Orbital piercings can be absolutely stunning additions to any piercing enthusiast’s collection. However, it is also important to ensure that this piercing is right for you and your ear. Like any other cartilage ear piercing, orbital piercings can be very hard to heal, and since you are dealing with 2 different piercing points, there is even more of a risk that comes with potential infection or issues with swelling and permanent ear damage. In order to ensure that this piercing is the right piercing for you, and to make sure that this experience is as pain-free as any piercing could be, we have put together this comprehensive guide to orbital piercings. In this guide, we will cover what an orbital piercing is, what the procedure will be like, and how best to look after your piercing once you leave the shop!
What is an Orbital Piercing?
When someone refers to an orbital piercing, they are referring to any 2 piercings in the ear that are connected through one continuous hoop. This means that there are actually 2 pierced holes through which the jewelry goes. While orbital piercings could be located anywhere on the ear, the most common place where they are situated is in the scapha, the antihelical fold, or the conch.
Because of where the orbital is typically located, this piercing is a cartilage piercing, which requires special aftercare. Unlike your standard lobe piercing, some cartilage piercings can take up to a year to fully heal. Cartilage is a connective tissue in the body that is not as soft as skin, but not as hard as bone. It shapes most of our ears and some of our nose. Because cartilage doesn’t hold as many blood vessels as normal skin tissue, the healing process is slower and often more painful than your standard skin piercing.
Don’t be scared off by the cartilage piercing process though! It is important to remember that no matter how scary getting pierced is, if you do it correctly, it is a one and done deal, and you’re left with an amazing new piercing! With proper care and a good piercer, you have nothing to worry about.
Pros And Cons Of Orbital Piercing
If you are going to have this piercing then you must know some of its pros and cons. These are as follows:
- You can go two piercing one by one, means with a gap of some days as per your desire.
- It makes you stand out the crowd due to its unique piercing idea in the ear.
- Orbital Piercing is different from other types of piercing and gives a style statement.
- There are varieties of jewelry to choose from for this piercing.
- As compared to other piercing, it takes less time to heal.
- Chances of getting an infection.
- Sometimes, it can be very painful but pain tolerance varies from person to person.
- It can also lead to scarring.
- People, who have a low tolerance to pain, can feel high pain as two perforations are done.
What should I expect in the Procedure?
Before you even begin the procedure, take a quick look around the piercing studio. Make sure that the environment is clean and that you trust your piercer. The shop where you are getting your piercing should smell like sterilizer and the station where your piercer works should be organized and clutter-free. Piercing and any sort of body modification can be dangerous if not done properly, so it is vital to make sure that you are comfortable in the shop you’ve chosen. Don’t be afraid to ask your piercer any questions you feel necessary before the procedure starts.
The procedure for an orbital piercing isn’t that much different than any other piercing appointment. Your piercer will sterilize your ear and mark the spot that you have described where you want your piercing to sit with a sterile marker. Make sure to take a good look at the marks on your ear; if they aren’t in the place you want them to be, now is the time to ask them to be moved! If you’re happy with the placement, it’s time to move on to the piercing itself.
Using some piercing tongs, your piercer will grasp your ear in the pre-marked spot, and using a sterile, hollow needle, pierce the skin. They will then thread the shaft of the jewelry into your piercing before removing the needle and adding the backing. This is ultimately a fairly quick process and will be over in a matter of seconds.
With orbital piercings, whether you are getting only one or both of the holes done, it is important to remember that you won’t be able to use a hoop for the first couple of months while the piercings heal. It is not safe to use hoops during the healing process as your new piercing will swell. If it were to swell with a hoop in, the skin around the piercing would become very irritated, and the wound could widen, leading to an increase in the possibility for infection or a blow out (when the skin forms a permanent, hard lump outside of where the piercing is).
It is also vital that you go to a professional piercer for this piercing and not someone who uses a piercing gun. Piercing guns cannot be properly sterilized and use blunt force to drive the piercing into the skin. This blunt force can break or shatter your cartilage and makes the healing process longer and more painful overall.
How Much Does Orbital Piercing Cost?
Different piercing shops have different prices depending on the experience level of their piercers, how popular the shops are, and where they are located. Orbital piercings, since they are 2 piercings, can be more expensive than your normal cartilage piercing. It is important to remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to piercings, though. Some cheaper piercing shops can be fantastic, but use your best discretion for what is and isn’t the right store for you. Regardless of where you choose to get your piercing, you can expect to pay:
- Between $50-$80 in the United States
- Between £30- £50 In the United Kingdom
- Between €40- €70 In Europe
I’ve got my piercing, now what?
Congratulations on your new piercing! Now it is time for the most painful part of the process, healing. With a piercing like an orbital, you can expect it to take between 4 months to upwards of a year to fully heal. The better you are at aftercare for your piercing, the faster it will heal.
Different piercers will have different instructions depending on who you ask. Each piercer has a healing method that works best for them and their clients, so first and foremost, make sure you talk to your piercer about how to properly care for your piercing. However, generally, the procedures to heal cartilage piercings are the same overall.
In order to heal correctly, first make sure to touch your piercing as little as possible. The more you move and play with it, the longer it will take to heal and the more likely infection will become. If you need to touch your piercing, always make sure to wash your hands with a mild soap first to ensure they are very clean.
You should aim to clean your piercing site twice a day. With the piercing left in, use a salt water soak both morning and night to keep the piercing clean. To soak, you can either just put your ear directly into the cup of water, or you can use a paper towel. If you aren’t using a cup, ensure you are using a fresh piece of paper towel for each soak, and do not use a regular hand towel. Reusable towels, unfortunately, can harbor bacteria, so it is safest to go the disposable route. Alternatively, you could look into a piercing aftercare spray. These sprays are premade salt water solutions in an easy to use a spray bottle and can be an effective way to directly apply the water to your ear. If you see a build-up of grime around the piercing, you can use a cotton swab that has been dipped in the salt solution and gently use the tip to clean around the jewelry to try and clear some of the build-up. Always make sure to use a light hand when doing this and try to not move the jewelry much.
Even with proper care, infection can sometimes be an issue. Keep a close eye on your piercing to see if there is ever excess swelling, pus, or redness. If you are worried about a possible infection, please contact your doctor.
Are there any risks with orbital piercings?
There are always risks to piercings, that simply comes with body modification. However, because cartilage is a sensitive part of the ear, you can expect that it will have a higher risk of infection. About 30% of cartilage piercings become infected. This can be scary, but with continued proper treatment, this infection can go away. If you believe you have an infection that could be dangerous, it is better to contact a doctor sooner rather than later. If an infected piercing is left untreated for too long, it can leave permanent damage to the ear, sometimes requiring surgery to fix.
Other than infection, though, there isn’t much risk to these piercings. Therefore, as long as you are careful and you follow proper aftercare instructions, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!
What jewelry should I choose?
There are many different types of jewelry that look awesome in an orbital piercing. For right after the piercing, however, you will have limited options. Because you won’t be able to use any sort of hoop during the healing process, your piercing will have to be in a stud tragus style. You will want jewelry with a long enough shaft that will accommodate swelling, but not too long that it will get caught in hair or clothing. For metals, stainless surgical steel is the best option, but for those who have sensitive skin, gold or silver are also very good metals.
Once your piercings have healed, experiment! Find what kind of hoop looks best to you. Common jewelry choices for orbitals are either ball closure rings or smooth segment rings. No matter what you choose, your orbital piercing is going to look cool as hell.
I hope that this guide has been useful to you in determining if an orbital is the right piercing for you. Regardless of what kind of piercing you decide, be it an orbital or anything else, be aware that piercing is incredibly addictive, and this will probably not be your last one!
Orbital Piercing Images
With orbital piercing usually ball closure rings are preferred. However, many people also choose curved barbells and horseshoe rings. You need to get jewelry with an accurate size since they are going to be threaded through different holes. This means that you must discuss the thickness with your piercer to assure that the jewelry will correctly fit the pierced hole.
For a stylish look, you can go for heart-shaped orbital rings that can be worn on the lobe or helix as well. One thing is for sure, the orbital piercing will make you look great in the eyes of many people.
We hope, now in this ultimate guide you found everything you were looking for about the orbital piercing. In addition to this, as per your choice, you can try the most basic or most advanced orbital piercing and you will get an instant kickass look.
3 years ago
Where is the hoop from in the third to last picture? Thanks!