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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

  • M

    This makes me want to get my nipples done so bad!! I’m so back and forth about it though, I need a little extra push!

    Madison Blalock on

  • J

    I have my nose, my navel, and my lobes and my nose piercing hands down hurt the worse. Not enough to make me cry or anything but definitely noticeable because I didn’t even feel my navel. I have been thinking about an industrial bar and was wondering if other people think it is less or more painful than a nose piercing.

    Jasmine on

  • A

    Hi Tameka,

    As with most piercings, it depends on each individual.

    Speaking generally, a VCH piercing isn’t regarded as one of the most painful… There’s only a small amount of skin that needs to be pierced. It’s a similar sensation to getting your earlobe pierced!

    Alley (Body Candy Team) on

  • T

    I want to get a vch piercing but I keep hearing so many contradictory stories about the pain level. What’s the consensus?

    Tameka on

  • A

    Hi Elle,

    Cartilage piercings like the tragus tend to be a bit more painful than the average piercing…

    That being said, everyone’s body is different. You might not feel a thing. Keep in mind the pain will be over after just a few seconds!

    Just be prepared for about a year’s worth of healing after you get your tragus done.

    Alley (Body Candy Team) on


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