A sideburn piercing is typically called a “sideburn” or “tragus” piercing. It is, occasionally also known as an anti-helix piercing. It’s not uncommon to hear many other names for this ear piercing, but these are the most common.
Generally speaking, piercings placed on the outer edge of cartilage are often referred to as “tragus” piercings. Just like with sideburn or tragus piercings, cartilage piercing sites are named by location rather than structure.
Although they sound similar, cartilage is not bone.
When you feel your skull, there’s a hard plate over the top of it called the cranium, but in the area behind your ear there is no bone – it’s all cartilage.
Bones can’t be pierced because it doesn’t contain fluid which would allow for proper healing.
There are two main types of cartilage found in the body:
- Nasal septum
- Lobes of the ear
These are soft and spongy with different shapes existing on each person.
How long does a sideburn piercing last?
A sideburn piercing can last anywhere between several months and several years. Sideburn piercings that are worn to enhance a certain look for just a few months will typically heal in much less time than piercings that are worn for longer periods of time.
Because sideburn piercings may be difficult to hide when at work or school, many people choose to leave them empty while not in public and change the jewelry afterward to avoid getting in trouble with the dress code.
This limits the amount of healing required and decreases the amount of time spent caring for these piercings daily.
The faster this type of ear piercing heals, the better chances you have at avoiding complications such as migration, rejections, and prolonged infections.
How do you heal a sideburn piercing?
Sideburn piercings take a relatively short amount of time to heal, but it’s still recommended that you follow the proper aftercare instructions for them. This is especially true if the piercing was made by a gun or through hard cartilage.
Gun piercings or “piercing through hard cartilage” sideburns should be cleaned and cared for twice daily; once in the morning and once at night. If you’re only cleaning the piercing once per day, rinse it with saline solution before bedtime and apply ointment afterward.
Using a warm compress on your sideburn piercing will help to keep the wound clean and speed up healing. You just need to soak a clean towel in warm water and place it on your sideburn for around 5 minutes.
A saline soak is another helpful way to encourage the body to heal a new piercing. Saline soaks can be done up to three times per day until the piercing feels less tender and swollen. Heavily salted water should NOT be used, as this can actually irritate a fresh piercing.
Do piercings need air to heal?
Whether the piercing is large or small, it’s important to allow this type of ear piercing adequate breathing time throughout the day.
Large, fleshy parts of the body such as the buttocks and thighs can retain a lot of heat for long periods of time. Even though these piercings aren’t in places as fleshy as those areas (they’re made out of cartilage), they still need adequate air circulation to help aid in the healing process.
When you sleep at night, dressing your sideburns with a cotton gauze will help prevent them from getting caught on bedding and causing irritation and damage.
If you feel like removing your sideburn rings while sleeping, use adhesive tape instead – this will protect against snags and other types of damage.
How do I clean my sideburn piercing?
A properly maintained piercing can usually go for several days without needing any additional care, but it’s recommended that you follow these steps just in case:
- Do not allow the piercing to bleed.
- Never pick at the crusty accumulation that naturally forms around this type of ear piercing.
- Do not sleep with your sideburns uncovered.
- Replace adhesive tape or cotton gauze if needed.
- Clean your piercing once it’s fully healed.
Do sideburn piercings reject?
Like all types of ear piercings, sideburns can reject if they aren’t sufficiently cared for. Sideburn piercings are often considered the most difficult type of piercing to care for, so newbies should always be extra careful when wearing these types of ear piercings.
If the sideburn piercing begins to become red, inflamed or itchy, remove all jewelry and take a break from your daily hygiene routines until the problem completely subsides.
Sideburn piercings can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 8 months or even longer to fully heal, so patience is very important. The good news is that – with proper care – it’s easy to increase your chances of having a successful sideburn piercing.
Sideburn piercings may not be suitable for everyone. If you have your heart set on getting one, just make sure that you’re aware of any possible complications it could cause.
Remember, sideburns are not known for being the most difficult ear piercings to care for. However, they need increased attention if they were made with a gun or piercing through hard cartilage.