Any piercing in the outer cartilage rim of the upper part of the ear is referred to as a 'helix piercing'. Two piercings placed one under the other in this area is called a double helix piercing. 

Follow the anti helix round from the snug to the other end of the cartilage rim and this is where you find a rook piercing. You can rock this piercing with a hoop or barbell, whatever you prefer the look of.

A forward helix piercing is made in the outer rim of your ear (the helix) at the top of the rim just above the tragus, it can often be quite painful as it is made through the cartilage in your ear. You can also get a double or a triple forward helix piercing

An auricle piercing is made on the outer part of the ear, usually half-way up, between the ear lobe and the helix. As it is a cartilage piercing, expect a longer recovery time and more pain than a lobe piercing.
Instead of piercing through the lobe front to back like a standard lobe piercing, the transverse lobe piercing goes through the skin horizontally using a barbell. This kind of piercing doesn't involve cartilage, so in general more pain-free than other kinds of piercings.

Rather than a singular piercing, an industrial piercing is usually two (although sometimes more) piercings through the ear cartilage. The most popular kind of industrial piercing is through the anti helix and helix, connected using a long piece of barbell jewelry (or cute arrow).

Ragnar is a special, rare piercing performed on the ear cartilage. It has to be performed on a specific place, on the point where the earlobe blends into the helix. However, unlike the regular snug piercing this one is made to extend and go all the way through the outer rim of the ear. This way, the cartilage is deeply pierced and the jewelry exits on the other side of the ear.

The inner conch piercing is located in the lower cartilage. This puncture goes through the ear ridge, and it is usually decorated with shiny studs.

The anti tragus is the little bit of cartilage next to your lobe and opposite your tragus (see above). Depending on your pain threshold this piercing can be pretty painful both during the process and in the recovery time afterwards.

The Daith piercing is positioned at the end of the helix on the innermost part of the cartilage near to the tragus.


The tragus is the inner piece of cartilage which sits over the ear canal directly above your lobe. This popular piercing can look great with studs, hoops and in combination with lots of other jewelry.
The antihelix is the rim of cartilage inside your ear between the helix (outer rim of cartilage) and just above the anti tragus and this is where you find 'snug' piercings.
The outer conch is the dip in the ear in-between the antihelix and the helix (the two rims). The inner conch is the next 'dip' after the antihelix and before the ear canal.
Upper lobe piercings are just lobe piercings which take place further up on the earlobe. These are the oldest and most popular forms of piercing, with many people getting them at a younger age, as it is simpler than cartilage piercings.
It's the deliberate expansion of a healed piercing for the purpose of wearing certain types of jewelry. Stretching is usually done in small increments to minimize the potential for damaging the healed fistula or creating scar tissue. 

This is the cartilage that sits on the outside of the ear, and not inside like the others. If you have an ear shape that folds over at the top then you will be better suited to this style.

As your piercing increases in size your jewelry options can become more detailed and prominent. Properly stretched piercings displace weight and stress over a greater surface area so that larger jewelry can be worn safely and comfortably.

When To Stretch
There is no set timetable that is correct for stretching each type of piercing or for each person. In fact, it is possible to have a pair of matching piercings with one that stretches more easily than the other. After moving up to a larger size, you must allow enough time for the tissue to recuperate and stabilize before repeating the process. This can take anywhere from several weeks to months or even longer, depending on the particular piercing and your tissue. Safe stretching involves both time and patience. At a minimum you want your piercing fully healed, matured, and pliable before you consider stretching. Consult a professional piercer if you are unsure of your piercing being ready to stretch.

Stretching an existing, healed piercing is not the same as receiving a new piercing. Carefully consider the following before committing to a potentially permanent body modification:

How large can you go and still have the piercing return to its prior appearance if you take the jewelry out?
Experienced piercers observe varied results which seem to depend on several factors, including the type of jewelry worn, and how the piercing was stretched. Stretching too quickly can easily result in excessive scar tissue. Scarring in a piercing may limit tissue flexibility, lessen vascularity, limit future stretching, and reduce the piercing’s ability to tighten or close should you decide to remove jewelry. Stretching a piercing may result in a permanent change. Be prepared for the possibility it may not return to its original appearance.

Overstretching (Going too far and/or too fast)
Overstretching tends to result in a buildup of scar tissue and reduction of healthy blood flow It can also cause an unsightly “blowout,” in which a section of skin pushes out from the interior of the channel. Overstretching can damage your tissue, cause thinning, or even lead to the total loss of your piercing. Stretching more than one full gauge size should be avoided. Half sizes should be used when possible, particularly in larger size jumps or in sensitive areas. Piercings can only handle small incremental stretches without the delicate lining of the piercing becoming stressed, torn, or otherwise damaged. Your body needs sufficient time to rejuvenate blood flow and produce new healthy tissue, this can take weeks or months.

Stretching Your Piercing
If you choose to stretch your piercing yourself, the safest method is to allow your initial jewelry to remain in place for an extended period of time. So long as your piercing is showing no signs of tenderness, discharge or general irritation, a properly cleaned or sterilized piece of jewelry (that is no more than one gauge size larger than your current jewelry) may be gently inserted into your piercing. Forcing jewelry in using pressure is not a proper practice when stretching. You want to allow the piercing to relax enough that it can accept the next size with little or no effort. If the jewelry does not go in easily, or if you experience any significant discomfort or bleeding, immediately stop. This may mean your piercing is not ready to be stretched or that you require professional assistance.

Does stretching hurt?
With many soft tissue piercings such as the earlobe there should be little to no discomfort with proper stretching. Some more sensitive piercings such as the nostril, lip, cartilage, or genital area may be uncomfortable even when stretched properly. Discomfort should never be severe with any stretching, piercings should never bleed or appear torn when stretched. This is a sign of overstretching. If these issues occur you may need to drop to a smaller size, or visit a professional piercer for assistance, to avoid damage to your piercing.