Among the different types of body piercings, the ear piercing is said to be the oldest and is found in almost all cultures across the world. In the olden times, the reason for ear piercings was attributed to religious and spiritual reasons. However, today piercing one's ears are done mainly because it looks attractive. Though in ear piercing the most common one is the ear lobe piercing, nowadays it has become a common thing to see people with ear cartilage piercings too.
Ear cartilage is the upper portion of the ear which is thicker than the ear lobes, and due to this, ear piercing in the cartilage is different from ear lobe piercings. People who are thinking of getting a ear cartilage piercing done, would be going through lots of queries and doubts in their minds about ear cartilage piercing risks and whether it is really painful to have ear cartilage piercings.
Are Ear Cartilage Piercings Painful?
The first question that many people have is whether a ear cartilage piercing is painful. The answer to the question is not clear and is determined by various factors. If you ask people who have already done a ear cartilage piercing whether it hurts badly, you may get different answers. For some, the experience may have been really painful, while some may have just experienced a burning sensation at that moment.
Actually the ear cartilage piercing pain would depend upon the person who does the piercing and the instrument used to do the piercing. It is very important to go to a professional piercer who has a good reputation of doing body piercing. Research well before choosing one and also visit the piercing studio once to inquire about the process of getting the piercing done. This is necessary because some inexperienced piercers can lead to damage of the ear cartilage if they do not do it in the correct method, sometimes damaging a nerve. Also look at the instrument that is used for piercing.
There are many piercers who use the gun to do cartilage piercing. However, this is very dangerous as piercing with the help of a gun can lead to scarring of the cartilage tissue and so should be totally avoided. Ear cartilage piercing should be done only with a body piercing needle to avoid any kind of infection.
Ear Cartilage Piercing Infections
Many people think once they take the appropriate measures while getting a ear cartilage piercing done, their job has been done. However, this carefree attitude of people can lead to various problems to the pierced area. Once the piercing is done, one has to take care of the pierced area till it is fully healed. One has to follow the ear piercing aftercare instructions given by the piercer very carefully. If this is not done properly, there are high chances that it would result into an infection.
One of the most common ear cartilage infection is perichondritis. This infection occurs when the tough tissue of the ear cartilage, which is called the perichondrium, gets inflamed while piercing. The symptoms that could be seen when a person has this infection are terrible pain in the ear, redness where the piercing is done and secretion of pus from the pierced area. If you experience such symptoms, you should immediately visit the doctor for treatment, otherwise the condition may aggravate as the infection may spread to the entire ear.
Apart from this, the jewelry worn during ear cartilage healing can lead to certain allergic reactions. There are people who are allergic to a particular kind of metal and doing a piercing with such kind of metal can cause ear cartilage piercing swelling. Though the recommended metals for ear cartilage piercings are 18 carat gold, nobium, surgical stainless steel and titanium, it is crucial to check whether you are allergic to any of these metals before you get it done.
Ear Cartilage Piercing Aftercare
The overall ear cartilage piercing healing period takes at least 6 - 8 weeks. During this period, it is extremely essential to take complete care of the piercing. It is quite normal to experience tenderness, slight bleeding, swelling and pain during the initial few days. However, one has to take care of the piercing to prevent it from getting infected. The ear cartilage piercing should be cleaned twice with water and disinfectant for the first three days, and later only once a day.
Nevertheless, do not overdo it. Too much of cleaning can also give rise to some problems. Before you clean your pierced ears, do not forget to wash your hands with disinfectant because unclean hands may have bacteria which can cause infections in that area. Another important thing that one should remember is that the piercing should be touched only when it has to be cleaned.
If the swelling or pain persists, removing the piercing would surely heal it. However, leaving the hole open for a long time, may close it permanently and you may have to go for re-piercing. Therefore, if you find any kind of discomfort or pain, the best option is to consult your piercer or a doctor immediately who can give you appropriate advice.
I hope this article has answered your questions about ear cartilage piercing risks and the appropriate ear cartilage piercing care. There are many people who frequently ask the question - are ear cartilage piercings cute? The answer to this is yes, however, one has to take certain precautions before and after getting a ear cartilage piercing done to enjoy showing of their piercing to the whole world.