Let’s be honest we’ve all been there. You are 15, you want to rebel against your parents, but you are not quite so rebellious to get a tattoo yet, not to mention old enough! Instead, you come to the natural conclusion to opt for a cartilage piercing. You round up a group of friends, train it to your local shopping centre, and make a b-line straight for Claire’s. Yeah, we see you there rebel and while we applaud your rebellious spirit, continue reading to see why getting your cartilage pierced with a gun is an absolute no-no.

As I’m sure most of you will know, we have been in the piercing game for 30 odd years, and coming to piercing from a medical background, qualifies us to say that getting your cartilage pierced with a gun is the absolute worst thing you can do. Why? It is proven that getting any piercing with a gun causes increased trauma to the area due to the intense firing mechanism of the gun. However, this trauma becomes even more apparent when piercing the cartilage and can lead to prolonged issues.

 According to Elle: “piercing cartilage with a gun can create hardcore hypertrophic scarring and even blow it up”. Rebels, to keep you in the know, hypertrophic scarring is where the muscle in the body becomes abnormally think. Not the ear stack look you are going for, right?! 

Piercing the cartilage with a gun can prove to be even more detrimental than lobe piercings. Why is this? The APP (Association for Professional Piercers) is so strongly against this piercing method it has even gone as far as to ban piercing the cartilage with a gun due to the fact this can: “pose sanitation concerns and cause tissue damage” (Bustle). Yikes!

 Over the years, as piercing has become more mainstream, piercing with a gun has become far more popular. Why is this? People associate needles with pain - I mean, when you think about needles, you instantly think about blood tests - which aren’t a lot of fun! Whereas, in reality getting a piercing done with a needle is far less painful than getting one with a gun - ask our Marketing Manager, Becca. 

“I have had all my lobe piercings done with a gun; I have 4 piercings in each lobe. With the higher lobe piercings, I did notice the pain when I got them pierced initially - nothing worse than that sound! A few days post piercing, I noticed that the HUGE butterfly backs did not leave much room to clean the piercing; or leave room for any swelling. I also had my cartilage pierced with a gun x2 – sorry Metal Morphosis - I know better now! On both occasions, the piercings did not heal properly, and the swelling was epic – I had to take them both out".

- Becca Slater, Marketing Manager

Many of you, like Becca, will have had similar experiences, and there is a reason for this – the butterfly backs. Part of the procedure involved in piercing with a gun is that it attaches the butterfly back as part of the process. These butterflies are often large, not leaving much room to clean the piercing properly; or any swelling, which is to be expected after getting a piercing.According to our Metal Morphosis pro piecers, piercing the cartilage with a needle holds many benefits, including: We attach a flat back to the piercing, giving the piercing more room to heal. Piercing with a gun does not give piercers a precise aim, whereas; piercing with a needle allows for a much more precise piercing. Piercing the cartilage with a needle is much less painful than piercing it with a gun! 

Cheryl – one of Metal Morphosis' pro piercers, says this of cartilage piercing:

“Piercing the cartilage with a needle is the only way to go. I had my cartilage pierced with a gun years ago and was told by my GP that the gun had caused my cartilage to shatter”.

 Again, we hasten to add that we come from a medical background, so we don't take that statement lightly! That trigger momentum, caused by the piercing gun mechanism, causes a shock to the body – and we will be honest, with any piercing, there will be a certain level of shock, but this afront is enhanced by the piercing gun. A needle minimises this, which is why it is less painful.