1 March 2015
From lobes to tragus – your personal guide to ear piercing locations
Ear lobes are the most popular place to pierce ears, but just in case you’re thinking of getting another part of your ear pierced, here’s a quick guide on the other top spots!
For centuries men and women have been piercing that loose flap of skin that dangles at the base of the ear – the lobe. Common practice is a single hole in the centre of each lobe which takes between 4 and 6 weeks to completely heal.
Stretched lobe piercings - traditionally done by indigenous tribal people around the world - have become increasingly popular in modern western society. Check out our guide on ear stretching for more information on this procedure.
Cartilage ear piercings are the second most popular place to pierce ears (after the lobes). Cartilage forms the translucent tissue on the upper part of the ear and can be easily pierced using a gun. Cartilage takes between 8 and 12 weeks to heal.
Industrial or scaffold piercings are made up of two holes connected by a single piece of barbell jewellery. It is usually made through the cartilage on the upper ear with one hole close to the head and the other further down on the outer rim. Healing takes between 3 months and 1 year.
This is a popular piercing – situated in the thick cartilage sticking out in front of the ear canal. The thickness of the tragus varies with each person, requiring jewellery 6mm long or more. The tragus takes between 8 and 16 weeks to heal with complete healing taking up to a year.
The anti-tragus is opposite the tragus on the outer ear above the lobe. Healing time is between 8 and 16 weeks initially with complete healing taking up to a year.
The conch is the cartilage which forms at the back of the ear. A conch piercing sits just above the earlobes and the anti-tragus of your inner ear. You can wear a ring or a barbell in this piercing. Healing time is between 8 and 16 weeks.
The rook is located in the thick fold of cartilage on the upper inside of your ear, above the tragus. The rook can be quite a painful area to pierce as it must go through thick cartilage. Healing time is between 2 months and a year.
Halfway down the outer rim on the inner cartilage of the ear and just above the anti-tragus is the snug. This is a small, shallow area where the cartilage is thin. Initial healing time takes between 8 and 16 weeks with complete healing in 12 months.
The daith (pronounced doth) goes between the rook and the ear canal. It takes between 8 and 16 weeks to heal initially, and up to a year to heal completely.
A helix piercing goes through the cartilage on the rim of the ear. If it’s located on the rim closest to your head it’s called a forward helix or ear head piercing. It takes between 2 and 12 months to completely heal.