The Auricle Piercing: Everything You Need to Know
For those who love getting their ears pierced, the auricle piercing really helps to bring cartilage collections together. Located between the helix and the lobe piercings, the auricle piercing looks fantastic on its own or as part of a cartilage cluster.
Like the helix, the auricle presents a large canvas to work with. There’s a wide space available to puncture, so before you get your auricle pierced, you’ll want to think about where specifically you want your piercing placed.
The auricle piercing is usually done with a 16G or 14G needle, but ultimately, the size is up to you. Keep in mind that it’s much easier to stretch the piercing than it is to shrink it, so when in doubt, err on the smaller side.
Since this piercing takes place in the cartilage, healing will be a little more unique than other fleshy areas. Additionally, the cartilage can be easily damaged, so you’ll need to take extra care during healing and be sure that you choose an expert piercer.
Before you take the plunge, here’s all you need to know about the auricle piercing.
How much does the auricle piercing hurt?
Cartilage piercings will hurt more than lobe piercings. The good news about the auricle is that the cartilage in this area is usually thinner, so any pain felt will be quick. Typically, the auricle falls lower on the pain scale.
The expertise of your piercer contributes greatly to the pain of your piercing. More experienced piercers have techniques to reduce pain, limit your time under the needle, and help you to breathe and feel comfortable throughout the process. If this is your first piercing, try to find a piercer who is empathetic toward your nerves.
Auricle piercing healing process
Cartilage healing times vary greatly from person to person. Therefore, the auricle piercing can take anywhere between 3 - 9 months to heal. Since the cartilage can be easily damaged during healing, it’s a good idea to consult your piercer before stopping aftercare practices to make sure that you’re fully healed.
Cartilage piercings are susceptible to piercing bumps, cauliflower ear, and other complications, and the auricle piercing is no exception. Don’t let this scare you away from this super cute piercing. Here are some aftercare tips beyond standard aftercare practices to help you along the path toward happy healing.
Don’t touch the jewelry. In any piercing, it’s important to refrain from touching your jewelry or the piercing site except when cleaning or drying the area. Your hands harbor tons of bacteria that can be harmful to your piercing. When you do need to touch your piercing, make sure that your hands are disinfected with warm water and antibacterial soap. With cartilage piercings, like the auricle piercing, there’s an additional reason for steering clear of your jewelry during healing: cartilage tends to form scars and bumps around the area if damaged or infected. Sometimes, those bumps can only be surgically removed. Play it safe and leave your jewelry alone.
Don’t lay on your jewelry. This rule is especially difficult for those who like to sleep on their sides. Putting pressure on the jewelry can cause problems during healing, such as embedded jewelry, so you want to do your best to keep from laying on your side. If you have both ears pierced at the same time, try to make sure that you switch sides during the night. It could be a good idea to get one ear pierced at a time so that you can avoid sleeping on the healing piercing entirely. Additionally, make sure that you have a clean pillowcase every night.
Keep the piercing dry. Some piercing bumps are formed when the ear isn’t kept properly dry. After you shower, sweat, get stuck in the rain, or have any sort of dampness around the pierced area, make sure that you pat the area dry with a clean paper towel. Never take baths or go swimming. It’s a good idea to keep an aftercare saline solution with you so that you can disinfect on the go.
Auricle jewelry styles
Like the helix piercing, the auricle piercing has tons of jewelry styles to choose from. Additionally, the auricle piercing looks amazing in a cluster of cartilage earrings, so feel free to have a little fun!
Captive bead rings are super popular for this type of piercing. They combine the sleek hoop look with a small bead that adds a little extra flair. Choose a standard metal bead or add some color with a turquoise or black pearl bead.
Hoops are also a great choice for the auricle piercing. Go sleek with a seamless ring or try out some hoop styles with flair.
Cartilage studs are subtler than hoops, and you can dress them up with different charms and gemstones. This jewelry option is perfect for those who enjoy quieter styles and more conservative looks. Cartilage studs are also great among other cartilage piercings. You can opt for a flat disc back for a cleaner backing look or a ball back for jewelry flair on both sides of your ear.
The auricle piercing also allows for unique jewelry types. The cartilage shield is fantastic in an auricle piercing. The shield will wrap around your ear for a bold jewelry choice.
Other unique options include a twisted barbell, which will wrap around your ear similarly to a cartilage shield.
Those with auricle piercings are often seen with circular barbells and curved barbells as well.
If you’re not quite ready for the needle, the auricle piercing can also be adorned with a fake earring. High quality faux hoops can fool anyone into believing that you got your auricle pierced while you don’t have to deal with the pain.
Why shouldn’t I get an auricle piercing?
Hypertrophic scars are always a risk when it comes to piercings, but they are even more of a risk in cartilage piercings. If you're more susceptible to scarring, then cartilage piercings might not be for you.
Cartilage bumps are a real risk. Proper aftercare helps negate that risk. If you aren’t great with aftercare practices, you probably want to choose a more forgiving piercing.
The shape of the ear varies greatly from person to person. Some ear shapes aren’t made for the auricle piercing. Have a piercer look at your ear shape to see if the auricle piercing is right for you. If not, they can recommend other piercing options.
How much will it cost?
Auricle piercings typically cost around $30 - $50. Don’t choose the piercer based on the price; you want to make sure that you start your auricle piercing on the right foot. Additionally, a more experienced piercer will be able to limit your pain during the piercing process, so it’s a good idea to opt for the expert option if you have a low pain tolerance.
Never choose a piercer who uses a piercing gun. This is always good advice, but it’s imperative with any cartilage piercing. Complications such as cauliflower ear arise from blunt force trauma to the ear, and a piercing gun works by forcing jewelry through the ear—the definition of blunt force. Do yourself a favor and find a piercer who uses a needle.