– Why are earrings for cartilage piercings, like the helix, different to earrings for lobes?

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As it says above. I have had a helix piercing for a couple of years now and to be honest, it’s been a journey! It took nearly 2 years to fully heal and I found that my ears didn’t take too kindly to certain types of earrings. No matter how much I try, I can’t seem to get on with the types of earrings that are best for cartilage piercings. They have screws on the backs and the design on a long, thin pole that screws in from the front. I keep trying to put them in myself but I find my hands get really sweaty and warm and then I can’t get it to screw in. All of the piercings I’ve seen that are advertised for helixes are these types of piercings – why? Can I buy a standard pair of earrings and use just one of those? Or will that cause issues? How can I find a high quality earring that is fairly easy to insert and screw in and how do I do this?

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The difference between most cartilage jewelry and standard earrings is the gauge, or the thickness. Normal earlobe earrings are 20g I believe, while cartilage is usually 14g or 16g. The lower the number, the thicker the post/wider the hole. Cartilage piercings require a certain thickness otherwise they could collapse or heal over more easily.

You can usually go to a piercing shop and have them screw in your jewelry for you (tip them) but I have found using a pair of rubber/latex gloves usually does the trick.

As for the irritation you’ve described, many people have a nickel sensitivity but don’t know that surgical steel (standard piercing jewelry metal) contains nickel. Try titanium. There are also probably several different shapes of earring you could try out, the most important part is the gauge. To find out your gauge, you can visit a piercing shop, or many jewelry websites have little business card size reference cards that you can order.