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Cartilage Piercing Pain: How Much Does It Hurt?

Cartilage piercings have been trendy for many years and offer the ability to customize your look based on the number of piercings and placement. They can be symmetrical with the same number on each ear, or you can have just one ear decorated and still look great.

However, when you are thinking of getting your first cartilage piercing, it is only natural to wonder how much it will hurt you, and that is exactly what we are going to talk about here.

Will a cartilage piercing definitely hurt?

Most likely. You are. After all, put a hole in the skin and cartilage tissue. Everyone is different, and while it hurts a lot for some, it may not hurt that much for you.

When you talk about cartilage stinging pain, they are actually two different types of pain. The initial pain from the piercing needle and the pain later as the piercing heals.

There are also two different types of cartilage piercings. The piercing, most commonly known as a cartilage piercing, is located on the upper ear. You can have many different areas of the ear pierced, and almost all of them, except for the lobes, contain cartilage.

However, the nose also contains cartilage, so you can get a cartilage piercing through the nasal septum or even through the tip of your nose.

Cartilage Piercing Pain

How Bad Will The Cartilage Piercing Pain Be?

With any piercing, it should be noted that the initial pain is over pretty quickly. It’s not like a tattoo where the needle keeps pushing the skin.

That being said, a needle doesn’t go quite as deep for a tattoo as it does for a piercing, so it’s a little more painful for a shorter period of time. The pain will likely feel sharp and intense, but only for a second or two. When you start registering the pain, it’s all over.

How much initial pain you will feel will depend on the specific area of ​​cartilage you will be pierced. Some are more sensitive than others.

A good way to gauge how severe the pain will be is to pinch the area you want to pierce. It doesn’t feel exactly like a piercing, but it does give you an idea of ​​how well you can handle pain in that area of ​​the cartilage.

What to expect in the shop

For cartilage piercings, a professional piercer uses a hollow needle to drill a hole through the tissue. Cartilage is stronger than meat but softer than bones, so you feel a little more resistance than if you had your earlobe pierced, for example.

Once the needle is through, the jewellery is inserted. The entire process is completed very quickly, and you will receive your follow-up sheet and be sent on your way in no time.

Cartilage Piercing Pain

How long does a cartilage piercing hurt?

After the brief initial pain, the cartilage piercing can hurt for up to a week as the inflammation subsides. Since there is not much blood flowing in this area, it takes longer to heal, which means that the healing pain will last a little longer than in other areas of the body.

After that, you shouldn’t be in great pain unless the jewelry is pulled or pushed against you while you sleep.

An infection in your new cartilage piercing can also lead to increased pain and tenderness. They can also permanently damage the area. Therefore, if you suspect an infection, have your piercing examined by a doctor.

Which factors can influence cartilage piercing pain?

Several factors determine how bad the stabbing pain will be. Here are some things that make a difference.

How afraid are you of the piercing

The more afraid you are of the piercing, the more likely it is that you will experience the pain as more intense. Oftentimes, the worry in advance turns out to be worse than the actual piercing experience.

One of the best things you can do is educate yourself about the process. Knowing all about cartilage piercings before getting one removes the uncertainties of the process. And often, it’s the things we don’t know that makes us most nervous.

Whether you use numbing cream

You can use a lidocaine numbing cream before the cartilage piercing. You rub the cream on the area you want to pierce and wait for the duration indicated on the package.

However, you will still feel a sensation during the piercing.

One of the most effective piercing numbing products out there is Numb 520 cream. The feedback hundreds of customers have left on this product is nothing short of brilliant.

Just follow the directions on the tub, apply just before your piercing process begins, and look forward to a less painful experience.

The person who pierced your cartilage

Who does your cartilage piercing can make a difference in how severe the pain you are experiencing. An experienced piercer will do the procedure faster and usually cause less pain because they know exactly where to pierce.

It also depends on how roughly the piercer handles the needle and jewellery. Ask about other people’s experiences with different local piercers.

Although the prices of cartilage piercings can be higher with the use of a more experienced piercer, the extra cost is definitely worth it to make sure everything goes as well as it gets.

How many piercings will you get in the same procedure

If you double the number of piercings from one to two, you will likely experience twice as much pain. So if you choose to have two cartilage piercings, for example, you are preparing for a little more discomfort than just one.

How your body responds to healing

In the next few days after the piercing, you will most likely experience at least some pain, which can vary greatly depending on your personal healing process.

Things like swelling, bruising, infection and the formation of piercing bumps can affect the level of pain.

Cartilage Piercing Pain

Ways to deal with cartilage piercing pain

Now that you know what factors influence the pain, here are some things you can do to make cartilage piercing a little more bearable.

  • Find out about the process of cartilage piercing beforehand
  • Listen to music to reduce anxiety and take your mind off the pain
  • Bring a friend, or family member is allowed
  • Tell yourself that you are strong and that it won’t do much harm
  • Remember that anyone with a cartilage piercing has gone through the same process
  • Be rested and not under the influence of substances
  • Relax, breathe, and wear comfortable clothing
  • Try a numbing cream


Yes, you can expect to experience pain during and after a cartilage piercing. However, if you choose a high-quality body piercing store with sterile conditions and do proper cartilage piercing aftercare, your pain will be quick and minimal.

And once you finally get your amazing new cartilage piercing; You will completely forget the pain anyway.

If you want to make sure your piercing is healing as well as possible, it is important to follow your piercer’s aftercare recommendations closely and invest in a quality aftercare solution to aid recovery.

The best piercing aftercare product that I have used so far is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. It is not only vegan-friendly but also completely free of alcohol and additives. The solution is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and comes in a generous spray bottle for easy application.

When used from the beginning, the spray will shorten healing times and relieve persistent aches or pains.

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