What Is the Most Painful Ear Piercing?

Medically Reviewed on 5/21/2021

According to research and evidence, industrial ear piercing is considered the most painful ear piercing.
According to research and evidence, industrial ear piercing is considered the most painful ear piercing.

According to research and evidence, industrial ear piercing is considered the most painful ear piercing. In industrial ear piercing, double piercing takes place, one is on the upper ear helix and another is on the opposite side of the ear. A single piece of jewelry connects both holes. Industrial piercing is most painful since it involves two parts of cartilage. This makes it much more painful and takes more time to heal. However, it is the most stylish form of ear piercing. Although there is a consensus on pain scales in piercings, the true answer is that everyone's experience of pain is completely different. For some, a piercing won't hurt at all and will actually feel like a bit of a relief. Many people report the piercing tools (such as a clamp) are more uncomfortable than the piercing itself. For others, a piercing might be one of the most painful pinches they might have ever experienced.

How to take care of the wound after piercing

Ear piercing should be done by a professional to avoid any unwanted infections. A few common tips a person should follow after ear piercing are

  • A piercing is like an open wound. Washing hands before touching the piercing stops unnecessary bacteria and germs from entering the area.
  • The main aftercare tip is to keep the pierced area clean. Keeping it clean can prevent infection, avoid keloids and create a smoother healing process. It can be done by performing a saltwater soak over the pierced area. This facilitates healing and can rid the piercing of any debris or crust.
  • Don’t use alcohol or peroxide. These two products can dry out the area and potentially kill new, healthy cells. This slows the healing process instead of helping the ear repair itself.
  • With a new piece of bling in the ear, it can be tempting to want to move it around or play with it. Resist this as fingers carry a lot of germs on them that could infect the piercing. It should only be touched while cleaning the area.
  • Do not use any ointments until directed by the physician in case you see any signs of infections. Even though it is technically a wound, this could cause more harm than good. This can clog the area and prevent oxygen from reaching where it is needed. In addition, creams can trap dirt in and around the healing piercing, inviting infection.

When will my ear piercing heal?

The recovery period after ear piercing may vary with people and depends on a the site of piercing, age, comorbidities, etc. The healing time also depends on the area pierced (lobe or cartilage). Lobe piercings take around four to six weeks to heal, whereas cartilage piercings can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months. It takes so long is because there is decreased blood flow in the cartilage area, which causes piercings there to heal from the outside in.


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Medically Reviewed on 5/21/2021
Cleveland Clinic. What to Expect When Getting Your Ears Pierced. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-to-expect-when-getting-your-ears-pierced/

WebMD. What You Should Know About Ear Piercing. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/ear-piercing-what-you-should-know#1