Cartilage piercings, set, not shot

The cartilage piercing, officially it can be placed anywhere on the body as long as it goes through cartilage. In reality, this is mostly restricted to the nose and ear piercings. By far most people mean an ear piercing when they refer to a cartilage piercing. Although it's a very outdated practice there are still places where you can 'shoot' a cartilage piercing rather than have one set with a needle.

Cartilage piercings, always set, never shot

You might know the 'eargun' when you have an earring. It shoots an earring right through your earlobe with quite the amount of force. Back in the day this eargun was also regularly used to shoot cartilage piercings such as the helix or the tragus piercing. Shooting a cartilage piercing is thankfully almost out banned because it is one of the stupidest things one can do. Back in the day it used to happen quite a lot mostly due to ignorance amongst jewelers.

But why is it so bad to shoot a cartilage piercing? That's due to the force of the gun and the properties of cartilage. Cartilage is stiff yet flexible and to explain what happens with an eargun it can best be compared to cardboard. Cardboard is also stiff yet flexible but has a clear breaking point.

The same goes for your cartilage, it can be broken. When you set a cartilage piercing with a needle they 'gently' push the needle through leaving the cartilage intact. Just as you could with a piece of cardboard.

But when using an eargun the gun uses serious force to force the piercing through. With the used amount of force, you have a very high risk of breaking and shattering the near surrounding. In cardboard terms, it would mean that it would punch a hole with all sorts of cracks and small loose pieces around the place of impact. The same thing happens with your ear. The impact can crack and shatter the cartilage.

This will have serious consequences as the cartilage will heal itself resulting in a lot of scar tissue which can seriously deform and mutilate the shape of your ear. And we haven't even discussed the various infections that might join in on the fun.

That is why you should always let a piercer set a cartilage piercing rather than shoot one at a jeweler.

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