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Your first piercing can be scary. It's totally okay to be nervous! There's a needle getting shoved through your skin, so it's probably going to hurt, right? There's so many questions that go through our heads the first time we get pierced.

How bad is it going to hurt?
What if it doesn’t heal?
Will it look good on me?

Cartilage Piercings

These are all questions that can absolutely detour someone from going through with a piercing. Let's clear up the questions about pain!

How bad is it going to hurt?

Well, it's going to hurt. Will it be the worst pain of your life? No way, but it's better to go into your piercing knowing that a tiny bit of pain is a part of it. If you're not very tolerant of physical pain, you might want to bring a friend along to calm your nerves, you'll totally want to plan out some rest and relaxation time after your piercing, and above all else - talk to your piercer! Let them know how you're feeling throughout the process so that they can be sure you're as comfortable as possible.

Nose Piercing

You can’t always trust the opinion of a friend on this. As a teenager, I went into my navel piercing thinking I "wouldn’t feel a thing," because that’s what my girl friends told me. I felt a lot of things, but I was completely fine afterwards. Every body has a different tolerance for pain.

Belly Button Piercing

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Earlobe, navel, tongue and eyebrow piercings are the least painful.
  • Septum, labret, dermal (surface) piercings, cartilage piercings, nostril and male intimate piercings are typically a medium level of pain for most.
  • The most painful piercings are in sensitive areas, ie. nipple and intimate piercings (for females.)


I think it goes without saying, piercing an area of your body that's already sensitive is going to be the most painful. Don't let that scare you off, though. Your body will naturally react to stimulation, and if you're someone who is very in-touch with your body, you'll probably feel a bit startled. None of this means you're going to feel like you're literally dying just because you got your nipples pierced.

Just for good measure, I thought I'd share this totally awesome piercing video that demonstrates all of what I just said. Check out BodyCandy's own Snapchat queen, Ann, getting her nipples pierced!

If this is your first time getting pierced, there's a few things you can expect to happen, and ways to prepare yourself your induction into the pierced and proud crowd. 

  • Paperwork. You're going to need to show ID and sign some forms.
  • The piercer will explain exactly what they're going to do.
  • Sizing, positioning and a bit of waiting before the actual piercing happens.
  • Picking out your jewelry! This part is fun, but listen to recommendations your piercer makes before you get stuck on a piece you really want. Some jewelry can't be worn in fresh piercings, so you may have to wait.


For more information on what to expect, visit our guide to first time piercings:
First Time Piercing: What to Expect, How to Prepare

  • A

    Hi Audree,

    In most situations, a conch piercing is going to be more painful – although everyone’s body/experience is always going to be different!

    Alley (Body Candy Team) on

  • A

    What hurts more septum piercings or conch??

    Audree on

  • O

    It’s all up to tollerence, people say industrials hurt a lot over nose and lobes. I had got my lobes done and not much pain , my nose made me physically cry it hurt so much and my industrial didn’t hurt at all at the bottom hole and a decent amount of pain at the top. But I had more pain with my industrial after than rather getting it Pierced since it can be knocked around a lot if you get a longer bar first (which I reccomend) so it’s not pushing on you .

    Octavia w on

  • N

    i have my nose my navel my ears and both nipples pierced they say the most painfull piercing are the nipples and other intamiate areas hurt not true my nose piercing hurt mor than my nipple and navel so id say do for it 👍

    Nichola Eileen Horseman on

  • A

    I have my snakebites which I have had to repierce 3x, septum, nostril, top belly button, bottom belly button, I have had surface piercings on my arms, I have had dermals in collar bone, neck, and face (which they all knocked out and had them repierced). My lobes, my cartilage, and I stretched my ears to 9/16th. And by far my most painful piercing (my first one before my ears even at 15) was my NAVEL. That hurts like a B!! And it hurt the first horribly and it hurt the 2 other times I had it pierced LIKE HELLLL. I thought maybe I remembered it wrong cuz I was 15 but I just got my 3rd navel and OMG…. it just seems to never end. But worth it.

    ALanna on


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