Cartilage Earrings: Common Types & Styles

Cartilage Earrings

Cartilage earrings are a unique form of self-expression. Cartilage piercings are often one of the first ventures beyond traditional earlobe piercings, and people of all walks of life adorn themselves with these earrings. Due to the growing popularity of multiple ear piercings, there are many earring options for the cartilage area.

About Cartilage Piercings

Cartilage piercings refer to any piercing on the area of the ear above the earlobe. Cartilage is a strong connective tissue that is thicker than the earlobe. There are three common cartilage pierces:

  • Helix piercing: Helix piercings are located on the part of the cartilage that curls up along the outside edges of the ear. Standard helix piercings may pass through the cartilage once. Industrial helix piercings pass through the ear twice.
  • Tragus piercing: These piercings are in the small area of cartilage above the earlobe, close to the face, that sticks out.
  • Orbital piercing: The piercing enters and exits the same piece of cartilage in the ear. Both the entrance and exit point of the earring are visible in the front of the ear.
  • Conch piercing: Conch piercings are in the middle of the ear cartilage.

Go to a professional for all body piercing. The professional should pierce the cartilage area by hand. Piercing guns are not recommended for cartilage piercing because they can potentially shatter cartilage and cause scarring.

Changing Original Earrings

Cartilage piercings take between four to 12 months to heal. This type of piercing takes longer to heal than standard earlobe piercings because of the thickness of cartilage. Large earrings with gauges above 14 ga will take more time to heal than smaller jewelry.

During the healing period, it is important to keep the original earrings in the ear. Daily cleaning of the jewelry and the ear will assist proper healing. Infection and irritation can easily occur with these slow healing types of piercings without diligent care. Do not remove the earrings during the healing process. If you have to remove them when the piercing is partly healed, only take them out for short periods of time to avoid the hole closing.

When you select your first pair of earrings, be sure to pick a quality piece in sterling silver or gold. Choose a design that you will not mind wearing for at least 12 months.

Once your cartilage piercing heals, you can pick from a variety of cartilage earring designs.

Types of Cartilage Earrings

Cartilage earrings come in a variety of styles. Earrings are available in many different materials such as sterling silver, surgical steal, yellow gold, white gold and titanium. In some cases, you can use any type of earring for the cartilage piercing, such as hoops and posts. Yet, earrings made for cartilage are generally more comfortable. Cartilage earring types include:

  • Hoops: Small hoops in both plan and patterned styles are some of the many options.
  • Captive Beads: Captive beads or CBR are a popular hoop style with a single bead in the middle.
  • Posts or studs: Posts or studs in all metal or metal with gem stones are suitable for cartilage piercings.
  • Circular barbells: Circular barbells are metal half hoop styles that pass through the ear with a beaded end sticking out of both sides of the ear.
  • Cuffs: Cuffs work well for helix piercings. The cuff part of the earring curves around the ear cartilage.
  • Industrial: Horizontal bar earrings that pass through the ear twice. Styles include plain bars, twisting bars and bars with beads or gem stones.

Cartilage earring styles range from classic gem stones jewelry to punk symbols. There are designs to fit the taste of the college sorority girl, the scene follower and the biker guy.

Where to Buy Cartilage Earrings Online

In most places, you can find cartilage earrings locally. However, the Internet is a good source to find deals or unusual designs. Shops that specialize in body jewelry often have the largest variety of earring designs. The following online retailers sell cartilage earrings:

  • Fresh Trends: Fresh Trends specializes in body jewelry. They carry a large selection of cartilage earrings. Earring styles range from biker to classic feminine designs.
  • Body Jewelry Shop:The Body Jewelry Shop offers many different earrings for cartilage piercings in a variety of colors, shapes, metals and designs. Many of the styles are suitable for men or women.
  • Body Candy: Body Candy sells many feminine earring styles in colorful designs and gem stones.

If you are considering getting a cartilage piercing for the first time, it does open up more possibilities for ear adornment. Choose your cartilage earring style carefully. Some types of piercings are more uncomfortable than others during the healing period such as industrials and tragus piercings and will require more care. Don't pick big and heavy earring that may increase discomfort and healing time. With a little research, you can pick the perfect earrings and stay comfortable while healing.

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Cartilage Earrings: Common Types & Styles