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A Girl’s Guide to Body Piercings: Ears, Tongue, and Other Places

A Girl’s Guide to Body Piercings: Ears, Tongue, and Other Places

Image from Pixabay
Image from Pixabay

I have always liked body piercings more than tattoos. They look amazing, but are not quite so permanent as tattoos. You can wear your piercings when you are out clubbing or in bars, and just take them out while you are at work. They can be as discreet as you want them to be, and you can change the jewelry to fit your outfit for that day. I have several helix piercings myself and love them.

Nowadays, you can get body piercings at pretty much any trustworthy tattoo shop. I suggest to go to a body art shop that uses sterile, disposable piercing needles — never go to a shop that uses a piercing gun!

Piercing guns are less precise and use blunt force trauma to force the needle through your ear. A proper piercing needle is much more accurate and has a hollow point, so that it cleanly passes through the skin to create a hole, or fistula, for your jewelry.

For those of you who are interested in piercings, know that there are many types out there. Just ask your favorite body art shop if they can do your piercings for you.

Here is a short guide to some of the different types of body piercings out there:


Photo by Interiorrain via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by Interiorrain via Flickr Creative Commons

Ears are one of the most common piercings and almost every girl has pierced ears — some of us have had them since we were babies.

There are several types of ear piercings, but the standard lobe piercing is the most common. Lobe piercings pass through the fleshy bottom portion of your ear. It heals quickly and do not hurt a lot. You only need two weeks or so to heal a lobe piercing, so it is easy to add multiple piercings in that area.

Then, you have the cartilage piercings. These piercings pass through the firm, stiff tissues of your ear. A piercing that passes through the topmost arc of your ear is called a helix, but other types, such as tragus, daith, snug, and orbital piercings pass through the inner folds of your ear’s cartilage.

Cartilage earrings require quite a bit more commitment than lobe piercings. They can take up to six months or so to heal fully, and you have to make sure that you keep it clean during this time. Avoid using alcohol on the piercing and stick only to a salt water rinse. You can use sterile salt solutions from the local drug store, or make one yourself by boiling a cup of water for five minutes and dissolving about a teaspoonful of non-iodized sea salt.

Soak your ear in the solution for five minutes, about two times a day, and gently pat dry. Only use an antibiotic ointment if an infection develops.


Image from Facebook
Image from Facebook

Tongue piercings are pretty popular because the tongue heals surprisingly fast. The procedure is not as painful as getting a cartilage piercing, and it fully heals within three to four weeks. You will get some swelling within the first week or so, but cleaning is a breeze. Just use an alcohol-free mouthwash and swish it in your mouth two or three times a day as needed.

It is very important that you do not play with your tongue piercing, ever! Playing with your tongue piercing could damage your teeth and even wear away your gums. So, if you want a tongue piercing, be careful to talk and eat as normally as you can.


Photo by Adriano Agulló via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by Adriano Agulló via Flickr Creative Commons

Some of the more controversial piercings are face piercings. There are labrets, which are piercings underneath the lower lip, and a variation called snake bites, which are two piercings on either side of the lower lip.

There are nose piercings, which pass through the outer side of the nostril, and septum piercings, which pass through the middle part of your nostrils. You also have eyebrow piercings and many other types.

Most face piercings heal within six to eight weeks, but some can take up to four months to heal depending on the piercing’s location. Eyebrow piercings, which is a type of surface piercing, can be especially difficult to care for and may even lead to bruising and scarring. Be extra careful when getting piercings on your face.

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Below the Neck

Photo by Marine B via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by Marine B via Flickr Creative Commons

Two of the most common body piercings include belly button and nipple piercings. These piercings can look especially racy and sexy — Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Beyonce, Kesha, and many more all have belly button piercings. Other celebrities, like Rihanna, Katy Perry, Kendall and Kylie Jenner have nipple piercings.

Navel piercings take nine to twelve months to heal, and you have to make sure to keep the area very clean. Belly buttons naturally collect dirt and oils, so be sure that you clean the area daily. It is best to do so in the shower, using a mild soap, under warm, running water. Gently clean the area with your hand. You should also try to soak the piercing with a sterile salt solution twice a day.

Nipple piercings can also take between nine to twelve months to heal. When it comes to nipple piercings, the biggest risk is infection, so make sure that you keep the area very clean. Any infection on the nipple can travel into the milk glands and be potentially fatal.

Stick to approved body jewelry, like barbells and captive bead rings, making sure they are made of surgical grade stainless steel. Avoid other types of metals for body piercings.

Below the Belt

Female genital piercings are especially controversial, but the great thing about it is that no one would ever know about it except you, your piercer, and your lover. There are many types of female genital piercings, but the most common one goes through the clitoral hood. You also have labial piercings, which pass through the outer part of the vulva’s lips.

Genital piercings are notoriously difficult to care for. The area is naturally moist and your period may complicate cleaning further. They can take between four to eight weeks to heal, and you should only use special body jewelry to avoid infection. If you do choose to get a genital piercing, stick to stainless steel and always go for barbells or captive bead rings to avoid scratching and tugging sensitive areas.

Remember that getting a piercing is a big decision and that there are many things to consider before you do. If you feel comfortable about getting one and take the time to care for them, I say go ahead and explore a whole new world of body jewelry.

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View Comments (7)
  • Hi, since you seem to be very knowledgeable about piercings, do you happen to know any female piercers within Manila? 🙂

    • Hey Ange, you can check out Snow Tattoo in SaGuijo. Not sure of Sarah Gaugler does piercings too, but you can always ask 🙂

  • Hi! This is a very helpful post as I am considering getting a helix piercing. However, may I just ask for the specific places where I can get the deed done? I am not really familiar with any. Thank you so much! ????

    • Hey Marie,

      Most tattoo parlors offer piercing services too. I had mine done at Gene Testa in Ortigas, but you can also try P&P Tattoo (Makati or Eastwood branch), or Dyani Lao in Cubao X. Feel free to ask around. Tell me how it goes!

  • How do you know how much the average cost is of getting piercings on the ear, but not the conventional earlobe and cartilage?

  • Hi! I’m curious about how much it will cost if I decide to get a piercing on my tattoo and get matching jewelry with it. I have P&P Tattoo shop with this in mind but I don’t mind knowing other store prices that you know of since I can pretty much base the amount on those.

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