Did you know?
The record for the most number of facial piercings is held by Axel Rosales of Argentina (according to the Guinness World Records 2013). He has an astounding 280 piercings on his face.
Puncturing or perforating any body part to adorn it with jewelry is called piercing. It is an art that has been in practice since ancient times. In some cultures, facial piercing or body piercing is a part of tradition. Piercings are done for various reasons, ranging from religious and spiritual to purely aesthetic ones. All types of piercings require aftercare to minimize risk of scarring and infection. Of all piercings, facial piercings are the most popular.
Eyebrow piercing is a type of surface piercing which is gaining a lot of popularity. As the position of the stud is not fixed, you can experiment with the placement of the piercing. This type of piercing generally takes six to eight weeks to heal. Barbells, rings, and hoops are common jewelry choice for eyebrow piercing.
Nose piercing is one of the most common facial piercings. In some Asian and Middle-Eastern countries, nose piercing is regarded as a part of tradition. Healing time for nose piercings range from about three to six months. Nostril piercing has to be cleaned regularly as there are very high chances of infection. Rings, studs and barbells are the most popular jewelry for such piercings.
Nostril piercing is the most common and popular form of nose piercing is nostril piercing. It is done on the left or right side of the nose. Whereas, the septum piercing is a less common form of piercing, where the piercing is done on the soft cartilage that separates the nostrils. It is also called bull nose piercing.
Nasallang piercing, three different points of the nose is pierced, the left nostril, the right nostril and the septum. A single piece of barbell jewelry is used for such a piercing. While the vertical nose tip piercing is done through the inside of the nostrils and tip of the nose. It is also known as the rhino piercing.
Lip piercings are done on the lips or in the area surrounding the lips. Depending upon the position of the piercing, different names are given to these piercings. Lip piercing is usually done with a 16 or 14 gauge surgical steel flatback barbell. Such piercings can take anywhere between two to four months to fully heal.
Horizontal lip piercing goes directly through the lower lip. It is one of the rarest piercings to be done. While the Jestrum piercing is done to the upper lip is pierced, just above the Cupid's bow. It is usually adorned with a curved barbell and the lower part of the barbell is curved under the upper lip.
Bites refer to two piercings done on either side of the lip or at the top and bottom. They look like insect bites, hence the name.
Other Facial Piercings
Ear piercings are not strictly facial piercings, as they are not on the face. However they are quite popular. There are more than 10 different types of ear piercings!
Ear Lobe Piercing
Ear lobe piercing is extremely common and has been prevalent since centuries. Ear lobe piercing can be done on both ears or one ear. Healing time for such piercing is six to eight weeks.
Helix piercing is done on the outer ridge, on the upper part of the ear (generally the cartilage). Helix piercing can take six to eight months to heal.
Piercing done on the upper part of the ear, from one cartilage to the other, is called industrial piercing. The two piercings are connected with a single barbell. Six to twelve months are required for an industrial piercing to heal. It can be quite painful, so extra care has to be taken.
Rook piercing is done in the inner upper part of the ear, namely the anti-helix. Rook piercing can hurt a lot as the flesh at the anti-helix is thick. Rook piercing takes four to nine months to heal.
For daith piercing, the inner cartilage, below the rook, is pierced. Daith piercing is uncommon. The healing time for daith piercing may vary from seven to twelve months. It is commonly pierced with sixteen gauge surgical steel captive bead ring.
Tragus piercing is placed on the outer ear, which projects in front of the ear canal. It take about four to twelve months to heal.
Anti-tragus piercing is done opposite the tragus, i.e. the cartilage inside the ear just above the ear lobe. Anti-tragus piercings can take about a year to heal.
Conch piercing got its name from the conch shell. This piercing is done in two locations, namely, inner conch and outer conch. The outer conch is done on the outer rim of the ear, above the ear lobe. The location of the inner conch piercing is at the center of the ear. It takes around a year for such piercings to heal.
Tongue piercings are gaining popularity and such piercings are generally placed in the middle of the tongue. Barbells are used as jewelry for tongue piercing. Tongue piercing has to be done by a professional piercer, or the probability of infection increases.
Smiley piercing is done inside the upper lip, on the thin connective tissue above the gums. This piercing is given the name smiley since it is visible only when you smile. Healing time ranges from six to eight weeks.
Frowny piercing is done inside the mouth, on the web connected to the lower lip. It is not easily visible.
Uvula piercing is not exactly a facial piercing, as it is not on the face. Uvula piercing is done on the uvula, that is the oral cavity, near the soft palate. Captive beads rings are commonly used as jewelry. Studios where uvula piercing are done are few.
Things to Remember
Facial piercings should be done only by a professional piercer and with the help of a piercing needle, not a gun.
One common problem with facial piercings is migration. Migration means the act of rejection of the piercing. If the piercing does not suit the skin, it either pushes it out or in. If migration occurs, it is always better to take off the jewelry than wait for it to be pushed out.
Piercings have to be cleaned regularly with a mild anti-bacterial soap. Refrain from touching the skin around the piercing as this might lead to infections.
If you are unable to remove the piercing, it is best to visit the piercer.
Do not change the jewelry of any piercing as soon as the wound has healed. Keep the same jewelry for at least two weeks after the healing process.
With any kind of piercing, whether facial or body, aftercare is really important. It is also vital that you do not tug or pull the piercing, as it might lead to infections.