Things I wish I had known before I got a cartilage piercing

I have now had a cartilage piercing for five months. It came about because I was travelling a silly amount at the end of last year and much like a sixteen year old, I wanted to get a pierced ear to show I had some control over my life. A tiny rose gold piece of rebellion that made no logical sense but made me feel a lot better about living out of a suitcase. I put very little thought into getting it. In the one day I had at home in-between Stockholm and Shanghai I had the thought and ran to Liberty to get it done (you can read the whole story here). Given the complete lack of research into what it would be like, here are the things I wish I had known beforehand:

  • Even though your heart will be pounding a million miles an hour it doesn’t actually hurt that much, getting a bikini wax is way worse.
  • When you have hair blessed by Richard Simmons it is impossible to take a picture of your piercing for a blog post.
  • Turns out that unlike getting your ear lobes pieced a cartilage piercing takes fucking ages to heal…like ages. We all heal differently but mine took two weeks to be able to sleep on it and then four full months to fully heal.
  • The rose gold won’t clash with any of the earrings you put in your earlobes.
  • When you are stuck in hotels and need to bathe your piercing in salt water you will find yourself ordering room service just to get the salt sachet.
  • Cartilage piercings can get a weird lump, but one day you will wake up and it will be completely fine. Don’t freak out, it will get better.
  • You will look like a middle class millennial bad-ass.
  • You will be the only one who thinks you look like a bad-ass.
  • For the indecisive a cartilage piercing is a better decision than a tattoo.
  • You will need to bathe it in salt water twice a day for five minutes at a time (just pressing, not twirling or rubbing).
  • Five minutes is a really long time to hold your arm to your ear, leaning on a pillow will make this easier.
  • It will be an awesome decision.

4 Comments

  1. Caitlin Jean
    April 6, 2017 / 7:15 am

    To define my rebellion nature at age 21, I got a tragus piercing in both ears. I wasn’t scared and it did hurt a bit. It took forever to heal, like 12 weeks. I had this image of a small diamond studs sparking in a very sophisticated style. 10 years later I choose to remove the piercing because it didn’t make me feel badass anymore nor did it suit my current lifestyle. Although I don’t regret it, I am disappointed I never got those diamond studs.

  2. April 6, 2017 / 10:19 am

    I had mine done years and years ago, and I still love it. Although I did have loads of troubles with it at first, stray hairs getting caught in it, a few yanks in a hairbrush, the lumps, the infections – trips to the Drs. But once it healed, I was really pleased with it. I wear a little hoop in mine because studs hurt when I lie on my side. Although now you’ve mentioned rose gold, I think I’ll be having to look for a little Rose gold hoop.

  3. April 6, 2017 / 10:24 am

    Haha! I’ve just had the front cartilage bit (no idea what it’s called) pierced, and after 3 months it’s just about healed. The two soft piercing I had done at the same time healed in a fortnight. Definitely got that lump thing too, gone now tho 🙂