4 Essential Things to Know About Cartilage Earrings and Piercings

Cartilage piercings are a growing trend in the earring world – and for good reason! They complement existing lobe piercings and provide extra room to adorn yourself with fun earrings.

If you’re thinking about getting your cartilage pierced, then you may have some questions. Don’t fret! The EarFleek experts are here to tell you everything you need to know and more before getting a cartilage piercing.

What makes a cartilage piercing different than other ear piercings?

About cartilage piercings

Your ear contains tough yet flexible material called cartilage to help keep its shape. This material is found on the outermost part of the ear. Piercing the cartilage is different than piercing your lobes because cartilage is hard compared to the lobe, which is soft and fleshy.

For this reason, cartilage piercings can take longer to heal and can be more prone to irritation. That’s why it’s important to read up on how to care for these piercings and which pieces of jewelry are suitable for them – so we’re glad you’re here!

What are the common types of cartilage piercings?

Types of ear piercings

There are many different types of ear piercings, and many of them are located on the cartilage. Below are the various types of cartilage piercings you can get:

  • Helix
  • Tragus
  • Industrial
  • Snug
  • Daith
  • Anti-tragus
  • Conch
  • Rook
  • Forward helix

Read our full guide below to learn more about the pain level, care required, and styles recommended for these various types of cartilage piercings.


What should I know before piercing my cartilage?

What to know about cartilage piercings

The cartilage is more brittle than the lobe, which makes it easier to shatter if it’s pierced incorrectly. Always get your cartilage pierced by a piercing professional who uses a needle rather than a piercing gun. Piercing guns are only designed to pierce lobes, and their blunt force can damage your ear’s cartilage.

Lobes receive more blood circulation, which allows lobe piercings to heal more quickly. Cartilage doesn’t receive as much circulation, so a cartilage piercing can take longer to heal – usually around 6 months!

Since cartilage can take longer to heal, there’s more time for your fresh piercing to get irritated or infected. It’s not uncommon for a bump or bubble to form around an unhappy cartilage piercing.

To avoid this, try not to sleep on your pierced side so as to let your piercing breathe. Avoid touching your piercing, and clean it three times a day with saline solution and a cotton swab. If your piercing does become infected, you’ll want to get it treated professionally to avoid permanent cartilage damage.

Cleaning cartilage piercings

If you’re getting your first ear piercing ever, we suggest you check out our blog that covers all the things you need to know before getting in that piercing chair.

What are the best earrings for cartilage piercings?

Hoops, rings, bars, and flatback studs are great choices for cartilage piercings. Be sure to choose an earring that is specifically made for your type of cartilage piercing to ensure that it fits well and stays comfortable.

Types of cartilage earrings

Decorate a brand new cartilage piercing with a small hoop, captive bead ring, or barbell. Earrings like these are great for a healing cartilage piercing because they move more freely than a stud or dangle and will accommodate any pressure you accidentally put on your ear while sleeping, getting dressed, etc.

Most importantly, these types of earrings allow for easy cleaning and help to prevent gunk buildup!

Small hoop cartilage earring

Once your piercing has healed, it’s time to have fun experimenting with a variety of cartilage earrings!

Cuff earrings are a super cute choice for cartilage piercings. They will work best for helix piercings, as they embrace the outer edges of your ear. Some cuff earrings are clip-on and don’t even require a piercing!

Cuff cartilage earring

Stud earrings are an awesome choice for helix, tragus, and conch piercings. We always recommend using a “flatback” earring as opposed to the traditional earring backing. Traditional backings are fine for lobe piercings but they can be too bulky and irritating in snug locations on the cartilage.

Stud cartilage earrings

Hoops, rings, and bars are the perfect choice for rook, snug, orbital, and daith cartilage piercings. These areas require a rounded piece of jewelry that can accommodate the curved shape of your ear.

Cartilage earrings

When in doubt, ask your ear-piercing professional which cartilage earring they recommend for you!

Want to up your cartilage earring game?

Cartilage earrings package

Experiment with new earring styles every month with a subscription to EarFleek! Get started here and save 50% off your first month with code BLOG. You’ll receive a new pair of earrings each month to adorn all of your ear piercings with!

Written by Megan
Written by Megan

Megan is a writer and digital marketer living in the Pacific Northwest who subsists mostly on coffee. As a lover of travel, cat fostering, and cocktail making, she has a hard time deciding how to spend her free time (and usually just ends up watching Netflix).


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