Ear cartilage piercings including the tragus, conch, rook etc must be done perfectly in order for them to heal well. The cartilage has a limited blood supply which means jewellery size, style, and quality must be accurate and even more important is the piercing angle. Pressure from ill-fitting jewellery will inflame the ear and delay the healing process until it is changed.
Ear cartilage piercings can take up to 12 months or more to heal, but with good aftercare practices including not knocking them or sleeping on them, this can be reduced to as little as 3 months.
Ear cartilage piercings are commonly performed at smaller gauges like 18-16g, but can be pierced up to 8g depending on the location and anatomy. Cartilage dermal punching is used for holes up to 12mm depending on anatomy.
Ear lobes usually heal quite quickly, 4-6 weeks, and can often tolerate jewellery that is unsuitable for ALL other piercings. E.g ear piercing studs. Lobe piercings at HQ can be done from 18g-6g. Lobe scalpelling is used for 4g and above.
We do not use nor advocate the use of stud guns for any piercings as they cannot be sterilised effectively and can cause unnecessary damage to the delicate lobe tissue.
As professional Piercers, we will never pierce anyone without their consent - this includes children. The standard minimum age for earlobe piercings at HQ is 5 years, however the child's maturity level is also taken into consideration. Earlobe piercing is a choice, and every child has the ability to say whether they want their ears pierced - or not. We will always support the will of the child. Once we have their consent we will do everything within our power to make the experience as easy for them as we can. You can read more about our ear lobe piercings for children here.
Stretching & Scalpelling
Ear scalpelling and large gauge piercings are your fast track to going from virginal or small gauge ear lobe piercings to eyelets instantly, no blowouts or lobe tearing when your lobes are taken care of by the professionals.
Initial eyelet size is governed by the size of your ear lobe but further modifications to increase the size may also be possible. Stretching your lobes under the guidance of a Piercer is a much safer option than DIY. Lobe repairs are also available at Piercing HQ if your DIY experiment has gone horribly wrong.
Ear scalpelling heals remarkably quickly and is far less painful than ongoing stretching. If a scalpel sounds too scary to you, then we can also pierce up to 4g/5mm to install an eyelet. Where possible we can pierce over an existing smaller hole with the new larger gauge piercing to avoid having multiple holes in your lobe.