How Much Does An Industrial Piercing Hurt? (Pain Guide)

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 5, 2019
    Last Updated: January 6, 2021

Industrial piercings have become increasingly popular in the last decade. They give you a look that’s a bit different and edgier than standard cartilage piercings. After all, the jewelry for an industrial piercing is large and highly visible. Industrial piercing pain, however, is still a hot topic for people wanting to take the plunge.

Most people who go in for this piercing want to know exactly how much it’s going to hurt, so we’ve pulled together this detailed article with all the information you need about what to expect in terms of industrial piercing pain.

Industrial Piercing Pain

Industrial piercings are moderately painful. While they tend to hurt more than standard lobe piercings, they’re still much less painful than piercings on more sensitive areas. Because you’re getting two piercings done at the same time with this type of procedure, you can expect to experience slightly more pain and tenderness when compared to getting just a single cartilage piercing.

The initial piercing pain is a sharp pain, like a hard pinch, and you may also experience some pain as the jewelry is pushed in place. The pain that follows during the healing process is typically less intense but can be constant and throbbing.

Which one bothers you more depends on how you process pain sensations. Pain during healing may be more intense if you injure, snag, or sleep on the piercing, or if you get an industrial piercing infection.

Industrial piercings can also be quite painful during the healing process. Cartilage is notoriously sensitive to pierce and takes longer to heal than other types of tissue. That means you may be stuck with a sore or tender ear for several months.

How Much Do Industrial Piercings Hurt

What To Expect At The Shop

While getting your ear pierced, you will take a seat in the piercer’s chair and have the cartilage area on your ear disinfected. This helps to prevent bacteria from being pushed through with the piercing needle and causing an infection.

The ear will be marked in two places, where each of the holes for the industrial bar jewelry will go through.

After the correct spots are marked and your piercing professional has checked that you like the placement, they will use a sharp, hollow piercing needle to enter the ear from the outside of the cartilage and through to the inside.

Next, they will insert the needle through the inside of the other marked spot and out through the back of the ear.

You will then have a piece of industrial bar jewelry inserted through the two piercings, following the same path that the needle did, and then you’re all done.

You will likely have a choice of jewelry, but remember that more luxurious scaffolding will bump up the overall cost of your industrial piercing.​

How Long Will An Industrial Piercing Hurt For?

In general, the initial pain of cartilage piercings hurts a bit longer than other piercings because the needle has to pass through tougher, thicker tissue. However, we’re only talking about a few extra seconds.

The industrial piercing requires additional time on top of that because two holes are being made. Overall, the initial pain should be over in about a minute or two; the time required to pierce two holes and place the jewelry through them.

Pain during the aftercare stage can last throughout the entire healing process. That’s usually 6 to 8 months for this piercing. Although, the worst of the healing pain should resolve in less than a month.

Many people who get an industrial piercing find it fairly painful to sleep on. Cartilage piercings like this one, do have a tendency to flare up, becoming sore and inflamed even after being completely healed. You can prevent additional pain by keeping the piercing clean and avoiding injury to it.

Industrial Piercing

What Factors Can Affect Industrial Piercing Pain?

There are a few things that can make the pain of an industrial piercing lesser or worse.

  • Not getting enough sleep the night before the piercing can make the initial pain less tolerable, as well as slowing the healing process if you continue to neglect sleep.
  • Getting a piercing while you are sick makes it likely that the healing time will go slower because your body is already trying to heal your illness.
  • How the industrial piercing is positioned also makes a difference, as you can get it placed horizontal or vertical, and across various lengths of the ear cartilage.
  • ​Using drugs or alcohol before getting a piercing is a bad idea because it may actually make you more aware of the pain and could cause bleeding and additional inflammation.
  • ​The experience level and technique of your body piercer will also make a difference. Someone more experienced will likely provide a smoother, quicker piercing.

Your own pain tolerance and state of mind are also big influencers on your pain level. Go in feeling comfortable, relaxed, and well-informed, and you will have a better experience.

A numbing cream can also be used to try and dull the pain, although you will likely still feel at least a small amount of sensation during the procedure.​

One of the most effective piercing numbing products currently on the market is Zensa Numbing Cream, which contains the highest level of Lidocaine allowed by the FDA for over-the-counter use. The feedback left by thousands of customers for this product is nothing short of exceptional.

Just follow the instructions on the packaging, apply shortly before your piercing procedure is due to begin, and look forward to a less painful and more comfortable piercing experience.

Ways To Deal With Industrial Piercing Pain

As I mentioned, mindset makes a difference, so here’s what you can do to get into the right state for less pain.

  • Listen to music or bring someone to talk to during the piercing, to relax you
  • Think about how awesome the piercing is going to look once completed
  • Remember that everyone with an industrial piercing has gone through the same pain as you’re going through now
  • Wear comfortable clothes and remember to breathe
  • ​Have a snack before you go in so that you don’t get faint
  • Try using a numbing cream before the procedure to help dull the pain


Many people report a fair amount of initial pain and healing pain with an industrial piercing. Nevertheless, it’s not so much that it should prevent you from getting one if this is the right look for you. An industrial piercing is great for people who want their piercing seen.

If you want to ensure your piercing heals as best as it possibly can, it’s imperative that you follow your piercer’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality aftercare solution to aid recovery.

The best piercing aftercare product I’ve ever had the pleasure of using up to this point is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan-friendly, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application.

When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.​ Click here to buy from Amazon

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