You cannot stretch cartilage piercings. You would need to have it pierced at a 14 or 16 gauge and insert an industrial bar. you cannot wear an industrial bar in 2 existing piercing openings unless they are done at the proper angles to accommodate the bar.Answer
I actually got my cartilage pierced about almost a year ago with a regular earring. I had been dying to get a 16guage due to cuter earrings to choose from. a regular earring is about an 20g-18g. Remember, the lower the number the bigger the gage. Well, I was with a friend of mine about 2 weeks ago and I told her I wanted a bigger hole/earring but the pain is in bearrible. We bought some earrings, had a few drinks, and she put a numbing cream on my cartilage earring called LMX (5%) You can get it at any CVS(a little expensive tho) and after it was numb, she took out my regular earring, and just put it very spoftly the other one. it went right thru. didnt feel a thing. I have now a small curved bar with two screw balls at the end. super cute. It got a little infected at first but didnt hurt, slept on it and everything, and i just put rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide everyday and now its awsome. :)AnswerI turned two normal cartilage piercings into 14 gauge piercings, then put an industrial in. It look beautiful. Answerthis is not a answer. but can i still get it done with a barbell, without gauging it??? AnswerYou know I also want to say that you cant stretch your cartilage. And yes the barbell is an OK way to do it. If you don't like pain, stretch the ear out first, and then put the bar in. But as mentioned before, make sure they are at the appropriate angles. AnswerIt is very dangerous to gage a cartilage at the time of piercing because it can shatter the cartilage.
View from a professional body piercer.
Cartilage is a nonelastic tissue structure that will not stretch, it will tear when any large amount is force is applied to it. Now there are postings above saying this and that about stretching cartilage.
The bottom line is you may be able to go up one gauge from the size the cartilage was originally pierced at without it tearing, but you need to know that the body will not repair torn cartilage.
So if you choose to stretch your cartilage you need to know that once it's torn, "it's torn" and disfigurement of the tissue is permanent without a costly surgical repair. I am posting this so it is clear that this is how the body handles things, if you choose to go down a path you need to know the facts.
For industrial piercings, a needle, usually 16 gauge, is used. The ear is marked so the piercer knows where to put the needle, and the needle goes through both pieces of cartilage. Then, the bar is inserted through the needle, the needle is removed, and the other end is screwed onto the ball. This video shows how its done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfPM-esijW
A little bleeding is to be expected with cartilage piercings, the incision in the cartilage needs to be larger than the jewellery gauge going into the piercing, this is to allow the skin to heal between the jewellery and the cartilage. Excessive bleeding is an indication your piercer didn't candle the cartilage before doing the piercing to see where the veins are located on both sides of the cartilage.
14's are pretty much standard for all piercings, but I would recommend a dermal punch with actually removes the tissue reducing other risks. If you plan on stretching punch it at the gauge you want to stretch to if not then you can have them punch it in any gauge you like. Never use anything below a 14 for migration and rejection reasons. I wouldn't really recommend a 14 either, but it is your choice.
As you progress in your piercings from the lobe up the ear I would recommend getting the second and consecutive holes done by needle piercing in the hands of a professional body piercer. See inside the lobe moving up the ear there is a fine feather line of cartilage which gets thicker and denser as you progress up the ear, at some point you will need to start over gauge piercing to ensure the piercings will heal correctly without discomfort from the cartilage inside the tissue.
Yes, they do- however, it depends alot on the gauge of the needle and how capable your body is able to heal (which factors on age, diet, and health). The fresher the piercing, the less time it takes to heal shut- but it is more prone to infection. Smaller piercings do have a tendency to heal quicker, but it mostly depends on the area of skin that is pierced. Fleshy skin located close to blood vessles heal very quickly when hard cartilage and sparser areas of blood vessles take much longer. Note: ALL piercings should be done with a hollow needle.
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