Cartilage Piercings

Jewellery:BCR, Labret, Segment Ring, Curved, Straight or Circular Barbell
Healing:3-12 Months (Depending Upon Location)
The rise of cartilage piercings has been seen both in body modification around the ear as well as the nose.

Getting cartilage pierced is obviously going to differentiate between your experiences if you’ve only had flesh pierced before (i.e. getting your ear lobes pierced) but this is still a remarkably popular kind of body modification that can give an amazing effect. 

Cartilage is a flexible substance that you can find in many places around the body. If often connects bones and is not as ridged, allowing it to be pierced successfully. A downside to cartilage piercings is that they take longer to heal, due to the lack of blood vessels found in these areas and some people can develop problems as their new body modification takes so long to recover, which can lead to a piercer recommending plastic rather than metal body jewellery for greater flexibility. 

Popular cartilage piercings include:
  • Nose
  • Tragus
  • Helix
  • Rook
  • Conch


If you get your cartilage pierced, either in your nose or your ears, you must keep in mind the extended healing time and not be over eager to replace the jewellery too early. Certain kinds of cartilage piercings can close over very quickly, especially the nose piercing, so you must keep your body jewellery in until it is fully healed. If you find that your body jewellery is causing you discomfort then you can return to your piercer and ask for advice as they may be able to offer an alternative. 

It is possible to stretch a cartilage piercing but this can lead to more complications than stretching a flesh piercing and is also unlikely to ever close over fully if removed. Cartilage can grow, albeit incredibly slowly so a small gauge may return to normal but it wouldn’t take much for your ear or face to have a permanent hole in it so you should always take this into account with your piercing.

Cartilage piercings are particularly popular around the ear, and there are many places where an interesting new body modification can be placed including the tragus and the outer rim of the ear (a helix piercing). A cartilage piercing can take a range of time to heal, from 3 – 12 months depending on the area, and is liable to the same dangers of infection as other piercings. If you feel concerned about your piercing and how it’s healing, you must return to your piercer or consult a GP as soon as possible. 

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