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Inner-Ear Piercings: Everything You Need to Know

illustrated diagram of three ears with different inner-ear piercings in each — left to right: daith, tragus, and rook

Inner-ear piercings are an eye-catching alternative to traditional earlobe piercings, but many people aren’t as familiar with inner-ear piercing possibilities. If you’ve been looking to get a new ear piercing, here is some basic information about inner-ear cartilage piercings, the four most common types of inner-ear piercings, and the jewelry they can accommodate.

Inner-Ear Piercing Basics

Unlike basic earlobe piercings, all inner-ear piercings are cartilage piercings. That means they may be slightly more painful to pierce than your earlobe, and they’ll also take longer to heal. Healing times for cartilage piercings are more difficult to predict than for soft tissue piercings, but inner-ear piercings typically take between 3 months and a year to heal, depending on your body and aftercare. Additionally, ear cartilage structures vary from person to person more than earlobes, so be sure to schedule an appointment with your piercer to make sure your anatomy can accommodate the inner-ear piercing you want.

Daith Piercingillustrated ear icon with captive bead ring in daith piercing

A daith piercing passes through the innermost fold of ear cartilage that forms at the bottom of the helix, the structure along the top edge of the ear.

Daith earrings are typically captive bead rings, flexible niobium rings, or seamless rings, which provide lots of style flexibility and personalization.

Tragus Piercingillustrated ear icon with straight barbell in tragus piercing

A tragus piercing passes through the tragus, the small lower prominence of cartilage that extends from the side of the head in front of the ear concha, pointing backward.

Your piercer will likely install a labret stud as your initial tragus jewelry, but once your tragus piercing is fully healed, you’ll be able to choose from a huge selection of tragus earrings. From captive bead rings to seamless rings, bent barbells to short straight barbells and other labret styles, a tragus piercing accommodates a wide variety of jewelry.

Rook Piercingillustrated ear icon with bent barbell in rook piercing

A rook piercing passes through the upper rim of cartilage in the inner ear, directly above the daith piercing fold.

Rook piercings also offer a variety of jewelry options. To start, your piercer will likely give you a small bent barbell or captive bead ring, but rook earrings can be bent barbells, circular barbells, seamless rings, or segment rings.

Whatever your piercing style, our online store carries some of the best jewelry you’ll find at the best prices online. For more information about piercings, jewelry, artists, events and more, visit our PainfulPleasures community page.