My industrial piercing has now been healed over 6 months. A few days after the 6 month mark, I went ahead and changed it. Six months is the MINIMUM amount of time you need to wait before you change your industrial. If you change it sooner, you are MUCH MORE LIKELY to develop hypertrophic scarring (cartilage bumps) and infection because the fistula (hole in your cartilage) is not healed enough and is too fragile for you to change it. So just don’t, okay? I know how tempting it is to change the jewelry to something you like better, but you will probably regret it.
Here is a picture of what mine looks like currently:
If you want to see what it looked like previously, just look at my previous two posts on this blog.
I changed my bar myself. When changing your bar, make sure you clean your ear before you remove the bar you were pierced with. Make sure to clean the new jewelry (both bar and balls) with alcohol before you put the new bar in. And wash your hands with antibacterial soap because duh.
Anyway, when I changed mine, I did all of the above. Then I unscrewed the bottom ball on my initial bar and pulled it all the way through my ear through the top. Don’t do this if you can prevent it but I couldn’t get my top ball off so I ended up having to pull it through. Pulling it through however can lead to infection possibly and it can also tear your piercing if you have externally threaded jewelry in it (which I did). If you pull it through, make sure to be extremely gentle. After I had the bar out, I quickly swiped the four entry points of my piercing holes with some alcohol on a cotton swab. After that, I put my new bar in. I first put the top part of the bar in and then put the bottom part of the bar so that I didn’t put it through both holes. Then I just screwed the balls on and that was it.
In case you don’t know, externally threaded barbells have the screw/threading part on the actual bar itself so that you screw the ball onto the bar. Internally threaded means that the ball has the screw/threading and you screw the ball into the bar. Internally threaded is nicer on your piercings because there is no screw part having to go through your piercing which can cause small tears in the fistula. Most cheaper jewelry will be externally threaded so internally threaded may cost more so just be aware of that.
The bar I was pierced with was a 14 g 1 1/4 (32 mm) surgical stainless steel externally threaded barbell.
My new bar (the one in the picture) is a purple 14g 1 5/16 (34mm) titanium internally threaded barbell. Both bars have 5 mm balls on them.
It took me a while to find a 14g titanium internally threaded barbell so I will link where I purchased mine from right here:
I’ve had this barbell in for over a month and have had no problems with the quality.
Another benefit of where I purchased mine from is that they give you options for every single length and have multiple colors.
I purchased the size with an added 2mm to the one I already had in because I wanted to give myself just a bit more room. Most piercing places will use a barbell either 1 1/4” or 1 1/2” so yours is probably one of the two. I trust you can estimate it for yourself but if need be, you can hold a ruler up against your ear and measure. THE LENGTH OF THE BAR IS THE MEASUREMENT BETWEEN THE BALLS so do not include the balls when measuring it. It really comes down to preference on length of bars but don’t purchase one too small or too big obviously. If you purchase one too small, it won’t be long enough to span your ear. If you purchase one too big, it will be easily caught on things (like your hair) which can easily damage your piercing or even rip it out of your ear (there are people stupid enough to walk around with too long of bars and had them ripped from their ear, it’s on youtube, check it out).
Surgical stainless steel is okay for piercings however it does contain nickel. If you know that you have a nickel allergy or you are sensitive to nickel, you may want to change to titanium which contains little to no nickel. Titanium is also a higher quality metal and it is also able to be anodized (shocked with electricity) to be different colors so instead of just having a barbell that is plated with a different color, you can have a titanium bar that is that color through and through (although it may dull over time).
I had absolutely no issues with my piercing the whole time I’ve had it. I never developed any hypertrophic scarring. Mine didn’t even crust very much at all the entire healing period which honestly kind of worried me and made me think it wasn’t healing but just by how it felt I knew it was. I still don’t sleep on mine but that’s mostly because I’ve always been one to sleep only on one side anyway which isn’t the side I put my industrial on. I would still wait to try to sleep on your industrial for at least a year when it’s about as fully healed as it’s going to get. Lastly, my ear does get sore from time to time if I accidentally hit my bar with my hair brush or something but the soreness clears up within a few days and it’s back to normal.
Overall, I am still extremely happy with my piercing and absolutely love it. I have no plans for the future to take it out but I know eventually I probably will have to. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments. I’d be happy to help. I also have anons on so you can ask me without having to make an account. Happy piercings, my people!