A cartilage piercing can refer to any area of cartilage on the body with a perforation created for the purpose of wearing jewelry. The two most common areas with cartilage piercings are the ear and the nose. Many people outside of the body modification community often informally use the term “cartilage piercing” to refer to a helix piercing. The cartilage ear piercing is known to be sorer than the lobe as in the cartilage there is less blood so it takes longer to heal.
The outer rim of cartilage on the ear, extending from just above the lobe to its apex and then curving down slightly to meet the head.
The area of the helix closest to the head; generally any piercing between the apex of the helix and where the helix joins the head.
Two piercings joined by a single piece of jewelry, usually, a barbell, commonly with one piercing in the helix and the other in the forward helix, though other multiple-piercing placements may still be termed industrials.
The upper ridge of the cartilage of the antihelix; between the tragus and apex of the helix. For most people, a rook piercing through a prominent ridge of cartilage will give the jewelry a vertical appearance as the piercing goes from top to bottom of the surface.
The small flap of cartilage just above the ear canal. With a correctly placed daith, the entrance and exit holes will be unseen and the jewelry will appear to be coming out of the ear canal itself. It will rest in the inner conch.
The small, thick flap of cartilage directly over the ear canal, connected to the head.
I recently had my ear pierced in what is most commonly known as a ‘Helix’ piercing (to denote the outer ear) and is sometimes also called a ‘Pinna’, or the more anatomically specific ‘Scaphoid Fossa’. This type of piercing goes through the cartilage of the ear and therefore takes much longer to heal than the ear lobe. Cartilage piercings are notoriously tough to heal on some, while others do well with this type of piercing.
As I am being asked a lot about this piercing and my experiences with healing, I thought I would share some of the best pre-piercing and aftercare advice/research I’ve come across so far, in the hopes of good healing. I hope the following info is helpful for those of you who are considering a new piercing or are having trouble with old on.