Attitude Culture Fashion

Glossary of Piercings

Ah, piercings – one of the great body modifiers. Not as permanent as a tattoo but a little more permanent than dyeing your hair a crazy colour! While we all know about common piercings such as ear piercings or nose piercings, we might not know the full spectrum of piercings there are to choose from…

If you’re feeling like investing in a new look and wondering ‘what piercing should I get?’, browse our glossary of piercings for inspiration.

Ashley Piercing

The Ashley piercing consists of a single puncture through the very centre of the lower lip. The piercing exits through the back of the lip and can take around two to four months to fully heal.


Auricle Piercing

The auricle is an area of the ear that lies on the outer edge between the helix and the earlobe. An auricle piercing perforates this area – due to it being on the outside of the ear, it’s a great piercing for small, decorative rings.

Belly Button Piercing

Otherwise known as a navel piercing, the belly button piercing saw a huge boom in popularity in the 90s – while it’s not as popular in the mainstream now, it’s an easy piercing to heal and maintain just like standard earlobe piercings if you’re looking for an ‘entry-level’ piercing to experiment with!

Bridge Piercing

Maybe not one for those with glasses, the bridge piercing goes directly through the bridge of the nose that sits just between the eyes leaving a ball or decoration on either side of the nose with the bar going through the bridge area.

Cartilage Piercing

Rather than referring to a particular area, a cartilage piercing simply relates to any piercing that goes through cartilage on the body or face. The most common cartilage piercings are found on the ears and on the nose!

Cheek Piercing

Sometimes known as a dimple piercing, the cheek piercing is placed to imitate where dimples would naturally appear. They go straight through the outer cheek and through into the inside of the mouth.

Conch Piercing

There are two kinds of conch piercing; the inner conch piercing, and the outer conch piercing. The inner conch is the shell-shaped cartilage in the center of the ear that sits across from the ear canal. The outer conch is the flat cartilage between the helix and the antihelix.

Corset Piercing

Rather than just a single piercing, a corset piercing is a series of piercings along the two sides of the back that can then be laced together to give the appearance of a corset being laced up on the body.

Daith Piercing

The daith piercing is one of the most popular piercings of the moment, but what is the daith piercing? The daith is the innermost fold of cartilage in the ear which appears at the very beginning of the helix. The daith is also known as the migraine piercing. Ear piercing for migraines is recommended for those looking for long term relief from chronic migraines. Even if you’re not looking for a piercing for migraines, the daith piercing is an on-trend choice.

Dermal Piercing

Dermal piercings are a versatile choice as they can sit anywhere that’s a flat surface on your skin. Also known as a micro dermal piercing, or even a single-point piercing, the dermal piercing goes flat under the skin to look like small beads on the surface of the skin.

Eyebrow Piercing

A classic piercing style, the eyebrow piercing is vertical and goes through the bottom through to the top of the eyebrow – it’s up to you how many you have!

Helix Piercing

The helix piercing perforates the upper-ear helix and is often worn with a ring, but there are actually many different kinds of helix piercings.

Double Helix Piercing

This sits in the upper-ear helix, but instead of just one piercing, you have two next to each other!

Forward Helix Piercing

Instead of sitting in the upper-ear helix, the forward helix is done at the front of the ear on the outer rim – this means it will sit against your hairline.

Triple Helix Piercing

The triple helix means that instead of just getting one forward helix piercing, you get three in close succession.

Industrial Piercing

An industrial piercing perforates the ear cartilage in two places at the top of the ear so that a bar can be placed through. This is often referred to as a bar piercing or a scaffold piercing.

Labret Piercing

The labret piercing is situated below the bottom lip and above the chin – because of its location, it’s sometimes known as the soul patch piercing! There is a variation, however…

Vertical Labret Piercing

The vertical labret piercing is quite rare and super unique – instead of the back of the piercing going straight through to the inside of the mouth, it curves back up and through the centre of the lip (where the Ashley piercing would be placed) so that both ends of the piercing can be seen. This is done with a curved barbell.

Lip Piercing

A lip piercing is a broad term that refers to any style of piercing that goes through or around the upper, lower or middle lip.

Madonna Piercing

The Madonna piercing emulates Madonna’s beauty spot above the upper lip on the right-hand side.

Medusa Piercing

While often called the medusa piercing, this piercing is actually the philtrum piercing and sits on the upper lip between the lip and the septum. The medusa piercing uses the same stud as the labret piercing.

Monroe Piercing

The Monroe piercing emulates Marilyn Monroe’s beauty spot above the upper lip on the left-hand side (though in reality, Monroe’s beauty spot was much higher on her cheek!)

Nipple Piercing

While the nipple can be pierced at any angle, a nipple piercing is usually centred horizontally at the base of the nipple.

Nose Piercing

This is a broad term that refers to any piercing that perforates the skin or cartilage around the nose. The nostril piercing is the most common, but the septum and bridge piercings are also popular. With it being such a visible piercing, many want to know ‘how long does a nose piercing take to heal?’ – this totally depends on what you have done, but typically a nostril piercing will take 4 to 6 months to heal.

Double Nose Piercing

Simply put, a double nose piercing means a combination of two piercings in the nose – whether this is a nostril and a septum piercing, a double nostril piercing or a bridge and septum piercing, any combination counts!

Orbital Piercing

The orbital piercing is when two ear piercings are connected by one piece of jewellery. While the helix is the most popular area for the orbital piercing, we’ve seen them appear anywhere on the ear.

Rook Piercing

A cartilage piercing in the upper ear, the rook piercing is above the tragus right in the anti-helix. It’s the part of the ear that’s just between the inner conch and the outer ear.

Septum Piercing

The septum piercing goes through the nasal septum which is the bit of cartilage that separates your nostrils. The piercing avoids the cartilage by going through the skin just beyond the cartilage at the end of your nose.

Smiley Piercing

The smiley piercing is nicknamed this because it appears when you smile! It perforates the lip frenulum that sits between your gum and your upper lip and is often a curved bar that shows two balls above your front teeth. If you pierce the lip frenulum between your lower lip and your gum, this can sometimes be referred to as a frowny!

Snake Bite Piercing

The snake bite piercing is made up of two piercings that appear evenly spaced on either side of the lip. Piercing just underneath the lip, the space between them emulates the puncture marks of a snake bite.

Snug Piercing

Also known as the anti-helix piercing, the snug piercing passes through the lateral and medial surfaces of the anti-helix portion of the ear.

Sternum Piercing

A surface piercing that sits anywhere along the breastbone, sternum piercings are more often than not pierced between the breasts on a vertical angle, though it is possible to create a horizontal sternum piercing in this area.

Surface Piercing

Similar to a dermal piercing, expect visible on the outer skin, surface piercings can be done on any flat surface of the body. This differs from a standard piercing as these are pierced through the skin, while surface piercings follow the plane of the skin instead.

Tongue Piercing

Tongue piercings go through waves of popularity with men and women; after reaching its peak popularity around 2011, women in 2019 are once again taking to the tongue piercing. The piercing is usually done through the centre of the tongue and can take around 6-8 weeks to fully heal.

Tragus Piercing

The tragus piercing perforates the area of the ear that sticks out just outside of the ear canal. Just as many believe the daith piercing is a good cure for migraines, many swear by the tragus piercing as a source of migraine relief.

Anti Tragus Piercing

The anti-tragus perforates the outer-ear cartilage just opposite the tragus.

We hope that our glossary of piercings has inspired you to get creative with body modification! If you’re looking for body jewellery for your new piercings, check out our collection of body jewellery and more alternative jewellery here at Attitude Clothing!

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