What is an industrial piercing?
Industrial piercings, AKA scaffold piercings, construction piercings, or simply the “bar,” are found along the cartilage of the upper ear. It consists of a double cartilage perforation, connected by a single straight body jewelry barbell. These piercings are popular because they have an interesting look to them and are a fun way to flaunt two piercings at one time in your ear. Simply: they look rad.
What are the risks?
Pain, slow healing time, and scar tissue accumulation are the risks. Industrial piercings are typically much more painful than other types of cartilage piercings, and take around 5 months to heal properly, with 3-12 months being a normal range.
What considerations with anatomy should be taken?
Industrials pierce through the upper ear cartilage, and they are a dual piercing. Cleaning has to be done meticulously during entire duration of healing, and this requires diligence and patience. Another consideration is that migration of the piercings can happen over time.
What kind of jewelry is used?
For an industrial, you want to go with a 14g and 16g straight barbell that measures 1 ¼” to 1 ½” long and is made from high quality surgical steel or titanium. Your piercing professional will be able to fit you for the correct size.
What is the process?
The process of doing an industrial ear piercing involves two piercings, an anti-helix piercing done on the ear cartilage closest to the head, and the other on the opposite side of the ear cartilage, in a helix piercing. The piercer will use a 14g, occasionally 16g, hollow piercing needle, completing the anti-helix first, and the helix next. Usually an industrial barbell is inserted right from the start, to encourage proper alignment during healing. Some people prefer to use captive bead rings throughout the healing tenure, to encourage faster healing, however getting the alignment correct with this method is not as secure.
What aftercare is involved?
Aftercare for industrial piercings involves cleaning the piercings meticulously, 4 times daily for the first month. For the next 5 months, twice daily is recommended. Most advisable, uniodized salt water, or a cleaning solution such as H2Ocean made specifically for piercings should be used for cleaning. During cleaning, it is advised that you use cotton swabs, as opposed to cotton balls, which have a tendency to get caught in the piercings. Cleaning an industrial is more complicated than a standard belly ring or eyebrow ring. Acute attention to detail is needed, as these piercings go into the inside folds of the cartilage. Anywhere from 3-12 months for total healing should be expected.
As one of the most decorative and ornamental cartilage ear piercings, the industrial leaves a great amount of room for creativity as long as you stick to the basic shape: the extra-long industrial barbell. 14K gold, sterling silver, and surgical steel are the most sought after materials for the industrial, with all varieties of accents, like twists, spirals, spikes, hearts, and balls.
Your piercings are healed – now what?
As one of the most decorative and ornamental cartilage ear piercings, the industrial leaves a great amount of room for creativity as long as you stick to the basic shape: the extra-long industrial barbell. Popular materials include sterling silver, 14K gold, and surgical steel.