings are always visible, and if you ever decide to stop wearing them, they usually leave a scar.
Image of a face with the name of the different piercings
Bridge & Vertical Bridge or Third eye:
Nostril piercings, with a ring or a stud, are very popular these days. There are also more and more septum piercings. One nose piercing is still uncommon, though, and that’s the bridge. The bridge piercing is a horizontal bar on the bridge of the nose. It is considered a surface piercing, so the risk of migration and rejection is high.
Despite its unusual location, this piercing can be amazingly inconspicuous yet still draws attention. It gives an incomparable style to the person who wears it.
The vertical bridge piercing is a variant that goes through the skin vertically and sits slightly higher than the classic bridge.
The procedure is generally not painful as it is done through only one area of the skin.
If all goes well, healing takes between 2 and 4 months.
The eyebrow piercing is a common modern piercing; it is usually placed at the outer end of the arch of the eyebrow and crosses it vertically, slightly obliquely. It is also possible to put this piercing in the same place but horizontally.
The eyebrow is one of the least painful piercings you can do.
Eyebrow piercing usually takes between 6 to 8 weeks to heal, but it can take up to 12 months to fully heal.
Teardrop & Anti-eyebrow:
These piercings are located under the eye, at the level of the outer corner of the eye. They follow the line of the lower eyelid. Being surface piercings, they are very aesthetic but can cause problems due to rejection. The anti-eyebrow piercing is worn with a barbell, while the teardrop piercing uses a micro dermal.
The pain is difficult to quantify depending on whether it is a staple or a micro dermal.
These piercings take 3-6 months to partially heal and up to 12 months to fully heal.
Nose piercings are usually done in the nostril. It is one of the oldest piercings and is found worldwide. While it used to be considered particularly unusual, it is now more and more common.
This piercing is placed on the cartilage part of the nostril that surrounds the outside of the nasal passages; the exact location varies depending on the morphology of the nose. Not every person has the same pain tolerance, but since this is
Piercing an area of cartilage, this piercing can be more painful than others.
The healing time is on average 1.5 to 3 months.
The High Nostril piercing is similar to a normal nose piercing but is pierced higher up on the bridge of the nose. Worn on one or both nostrils, it gives a truly unique style.
The pain can be more intense than with a simple nose piercing because the cartilage is thicker in this part of the nose.
High nostril piercings also take longer to heal, typically 6-9 months.
A septum piercing is located in the area of the nasal septum. The nasal septum is the thin wall of cartilage in the middle of the nose that separates the right and left nostrils. A septum piercing should not penetrate the cartilage, but rather pierce the softer space just below the nasal septum, the columella.
The septum piercing is uncommon but growing in popularity.
Although the pain varies from person to person, it’s not the most painless piercing. A few tears will probably flow (not necessarily from pain, but from reflexes)!
The septum piercing can be stretched.
It takes about 3 to 4 months for the wound to fully heal.
Medusa & Madonna or Monroe:
The Medusa piercing is located in the center of the upper lip at the level of the philtrum, just above Cupid’s bow. The Madonna piercing is on the right side of the upper lip and the Monroe piercing is on the left side. Getting pierced on both sides is called an “Angel bites piercing”!
These are very aesthetic piercings. The Medusa piercing is extremely popular and looks very fashionable.
This area is full of nerve endings and is therefore very sensitive. You will probably feel pain for a few seconds. But beware: these types of piercings can damage the gums. Always get detailed advice from a professional piercer of your choice beforehand.
A piercing in the mouth takes between 8 and 10 weeks to heal.
The cheek piercing is done on the cheek at the level of the dimple (if it is natural). If not, the piercing is placed where it would create the same aesthetic! Generally, both cheeks are pierced at the same time to achieve facial symmetry.
Despite the unique style that cheek piercing brings, it remains relatively uncommon as it highlights the face and smile. It needs to be performed by an experienced piercer and it is quite difficult to accomplish as the cheek is a complex area.
The cheek is a particularly thick area with many nerve endings. The cheek piercing is therefore quite painful. But as with all piercings, the pain will pass quickly!
Because the area is very thick and often in motion, the cheek piercing takes a particularly long time to heal, at least 3 months to 1 year.
Labrets & Lowbrets:
Lip piercings are very fashionable and offer a variety of styling options. We’ve already mentioned upper lip piercings like the Medusa, Madonna, and Monroe. Now let’s talk about lower lip piercings.
First of all, the labret, which usually lies under the lower lip. It’s called a vertical labret when it comes out in the middle of the lower lip.
Side labrets are not pierced in the middle of the lower lip, but on one side, left or right. In reality, the term labret refers to both the lip piercing and the piece of jewelry itself.
When it comes to a series of piercings, usually 2, they have different names like snake bites, angel bites or spider bites.
Woman smiling with piercing
The lowbret, which is not very common, is like the labret, but it is placed as low as possible under the lip, just above the connective tissue that connects the lower lip to the lower gum line. A lowbret can be centered like a labret or drilled two or three times along this lower gum line. It can be pierced horizontally so that the jewel sticks straight out, or it can be angled down so that a long spade can be worn.
This is a relatively new piercing and is quite difficult to place correctly. A lip piercing hurts, but it’s bearable. As with all piercings, this depends on your pain tolerance, but the act itself is quick. Piercings that go through the lip and the inner tissues of the mouth can be a little more painful.
The healing process is quite similar for the different lip piercings and it takes between 2 and 3 months for the piercing to heal.
Please remember that with labret and lowbret piercings you run the risk of damaging your teeth and gums.
Tongue piercings and mouth piercings
Tongue piercings are very common today, but they also carry risks. These risks include damaging the muscles and nerves of the tongue, loosening teeth, receding gums, and damaging tooth enamel.
There are different types of tongue piercings. The most popular piercing, the middle tongue piercing, is located (yes, you guessed it!) in the middle of the tongue on the midline, after the frenulum, and runs vertically across the tongue.
There are also more unusual tongue piercings like the snake eyes piercing, a horizontal tongue piercing at the tip of the tongue that looks like a snake’s head!
The Venom piercing is a double vertical piercing on each side of the tongue. This piercing is riskier because the two sides of the tongue are traversed by vessels. As always, consult a professional piercer who has a good command of this piercing.
The tongue frenulum piercing is a horizontal piercing at the level of the tongue frenulum under the tongue. It is invisible unless intentionally displayed, making it a popular choice for those wanting a discreet piercing.
The frowny piercing, another discreet and trendy piercing, is done on the frenulum that connects the lower lip to the gums.
The smiley piercing, on the other hand, is located on the frenulum of the upper lip. This piercing is often visible when speaking or smiling, hence its name.
Some of these piercings are only possible if the morphology of the body is suitable; please ask your professional piercer.
Frenulum piercings are fairly painless. The middle tongue piercing doesn’t hurt very much. Other spots and double piercings will probably hurt a little more. Oral piercings can be painful for some time after the procedure.
It can take 3-6 months for these piercings to heal.
And the rest of the body…
For the second part of our guide to the different types of piercings, check out our article on body piercings, coming soon!
You can also read our additional article on body piercings: What is a Prince Albert piercing? “
A piercing is not a completely harmless procedure without risk. No matter what piercing you choose, it must be done professionally. Make sure that the hygiene conditions are impeccable to keep the risk of infection low.
The healing phase is very important. Follow your piercer’s grooming instructions. There is a whole range of products specifically designed to take care of piercings, such as our Easy piercing® Kit or the Tattoo Goo Piercing Aftercare Kit.
If in doubt, consult your professional piercer; he will advise you on the safest course of action.