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Can You Wear Regular Earrings in Cartilage Piercings?

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Generally, regular earrings that you would wear in a lobe piercing are unsafe for other cartilage piercings. When searching for new jewelry for your lobe piercing, you’ll want to search for ‘body jewelry’ instead of earrings. When searching for body jewelry, there are a few different types and you’ll want to pick one that is recommended by your piercer for your specific piercing. If you’re looking for jewelry for your helix piercing, you’ll want to find a flat back labret or a ring.

Can You Wear Butterfly Back Earrings in Cartilage?

You should never wear a butterfly back in your cartilage piercing. Butterfly backs (the typical backs on earrings with the two curled “wings”) are dangerous for a number of ways. The design of these types of backs hold bacteria, which is particularly dangerous for cartilage piercings, which have a long healing period. Butterfly backs are also made out of various mystery metals, which are particularly dangerous for cartilage piercings. They don’t allow for swelling – while a lobe piecing may not swell very much, cartilage piercings tend to swell a large amount for weeks and it’s important to wear jewelry long enough to accommodate the swelling. Finally, butterfly backs become more loose over time, which may eventually cause the jewelry to fall out. Cartilage piercings close up at alarming speeds, so by the time you notice your jewelry fell out, it may be closed already.

What is the Gauge of Regular Earrings?

A major reason you can’t wear regular earrings in a cartilage piercing is due to the gauge. A typical earring will be either 22G or 20G. Cartilage piercings can be different gauges but on average, a helix piercing will be 16G. With gauges, the bigger the number, the smaller the size. So a regular earring is way too small for a cartilage piercing. When you wear jewelry that is gauged too small, you risk the cheese cutter effect. Even worse, your piercing increases the chance of migration which can be dangerous. Piercers know the best size gauge for specific parts of your body to maintain a healthy piercing, so you shouldn’t size down without asking first if it’s dangerous.

Can You Wear Any Body Jewelry In Any Piercing?

Body jewelry is a catch all term for jewelry that is made to wear in any piercing. There are many different types of jewelry and unfortunately it can be a bit intimidating for a beginner to learn. Ask your piercer to write down the different types of jewelry you can wear in your piercing along with your current jewelry’s gauge and length. With this information, you’ll be able to shop for new jewelry. You should still do research into the best threading and material to make sure you don’t do any harm to your piercing.


Regular earrings should not be worn in cartilage piercings. They are too small a gauge for a cartilage piercing and they often use butterfly backs, which are dangerous for a number of ways. If you need help finding appropriate jewelry for your piercing, your piercer can tell you what kinds of body jewelry is safe for your piercing and they can also tell you what gauge and length to buy.