Modern Ear Piercing Styles and Standards: the Rook

by Cat
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upper ridge ear cartilage piercing

Getting your rook pierced is a fun and subtle way to decorate your ear and give it that little extra sparkle. Erik Dakota was the first piercer to popularize rook piercing. The piercing is located in the ridge of cartilage near the face on the upper part of the ear just under the helix. This piercing passes from the underside to the top of the rook ridge. This differs from many ear piercings that generally are pierced from front to back. Some ears do not have a pronounced enough ridge area to have a proper rook piercing.

A rook may be done freehand, or with the aid of clamps. The area is cleaned, then the entry and exit points are marked, and a 14 or 16 gauge hollow piercing needle is pushed through the flesh. The jewelry is then inserted to complete the piercing. Initial jewelry is either a ring or a small curved barbell.

small curved barbell body jewelry

The rook piercing presents the same set of complications and risks as other cartilage piercings in the ear. Be careful when changing your clothing or using your cell phone or headphones; bumping or snagging this piercing will delay healing. The fact that it’s concealed a little more does make it slightly less prone to accidental snags than other piercings, which is a plus. Pain is relative to the individual.  Some have said it’s comparable to a tragus or helix, and others have described it as more painful than even a nipple piercing.

It is important to follow your piercer’s aftercare guidelines to support healthy healing. Salt soaks with warm water and sea salt are generally what is recommended; they’re good for cleaning and sterilizing the area. This helps with controlling swelling and irritation. The warmth also encourages blood flow to the area. It will most likely be sore for the first week or so. Jewelry should not be changed for at least 8 weeks (always check with your piercer if you are unsure). Total healing will take about 6-18 months for some people. Even though it takes a while to heal, its totally worth it. The rook piercing is an adorable addition to your ear piercings. Ask your professional piercer today!

by Cat

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