Industrial Piercing: Cost, Pain, Healing, Jewelry, Risks, Cleaning, Aftercare

Industrial Piercing: Cost, Pain, Healing, Jewelry, Risks, Cleaning, Aftercare

Industrial piercings emerged around 1992 and have been popular ever since. They are a two-piercing design in your upper ear. A piece of jewelry then goes through both piercing holes and is positioned at an angle across the top half of your ear.

Learn more about what this piercing entails to decide if it’s right for you.

What Is an Industrial Piercing?

An industrial piercing is two piercings done on the cartilage of your upper ear. While positioning can vary, one piercing is usually in the cartilage closest to your head, and the other is in the middle of your outer ear cartilage.

Industrial piercings are typically done with a bar, and the bar looks like it’s entering one side of your ear and coming out of the other.

Industrial Piercing

Variant: Vertical Industrial Piercing

One variant of a standard industrial piercing is a vertical industrial piercing. This is when the piercing goes up and down instead of diagonally.

Positioning can vary, but usually, the barbell goes through the very top of the ear straight down through the ear lobe.

Variant: Double Industrial Piercing

Another variant of a traditional industrial piercing is a double industrial piercing. Just like its name implies, this piercing involves two industrial piercings side-by-side for a total of four piercings. This design is typically done with two barbells.

Industrial Piercing Cost

How much is an industrial piercing? On average, you can expect to pay from $30-$70. That being said, the cost of an industrial piercing will depend on the piercer and the type of jewelry you get.

Remember that paying extra will likely be worth it if you’re getting high-quality jewelry with an experienced, safe piercer. This is because you’re more likely to have a positive experience during and after your appointment as your piercings heal.

Industrial Piercing Healing

How long does an industrial piercing take to heal? Industrial piercings are known to have one of the longest healing times for an ear piercing. They can take 6 to 9 months to heal, and in some cases may take up to one year.

The exact time will truly depend on your immune system, your body’s response to the piercing, the cleanliness and skill of your piercer, and your aftercare.

Industrial Piercing Pain Scale 1-10

Does industrial piercing hurt? Some say an industrial piercing is the most painful type of ear piercing. On a scale from 1-10, you may experience pain at around an 8 or 9. However, others report it's more like a 6 or a 7.

Ultimately, it will depend on the skill of your piercer and your personal pain tolerance.

Industrial Piercing Meaning

What does an industrial piercing say about you? Industrial piercings can hold a special meaning tied to strength and resilience. Because they consist of two connected piercings, they can showcase duality, connection, balance, harmony, and unity.

In addition, some see this piercing as a representation of personal harmony and unity between your physical and mental being.

Kylie Jenner’s Industrial Piercing

Kylie Jenner made the industrial piercing even more trendy by getting her own in April 2013. Her industrial piercing was positioned almost fully horizontally and was accompanied by a forward helix piercing. As is the case with many celebrity piercings, she inspired others to get the industrial design.

Industrial Piercing Jewelry

While industrial piercings may seem limited when it comes to jewelry options, there are many different ways you can customize your look. Consider different types of industrial jewelry and the right sizing for your ear.

If you’re thinking about getting an industrial piercing, determine which type of jewelry makes the most sense for you and your style:

Jewelry Types

1. Industrial Bar Piercing

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The most popular type of jewelry for an industrial piercing is an industrial bar. You can get a straight bar, a barbell with a zig-zag-like angle in it, or a barbell with a charm in the center.

Bars are the standard for industrial piercings and can create an edgy look with various design options to choose from. However, they are large and may be uncomfortable if your ears are sensitive.

2. Industrial Piercing Chain

Another type of jewelry you can put in an industrial piercing is an industrial chain or industrial rope. Two posts go through the piercings and are connected with a chain or rope that hangs across your ear.

You can get a single chain, a double chain, or a chain with a charm on it for added personality.

Chain and rope designs can offer a more delicate look though they may be more susceptible to snagging such as on a sweater or blanket.

3. Industrial Studs

If you don’t want to wear a bar or chain in your industrial piercing, you may swap it out for two simple studs. This will give the standard cartilage piercing look but with two earrings.

If you decide to swap a barbell out for studs, be sure you wait for the piercing to fully heal to avoid complications.

Industrial studs can be easy to take in and out and may be more comfortable than a bar. However, they don’t give you the traditional look of an industrial piercing.

Industrial Piercing Jewelry Sizes

1. Gauge Size

What gauge is an industrial piercing? Industrial piercing jewelry is usually 14 gauge. However, some piercers will recommend 16 gauge. It will depend on your ear’s anatomy.

2. Length

The length of industrial bars can vary greatly depending on the placement, size of your ear, and angle you position the piercings. You’ll likely see bars from 28mm (2.8cm) to 50mm (5cm) in length.

For example, smaller ears with piercings close together may get a bar around 28mm. Larger ears with piercings further apart may get a longer bar up to 50mm.

Recommended Materials

Commonly recommended materials for industrial piercing jewelry include:

1. Titanium Industrial Piercing Jewelry

Implant-grade titanium jewelry is strongly recommended. It is lightweight, nickel-free, and won’t tarnish. It’s often recommended for those who are allergic to brass, nickel, and other metals common for jewelry.

2. Precious Metals

Platinum and 14-karat gold jewelry can offer an elevated look. However, they may be more pricey and could tarnish over time. Also consider if you have allergies, such as an allergy to gold.

3. Surgical-Grade Stainless Steel

If you opt for stainless steel, you should opt for surgical-grade steel. It often contributes to a smooth healing process and is extremely durable.

However, it does contain small amounts of nickel that could cause allergic reactions in those with skin sensitivities. Talk through all material options with your piercer to figure out what’s best for you and your skin.

4. Sterling Silver

A metal that is durable, affordable, and appealing to the eye with its shiny appearance. However, sterling silver is often not recommended for new piercings because it can complicate the healing process.

5. Bioflex Plastic

Flexible jewelry made from renewable materials that are metal-free and can come in different colors.

When Can I Change My Industrial Piercing?

You must wait for an industrial piercing to heal completely before you try to change your jewelry. Industrial piercings do not heal quickly, though. It commonly takes a minimum of 6 to 9 for healing. Often, the process can lasts even a year.

In other words, it may be a full year before you can swap out your industrial piercing.

Wrong Ear Shape for Industrial Piercing

If your ear is oddly shaped, you may need to rely on your piercer to figure out what your industrial piercing options are. It could be as simple as getting a longer or shorter piece of jewelry.

Or, if you don’t have a defined ridge for the piercing to enter and exit your ear, this piercing may not be possible for you.

Industrial Piercing on Small Ears

Depending on the size and shape of your ear, if you have small ears, your piercer may advise against industrial piercings. In most cases, you should be able to get an industrial piercing with a shorter barbell.

Industrial Ear Piercing Risks

There are several risks associated with getting an industrial piercing. Many of them are typical risks you face with any type of piercing. Common concerns include:

1. Industrial Piercing Bump

If your piercing is irritated, you could get one or more small bumps around the piercing site. It may be irritated from you playing with it, not cleaning it, or because you’re allergic to the jewelry.

2. Industrial Piercing Infection

Since the piercing punctures your skin, you risk bacteria entering the piercing site and causing in infection. Signs of an infection are swelling, redness, abnormal discharge, pain, or even a fever. Proper aftercare helps prevent infection.

3. Floating Industrial Piercing

Since jewelry is a foreign object to your body, it could reject the piercing, pushing it out of your ear. The piercing may also migrate where it slowly moves and deviates from its original placement.

4. Keloid on Industrial Piercing

Three to six months after getting your piercing, you may develop a keloid. A keloid is a build-up of scar tissue that happens when your body responds to damage, which in this case, is the industrial piercing.

Opting for an experienced piercer and high-quality jewelry, while practicing careful aftercare, can help you avoid some of these risks.

How to Clean Industrial Piercing?

The best way to prevent complications is to perform the right aftercare. This involves cleaning your piercing at least twice a day.

Your piercer may give you a saline solution, or, you can make your own at home by dissolving ¼ teaspoon of sea salt into 1 cup of warm water.

  1. To clean the piercing, you’ll soak something like a cotton ball in the saltwater solution.
  2. Then, you’ll apply it to the front and the back of the piercing to saturate the area. If needed, you can use a dampened cotton swab to gently brush away any crust.
  3. Pat the area dry using a paper towel or low-ply cloth that won’t snag.

To help your piercing heal more quickly, soak the area at least twice daily with your solution. Depending on the location of your piercing, this may be difficult, but you can use a large bowl or soak a cotton swab in the saline solution and place it on the piercing site. If you have any questions about this process, your piercer can help.

Industrial Piercing Aftercare

  • Use a homemade saline solution or an antibacterial cleanser approved by your piercer each day.
  • Use safe metals like K gold and implant-grade titanium that you aren’t allergic to.
  • Avoid touching and playing with your piercing jewelry.
  • Allow it to fully heal before changing the jewelry.
  • Avoid sleeping on the ear you had pierced.
  • Avoid contact with scented soaps, perfumes, chemicals, and other chemicals.
  • Wash your hands with antibacterial soap when you do clean or touch the piercing and jewelry.

You should ensure you get pierced by someone experienced and reliable who utilizes the right cleaning and sterilization procedures. You’ll also need to choose high-quality jewelry that you aren’t allergic to. After you get your piercing, be sure to follow all instructions from your piercer.

Final Thoughts

Have you been considering a new piercing for your upper ear? Do you love the look of an industrial barbell or chain? If so, consider the pain, pros, cons, and jewelry options associated with an industrial piercing. With the right research and dedication to aftercare, it could be a great choice for you.

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