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Auricle piercings, a striking addition to the array of ear piercings, are becoming increasingly popular among body art enthusiasts. Positioned on the outer part of the ear between the lobe and the helix, they strike a balance between the conventional and the avant-garde.
If you’re on the hunt for an ear piercing that’s both distinct and understated, the auricle might be your perfect match. Explore everything there is to know about this captivating piercing style!
What is an Auricle Piercing?
The auricle piercing stands out as a stylish ear piercing option. It sits on the ear’s outer middle part, between the lobe and the helix, offering both subtlety and flair. While most people know the standard lobe piercing, the auricle uses the flat cartilage area, letting you show off a range of jewelry, from basic studs to detailed hoops.
Getting an auricle piercing is pretty straightforward, but you need to care for it properly to avoid problems and make sure it heals right. Like all cartilage piercings, it might take longer to heal than piercings in softer tissue. If you’re thinking about an auricle piercing, always go to a trusted piercer for the best results.
Origin and History of Auricle Piercings
Ear piercings, including auricle ones, have deep roots in ancient civilizations across the world. It’s tough to trace the exact origin of the auricle piercing, but many cultures have valued ear piercings for their cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic meanings.
Ancient tribes from Africa to the Americas pierced their ears for rituals, tribal identification, or rites of passage. For instance, ancient Egyptians, like King Tutankhamun, wore ear piercings as symbols of wealth and nobility.
In many old cultures, people didn’t just see piercings as decorations. They believed piercings could protect them from evil spirits or boost their spiritual connections.
The auricle piercing might not have as much old documentation as the earlobe piercing, but it gained popularity in the late 20th century in Western cultures, especially with punk and alternative movements. Nowadays, people see auricle piercings less as rebellion and more as fashion, mixing old and new styles.
Even if the auricle piercing feels like a modern trend, the tradition of decorating the ears goes way back in history.
What’s the Difference Between Auricle and Helix Piercings?
Both auricle and helix piercings jazz up the ear, and although one is often mistaken for the other, their location and positioning is different. The auricle sits in the outer middle of the ear, wedged between the lobe and the helix. Many see it as a middle ground between standard lobe piercings and bolder cartilage ones.
The helix, however, takes the spotlight on the upper outer edge of the ear. Some even get multiple piercings along its curve for added flair. While both piercings bring style, the auricle gives a more subtle look, and the helix stands out more.
What’s the Best Jewelry for an Auricle Piercing?
In terms of styles, there are endless ways to dress up an auricle piercing. This is one piercing that’ll let you show off your style. Here are the best options out there:
1. Auricle Piercing Stud
A beautifully chosen stud is one of the best choices for an auricle piercing and allows you to beautifully adorn the area.
There are several types of studs but of these the labret stud is often a favorite option because of its flat, disk-like backing.
This minimizes any potential snagging that can happen with the stud because studs can get caught on things more than hoops would. It can also push into your skin as you sleep and cause discomfort.
Choose a stud if you like a more conservative, less out-there style for your auricle piercing.
2. Auricle Hoop Earring
Hoops are both fashionable and comfortable, making them a popular choice for auricle piercings. However, it’s advisable not to start with them right after piercing since they can snag easily, and any accidents might be more severe than what you might encounter with a stud.
Among the various hoop designs, seamless metal ones are favored, especially when worn in sets. Captive bead hoops bring a refined touch, adding sophistication to the piercing. Once your piercing is fully healed, you can dive into a world of fun and intricate hoop designs to elevate your look even further.
3. Auricle Piercing Barbell
Barbells stand out as a popular choice for auricle piercings, coming in three main styles: straight, curved, and circular. Their name comes from the balls that cap each end, giving them a contemporary touch. Straight barbells look like typical studs and lay flat against the ear.
Curved barbells bend slightly, often fitting some ear areas more comfortably. Meanwhile, circular or horseshoe barbells look like hoops but have an open end.
One key advantage of barbells is the ball ends, which reduce the risk of catching on things. But like studs, they tend to move a bit more than hoops. With these choices, anyone looking for a comfy and stylish auricle piercing can find their perfect match.
4. Non-Pierced Auricle Cuffs
If you’re drawn to the look of an auricle piercing but aren’t ready for the real deal, try a non-pierced auricle cuff. This fashionable piece lets you rock the piercing vibe without an actual hole. Even celebrities like Emma Watson show off these fake cuffs, proving you don’t need a real piercing to be stylish.
When picking out a cuff, go for high-quality metals to avoid any skin issues. With these cuffs, you get the best of both worlds: a trendy look without any long-term commitment.
What are the Best Metals for Auricle Piercing Jewelry?
When you’re picking out metal for your auricle piercing jewelry, you need to think about looks and health. The best metals are ones that won’t irritate your skin. Many people go for surgical steel because it doesn’t rust or react with your skin.
Titanium is another top pick. It’s light, doesn’t corrode, and is great if your skin is on the sensitive side. Niobium is less common but is also safe for your skin and comes in cool colors. If you want something fancy, go for 14k gold or even purer.
Just make sure it doesn’t have nickel to avoid any skin issues. Remember, always choose high-quality metals to keep your piercing happy and irritation-free.
Check out our article on the safest metals for new piercings.
Auricle Piercing Pain – Can I Handle It?
Auricle piercings can cause discomfort, just like other cartilage piercings. Everyone feels pain differently. Some might feel a sharp pinch, while others might only feel a slight sting. People often think auricle piercings hurt more because the needle goes through cartilage.
But the cartilage in this spot is thin, so any sharp pain usually goes away quickly. Still, some people might feel a dull pain in the area for a few weeks after getting pierced. But some people with a high tolerance for pain hardly notice it at all. Remember, the initial pain won’t last forever, but with good care, the stylish result will.
Jaina: My auricle piercing hurt quite a bit but not as much as my helix piercing, which I had gone in to knowing it would hurt. I think because I wasn’t sure what to expect with the auricle piercing, I was quite blasé about it. So when it happened, it was over so quick and I didn’t even have time to react.
Auricle Piercing Aftercare
This piercing can be a little tricky because it’s on the part of the ear that sticks out the most. As such, the auricle piercing is more exposed and is more likely to hit on something or get infected. In general, this piercing takes between 6 to 9 months to completely heal, depending on how well you take care of it.
However, if you follow the aftercare rules as outlined by your piercer, you should be ok. Here are the main things to bear in mind:
- Clean your auricle piercing using a sterilized swab of cotton and saline water.
- Use sea salt soaks like this highly recommended product which pushes out bacteria in your piercing and helps it to heal faster.
- Avoid putting pressure on your piercing as it can prolong the healing process and cause issues with your jewelry. Try not to sleep on that side of your head and change your pillowcase frequently until the piercing is healed.
- When spraying perfumes, hairspray or other cosmetics, make sure it doesn’t touch your unhealed piercing.
- When showering, use a soap that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.
Kate: The auricle piercing can be so annoying to heal! Mine kept getting knocked around and caught on stuff. It took a long time to heal but it was still worth it because it looks great.
What are the Pros and Cons of an Auricle Piercing?
Auricle piercings offer something for everyone, whether you want a little understated pizzazz on your ear, or a statement style with attitude.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this piercing:
Pros of Auricle Piercings
- Stylish piercing in a visible spot.
- Highly versatile with lots of style options.
- Less common piercing giving you a unique look.
- Suitable for multiple piercings on one ear.
Cons of Auricle Piercings
- Not ideal if you’re susceptible to scarring.
- Long healing timeframe.
- Can be more painful than lobe piercings.
- Vulnerable to infections and irritations.
Auricle piercings stand out with their unique style, different from regular ear piercings. They have their challenges, but with the right care and smart choices, they can really make a statement. Dive in, take care, and show off your auricle piercing with pride!