Nowadays, body piercing has become mainstream, and there are now various types that you can choose from. There are surface piercings, lip and tongue piercings, genital piercings, industrial piercings, etc. In this mini guidebook, you'll learn more about the latter. We will try to answer as many important questions as possible, so you'll know what to expect before going to your piercer.

Table of Content

Contents

What is An Industrial Piercing?

Is Industrial Piercing For You?

Pain During Piercing and Healing Time

Identifying Infection

How to Take Care of An Industrial Piercing

Industrial Piercing Jewelry

How Much Will This Piercing Cost?

Conclusion

What is An Industrial Piercing?

Industrial piercing is described as any two holes connected using a single straight piece of jewelry, usually pierced on the upper ear cartilage. In this kind of piercing, there will be two piercings – one is closer to the head or forward helix, and the other is on the opposite side of the ear and further down the helix.

This piercing was popularized and named by a piercer from California, Erik Dakota. He is said to have pioneered four piercings, including the industrial piercing in the early nineties. It was first referenced in a magazine called Body Play in 1992.

Usually, industrial piercings have a 14-gauge thickness and a length that varies from 1 1/8" to 1 3/8". A piece of barbell jewelry is commonly used during the healing period, but captive bead rings (CBRs) can also be used. However, using CBRs makes it challenging to align the piercings properly.

Is Industrial Piercing For You?

Industrial piercing for men or women has long been associated with punk styles, and many people love them. It has since become less edgy and is now considered a unique addition to ear piercings. However, this is one body piercing that's not for everyone.

Most professional piercers will advise you against it if you don't have the anatomy for it. Yes, industrial piercing is dependent on your anatomy. It doesn't work for all ears, and you need a defined helix for this piercing and enough space in your ears for the barbell jewelry.

If you're interested in getting an industrial piercing, you need to do your research. Look for someone who specializes in this kind of piercing. You will need someone who can work with the anatomy of your ear and do a piercing that's suitable for it.

Pain During Piercing and Healing Time

One of the common concerns about body piercings is the amount of pain it's going to be. But, any body piercing pain depends on someone's level of pain tolerance. An industrial piercing is just a pinch compared to other piercing like surface piercing. However, remember that there will be two holes, so you'll have to go through the piercing twice.

In most cases, you will feel some soreness after the piercing. However, you will not feel a searing or sharp pain. Now, when it comes to healing time, it also varies from one person to another. Generally, the estimated healing time ranges from four to six months. But, based on your immune system and aftercare routines, it can be longer.

Aside from your body's immune system, outside factors can also affect an industrial piercing healing time. The first example is when the piercing frequently gets caught in clothing or your hair. This can irritate and prolong the healing time.

Identifying Infection

You must be more careful with an industrial piercing since it's a cartilage piercing that is more prone to infection than regular piercings. One reason is the proximity to the hairs. Your hair can irritate piercings because of excess oil and dirt and the chemicals in your hair products. 

When you have longer hair, the piercing can get tangled around the jewelry and irritate. And since an industrial piercing has two holes, you have twice the risk of infection caused by all those mentioned earlier. Identifying the infection early on and knowing how to clean industrial piercing is essential to avoid more significant problems.

Some irritation is typical after you get your piercings. This means that the skin is adjusting to the piercings. Initially, you'd generally experience mild swelling and redness. You will also experience some throbbing and a feeling of warmth around the pierced areas. A clear or white discharge is also normal.

When the swelling and redness start to spread, it could be a sign of infection. When you start feeling severe pain, fever, excessive bleeding, or pus from the piercing, it's best to talk to your piercer about possible infections. Severe symptoms should be treated right away. But in some cases, infections can be taken care of at home. 

How to Take Care of An Industrial Piercing

No one wants an infected industrial piercing. Here are some tips and advice on how to take care of an industrial piercing to prevent that.

  1. Avoid moving or playing with the jewelry. A new piercing is prone to irritation, and even slight movements can increase swelling and redness. Touching the piercings can also introduce bacteria into the holes and cause infections. 
  2. Regularly clean the piercing area at least two times a day. Have a daily cleansing routine for the first few months after you get the piercing. Use a saline solution and clean the holes and the areas around the piercing two to three times. You can use store-bought saline solution or make your own:
    1. Using a store-bought solution, soak a cloth in saline and gently wipe the sides of the barbell. Clean your ear, both the inside and outside areas near the ends of the piercings.
    2. Add one teaspoon of sea salt to 8 ounces of warm water with the DIY solution. Then, mix until the salt is completely dissolved. Once ready, use and clean the piercings the way you'd with pre-made saline. 
  3. Use a warm compress. You can help reduce swelling and irritation and ease the pain of the piercings by applying a warm compress.          
  4. Use tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties. Thus, applying some to your piercings would be beneficial after cleaning. This will further clean and disinfect the holes. Just make sure to dilute the oil with some saline before applying.     
  5. Avoid OTC creams and medications. Do not use these products when you just had your piercings. Ointments and creams can cause further irritation or make infections worse.

Industrial Piercing Jewelry

Are you planning to get an industrial piercing and want to know what jewelry options you have? Generally, your piercer will recommend a straight barbell. You can either choose from one that is made from implant-grade stainless steel, titanium, or gold. The standard thickness used is 14 gauge, but 16 and 18 gauge are also used. 

If you are allergic to nickel, it's much better to use titanium jewelry. This material does not rust or tarnish, so you don't have to worry about irritation. The most common jewelry used in an industrial piercing is implant-grade stainless steel. However, this one contains nickel, so you should avoid it if you have an allergy. 

A barbell used in an industrial piercing is jewelry with a metal bar and a small bead on both ends. Both ends are removable. You can go for custom barbells if you want a cute industrial piercing. It can be a spiral or curved barbell, whichever suits your aesthetics better. 

Once healed, you can always go for an industrial piercing without a bar look. When can I change my industrial piercing – is it probably a question you'd like to ask? You can consult your piercer to know when it's okay to remove the barbells and use other jewelry pieces. 

How Much Will This Piercing Cost?

Industrial piercing costs vary depending on the shop's location, the shop itself, and the piercer. Of course, if you go to a famous piercer and shop, you will likely pay more. You should also be aware that, like other body piercings, you are paying for both the piercing and the jewelry you will be using.

The typical cost of an industrial piercing is somewhere between $30 and $70. You should always choose quality over cheaper options. If the piercer is using a piercing gun, think twice about getting a piercing. Industrial piercing should be done using clean needles and gloves. Go to a piercing shop that not only looks clean but reflects professionalism. 

Conclusion

An industrial piercing is one of the best ways to make a statement regarding your body. You can always go for the standard industrial piercing or other variations like a triple or double industrial piercing. Or maybe you can start with a fake industrial piercing for starters to see whether it will suit you.

Either way, whenever you decide to get this piercing, be sure to read up and have as much understanding of the piercing as possible so you won't run into problems later. Go to a professional piercer and discuss your options.