Are Industrial Piercings Risky?

Of all the various ear piercings, industrial piercings are perceived as the most hardcore. It’s true that getting an industrial piercing is different from other ear piercings. The nature of a double piercing makes aftercare and the healing process a bit more challenging.

Industrial piercings are riskier than other types of piercings. Cartilage piercings are generally more prone to infection, and because there are two holes being pierced, the risk of infection is double. Industrial piercings can easily snag on your hair, which can damage the piercing.

Industrial piercings are not for everyone, and perhaps you shouldn’t get one as your first ever piercing! If you are deciding if you should get an industrial piercing, keep reading. This article explains the risks involved, how the healing process is different from other piercings, and how to tell if you can get an industrial piercing.

How Risky Are Industrial Piercings?

Industrial piercings are riskier than other ear and facial piercings for a few reasons.

Think of an industrial piercing as a two-for-one piercing. Because it is a long barbell that runs from one side of your ear to the other, the piercer must make two holes. Two piercing holes are two times more likely to get infected.

What increases the risk of an industrial piercing getting infected is the type of tissue being pierced. Piercings through cartilage are generally more prone to infection and take longer to heal than piercings on fleshier body parts, like your ear lobes.

The location of an industrial piercing is another factor that increases the risk of infection. Because of its proximity to your hair, bacteria and dust can easily infect the piercing.

Lastly, with an industrial piercing, the risk of the jewelry snagging on your hair is high. This is not only extremely painful, but it interferes with the healing process.

What You Need To Know Before Getting An Industrial Piercing

Before you run off to get an industrial piercing, there are a few things that you need to understand about this type of piercing:

  • They hurt. A lot. Be mentally prepared for the pain, and if you are worried, take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory before you get pierced.
  • Not everyone can get an industrial piercing. If you do not have the right ear anatomy, you cannot get an industrial piercing.
  • Industrial piercings must be done by an experienced piercer. When piercing through thick cartilage, it is very easy to damage the ear tissue, and this can cause permanent scarring. Do not let a rookie perform your industrial piercing!
  • Industrial piercings often get infected because of how close they are to your hair. Our hair traps tons of dust and bacteria, and therefore, piercings near the tops of your ears are far more prone to infection.
  • You will need to avoid swimming in the sea or in pools and hot tubs. These bodies of water are bacteria-ridden, and your piercing can easily get infected if you go swimming.
  • Hugging people will be dangerous. It is so easy to get an industrial piercing caught in someone else’s hair when you lean in for a hug. When you get this type of piercing, you will need to limit hugging people for a while.

What Ear Shape Do I Need For An Industrial Piercing?

It’s strongly advised to make an appointment with the piercer beforehand so that they can consult you on whether you have the right ear shape for an industrial piercing.

The anatomy of some peoples’ ears, unfortunately, prevents them from being able to get an industrial piercing.

Your ears need to have a well-defined ridge (called a helix) around the upper edge to accommodate an industrial piercing. Your ears also have to be big enough for an industrial piercing.

See whether you have a prominent helix that runs from the uppermost part of your earlobe (nearest to your ear canal) to about midway down your earlobe.

Check with your piercer to make sure you can get an industrial piercing in the first place!

How Long Do Industrial Piercings Take To Heal?

It takes long for industrial piercings to heal fully. You can expect your industrial piercing to take between four and six months to heal. How quickly it heals depends on how strong your immune system is and how well you care for the piercing.

Avoiding alcohol and smoking can help to speed the healing process along. Being meticulous about cleaning your piercing and protecting it from bumps and snags also reduces the time it takes to heal.

When Should You Not Get An Industrial Piercing?

An industrial piercing may not be for you if:

  • You have struggled with healing cartilage piercings in the past.
  • You are not prepared to follow the best aftercare practices by the book.
  • Your ears are relatively small.
  • You don’t have a prominent ridge around the outside of your ears.
  • You have long hair that you mostly wear down.

Are Industrial Piercings Worth It?

Considering all the risk factors that come with an industrial piercing, you may be wondering if they are worthwhile.

Almost nobody who has an industrial piercing regrets their decision to get one! Yes, they are painful. Yes, they take a long time to heal and require dedicated aftercare.

But industrial piercings look and feel amazing once they are fully healed. You feel like such a badass having a piercing that most people are too afraid to get.

Ultimately, you have to weigh up the risks and the benefits of an industrial piercing yourself and decide whether it is worthwhile for you.


Industrial piercings involve more risks and are trickier to heal than other piercings. Because there are two separate holes being pierced through cartilage, the risk of infection is greater. You must pay a lot more attention to aftercare with an industrial piercing.

Industrial piercings are also very close to your hair, so there is more of a risk of the jewelry getting tangled up in your hair. If the piercing is constantly snagging on your hair, it will take much longer to heal, and it may scar or become infected.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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