I want to get the top part of my ear pierced, but I know it’s tricky due to the cartilage – what should I know?
– Boss Man
Dear Pierce Brosnan,
Bossy’s friend Martha wants you to know that when you talk about piercing the top of your ear you’re talking about piercing your helix.
Piercing the helix is slightly more tricky than piercing your lobe and slightly less tricky than piercing your cochlea.
Piercing the helix is tricky because it is made up of cartilage, a dense connective tissue that contains no blood vessels. And when you have a wound – or a giant stainless steel implement pierced through your body – it’s the blood and circulatory system that usually help that wound heal thanks to the inflammatory response, which occurs when an injured tissue releases chemicals that cause blood vessels to leak into the injured area resulting in swelling which helps isolate the injury from other surrounding tissue while attracting white blood cells that surround and destroy the foreign matter.
For this reason (giant stainless steel implement, wound, blood, leak, tissues) Bossy’s friend Martha wants you to know you should never ever ever get your cartilage pierced at a kiosk in your local mall like Bossy did this past weekend.
This is because the kiosks in your local mall use piercing guns.
And piercing guns have two problems.
1. They are usually made of plastic and therefore can’t be sterilized by heat. This means their only means of sterilization is a wipe with alcohol. By that lady at the kiosk. The one with the blue nail polish.
B. The piercing gun shoots a blunt stud through the ear – ripping the cartilage to make room for the earring – and then pinches the earring back snugly against your ear leaving no room for proper circulation or access for cleaning.
Bossy’s friend Martha’s preferred alternative is a piercing needle, a technique preformed by specialty piercing salons and some physicians and sometimes by Bossy’s friend Martha if she is drunk and her party guests willing. Here is the piercing needle:
The piercing needle has two advantages:
1. It can be completely sterilized – by heat.
B. The piercing needle is hollow and extremely sharp so it slices through the cartilage and removes a small section of tissue, which releases pressure and allows room for the earring. This also promotes a faster healing time.
And, Bossy lied – there’s another advantage:
3. The earrings used by piercing salons – like Barbells – are designed to be easier to keep free of dirt and bacteria during the healing stage.
Bossy’s friend Martha understands that Piercing Salons are more expensive but she thinks they’re worth it. Of course Bossy’s friend Martha probably doesn’t laugh every time she attaches the word salon to the practice of piercing, as if the joint isn’t packed with scoundrels piercing their clits.
Regardless – when it comes to taking care of your new piercing, Bossy’s friend Martha wants you to know this: Don’t overdo it. Over-rotating the new piercing causes irritation and over-cleaning the new piercing causes the skin to dry out and crack, exposing underlying tissue to bacteria.
For the first week, rotate your piercing twice a day – morning and night – and then clean with the sterile solution. Over the next week skip the second cleaning once in a while, and then for the third week clean the area only once a day. Continue this regime through the next two weeks. That’s like 100 weeks altogether.
Follow these simple guidelines – and get your ear pierced by a trained professional using a sterile needle – and you’ll be good to go.
Although Bossy, a habitué of kiosks in malls during long weekends spent recovering from Esophagitis, doesn’t know why Bossy’s friend Martha is making all this fuss.