Rook Piercing is the perforation of the cartilage in the upper fold of the ear, just in the antihelix. A lot of people get it done to wear jewelry and to get that exotic look. It is one of the more modern types of piercings with daith piercing being more common than the rook.
Rook piercing offers more choice in terms of jewelry as you can wear both a bar and hoop in the pierced area whereas daith piercing is suited only for wearing a hoop. Now, like other cartilage piercings it is also a bit painful (more if you have a lower pain tolerance)
Since it is located in an area that is pretty difficult to reach for the piercer to do the piercing and the piercee to maintain the aftercare, it can backfire to get it done for some people. So, here is everything that you may want to know about this unusual type of piercing.
The Pain Level of Rook Piercing and Healing Period:
Since rook piercing is done in the cartilage of the ear which is harder than the tender ear lobes, it is a tiny bit more painful. The piercing itself takes just a split second and no matter what amount of pain it entails it should be bearable for most people since it only lasts for a split second.
Expert piercers generally are more careful and cautious. The piercing is done through a needle and requires puncturing the rook of your ear. There is some after-pain as well which usually subsides in an hour or two. The healing time ranges from a couple of months to even a year. Healing time is subjective and one should keep on doing the aftercare until the piercing heals entirely.
Rook Piercing: Following up With the Aftercare:
If the aftercare is neglected or not done properly, the piercing is likely to get infected. The aftercare solution can be a sea salt mixture or a saline solution bought from a pharmacy. The aftercare is done for the entirety of the healing process and involves cautions as mentioned:
- Wash your hands nicely before doing the aftercare and if possible sterilize your hands.
- For using the sea salt solution, you need to use a gallon of distilled water which requires about four teaspoons of pure (organic) sea salt. Make the solution lukewarm and dip a paper towel into the solution. Hold the paper towel onto the pierced area for about 15 minutes. Make sure to keep on dipping the paper towel into the solution after regular intervals.
- You can also use a saline solution in the same way without the need of heating up the solution, but using a sea salt solution is a better way to go for.
- Do not substitute paper towels with cotton balls (as those tend to leave traces of cotton in the cartilage and may infect the affected area) and distilled water with any other type of water. Be extremely cautious if you do not want to catch an infection.
- Do the clean-up at least twice a day.
- Avoid removing the jewelry before healing as the piercing is likely to get closed up and all of your caution and back and forth hauling might go to waste.
- The jewelry size ideally is 16 Gauge 5/16, but some piercers might recommend a size that is a bit larger or smaller than that.
Potential Side Effects of Rook Piercing:
There is a possibility of catching an infection even after doing all the aftercare. If the infection is detected early on it can be treated with minimal medical care. Signs of an infection are swelling, redness, continuous pain, nausea and/or yellow/green secretion from the pierced area. Seek medical advice immediately if you suspect any infection.
Other side effects include swelling (which may not be an infection) and bumps. Some level of swelling (and even bleeding) is normal for a cartilage piercing but if the swelling or pain does get worse, seek a doctor or follow up again with your piercer.
Try using an ice pack on the affected area to see if it gets any better. As for the bumps, they are pretty common and need not be worried about. The bumps may occur soon after getting the piercing done or even months after it. Whatever the case, the bumps go away more often than not.
Is Rook Piercing for You?
The cartilage or the inner folds of the ear vary in individuals. You may not have enough folds to get the rook piercing done and you may want to resort to some other type of piercing. Also, if you are prone to scarring and do not have a high pain tolerance or are not good with adhering to the aftercare consistently, do not get it done as it might do more damage than good.
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