How Bad Do Rook Piercings Hurt?

A rook piercing is done through the inner edge of the uppermost ridge in your ear.
A rook piercing is done through the inner edge of the uppermost ridge in your ear.

A rook piercing is done through the inner edge of the uppermost ridge in your ear.

Rook piercings can be painful because they target the thickest and hardest tissue that doesn’t pierce as easily as soft earlobes. The rook is a fold of cartilage, which means there is even thicker tissue to pass through compared to other locations, such as the top of the ear.

The piercer will use a thicker needle to pierce the rook. You can experience sharp pain and pressure during and after the piercing. After the piercing, the intense pain turns into a throbbing pain, which lasts for a few days. You may have difficulty sleeping for the first few nights. Having said this, pain is subjective and depends on your tolerance level. If you have had other cartilage piercings, you may relate rook piercings with those.

Rook piercings are also associated with poor healing and frequent infection rates because cartilages lack blood vessels and are thicker than other places. The healing may take about 6 months.

Some of the risks associated with rook piercings include:

  • Painful swelling
  • Warmth
  • Redness
  • Pus

What happens during rook piercing?

Make sure you consult a certified professional piercer with several years of piercing experience. Also, ensure that the salon that you are visiting is clean and hygienic with adequately sanitized equipment.

The piercer will make you sit on the chair and evaluate your ear to determine if you are an ideal candidate for a rook piercing.

The piercer will mark a spot with the marker and check with you if the position is acceptable. Next, the piercer will clean your ear with a surgical soap or solution.

After cleaning, the piercer punctures the site quickly. Next, the starter jewelry will be inserted, which seems to be the most painful part. You need to wear the starter jewelry for the first few months while the site heals.

What are the aftercare instructions for rook piercings?

There are some things you need to take care of after rook piercing. The pierced area is sensitive and susceptible to infection. Some of the aftercare instructions include:

  • Avoid unnecessary touching the piercing and pierced area. Even a slight movement of the jewelry would irritate the pierced area.
  • Use a saline solution or spray at least twice a day to clean the area.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before touching the pierced area, especially during cleaning time.
  • While taking a bath, clean the pierced area with mild soap and water. Be gentle while cleaning the ear.
  • Clean the area two to four times per day and pat it dry to prevent infection.
  • Pat drying is the best way to dry the pierced area after washing it. Ensure to use a clean paper towel or cloth.
  • Do not remove your jewelry unless the physician tells you to do so.

What are the things to avoid after rook piercings?

Avoid doing these things to prevent the chances of infection:

  • Do not use cotton wool to clean the piercing.
  • Do not pick any crusting.
  • Do not twist, rotate, or turn jewelry when it is fresh or tender.
  • Do not go swimming for the first 24 hours after a piercing.
  • Do not use a towel to dry the piercing.


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Meltzer DI. Complications of body piercing. Am Fam Physician. November 15, 2005;72(10):2029-34.

NHS. Infected Piercings.