The Most Dangerous Ear Piercing You Can Get And What To Try Instead

Body modifications are a form of expression. It is a building block of one's aesthetic, just like clothing, makeup, and hair. Your body is a canvas, free to be ornamented with tattoos or piercings. Accessorizing and styling your look is the chance to become a designer and turn the sidewalk into a runway. It might be a bit dramatic, but it's still true.

The modifications that were once taboo have grown to be widely accepted socially. Because how can you not love piercings? They make more room on your body for jewelry. That's more space for birthstones, precious metals, and DIY trinkets. Bedazzling your ear is the most popular type of this body mod. There are 14 distinct styles you can decorate your ear with, like the helix or conch. But not every ear piercing is made equally. Learn the ones nurses warn about and alternatives to risky piercings that still keep your ears blinged out.

Why you might want to rethink cartilage piercings

There are two parts of the outer ear. You have the soft, fleshy part called the lobe and the thick, sturdy skin called the cartilage. Despite both being open spaces where earrings could sparkle up, lobes are a safer area to pierce. There aren't any strenuous risks associated with lobe piercings. In fact, they are one of the fastest piercings to heal.

"The most dangerous piercings are the ones that involve cartilage, like higher ear piercings," says pediatric nurse practitioner Tracy Burton (via Global News). "These piercings are associated with poor healing because of the limited blood supply to the area." And if you're unfortunate enough to have your cartilage piercing infected, the antibiotics might not work. The medication can be futile because there is no vehicle (aka blood) to carry the antibiotics to the cartilage. Cartilage piercings are risky. Yet, you might not have to say goodbye to the decked-out ear of your dreams.

Cute ear lobe styles to try

Since the ear lobe is the easiest place to pierce, there's no need to stop at one hole. Double ear piercings are super popular. You can fit up to four piercings on your lobe. This room gives you ample opportunity to mix and match earrings. Have a combination of hoops and studs, chains and dangles, or gemstones and hardware.

A fun way to decorate your ear lobe that steps outside the box is with orbital piercings. The unique body mod is two nearby piercing holes connected with one circle earring. Instead of vertical hoops and drop earrings, you'll have horizontal jewelry that travels up your ear. With an orbital lobe piercing, you can skip the extra pain and healing of decking out your cartilage. However, you'll still have chic jewelry options. Plus, when your ear heals, you can style the jewelry as a double lobe or an orbital piercing. It's the best of both worlds.

If your heart is set on a cartilage piercing, there's no shame in faking it. Ear cuffs allow you to style your upper ear without going anywhere near a needle. Etsy has tons of faux cartilage jewelry, including magnetic studs and twist-on hoops.