Snug Piercing

Location:Ear Cartilage
Jewellery:Curved Barbells, Circular Barbells, BCR’s
Healing:Around 3 – 6 Months
Age Limit:16 years old (13 years old with parental consent)
Get Your Piercing
Considering getting a snug piercing? If the answer is yes, then read on to find out everything you need to know about this cartilage piercing!
Above: Transverse Snug Piercing With Blue Titanium Barbell Jewellery

Snug Piercing 101

One of the less common forms of cartilage piercing, the snug piercing boasts uniqueness and individuality. Sometimes referred to as the Anti-helix due to its placement opposite the helix area, the snug piercing is performed through the defined part of cartilage along the inner ear. 

Due to its unusual location, the snug piercing is perfect for those that seeking an alternative ear piercing. A piercing that is easily concealed if required, the snug piercing boasts a large amount of jewellery options, enabling your look to stand out wherever you go.

Snug Piercing Variations

It is possible to have a double snug piercing, where two piercings are done on the antihelix (one above the other) however it is highly recommended that you discuss this option with your piercer before as suitability can differ between individuals. Similarly, if your ear shape isn’t suited for the traditional antihelix snug piercing, it is possible that the faux snug style is more suited to your ear shape. A combination of and outer conch piercing and lower helix piercing, the faux snug is another option that we highly recommend discussing with your piercer beforehand.


The snug piercing is traditionally located along the antihelix; however this depends on both the anatomy of the ear and the proposed location. After cleaning the area and marking the piercing channel, the piercer will utilise a sterilised hollow needle to pierce the ear. Once this has been done, the agreed jewellery will then be inserted. We highly recommend visiting a professional and skilled piercer that has credible experience in dealing with this style of piercing. Unfortunately not everyone is suitable for a snug piercing. 

Those with a lifestyle that is heavily sports orientated are highly recommended to discuss the effects of the piercing with their piercer. In many situations, depending on the piercing location and sport, they may suggest impact resistant jewellery or flexible retainers after the healing process.

Anatomical Restrictions 

It is worth noting that in the case of snug piercings, including double and faux styles, it is highly important to determine whether there is enough free and suitable cartilage to perform the piercing. If there isn’t, the piercing may shift over time and could potentially break the skin. 

With this in mind, it is highly important that you discuss your suitability, lifestyle choices, and positioning with a piercer that has plenty of experience in this field!


Most people report that a snug piercing is moderately more painful than many other ear piercings, due to the thickness of the cartilage. However, it is worth bearing in mind that everyone experiences pain differently, so this ‘pain rating’ is purely anecdotal. 

Within the first few days it is common to experience some forms of swelling and soreness which often disappears soon after. If this is not the case, and the pain/swelling/redness continues, it is heavily advised that you seek medical attention immediately.


This piercing typically takes between 3 - 6 months to fully heal, however this is purely dependant on the individual. It’s important to maintain good standards of hygiene and a through aftercare routine to avoid the risk of infection. It is advised that you clean the piercing with a sterilized cotton ball and salt water solution at least twice a day to help reduce the risk of infection.

When caring for your snug piercing, ensure that you:
  • Ensure that your refrain from applying lotions, makeup, moisturisers, perfumes, or body sprays to the area whilst this piercing is still healing 
  • Ensure that you don’t cover or apply any weight to the piercing, allowing it to move freely 
  • Avoid covering your ears, allowing the piercing to breathe 
  • Use an antibacterial soap when cleansing the pierced area 
  • Pat the piercing dry with clean paper towels to avoid your piercing from catching. 
  • Avoid swimming/water sport activities until after your piercing has healed. If that isn’t possible then it is highly recommended that you cover the piercing area with suitable dressing, such as a waterproof eye-patch, that will both protect and prevent the piercing from becoming infected.


The snug piercing can accommodate a wide range of jewellery.

Many popular jewellery choices include:
  • Staple/Long Plastic Surface Barbells
  • BCR’s (Ball Closure Rings)
  • Curved/Circular Barbells
  • Stainless Steel/Titanium Barbells

Please Note: Stud Earrings are not suitable for this piercing due to the location.

Typically, 1.2mm – 1.4mm gauge jewellery is used in the piercing process, though smaller or larger jewellery can be worn once the piercing has fully healed. If you plan to wear jewellery of a larger gauge, we recommend discussing this prior to getting the piercing, or paying a visit to your piercer (once you’ve fully healed) to ensure your piercing can accommodate some stretching and that your anatomy is suitable prior to changing your jewellery.

Article Disclaimer: The information contained here within is based on our experience as one of the UK’s largest piercing chains. Please note that each individual’s experiences will be subjective and therefore each person will have a different experience of pain, healing and maintenance. For more information, please view our article guides terms and conditions page.

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