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The Transverse Lobe Piercing: Everything You Need to Know

Lobe piercings are by far the most popular piercings out there. The lobe is easy to pierce, it heals quickly, and it falls low on the pain scale. 

However, with so many people sporting lobe piercings, they don’t stand out. You can get creative with double, triple, and even quadruple piercings, but since cartilage parties and other ear piercings are becoming so popular, even those aren’t unique.

The transverse lobe piercing changes that.

Instead of piercing straight through the lobe, front to back, the transverse lobe piercing goes through the lobe horizontally. You might think that the long puncture would be quite painful, but it shouldn’t hurt more than a standard lobe piercing. This style offers the best of both worlds with the ease of a lobe piercing in a unique look.

The look of a transverse lobe piercing greatly depends upon your anatomy, and the long fistula will be susceptible to abscess during healing, so there are individual considerations you need to make about this piercing. Here’s everything you need to know. 

How much do transverse lobe piercings hurt?

Transverse lobe piercings are actually one of the least painful piercings to get. The lobe is full of fatty tissue with few nerve endings, so even though the needle will pass through quite a bit of skin, you won’t feel much pain.

Transverse lobe piercing healing process

The transverse lobe piercing will take 2 - 10 months to heal.

The lobe is an easy area to heal, but since the fistula (piercing hole) is so large, it can take a long time. Additionally, it’s susceptible to abscess.

Aftercare rules

Besides the piercing aftercare rules that your piercer provides, here are some tips for happy healing.

Conduct a saline soak 2 - 3 times daily. With such a long fistula, a saline or sea salt soak is the best way to fully flush out your piercing hole. Abscess occurs when debris gets stuck in the fistula, leading to a localized infection. The best way to avoid this is to fully clear the debris with a soak multiple times a day. 

Keep the piercing dry. Water carries tons of harmful bacteria, so you must keep it away from your piercing. After you shower, make sure that you completely pat the piercing dry. 

Make sure that the jewelry is big enough to accommodate swelling. The lobe will swell quite a bit, and your jewelry needs to be large enough to let this happen. If the ends of your jewelry start pressing against the piercing holes, have your piercer switch to a larger piece. After the swelling has gone down, you can talk to your piercer about putting in a shorter barbell.

Keep non-piercing products away. During healing, your skin will be extra sensitive. The chemicals in certain products can irritate your skin, encouraging infection. Only use saline solution or other products that are safe for piercings. If you’re unsure, consult your piercer before using any product.

Transverse lobe piercing jewelry styles

Your jewelry style will largely depend upon the anatomy of your ear.

If you have detached lobes, you’ll likely be fitted with a straight barbell.

If you have attached lobes, you’ll need a curved barbell.

It’s also possible to fit a large captive bead ring or other hoop in a transverse lobe piercing.

If you have stretched lobes, you can get a transverse lobe piercing through the stretched fistula for a truly unique look. This will be a more technical procedure, and you’ll need custom jewelry, so it’s quite expensive, but the style is worth it.

Why shouldn’t I get a transverse lobe piercing?

Not much will bar you against a transverse lobe piercing. They’re relatively easy to heal, and if you commit to excellent aftercare, they shouldn’t take too long.

However, the look of your piercing will depend upon your anatomy. Talk to your piercer about how the transverse lobe piercing will look in your ear.

How much will it cost?

The transverse lobe piercing is a freehand procedure (the piercer won’t use clamps), so it requires an experienced hand. For one piercing, you can expect to pay $50. For both, it will be around $100.

Find a piercer who has experience with this specific piercing. Since the fistula is so long, an improperly pierced transverse lobe could lead to ugly complications. It’s always best to pay a little more to save a lot of trouble down the line.

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