The Complete Guide to The Different Types of Ear Piercings

There are more ear piercings than just the standard lobe piercing. Follow this guide and refer to the given diagram to learn about all the different types.

By Daina
The Complete Guide to The Different Types of Ear Piercings

Ear Piercings- Types of the Diagram

Besides a pony and to be a princess, getting their ears pierced is every little girl’s dream. They believe it would make them grownup and cool. What starts out as a standard lobe piercing may then become an addiction; and for anyone that has had multiple piercings knows, it definitely is an addiction, and you can never get too many piercings!

Facial piercings may be next, or epidermal piercings anywhere on the body. The possibilities and ideas are endless. But what other kinds of piercings can you get on your ear beside on your lobe?

The Different Types of Ear Piercings And Diagrams of Ear Piercings

Typically, when a person gets an ear piercing, it is a standard lobe piercing. However, there are many other ear piercings girls and boys alike can get, not to mention the different types of earrings that can be used for each one! Did you know there is even an ear piercing that helps migraines? 

As you can see from this chart, almost any part of your ear can be pierced. As we explore the different types of ear piercings, it is wise to follow along with this chart for reference.

Pain is beauty #piercings #earpiercings #piercingchart #iwantmore

A post shared by Tuesday’s Child (@tuesdayschild82) on

To understand the types of ear piercings and their names, you should check out this diagram of the anatomical ear names.

These names look familiar? They should! A lot of the ear piercing name ideas come from the name of the ear anatomical chart names.

This guide will explain each type of piercing, including a pain scale for those of you who are worried about how much each one will hurt. The pain scale can be transformed into a chart or diagram to understand which ones hurt the most. For the sake of this article, the pain in a 0-10 scale - zero being a squeeze and ten being as painful as if you stuck your ear in acid. Many ear piercings fall within the 4-7 range, as the ones that hurt the least are the piercings that are not on cartilage - the lobe piercings.

There will also be accompanying pictures for the different types of ear piercings, so you can get a good sense of what kind of earrings can be used for each one. If you are considering getting your first or another ear piercing, follow this guide for ideas and tips for each type!

Lobe Piercings

Standard Lobe Piercing

A standard lobe piercing is typically what people begin with when getting ear piercings. Many times, it is seen as a girl’s rite of passage, but other times parents will get an ear piercing for their baby. However, this is a bit more controversial, as it is body mutilation, and many people believe a person should have a say in this, and it should not be done before the person can make this decision, but to each their own opinion.

The earring for this piercing typically is a small stud, but hoops and other creative earrings can be used for this one, and this is the best piercing for dangling earrings! The ideas are endless.

Pain scale: 1/10

This ear piercing is more than a squeeze but does not hurt comparatively to the other ear piercings. Expect a strong pinch and a little tension when cleaning it for a few days afterward, but nothing dramatic with this ear piercing.

Upper Lobe Piercing

An upper lobe piercing is one step above the standard lobe piercing…literally. Some people will get multiple piercings of this type; all lined up the outside of the ear until they begin to hit the cartilage. The upper lobe piercing is another common piercing and is mostly done after the standard lobe piercing.

Pain scale: 1/10

It is still on the earlobe, so this is no more painful than the standard lobe ear piercing.

Transverse Lobe Piercing

TRANSVERSE LOBE hecho en @blackrosetattoobcn

A post shared by Ivan costales (@ivan_bodypiercing) on

The transverse lobe piercing is named for the direction of which the piercing is going through the lobe—transversely (sideways). This requires a barbell-type of earring, with two small balls on either side to keep it in place.

This piercing is prone to a rejection of the piercing, proper care for the piercing soon after getting it is required to avoid the ear-piercing moving or being rejected from the ear altogether.

Pain scale: 3/10

Although it is still on the ear lobe, the transverse lobe requires two holes and the bar to be within the ear. Still not quite as painful as getting an ear piercing on cartilage!

Tragus Piercings

Tragus Piercing

The tragus piercing - the moon-shaped stud in the picture above is done right on the piece of cartilage that protects your ear canal from the front. This type of piercing typically has a hoop earring that encircles the unique shape of this part of the outer ear. The cartilage piercings, such as the tragus piercing, typically take longer to heal than facial piercings, taking about 6-12 months to fully heal whereas facial piercings take about 2-3 months to heal fully. This means that if not taken care of afterward, then the piercing is more prone to infections and rejections.

Pain scale: 5/10

Although it is in the thickest piece of cartilage in the ear, the pain is not the worst. In fact, since cartilage has very little nerve endings, the thickest part doesn’t hurt as bad when the initial piercing is done. Most of the pain will come from afterward when the cartilage begins to heal around the piercing. The healing process is typically longer and adds more to the pain on the pain scale.

Anti-tragus Piercing

The anti-tragus piercing is on the opposing side of the tragus piercing. This piercing typically has a stud, but a hoop could also work for this. It is right above the upper lobe piercing and is on a thicker part of the ear cartilage.

Pain scale: 5/10

This cartilage piercing is on a sensitive part of the ear, but it is no more painful than the tragus piercing. 

Conch Piercings

Inner Conch Piercing

#innerconch #puremetalstuttgart

A post shared by Pure.metal.Bodypiercing (@puremetalbodypiercing) on

You might need to check out the diagram of the different types of ear piercings again to determine the difference between the inner conch piercing and the outer conch piercing or refer to both of them as a conch piercing without identifying what type of conch piercing it is.

An inner conch piercing is in the innermost part of the concha cava, the part of the ear right outside the ear canal. The inner conch piercing is done with a stud, but the ideas don't stop there.

Pain scale: 4/10

This is one of the lesser-painful cartilage piercings.

Outer Conch Piercing

The outer conch is on the outer part of the concha cava. Like the inner conch, the outer conch piercing may be done with a stud, but it could also be done with a hoop. A cute earring many people wear with this piercing is a thick hoop that wraps around the outer part of the ear.

Pain scale: 3/10

The outer conch piercing is less painful than the inner conch. The nerves are less sensitive in that area.

Helix Piercings

Helix Piercing

The helix part of the ear is the curved part on the top of the ear - helix meaning a smooth curve. The helix piercing, as seen in the piercing chart, is on the topmost of the ear, where the ear curves the most. Using either a stud or a small hoop, a helix piercing is perfect for someone looking for a little style to their ear piercings.

Pain scale: 4/10

This piercing goes through a pretty thin and outer part of the cartilage, so it is not as bad as other cartilage piercings.

Forward Helix Piercing

The forward helix piercing is placed right at the front of the curve at the top of the ear. Due to the space between the piercing and the end of the curve, this is a perfect piercing for a small hoop, but a stud looks excellent as this piercing.

Pain scale: 6/10

There is something about the nerves in this area that cause a shiver down your back when a needle goes through this part of your ear. It is also tricky to get the earring in this part so that it may cause some pain even after the initial needle.

Other Piercings

Daith Piercing

If you are prone to migraines, this might be the ear piercings for you! While other piercings are used for style, the daith ear piercing actually can help prevent or reduce the effects of migraines. Like many facial piercings, the daith piercing is an acupuncture spot that is supposed to relieve a person from the migraines' symptoms such as a severe headache, blurry vision, sensitivity to light and sound. Who knew an ear piercing could be so beneficial to your health?

Pain scale: 6/10

Although the long-term effects of this piercing are beneficial for migraines-prone people, this piercing is also in a tough spot, and it would hurt a bit more to get the actual piercing done. It also would require a more thorough cleaning and aftercare routine.

Rook Piercing

The rook ear piercing is right above the daith piercing, on the upper part of the antihelix part of the ear, refer to the ear anatomy diagram. However, this piercing does not help migraines like the daith piercing! This is a common piercing that is seen on many piercing charts. Mostly, the piercing is a hoop, but a stud would work in this case.

Pain scale: 6/10

This pain of the rook piercing is very similar to the daith piercing pain.

Orbital Piercing

The orbital piercing hugs the side of the ear. The actual piercing goes in the conch area, and a hoop goes around the outside of the ear. Depending on the size of the hoop, the ear can keep its shape or be folded into a small hoop.

The orbital piercing may also refer to any two holes made for a hoop to go through both. This could be at any part of the ear, not just the conch area. For the sake of the pain scale for this piercing, it will be based on the conch-area piercing site.

Pain scale: 3/10

This piercing is not more painful than the outer conch piercing. It is still in cartilage, but it is a thinner piece of cartilage.

Snug Piercing

The snug piercing - the piercing with the red barbell in the picture above is on the same ear fold as the rook piercing, right in between the rook piercing and the anti-tragus piercing. The snug is also close to the orbital piercing, but as seen in the diagram of the different piercings, the snug piercing is a small hooped piercing on the antihelix part of the ear - see the outer ear anatomy diagram for the location of this.

Pain scale: 5/10

The cartilage that is pierced with a snug piercing is sensitive, but this one is still not as bad as the next piercing in this guide!

Industrial Piercing

An industrial piercing is almost parallel to the transverse lobe piercing and is done at the very top of the ear. The industrial piercing requires a barbell to stretch across the upper part of the ear with one hole on each side of it - refer to the diagram at the beginning of the article for where it should be placed.

Although this a common ear piercing, it is both painful and difficult to keep clean! However, the earrings you can get for this piercing are adorable; as the one pictured above.

Pain scale: 8/10

As if one hole in cartilage was bad enough, an industrial piercing requires two holes going through cartilage. Definitely up there on the pain scale!

Diagram of Ear Piercings Taken Seriously

An ear piercing should not be handled lightly—any one of these types of piercings should be done professionally, and proper aftercare should take place. Infections and piercing rejections are just two of the possible things to go wrong if piercings are not done correctly or taken care of while it is healing. Because of their position on the body, facial and ear piercings are most prone to infection but facial, and ear piercings are also the most common piercings to get.

That being said, it cannot be stressed enough to get the piercings done by professionals with licenses and clean, sterile workplaces.

Ear Piercings--Diagrams, Types, and Ideas

The diagram of ear piercings helps you determine what types of piercings are available to you. However, those are not the only decisions to make. You also want to decide how much pain you are willing to take for the sake of your piercing. It is also good to look up ideas for the different types of piercings and ideas for earrings for each type of piercing. If this guide did not provide you with enough ideas, check out what Instagram and Tumblr have for you to browse!



Popular on Panda Gossips