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Top 4 Things To Know Before Getting Your Cartilage Pierced

By Kara Fields

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Ear piercings, nose piercings, eyebrow piercings, bellybutton piercings, nipple piercings – the list goes on. My good Catholic mother would have a conniption if I got anything other than my ears pierced so all I can do for now before I’m financially independent is admire the fine body jewelry on others.

This summer I decided to get my first ever cartilage piercing. Before I got my ear pierced I did a lot of research on it to calm my mind. Even though I know a lot of people with multiple ear piercings, it can still be nerve racking to get one yourself. Out of all the Internet videos and articles I’ve scoured, here are the top 4 things that everyone says about getting your cartilage pierced:

  1. Go to a Tattoo parlor

Claire’s is fine for a simple lobe piercing, but for anything more I would seriously recommend going to a tattoo parlor. Those guys and gals really know how to handle a needle. Using a piercing gun can shatter your cartilage, which is why they’ll use a sanitized needle. Austin has no shortage of reputable tattoo places, so just hop on Yelp and find a nicely rated, nicely priced parlor near campus.

2. Know what’s going into your ear

If you’re planning on getting a piercing, make sure you ask what type of metal they’re using and make sure you see them using a fresh needle. Your body can reject a bad piercing, especially if you’re not cleaning it properly or are having an allergic reaction to the metal. Most places will use surgical steel.

3. Pain

Getting pierced didn’t hurt at all. I sat there, felt a little sting and a pop, and it was over in seconds. In the week that followed I didn’t experience any pain either and I slept easily. However, my friend who got the same piercing with me said she was sore for about a whole week afterwards and really struggled to fall asleep comfortably, especially on the first night after being pierced. So, bottom line: the pain is different for everyone.


I cannot stress this enough. Not experiencing any pain after my piercing, I thought I was invincible and got sloppy with my cleaning regimen – and that’s when sh*t hit the fan. I woke up with an ear that looked like Dopey’s and dwarfed, pun intended, my un-pierced ear. It was swollen and very painful. Once I started on a stricter cleaning regime, the swelling went down quickly and everything went back to normal.

I would recommend rotating your piercing often and cleaning it with rubbing alcohol twice a day.

Now go off and get those piercings with confidence!