Most & Least Painful Piercings - A Scale Of Piercing Pain

Ever wondered how much your most sought after piercing will hurt when you have it done?

Piercings are now available in a huge variety of areas all around the body, meaning that some will naturally be more painful than others. This will depend on skin thickness, nerve endings and of course pain thresholds, among other factors.

This article will walk you through each of the most popular piercings, describing how much (or how little) each one will most-likely hurt when you feel brave enough to take the plunge.

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Most Painful Piercings

Do All Piercings Hurt?

This largely depends on each individual person's pain threshold. What may be painful for you, may not be for somebody else and vice versa. However, everyone who decides to customize their look by obtaining a piercing, will feel a varying amount of pressure.

Not only is your pain tolerance key, but also the location of the piercing considerably impacts the amount of pain that you may experience. For example, an ear lobe piercing will hurt far less than a tragus piercing because the needle needs to pass through cartilage.

Plus it's important to remember, that the piercing itself is usually over in a flash, before you've even had time to feel pain, leaving you sitting there wondering what on earth you were worrying about in the first place!

Generally speaking, you will feel more irritation in the aftermath of the piercing, in the form of achiness, swelling and tenderness.

Least Painful Piercings

Most Painful Piercings

Bear in mind that pain is relative. Therefore, by having one of the specified body parts listed below pierced, it may or may not be a painful experience for you. Nevertheless, these piercings have a reputation for being the most painful, so if you take a friend for a shoulder to cry on, nobody is going to think any less of you.

Daith

A daith piercing is a puncture to the lump of cartilage in your inner ear, above the ear canal. Due to its awkward position and the toughness of the tissue, it can be painful to get this area pierced. This is because it takes longer to perforate the dense cartilage, and as care still needs to be taken to ensure the hole is positioned correctly.

Although, don't let that be enough to deter you from achieving your desired look. The daith piercing also has its benefits! If you are a migraine sufferer, the extra discomfort could be worth it.

The area where this piercing is performed is an acupuncture point, which means that it can help people who encounter chronic headaches, by alleviating the pressure felt. 

Piercing Pain Scale

Dermal Anchor

A dermal anchor is a small piercing that sits on the flat surface of your skin. Seeing as there are no entry and exit spots, the piercer has to remove a small chunk of skin, (usually with a dermal punch rather than a needle) in order to embed the anchor within the body.

Still, if you choose to get this piercing in an area where the skin is taut and doesn’t have a lot of nerve endings the pain is sure to be minimized. 

Nipple

It goes without saying your nipples are one of the most sensitive parts on your body. They have a lot of nerve endings, hence why getting one or both of them pierced is going to hurt. 

Industrial 

Industrial piercings are situated on the upper ear. This type of piercing has made our 'Most painful' list on the grounds that it is in fact two holes connected by a barbell, instead of just the one like a regular piercing, resulting in double the amount of pressure and tenderness. However, keep in mind that it's only temporary and you'll be changing your jewelry in just a few short months.

Industrial Piercing

Least Painful Piercings

If you are kind of person who doesn't handle pain too well, don't be disheartened; you can also personalize your image by opting for one of these piercings without shaking in terror before your appointment!

Earlobes

Earlobe piercings are the most common type of piercing. People young and old have their ears pierced everyday. Ear lobe piercings are relatively pain free as they are performed on a fleshy section of your skin.

It’s simple, quick and usually heals pretty well. In fact, if you follow your piercing professionals aftercare instructions to the tee and clean your new bling twice a day with salt-water solution then you could be fully healed in just 6 weeks. At that point, you can chop and change your jewelry as much as you wish!

Lobe Piercing

Lip

Many people are surprised to discover that lip piercings aren’t actually that painful. As with earlobe piercings, the area around your mouth is quite fleshy, leading to a less painful experience.

Not to mention the best part about lip piercings are their increasing diversity of styles, including spider bites, labret, monroe, and many more! Thus you can create your individual look on a rather low pain scale.

Vertical Labret and Medusa

Navel

Navel piercings are still very popular, probably the second most common after earlobe piercings. It's understandable after all, navel piercings look cute and don’t inflict too much pain, if any. Previous customers have mentioned the procedure felt more like a sting than a puncture wound.

Just think ahead and wear loose, baggy clothing to the piercing parlor. You don't want to walk in there and immediately regret wearing your favourite outfit, only to accidentally catch your new piercing! Then you will be in for a world and pain... and complications.

Belly Button Piercing

Nostril

Nostril piercings are very much in demand. A simple outer nose piercing for a stud or a ring is simple to do and heals quickly. You will be looking at a 6-8 week recovery period, much like the earlobe piercing.

Still, if you have recently come down with a cold, it might be worth laying off for a while. Having to keep blowing your nose, while trying to keep your new piercing clean, will be a real nuisance and may enhance your chances of contracting an infection.

Nose Piercing

How Long Do Piercings Hurt For?

The initial piercing won’t hurt for very long at all. You are likely to experience an instant feeling of pressure and maybe a few minutes of pain. Although, of course, this will largely depend on the location of your piercing. For example, a tragus piercing will hurt more than an ear lobe piercing, as it has to pass through thick cartilage, therefore taking longer to pierce and incurring more pressure. 

However,  you can expect there to be some soreness after the piercing. This part can drag on for much longer. Yet, the discomfort you encounter is not completely out of your hands. You play an important part in how quickly you heal. If you take care of your new piercing and follow your aftercare instructions to the tee, you are sure to end any suffering at a much faster rate.

According to most piercing professionals, a good guideline to follow is the soreness should start to deplete after around a week. Unless it’s in a spot where it’s constantly being irritated, like your lip or your nose, or except if you keep knocking it, such as during sports.

If you are concerned about whether or not your piercing should still be painful, or if you are worried about developing an infection, you should go back to the piercing studio and ask the staff for their professional opinion.

If you notice some discharge coming from the piercing site, don’t panic! That doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infection. It is normal for there to be some discharge during the healing stages. On the other hand, if you feel sharp pain, or throbbing and the area is hot to the touch, you might have an infection. If that’s the case, seek medical advice. You may need antibiotics.

How To Make A Piercing Hurt Less

Your first port of call might be to have a couple of shots before you get a piercing done to numb the pain, but that is not a good idea! In fact most professionals won’t pierce you, if you appear to have been drinking. Instead of trying to numb the pain with alcohol or other substances, you can try these methods to make the piercing less painful, both during and after the actual procedure:

Numbing Cream

There are topical sprays and creams that you can use to numb the area before the piercing begins. If you are very sensitive to pain and you’re worried that you might jump or cause the piercing to go awry, share your concerns with your piercer. They may suggest numbing the area first. After all, safety is paramount and your piercer is not going to want any 'accidents' to take place on his chair.


My Favorite Piercing Numbing Product

My Favorite Piercing Numbing Product

Numb 520 (4.38oz / 125g) Child-Resistant Cap 5% Lidocaine, Liposomal Technology for Deeper Penetration, Topical Numbing Cream, Local and Anorectal Discomfort
Numb 520 (4.38oz / 125g) Child-Resistant Cap 5% Lidocaine, Liposomal Technology for Deeper Penetration, Topical Numbing Cream, Local and Anorectal Discomfort

One of the most effective piercing numbing products currently on the market is a cream called Numb 520. The feedback left by hundreds of customers for this product is nothing short of brilliant.

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

The 1.35oz tub also ensures that you will have more than enough cream for several piercings.

Give it a try, and I'm extremely confident that you will not be disappointed.

Read more about Numb 520 here. Have a quick look at some of the customer reviews and you'll see why it's so popular.


Breathe Deeply

Meditative breathing is a great way to focus your mind and help reduce pain levels. If you don’t really know how to do meditative breathing, you can just take 10 really deep breaths. This will encourage you to remain calm.

Listen To Music

Whether sounds of the ocean relax you or you prefer to keep the adrenaline flowing by listening to rock music, create yourself a playlist that will enable you to feel at ease and enjoy the experience. Pop in some earbuds and listen while you get pierced. It will help to take your mind off what is about to happen. Your piercer won’t be offended or think you’re rude. They would rather have you do what you need to, in order to remain calm than spend that time chatting with an anxious and unsure customer.

Use A Distraction

Bring a friend or a family member along, to give you somebody to talk to and keep you distracted during the piercing. Although, it might be worth noting that this only works if your companion can stay calm while watching you get pierced. If you bring a buddy that can’t stand the sight of blood or needles, they probably won’t be a good distraction and could end up causing all kinds of trouble!

After The Piercing

You've just had your piercing done and think its all over, but you couldn't be more wrong! Now the real work begins. Aftercare for your piercing is really important. Be sure that you understand all the aftercare directions that your piercer gives you before you leave.

If you have already left and you have more questions, don’t hesitate to call and ask. They are used to it and won’t think you’re bothering them. It’s better to call and ask than do nothing and hope for the best.

Aftercare usually is pretty simple for most piercings. Clean the area twice daily, washing your hands before touching your new bling. Remember the fewer times you touch it, the less chance you have of introducing bacteria into the wound. Ensure you wear loose fitting clothing if the piercing is in an area where it’s covered by clothing. 


My Favorite Piercing Aftercare Product

My Favorite Piercing Aftercare Product

The best piercing aftercare product I've ever had the pleasure of using up to this point is the H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray.

H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray

Not only is every single ingredient completely natural, but the spray works brilliantly on all skin types (including sensitive skin) and comes in a very generously sized can.​

Many users of the spray advise that when using it from the very start of the healing process, it appears to decrease healing times and helps to reduce any lingering pain/soreness.​

Read more about the H2Ocean Piercing Spray here. Have a quick look at some of the customer reviews and you'll see why it's one of the most popular piercing sprays on the market.​


If you begin to experience pain or soreness in the first week or so, there are a couple of easy ways you can manage the discomfort:

Ice It

Ice is an easy, free, and readily available painkiller. Ice is well-known for reducing swelling, which you are likely to encounter in the first few days after having your new piercing done.

Don't have any ice in your freezer? Not to worry, you can use a frozen bag of vegetables or an ice pack as a substitute. Although it is not recommended to apply the ice directly to the area. Instead, cover whatever ice based product you are using with a clean rag or paper towels to prevent acquainting your wound with bacteria. Likewise, it is not advisable to apply creams and ointments to the area for the exact same reason.

Chamomile Compress

Another insider trick to lessen the pain after a piercing is to use a chamomile compress. Chamomile is a natural healing agent. It can help your piercing heal more swiftly with less scarring.

All you need to make a chamomile compress is a few chamomile tea bags, the kind you can get at any grocery store. Make yourself a soothing cup of tea. Next, take the used tea bag and either let it cool or pop it in the fridge.

As soon as it’s cool enough to touch comfortably hold the tea bag against your piercing for a few minutes. It will soothe the pain and promote healing. You can do this a few times each day if necessary.

Summary

At the end of the day, how much or how little your piercing will hurt comes down to many different factors, with the most important being that the pain comes and goes quickly enough. Once you're over that small hurdle, you'll have an amazing looking piercing for the rest of your life.

Daith Piercing
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