In modern piercing culture, the body is literally a canvas where you are free to show your creativity, sense of adventure, and personality. There are many different piercing styles you can choose from, and they can be located in different parts of your body as well. Now, before you go out there and randomly start getting pierced you would want to have some kind of strategy in order to maximize the aesthetic results of body piercings, so first you should look at the different styles available and what would work best for you.
Ear piercings are the most common today among men and women. A few decades ago, ear piercings were still considered taboo among men in most Western cultures, but today they are just as much a part of men’s fashion as women’s. Most people start with ear piercings before moving on to other piercings elsewhere in the body. Ear piercings heal relatively quicker and are easy to maintain, but they still require the same aftercare to avoid infections.
Before you get ear piercings, one of the considerations you would want to think about is how this could potentially affect your future career. This may not matter much yet while you are young, but could be a gamechanger once you are older and trying to get established in the workplace. Most ear piercings are easy to remove if necessary, but larger or multiple piercings may be harder to hide or play down.
Common types of ear piercings include:
● Anti-tragus piercing – located in the raised cartilage fold on the outer area of the ear opposite the tragus.
● Auricle piercing – or also called helix piercings, placed in the rim of the ear, and can be ornamented with ball closure rings, barbells, or circular barbells.
● Conch piercing – the piercing is positioned in the soft, smooth area at the back of the ear. Recommended jewelry include barbells or studs. Conch piercings take longer to heal (up to 18 weeks), need to be cleaned at least twice every day with a saline solution, and cannot be immersed in water until after healing.
● Daith piercing – placed close to the ear canal, in the cartilage fold under the rook. Daith piercings also take up to 18 weeks to fully heal and cannot be immersed in water until healed.
● Ear lobe piercing – one of the most popular places for ear piercings. A wide range of jewelry types can be used for ear lobe piercings, including barbells, bananabells, labret studs, and BCRs. Ear lobe piercings also come in different sizes.
● Transverse lobe piercing – this piercing is horizontally placed inside the ear lobe with a barbell. It needs to be meticulously cleaned and maintained especially during healing time (up to 10 weeks).
● Tragus piercing – the piercing is usually placed in the middle of the tragus, or the cartilage in front of the ear canal. Usually, studs or microjewelry are placed in tragus piercings.
● Snug piercing – this piercing is located in the inner cartilage ridge of the ear, above the anti-tragus. This is a shallow area so piercings can only be done if there is enough space, and smaller jewelry is usually recommended.
● Pinna piercing – positioned near the top of the outer rim of the ear. Pinna or helix piercings can be adorned with a wide variety of jewelry, including barbells, studs, BCRs, or body spirals, so they have become very popular.
● Industrial piercing – this consists of two or more ear cartilage piercings connected by a barbell. Industrial piercings can take up to 16 weeks to heal completely.
Piercings on various parts of the face are also quite popular these days. Some types include:
● Cheek piercing – this is usually centered on the cheek’s dimple area where it will heal fastest, although other areas of the cheek may also be pierced. Smoking or alcohol consumption are not allowed during the healing time (up to 12 weeks), and the piercing must be cleaned twice a day with saline solution.
● Eyebrow piercing – this type of facial piercing is very popular. It is placed vertically through the eyebrow, generally at the outer edge and above the center of the eye. During healing time, the eyebrow piercing must not be touched or moved to avoid damage or migration.
● Nose piercing – piercings around the nostril have been a part of many cutlures for generations. They are located above the nostril curve, which is the thinnest part of the nose. Studs, ball closure rings, or labret studs may be worn in nose piercings.
● Septum piercing – the septum is the cartilage between the nostrils, and a soft thin spot between the lower and upper sections is where the piercing is usually done. Septum piercings heal quickly but are also subject to moving, and this slows down the process.
● Anti-eyebrow piercing – piercing below the eye, in the upper cheek area, with a diagonal angle. This is a surface piercing and requires more care and attention than other facial piercings.
Lip piercings have also become more common among the young. It should be noted that lip piercings must be done with proper caution and guidance. They require meticulous cleaning especially during the healing process, although the healing time itself is usually not as extensive as one might expect. The lips enjoy a steady and plentiful blood supply so piercings heal fast.
Lip piercings have the risk of contributing to tooth damage, gum damage, or gum recession because the jewelry will constantly rub against or come in contact with the gum line. If you are considering a lip piercing, you may want to consult with your dentist first to ensure that dental health is not compromised. If, after getting a lip piercing, you notice problems in your gums or teeth, consult with a professional piercer or your dentist immediately.
Types of lip piercings include:
● Labret piercing – this is a piercing in the lower lip area, usually in the center. Aside from labret studs, you can also wear a BCR or circular bar in this piercing. Tobacco and alcohol must not be consumed during the healing time (up to 12 weeks).
● Medusa piercing – this is located in the philtrum or the vertical area in the middle of the lip. Labret jewelry is usually worn for medusa piercings.
● Madonna piercing – also called a Marilyn piercing, Monroe piercing, or beauty mark piercing, this is located on the side of the upper lip area. Labret studs or micro jewelry are usually worn for Madonna piercings. Side lip piercings, meanwhile, are on either left or right side of the lip.
● Snake bites piercing – this is two lip piercings on both sides of the lower lip to look like snake fangs. May also be called twin tongue piercings. Healing time is 4-12 weeks, and immersion in water must be avoided until healed.
● Spider bites piercing – like the snake bites piercing, the spider bites piercing is also a set of two lower lip piercings, but instead of on either side, they are placed close to each other on one side of the lower lip.
The mouth has also become a favorite spot for body piercings. The advantage with oral piercings is they tend to heal faster as a result of the plentiful blood supply in the general mouth area. But similar to lip piercings, oral piercings may contribute to teeth or gum damage if not monitored carefully. The constant friction or contact between jewelry and the teeth or gum area can cause permanent damage, so if you are considering oral piercings you must be very mindful of that risk.
Some types of oral piercings include:
● Tongue piercing – this is placed vertically through the tongue, either on the center or off-center. People who have prominent underside veins on their tongue are discouraged from getting a tongue piercing, as well as those with a prominent tongue frenulum as this may get in the way of the piercing.
● Tongue venom piercing – a set of two tongue piercings near the front area, and position will depend on the shape, size and anatomy of the tongue. For venom piercings, barbells are usually recommended.
● Tongue web piercing –this piercing is located directly through the frenulum, or the tissue from the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This area heals quickly, but there is a risk of this area rejecting the piercing and not being a long term piercing.
● Smiley piercing – also called upper lip frenulum piercings, placed through the tissue between the gum and center of the upper lip. Because this tissue is very thin, piercings are relatively painless. Just like tongue web piercings, smiley piercings also tend to reject and are not long term piercings.
● Frowny piercing – pierced through the lower lip frenulum where the center of the lower lip is connected to the gums. A ball closure ring is usually utilized, and healing time is relatively quick.
Body surface piercings require a little more care and maintenance than facial, nose, ear, or cheek piercings, but they also generally heal quite well. For surface piercings to heal successfully, correct placement and the right jewelry must be utilized, so you should get the advice and guidance of the best professional piercer. Popular surface piercings include:
● Belly button piercing – this is positioned through the top area of the navel, with part of the bar inside the navel. It may also be referred to as belly piercing, belly ring, or navel piercing. Bananabells or belly bars are the most common jewelry worn in belly button piercings. Healing time varies per individual, but on average can take up to 8 weeks.
● Inverse navel piercing – as opposed to the belly button piercing, the inverse navel piercing is positioned at the lowe ridge of the navel. Usually, belly bars, BCRs, and circular barbells are worn here. Inverse navel piercings are prone to getting snagged in clothing so extra care must be taken especially during healing time.
● Nape piercing – positioned at the back of the neck, usually right in the center, and pierced with a surface bar. Nape piercings heal well and are not a risk to any nerves in the nape area, however, extra care must be taken while getting dressed or if you have long hair.
● Surface skin piercing – any flat area of the skin can be pierced, with the piercing bar running parallel to the skin. Popular locations for surface piercings include the neck, sternum, chest, or upper wrist. Surface piercings may start to reject even after healing if accidentally knocked, moved, or caught in clothing or hair. Healing period may last anywhere between 6 to 16 weeks.
● Nipple piercing – this type of piercing has become quite common among both men and women. For women, the nipple piercing is usually positioned through the base, while for men the piercing is generally under the base. The angle will depend on the person’s preference. If you are a minor and your parents are generally opposed to piercings, nipple piercings may not be one of the compromise areas you can both agree on.
For minors who are still required to get parental approval for body piercings, genital piercings will definitely be a long shot. However, you would still want to know what you can about genital piercings even if you have to wait until you are of age to get them. In any case, genital piercings also benefit from plentiful blood supply in this area so they heal relatively quickly. The general area must be kept exceptionally clean, dry, and cool, and sexual activity is discouraged until the piercing is completely healed.
Genital piercings usually have an aesthetic purpose, although some are also designed to increase pleasure during sexual activity. Also, genital piercings may increase the person’s risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases especially during unprotected sex, so it is extremely important to consider your lifestyle prior to getting genital piercings.
Genital piercings for women are usually positioned in the clitoris or clitoral hood, inner or outer labia, triangle (beneath the clitoral shaft between the urethra and the clitoris), or the “Christina” piercing, which is the surface area from the clitoral hood to the pubic mound. Women should wear loose, breathable clothing during the healing time for genital piercings to lessen the risk of getting moved or caught in the fabric. Swimming, sexual intercourse, or baths are to be avoided.
For the men, popular genital piercings include the Prince Albert (the least painful and fastest healing male genital piercing), male pubic piercing, kuno or foreskin piercing, frenulum piercing, and the ampallang piercing (through the glans of the penis). Sexual activity must also be avoided during healing time. Proper care and sanitation must be observed even until after the genital piercings have healed. In most cases, the penis must be measured in both flaccid and erect status in order to properly measure the placement of the genital piercing.