Body Piercing has been around for centuries, and is even mentioned in biblical times. It's practice has served many social functions, including spirituality, social hierarchy, fashion, religion, non-conformism, and eroticism, among many others. Modern day piercing culture draws its appeal from all these functions, and many others, and piercing devotees have found new ways to express their love of the art-form, bringing new ideas and methods to traditional piercing styles, and re-vitalising the culture across the globe.
Types of Piercings
Piercings on the head and faceMonroe Piercing (Healing time - 6-12 weeks)
Monroe, upper & lower labret and tongue piercings - Profile
Monroe Piercings (also known as a 'Madonna' or 'Crawford') are placed off-center, above the upper lip, and are designed to resemble a beauty spot, inspired by the classic look of the stars it's named after. Although more favoured by women, this piercing is seen increasingly on men, and is typically fitted with a 12, 16 or 18 gauge labret, the bars of which are usually shortened after healing. A variation on this piercing is the Crayfish piercing - a double version of a Monroe piercing with piercings worn on both sides of the upper lip.
Bridge Piercing (Healing time - 2-3 months)
Bridge Piercings go through the small flap of skin at the top of the nose, between the eyes, and never pass through the bone. Curved or straight barbells are the most commonly used in this piercing, though some people have CBs or seamless rings. Unfortunately, this type of piercing does carry with it a high risk of rejection, and scarring can occur if an infection does occur and is not dealt with swiftly, having said that, this type of nose piercing is enjoyed by many around the world without any problems.
Cheek Piercing (Healing time - 3–6 months)
Cheek piercings are usually performed by piercing through the cheek into the oral cavity at the point where dimples would naturally occur, although microdermal implants are increasingly used as full piercings are more prone to scarring and also can lead to lymph fluid secretion can be unpleasant and require maintenance. Also nicknamed the "Sedgwick" after Edie Sedgwick's mole on her cheek, 1.6mm flat backed labret studs are the most common jewellery of choice for this piercing.
Ear Cartilage Piercing (Healing time - 6-12 months)
Daith piercings, Conch piercings, Helix Piercings, Top ear piercings, Rook piercings, Snug piercings, Tragus piercings, and Anti-tragus piercings are all piercings of the ear cartiladge, and are some of the most popular piercings seen in modern times. types of jewellery used varies, and custmisation among the piercing community leads to beautifully personalised combinations.
Ear Lobe Piercing (Healing time - 6-8 weeks)
Eyebrow Piercing (Healing time - 6-8 weeks)
Eyebrow piercings are relatively common, and can be performed anywhere along the eyebrow, although vetical piercings are most often used. Because they are not easily irritated, this type of piercing is one of the safest facial piercings, and barbells, curved barbells and captive bead rings are the commonly used type of jewellery.
Lip Piercings / Labret Piercings (Healing time - 3–4 weeks)
Taken from the Latin word 'Labrum' meaning 'lip', Labret Piercings usually sit below the bottom lip, and various combinations are possible, including the 'snakebite', and 'vertical labrets' - which are pierced through the top of the lower lip rather than in front of the lip tissue.
Lip, labret, nostril, septum, monroe, and eyebrow piercings
- visit Sweet Candies' profile
Nostril Piercing (Healing time - 2-3 months)
Nostril piercings are said to have originated in India, where traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine believes that this piercing will reduce the pain of child birth due to its location's association with female reproductive organs. Nowadays, nostril piercings are popular the world over, with men as well as women, and have been adopted by many Western social cultures.
Nasal Septum Piercing (Healing time - 2-3 months)
Septum piercings in the nose are also known as 'bull rings' due to the type of jewellery used and the effect achieved. The piercing generally runs through the gap between the cartiladge wall dividing the nostrils, and the bottom of the nose. Whilst increasingly popular, were also important to the Native American tribes.
Tongue Piercing (Healing time - 4-6 weeks)
Tongue piercings have their root in many ancient cultures - from the Aztecs, to the Mayans, to Aboriginal Australian holy men. The ready availability of high quality, surgical steel barbell style jewellery is associated with the emergence of this piercing in the 1980s, and straight barbell style jewellery is most often used for these piercings.
Tongue Piercing courtesy of RaisedOnViolence
Frenulum Piercing (Healing time - 6-8 weeks)
Frenulum lip piercings are piercings through either the upper or lower lip frenulums. the upper frenulum piercing is also known as a 'scrumper' or 'smiley', whilst the lower frenulum piercing is also known as a 'frowny'.
Nipple piercing courtesy of ScarletFang
Nipple Piercings (Healing time - 3-6 months, although can take much longer)
Nipples can be pierced at any angle but are usually pierced horizontally or, less often, vertically. It is also possible to place multiple piercings on top of one another. Both male and female nipple piercings have a long history, and nipple piercings are still popular today with both sexes, although more common in women than men. Some people have noted that they can take up to a year and a half to fully heal, and it's recommended that if stretching a nipple piercing, the piercee waits at least the healing time of their piercings between stretches.
Navel Piercing - profile
Navel Piercings (Healing Time - 4-6 months)
Popular the world over, navel piercings, or 'belly piercings' are most often seen on women, and it's actually the upper rim of the naval which is usually pierced. Historically, the female navel has long been a point of adornment with jewellery and design, and the modern day navel piercing is accompanied by a wide and beautiful variety of body jewellery. Healing can vary with navel piercings - some heal as quickly as an ear lobe piercing while others face the more complicated healing process associated with other surface piercings.
Hand Web, Nape, Surface Piercings
Surface Piercings such as nape piercings, hip piercings, corset piercings, neck piercings, vertical tragus piercings, madison piercings & hand web piercings are piercings where the the piercing channel follows through a flap of skin rather than being from one side of the skin tissue and out of the other side as happens with other piercings. Microdermal anchors are also used to anchor the surface piercing into the pircee's skin without having to create an exit channel.
Genital piercingsGenital piercings have a long history, and their uses range from the ceremonial and the erotic, to the purely decorational. They remain popular with both men and women, and new piercings have added to the list of genital piercings available to both sexes.
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