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Cartilage Piercing:

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Cartilage is comprised of several different layers of connective tissues that all heal through different processes; cartilage piercings can be long and difficult to heal and are especially prone to scarring. The cartilage is pierced using a beveled-tip hollow medical needle, which is available in different lengths, gauges and even shapes. Although straight needles are useful for many body parts, curved needles are manufactured for areas where straight needles are not ideal. A great example of this would be in the ear cartilage.

 

While ear lobes are commonly and easily stretched, cartilage piercing resists stretching. It is possible to stretch cartilage piercings, but it must be done extremely slowly and may increase the chance of scarring. Dermal punching (removing a circular area of tissue into which jewellery is placed) has a higher success rate when heavy gauge jewellery is worn in the piercing. Cartilage must be removed to relieve pressure and to ensure proper healing and long term viability of the piercing.

 

There are more than 12 different piercings that can be worn in the cartilage - some of which are even multiple piercings connected by the same barbell. Most common of those piercings are named Industrial and Orbital.

 

Barbells may be more comfortable if the wearer sleeps on his/her ears. If switching from a ring to a barbell, a curved barbell must be used to match the curve of the original piece. If switching from a barbell to a ring, a larger diameter must be used to minimize the curve as much as possible.

 

There are possible ricks and complications associated with cartilage piercings. The most common complication is a keloid. A form of scar tissue, keloids are hard, resemble a pimple, can be painful and they extend well past the original area of the piercing. The easiest way to treat a keloid is to get rid of whatever has been irritating it in the first place (metal allergy, improper jewellery, or inappropriate aftercare).