Of all the piercings in the world today, ear piercings are still the most common. But what exactly is an ear piercing?
All About Ear Piercings
An ear piercing refers to any piercing that occurs in the ears that isn't a cartilage piercing, such as an industrial or a tragus.
Mostly, these piercings are done in the earlobe. However, depending on the size of your earlobe, you can have one, two, three or even more piercings done in the same ear. Whether you have only a single piercing in each earlobe or you have multiple, the piercings are still relatively treated the same.
Where You Can Get Your Ears Pierced
Because regular earlobe piercings are the most common types of piercings available today, you can get them done in numerous places. Tattoo and piercing shops will do them, of course, but these types of piercings can also be done in a lot of retail stores that have a jewelry section. That means you can have your ears pierced at a Wal-Mart, a JCPenny or a Claire's in the mall.
However, just because you can get these piercings done anywhere doesn't mean you should. Needles in the skin come with the risk of damage, infection or disease, so if you're getting your ears pierced, spend a little extra money and go get them done at a clean, sanitary shop with an excellent reputation.
The Process of Ear Piercings
How your ears are pierced will depend largely on where you get the piercings done. If you go to a retail or jewelry store to get your ears pierced, it is likely that the piercer will use a piercing gun. This is a type of gun that looks a bit like a hot glue gun. It clamps your earlobe between its clamp, and when the piercer pulls the trigger, it pushes a needle through the middle of the lobe. This is standard practice for most retail stores.
However, if you choose to have your ears pierced at a tattoo and piercing shop, the piercer will most likely pierce your ears by hand. This involves him holding your earlobe in one gloved hand and sticking a long, straight needle through the lobe with his other. This way is usually more sanitary and safe because even though the piercing gun uses clean needles, it is hard to clean all the nooks and grooves of the gun itself. With this method, you're getting a new needle every time, so there is no need to clean it.
Does Ear Piercings Hurt?
Ear piercings are fairly standard, so standard, in fact, that children as young as one or two often have their ears pierced without much fuss. There is a simply small sting equivalent to receiving an injection of medicine or pricking your finger to draw blood.
If you receive multiple piercings, they may hurt a little more the higher and closer to the cartilage you get, but even these shouldn't have much pain during the piercing process. You may, though, feel some slight discomfort in the days after having your piercings done. This discomfort usually comes in the form of dull soreness or an itchy feeling as the ears heal. If you notice any severe discomfort, you should see your piercer or a doctor right away, as this could be a sign of infection.
How Much Will It Cost?
There is no single set cost for ear piercings. The price will depend on a few different factors. The first of these is simply where you go to get your ears pierced. Some shops and stores will charge more than others, and some retail stores may pierce you for free and just charge you for the price of the earrings with which you're being pierced.
Because these piercings are so commonplace, you usually have a bit of a choice right off the bat on what earrings you want to be pierced with. Unlike other, more exotic, piercings, which require you to use a standard barbell, stud or ring, ear piercings in the earlobe can be done with a variety of different earrings.
The earrings you get initially will have to be studs; hoops or dangles are certainly not recommended for initial piercings, but you can choose if you want plain studs of gold or silver or if you want something else, such as diamond studs, shaped studs or another type of studs. The higher quality studs you choose, the more expensive your piercing session will be.
Unless you are purchasing a highly expensive set of earrings, though, a regular lobe piercing shouldn't cost you much more than $25 to $30.
Earlobe piercings heal rather quickly, usually in less than three months. After about seven to ten weeks, you should be able to comfortably remove and change your earrings; however, you'll want to wait about a year before you take them out and leave them out for several hours as the holes could still close.
The Aftercare Process
Aftercare for lobe piercings is fairly standard.
- Keep the piercings clean.
- Keep the piercings sanitized.
- If you see dried blood or other matter, gently brush it off with a clean papertowel. Don't scrub or pull the dried crust!
- Try to keep your hair away from the studs.
- Avoid putting pressure on your ears whenever possible.
What Type of Jewelry Can I Wear with This Piercing?
After your ears are completely healed, there is no limit to the types of earrings you can wear in these piercing sites. Any types of studs, whether they are plain stones or shaped like various things, are fine. You can also wear hoops of any size. Dangles are also a popular choice.
If you have more than one lobe piercing in each ear, you can buy matching sets, such as a moon and two stars, to go in each ear. You can also buy earrings that attach to one another, such as three studs with a chain between them. Some shops even sell earrings that are shaped in curves, loops or like snakes or dragons. These earrings go in through one pierced hole and come through the next one from a different direction. They are incredibly unique.
If you have sensitive skin, you'll want to keep a close eye out for any reactions you might have to certain types of metals. Some people with severely sensitive skin can only wear true gold or silver earrings. Others have to stick to stainless steel. If you have no negative reaction to any types of earrings, then you are one of those lucky people who can literally wear anything and be just fine.