Alternative Beauty: Industrial Ear Piercings

by Alexander Baran
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Although ear piercings started off being placed in the lobes, it has become more and more popular over the years to pierce different parts of the ear.  One type of ear piercing that is still slightly less prevalent is the Industrial. This is sometimes also referred to as the Scaffold, or the Construction piercing. This specific piercing is done with a needle as opposed to a piercing gun, and can be described as two pierced holes in the ear that are connected by a single piece of jewelry that runs through them both. Typically, the two piercings go through the outer cartilage portion of the ear. These are done one hole at a time, and then connected with a piece of barbell jewelry.  When pierced, the beginning tip of the jewelry enters the top part of the ear from behind, close to the face.  The piece then runs through the front of the ear and diagonally across the upper cartilage, where it finally pierces through the front portion of the middle or lower cartilage and out the back. 

The jewelry worn in an industrial is most commonly a straight barbell with two ball shaped tips.  When this is placed in the ear, the balls are secured on the outside of the ear at each end of the barbell. Another type of jewelry that may be used for an industrial is the captive bead ring. These would be placed separately in the two holes during the healing time, but the wearer would then be taking the chance that the holes may not line up properly for barbell insertion once completely healed.  After healing, the barbell can also be switched from the traditional straight barbell to a spiral, or twist shaped barbell.  Straight or twisted barbells can also have gemstones or designs on the tips or in the middle, to make them stand out more.

Healing time for an Industrial piercing is far longer than the more common lobe piercings, the process often taking between six and twelve months for completion. During this time, it's important to follow the correct aftercare instructions given by your piercer. Avoid touching the area unless cleaning it. Before cleaning, be sure your hands are thoroughly washed with antibacterial soap. Cleansing the area at least once per day is recommended. While mending, the ear will be uncomfortable and possibly slightly pained, especially if you tend to sleep on that side of your head. You will want to avoid any direct contact with the area for the first few weeks, and be careful to sleep on the opposite side and not bang or brush the ear against anything if possible. These are all great preventatives to speed along the healing process and prevent infection.

by Alexander Baran

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