Industrial Piercing 101
Slowly becoming a popular choice of ear piercing, the industrial piercing
boasts uniqueness and an alternative style. Involving two piercings which are connected by a barbell, the industrial piercing can be located anywhere, but it usually refers to two piercings along the cartilage of the upper ear rim. The most common industrial piercing is comprised of a helix and anti-helix piercing.
Due to its unusual look, the industrial piercing is perfect for those that are looking to showcase something a little different, but something that is easily concealed if required. With its alluring style and eye catching persona, this piercing is a show stopping asset to any ensemble.
Industrial Piercing Variations
Also known as a scaffold piercing, this is a very popular form of alternative piercing thanks to its stylish look and instantly noticeable appearance. Suitable for a multitude of differing barbell styled jewellery, the exact placement of an industrial piercing can change from person to person. Two industrial piercings in the same ear are often referred to as a cage piercing, and although it is more common to have a diagonal/oblique orientated piercing, it is also possible to get either a vertical or horizontal piercing across the ear.
The industrial piercing is located anywhere along the outer rim/cartilage of the ear, depending on both the anatomy of the ear and the proposed location. After cleaning the area, marking the piercing channel, and joining the two points with a line to ensure alignment, the piercer will utilise a hollow needle to create the first hole. Once this has been done, jewellery will be inserted and the second hole will be pierced, allowing the jewellery to be fully inserted. It is important to ensure that the initial markings are both straight and symmetrically aligned as this could affect the positioning of your overall piercing. 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 industrial 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.
It is worth noting that in the case of industrial piercings, including helix/anti-helix piercings, 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 an industrial piercing is moderately less painful than many other ear piercings, due to its location on 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 1 - 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 industrial 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
- Use an antibacterial soap when cleansing the pierced area
- Pat the piercing dry with clean paper towels to avoid your piercing from catching
- Suitably twist (if instructed) the jewellery during the healing period to ensure that the cleanser passes through the piercing to aid in healing from within.
- 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.
If you have any queries or are concerned that your piercing is migrating, it is highly recommended that you seek professional guidance.
The industrial piercing can accommodate a wide range of barbell styled jewellery.
Many popular jewellery choices include:
- Staple/Long Plastic Surface Barbells
- Curved/Zigzag Barbells
- Stainless Steel/Titanium Barbells
However, if you are planning on not showcasing a joined industrial piercing, it is possible to wear individual jewellery types such as captive bead rings, labret studs or short straight barbells.
Typically, 1.2mm – 1.6mm 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.
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