Types of Piercings: Ear Lobe, Cartilage, Nipple, and More


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  • There are many different types of piercings to choose from.
  • Three common categories include body, face, and ear piercings.
  • This is a guide to every type of piercing out there.

So you want to get a new piercing but you’re not exactly sure what type? There are a lot of options to choose from depending on where you want it. Piercings are typically grouped into three main categories: ear piercings, face piercings, and body piercings. Popular choices for your ears include the cartilage, lobe, and tragus piercings, to name just a few, while body piercings include the belly button and your nipples. Common face piercings range from nose to eyebrow, lip, and tongue — and there’s even more where those come from.

Hands down the most common piercing location is the ears. Between the lobe and cartilage, there are countless different placements you can experiment with to create your very own personalized “ear-scape.” Stacking multiple piercings and even grouping them together — ever heard of constellation piercings? — makes it easy to create a unique look.

To learn about all of the different types of piercings out there, keep scrolling.

Helix Piercing

A helix piercing is a type of cartilage ear piercing that falls on the outer rim of the ear. Within the helix piercing family, there are a few variations: standard helix piercing (a normal cartilage piercing), forward helix piercing (on the outer cartilage closest to the face), standard industrial piercing (two cartilage piercings connected with a single bar), and double helix piercing (multiple stacked on top of each other).

Conch Piercing

The conch ear piercing is a celebrity favorite. It goes through the inner back part of your ear and is forward facing so it’s easily visible.

Dermal Piercing

Dermal piercings aren’t as much about location as they are a type. Dermals, also known as “surface anchors,” are inserted under the skin and don’t have an entrance/ exit point. They can be on the back of the neck, cheek, chest, or lower back, to name a few spots.

Rook Piercing

A rook ear piercing goes through the antihelix on the ear, which is the folded piece of cartilage in the inner ear that sits just above the tragus.

Snug Piercing

A snug ear piercing is also known as an anti-helix piercing. It connects the helix to the conch with a bar or ring.

Daith Piercing

A daith piercing is yet another type of ear piercing. It’s the small strip of cartilage where the top of the ear connects to the inner ear.

Industrial Piercing

As previously mentioned, an industrial ear piercing is a type of cartilage piercing. It consists of two separate piercings, usually done on either side of the upper cartilage, and connected with a barbell.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04: A guest is seen on the street during Men's New York Fashion Week wearing various earrings on February 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images)

Image Source: Getty / Matthew Sperzel

Tragus Piercing

A tragus ear piercing involves the inner piece of cartilage closest to your face, which serves to protect the ear canal.

Prince Albert Piercing

A Prince Albert piercing is a type of penis piercing that involves a barbell through the head of the genital.

Medusa Piercing

A Medusa piercing is a lip piercing that involves a single stud through the upper lip right above your Cupid’s bow. It goes through the part of the lip that’s called the philtrum.

Orbital Piercing

An orbital ear piercing is made up of two or more holes connected by a ring. It can be done virtually anywhere on the ear like the helix, lobe, or conch.

Anti-Tragus Piercing

An anti-tragus piercing falls below where a snug piercing sits and above the lobe. It usually features a ring or barbell.

Eyebrow Piercing

As the name suggests, eyebrow piercings go on your eyebrows, typically toward the outer end or tail of the brow. There are different locations and styles to choose from: traditional vertical, horizontal, nonstandard positions, multiples, and anti-eyebrow piercing.

Nose Piercing

A traditional nose piercing features a stud on the side of your nose, either on the left or right nostril. It usually sits in the natural dip where the nostril connects to the upper part of the nose.

Septum Piercing

A septum piercing is a type of nose piercing. Instead of going through the side of your nostril, you pierce your septum, the thin tissue connecting your two nostrils, usually with a ring or hoop.

Tongue Piercing

Traditional tongue piercings involve a single bar through the center of the tongue toward the tip. There are also different variations of this piecing, including traditional, web, snake eyes, venom, and double tongue.

Smiley Piercing

A smiley piercing, aka frenulum piercing, is a type of lip piercing, except instead of going through the outer part of the lip, it goes through your frenulum, which is the small piece of connective skin between your upper lip and gum. It’s often done with a hoop or ring that hangs down and is visible when you smile (hence the name).

Snake-Bite Piercing

Snake bites are a type of lip piercing. It involves two studs on either side of the bottom lip, which mimic the look of a snake bite.

Monroe Piercing

The Monroe piercing got its name from Marilyn Monroe. Though the actor didn’t have a body piercing, she did have an iconic mole right above her upper lip on the left side of her face. This piercing re-creates that detail but with a small stud.

Spider-Bite Piercing

A spider-bite piercing is a lip piercing that involves two separate holes placed immediately next to each other to mimic the look of a spider bite. It can be done on the upper or lower lip.

Labret Piercing

A labret piercing falls in the lip category. Its location is just below the bottom lip and usually involves a stud.

Dahlia Piercings

A Dahlia piercing is two separate holes on either side of the mouth. Typically done with studs, the jewelry sits right at the corners of the mouth.

Nipple Piercing

Nipple piercings originally became more mainstream in the ’90s, but they’re back (along with a handful of other ’90s beauty trends). The body piercing involves getting one or both nipples pierced with a bar or ring.

Belly-Button Piercing

Belly-button or navel piercings have risen in popularity again in recent years. It involves getting a bar or ring through either the top or bottom surrounding skin.

Genital Piercings

There are many different types of genital or labia piercings. Some popular ones include the vertical clitoral hood, Christina piercing, Princess Diana piercing, and triangle piercing.





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