Industrial Piercing: Pain, Side Effects, Healing, & Aftercare

industrial piercing guide

Piercings have been in existence for longer than one would imagine, reportedly the oldest mummy which is Otzi was found to have had piercings that dated as far back as 3,300 BC. Interestingly he had ear piercings, this goes to show how long the tradition of piercing the ears has been part of human culture and a representational gesture.

In ancient Rome, ancient Egypt, and Elizabethan Britain mostly wealthy and royal men were adorned with ear piercings and jewelry as a show of power and wealth status. Sailors also used to wear earrings to sea so that if they died at sea, the jewelry could be used as means to find their burial ceremony.

For others, piercings were a means to repel demons, they believed that demons could access the body through the ears, and having piercings means they could wear metal jewelry that would repel these demons and avoid getting possessed.

Getting any type of ear piercing stirs up some excitement and nerves especially if it is your first piercing.

An industrial piercing is an exceptional and beautiful choice for an ear piercing, it clearly stands out and gives off a daring vibe. Below is an all-encompassing guide that takes you through the pain, side effects, healing time, and aftercare tips that are involved in getting an industrial piercing.

What Is An Industrial Piercing?

An industrial piercing which is also referred to as a scaffold or construction piercing penetrates the two sides of the ear directly facing each other, this makes it a two-in-one piercing in the real sense. It is an upper cartilage piercing that goes through the helix and antihelix to create two holes that are referred to as one piercing; the industrial piercing.

These two piercings created are usually around an inch an half apart and there are connected as one by a piece of barbell jewelry.

Image: Helix Piercing / Author: Djhelix

Industrial piercings can turn out to be very tricky, this is because the way a person’s ears are shaped may determine if an industrial piercing is suitable for them or not. In some cases, these people may just need a more experienced piercer to get the job done if they still want the piercing.

Either way, it is best to take your piercer’s advice on which place you fall, and if they can work around your ear despite it appearing more complicated than usual.

Do not disregard your health by making the decision to get your piercing based on where you can get it done cheaper. You must get a professional piercer to walk you through the process for health and safety purposes.

How Is An Industrial Piercing Done?

There’s no piercing without a piercer, and there’s no guarantee of getting a healthy piercing without a licensed professional piercer.

If you are not new to piercings, you may already have a trusted piercer you can refer to based on past experiences, however, if this happens to be your first piercing you would have to begin the search for a licensed professional piercer to get your industrial piercing done.

All piercings are fragile and need an experienced hand to perform them but an industrial piercing is as complicated as it is fragile, so you must be critical about finding a piercer that has experience with industrial piercings and will take you through the steps with health precautions being taken.

Make sure to arrive at the salon on the day of your piercing sober and avoid taking any medications that you assume would reduce the pain, these are unnecessary and would only mean your nerves are getting the best of you.

It is advised that you watch your piercer sterilize their equipment, the needles being used for your piercing should be new to avoid increasing the risk of contracting infections, and your piercer should properly sanitize his hands and wear a clean pair of gloves.

It is safer to make sure these safety precautions are being followed to the latter, for the sake of your health.

Your piercer would follow these preparatory steps by disinfecting the area of the ear that is about to get pierced.

After this, the piercer will mark the two points that are to be pierced with a non-irritating marker and measure to make sure that they line up correctly to avoid making a mistake. A new sterile needle will then be pushed through your helix to create the first hole, and jewelry will be put through the first hole immediately and aligned facing where the second hole will be located.

After the first hole is made, you might begin to feel a stinging sensation but you would need to relax while the second hole is pierced.

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The second piercing will also be followed immediately by the insertion of the other end of the jewelry. After the process is completed, the piercer will disinfect the area of the piercing again and discuss some aftercare tips with you and give you products or recommendations for continuous disinfecting of the piercing while it heals.

How Painful Are Industrial Piercings?

An industrial piercing is different from others because it does not have just one perforation, but two. Ideally, you would be worried that it would hurt far worse than others since it means you have to feel pain twice.

This assumption is not wrong, an industrial piercing tends to be more painful than other ear piercings, you experience pain during the process of it being done, while the jewelry is being put in place and still experience some pain while it heals.

During the piercing, you would feel a sharp pain as the needle is passed through the holes, this pain felt is because the ear is experiencing a repeated penetration that it is not familiar with, the holes created are likened to injuries and would cause these unpleasant sensations naturally.

Cartilage piercings are known to hurt less but industrial piercing is an exception, because it is a double piercing.

During the healing process, the pain would not be as intense as when getting pierced, but it would still hurt and constantly cause throbbing.

The cartilage of the ear is very sensitive and this makes healing take longer for industrial piercings, meaning that you would keep experiencing some form of discomfort or the other for months while it heals. Without sugar coating, an industrial piercing will undoubtedly cause more pain than other ear piercings but it gets easier as the healing process commences smoothly.

How Long Do Industrial Piercings Take to Heal?

Healing may vary from person to person, that is why an industrial piercing takes two to six months of adequate aftercare to heal. And just like other cartilage piercings, the industrial piercing could take as long as a year to heal when it comes in contact with bacterial infections or any other unforeseen complications.

The pain associated with an industrial piercing may last all through the healing process, but the worst of it is over in the first month. The remaining months might just be discomfort and your body trying to adjust and accept the piercings, but since the pain would depend on the pain tolerance of the pierced person, it is hard to determine exactly how much it would hurt.

Being connected by barbell jewelry -which is straight with beads at the ends to hold it in place, you would have to be careful not to allow it to get stuck on hair, clothing, or anything else as this would cause irritation or a tear since it is still in its healing phase.

To avoid unwanted complications or a longer healing period, it is important to strictly adhere to the after-care procedures that are set out for this piercing type.

Industrial piercing

How Do I Take Care Of An Industrial Piercing?

Taking proper care of your industrial piercing will only cost you some time, the items needed for the process are inexpensive and can even be replaced with a DIY mixture if you choose so. Caring for one piercing is tricky, so caring for two would take twice as much commitment and care to the process and the things that should be avoided while your industrial piercing heals.

You would need to maintain proper hygiene while caring for your industrial piercing, your hands must be washed properly before they make contact with the piercing. Wash your hands properly with soap and hot water, your hands should be lathered with soap for at least twenty seconds before it is rinsed off.

With the use of a saline solution or sea salt and water mixture, carefully clean your piercing twice a day. This cleaning will cover the entire healing span, it is advised that you do not slack or miss days, make this a part of your daily routine for the entire three to six months when it would be healing.

A piercing that is not cleaned regularly and properly is likely to get infected and take longer to heal eventually.

If you notice crustiness around the holes during your healing process, you can use the saline solution or sea salt and water mixture to carefully soak it with a clean washcloth till it softens and falls off.

However, if you notice swelling, repeated irritations, allergies, continuous itching, yellow discharge, extreme pains, and swelling then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your ears might be rejecting the piercing and you would need to get the jewelry taken out and the piercing closed in such an instance.

While washing your hair, showering, or cleaning your piercing, you must not soak it in water, especially in the early stages of healing when it is very prone to bacterial infections. You will have to avoid immersing yourself in water, meaning you will need to take a break from swimming or taking baths in a tub that requires you to dip your entire head in.

If you do not want to invite germs to your piercing, you would need to wear clean clothes at all times, change your bedsheets and pillowcases often as well. You should not sleep on the side of your piercing for any reason, it is an easy way to cause irritations, discomfort and attract bacterial infection.

Industrial Piercing Benefits – Why Get One?

Yes, every piercing is unique, no doubt about that. But an industrial piercing? A two-in-one piercing? You have to admit the bar is a lot higher for an industrial piercing because it is genuinely the edgiest of all ear piercings. The idea of how it is placed on the ear and the jewelry makes an industrial piercing desirable by many but only the bold go ahead with it, and it ends up being worth their while.

The advantages of getting an industrial piercing are as explained below;

1. An Industrial Piercing Is A Great Look

Industrial piercings are not as popular as other cartilage piercings. This makes it truly unique because not everyone has one, yet several people want one. It is a worthy addition to the ear for persons that enjoy accessorizing their body and it is seen as cool, edgy, and bold.

2. There Are A Lot Of Jewelry Choices For Industrial Piercings

We would be gasping dramatically at this if we were not already aware of how many jewelry options every type of ear piercing has these days.

An industrial piercing is no exception, the designs to choose from when getting your piercing makes the process rather enjoyable and worth looking forward to. After your healing is complete, switching up your look with different barbell jewelry designs makes it worth it.

Industrial piercing guide
Image: Etsy. Buy the jewelry.

3. An Industrial Piercing Suits Both Genders

Men and women alike are great fans of industrial piercings. It somehow happens to be the desired look for men in rock bands, and they are pulling it off just perfectly. Women are usually at the forefront of beauty trends and piercings such as these being part of them, trust them to join the wagon and own the show. If you were looking for a piercing that suits any gender, you should try an industrial piercing.

4. You Can Choose To Get More Than One Industrial Piercing

Just like other ear piercings, an industrial piercing can also be doubled. If you have an ear shape suitable for more than one industrial piercing, your piercer would make it possible that your ear can accommodate a second industrial piercing if you choose to, now how cool is that!

What Are The Cons Of Getting An Industrial Piercing?

Being a double piercing, an industrial piercing poses some disadvantages that you might want to consider carefully before getting one.

Getting a single piercing is a big deal for the first time getting pierced, so getting a two-in-one piercing would also be a complicated stretch. The disadvantages to know when getting an industrial piercing are as follows ;

1. Aftercare Procedures For Industrial Piercings Are Stricter

As humans, incorporating a new routine into our normal routine might cause lapses at first. We are bound to forget some details, to miss some steps, or lose track of time until we get used to it.

For an industrial piercing, there is no room for that. You have to be attentive, active, and diligent with the aftercare process since it involves two fragile piercings. It is compulsory that you follow through with cleaning your piercing twice daily, keep your environment and beddings clean, and avoid irritating your piercing while it heals.

2. An Industrial Piercing Is More Challenging Than Others

With an industrial piercing, your piercer can not afford to miss a step or miss the right spots that would match to form a classic industrial piercing. It is a piercing that involves penetrating two ends of opposite cartilage, so you must find an experienced piercer. If your piercer makes a mistake, it may end up ruining your piercing, and the chances of getting it corrected and low.

3. Industrial Piercings Have Jewelry That Get Stuck Easily

The unique placement of an industrial piercing is what calls for barbell jewelry. However, the straight jewelry that rests in the space between both piercings can easily get stuck on anything it comes in contact with, especially hair, earphones, clothes, hats, masks, and items that other people take past you that somehow make contact with your ears. This could be frustrating and cause irritations while the piercing is still healing.

4. Industrial Piercings Have A Longer Healing Period

The cartilage piercing struggle is always the longer healing period, an industrial piercing is no stranger to this downside as it equally takes as long as four to six months to heal. With infections in the way due to poor aftercare, allergies, or a bad piercing job it could take as long as a year to completely heal.

Frequently Asked Questions About Industrial Piercings

Why Is Industrial Piercing The Most Painful Ear Piercing?

An Industrial piercing is the most painful ear piercing simply because it does not involve one but two piercings at once. These piercings also happen to penetrate the upper cartilage of the ear, this causes pain during the piercing and a less intense pain almost throughout the healing process.

Do Industrial Piercings Get Infect Easily?

Because they are located on the upper cartilage of the ear, industrial piercings are prone to infections. Cartilage piercings heal slower and this likens them to wounds left open for a long time, as a double piercing is located on the ear cartilage an industrial piercing has to be properly cleaned and good hygiene must be maintained to avoid it getting infected.

How Long Until My Industrial Piercing Stops Hurting?

Several people show concern and worry when they realize that months after getting their industrial piercing it still hurts. This is because piercings usually stop hurting early into the healing process, but for an industrial piercing it would continue to hurt for about six to eight months and this should not be a cause for alarm as long as there are no infections.

Can I Remove My Industrial Piercing?

It is best to leave jewelry in throughout the healing process. Removing the jewelry would lead to irritations or in some cases you might have to wait till it heals to get re-pierced again. Do not twist your jewelry or try to take it out, and you should consider having your piercer do your first jewelry change when your piercing has healed fully.

Why Is My Industrial Piercing Crusty?

The crusting around your industrial piercing is completely normal. It is a normal part of every piercing’s healing process and not a sign of an infection, don’t panic. You can easily clean it with some alone solution and a clean washcloth if you find it unnerving or disturbing.

How Do You Shower With An Industrial Piercing?

While your industrial piercing is still healing, it is best to avoid it making contact with a lot of water or products that can irritate it. For your hair and body, use unscented and natural products to wash them and carefully rinse these products off the piercing if it touches it, also make sure to go around the piercing to be extra careful.

Can I Clean My Industrial Piercing With Alcohol?

The only cleaning products that should make contact with your industrial piercing are a saline solution or sea salt and water mixture. Alcohol or hydrogen peroxide would only worsen the wound rather than aid the healing process.


 There are a lot of uniquely positioned piercings on different parts of the body, and an industrial piercing stands out among these. It is a double piercing that stands as one because of how the jewelry is connected from the helix to the anti-helix.

It is an ear piercing that has caught the interest of many and is popular amongst men and women that piercings happen to interest.

An industrial piercing must be paid special attention while it heals, an infection of either piercing that makes it one can lead to possible rejection or increase the healing time of the piercing.

They tend to hurt more than other ear piercings because they are double pierced at once, but they end up being enjoyable as soon as their healing process is complete.

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