What is a Helix Piercing?
Let's start first by finding out what is the helix. Just use your fingers and hold your upper ear. This is the helix. A helix piercing is done on the curled outer rim of your upper ear. You can get a single piercing in the area or multiple ones. Each of these can be adorned by different types of rings or barbells.
The ear is the most popular area for a piercing, and after the lobe the helix is the area which is most popular among people of all ages. If you are a teenager, your parents are least likely to object to an ear piercing and this is why a jewel on the helix is a great idea. A helix piercing is also often acceptable in companies with strict dress codes, although you may need to confirm this with your employer.
Risks and Dangers of a Helix Piercing
Like any form of body piercing, there is some risk involved here too. You can get an infection if the instruments used are not sterile or if the procedure itself is done by an amateur.
There is no need to be afraid though. You only need to make sure that you pick a good and experienced piercer.
Infections are possible. Again, a good piercer will minimize the chances of an infection in area. It will also depend on how well you take care of your piercing.
Keloid formation is possible after the piercing. Keloids are excessive scar tissue that forms around the wound made by your upper ear piercing. Again, it is nothing that cannot be avoided with good aftercare.
Different Forms of Helix Piercing
There are quite a few names used along with a helix piercing. A forward helix piercing is placed at the top of the ear, slightly in the front.
You may wonder why not get multiple piercings in the area. So, you get two or three piercings. Now you have a double or triple helix or double or triple forward helix. Just keep in mind that getting multiple helix piercings means increasing chances of infection. So, you need to be extra careful while taking care of these multiple piercings.
Another variation is the deep helix. When the perforation is done on the inner part of the ear, it is often referred to as a deep helix piercing. It is quite near the forward one, just a little bit on the inner side.
In short, before you actually visit a piercer, make sure to choose the exact spot where you want your piercing. You also need to decide whether you would like to go for a single one or get multiple piercings. Make a choice between your left and right ear as well. If you want it in both your ears, it may be a good idea to get it in one ear first. This way, you will be able to sleep on the other side. Once one ear is healed, you can get it on the other ear as well.
Pain and Bleeding During an Upper Ear Piercing Procedure
During the procedure, a sterile needle will be inserted into the ear cartilage. Piercing guns are not usually a good idea for any kind of piercing. Make sure to be quite comfortable before the piercer begins the piercing. Keep your head steady and still. Additional pressure is required since the helix is cartilage. So, don't be scared. It is perfectly normal.
You will feel a slight pain during the procedure. However, this is mostly because the piercer has to exert a little bit of pressure while perforating the ear cartilage.
The pain usually lasts for a few seconds to a few minutes. You may also feel a slight discomfort when the jewelry is inserted. The pain may depend on the proficiency of the piercer as well as your pain threshold.
A little bit of bleeding is normal. So, no need to be worried about it. There are blood vessels located in the area, which are going to be affected, so if you notice blood for about half-an-hour to an hour, it is perfectly normal.
In short, it is painful but quite bearable. So, don't be afraid of going for it if you can handle a little bit of pain to add some style to your ears.
Aftercare for Your Top of the Ear Piercing
If you think that just by getting the piercing your work is done, you are so wrong. Your work actually begins now because this is the time when the piercing can go from being infection-free to infected, or from painless to painful, or from exciting to hateful. In short, you need to take care of your helix piercing.
So, the first thing that you need to keep in mind is to touch the area as little as possible. Hands carry all sorts of germs and touching will increase the chance of infections in area.
Avoid the use of cosmetics, such as face creams, hair sprays, etc. Avoid swimming pools since the chlorine may irritate the skin. There is also an increased chance of infections in pools.
Be careful while putting on or taking off your clothes as it may pull on the jewelry and cause undue pain.
Avoid sleeping on the side of the piercing for a few weeks. You won't have any problems in exercising. However, make sure that there is not too much sweat in the area. Your hair should also be kept away from the area, so that the jewelry does not get entangled in it.
Prepare a warm saline solution with warm water and sea salt. Soak a cotton ball into the solution and dab it on the area. This will keep the area clean, prevent infections, and also reduce healing time. Do this twice or thrice a day.
The helix will begin to heal in about two months. In a year, it will be completely healed. Don't take off the jewelry during the initial healing months as the hole may just close up and you will need to go through it all again.
Keep in mind that multiple piercings in the area need special care. So, if you are getting it done at the same time, you will need to take three times the care for a triple helix piercing.
A little bit of swelling or tenderness is normal. After all, a needle has just pierced your ear cartilage, so it is expected. A clear or pale yellow fluid is also quite normal. This fluid can easily be removed while cleaning the area.
If you feel pain even after a few days or notice increasing redness, inflammation and pustules filled with pus, you may need to consult a doctor since these could be signs of an infection.
Jewelry for Your Helix
In a few months, two to three, you will be ready to change your jewelry. If you think you can manage your own, get it out yourself. If not, go back to the piercing studio and ask them to remove it for you.
So, what kind of jewelry can you use for your helix piercing? Well, you can insert a captive ring made of metal. A barbell is another popular option which can be curved, shaped like a horseshoe or be circular or semi-circular. You will also find people sporting a labret stud on their upper ear. This also looks quite gorgeous.
Check out some of the options at the links given on the right side and choose the one you want.
Go Get Your Helix Pierced!
So, now you have all the information that you need for a helix piercing. Just choose where you want it. Is it going to be a forward one, a double one or triple one? Which ear do you want it? Where are you going to get it done? Do you need to take the permission of your parents? Once you have answered all these questions, it is time to go get your upper ear pierced. Good luck!
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