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Piercing Pain Index: What Piercing Hurts the Most?

Piercing Pain Index: What Piercing Hurts the Most? main image Piercing Pain Index: What Piercing Hurts the Most? image

It should come as no surprise that getting pierced can hurt - after all, you’re making a hole in your body! 

But not all piercings are created equal, and some are known to be more painful than others. This begs the question, what piercing hurts the most and what should you get done if you’re worried about the pain?

Is getting a piercing that painful?

When done correctly, most piercings shouldn’t hurt that much. And, the worst of the pain should be over quite quickly, usually in a matter of seconds. That said, everyone’s pain threshold is different, so what others find excruciating could be fine for you – or vice versa!

It's important to remember that the pain of a piercing is only temporary. And, once it has passed, you get to enjoy your piercing, and the added ability to express yourself, for years.

What kind of pain should you expect?

When getting pierced, there are a few different types of pain you should prepare for:

The actual piercing

Most people describe a stinging sensation or feeling of pressure that only lasts for a couple of seconds. 

Immediately after piercing

The piercing site may swell and feel sore or raw. This can last for a few days, or even weeks, with certain locations more prone to this kind of pain.

As your piercing heals

If your piercing gets infected, it could become very painful and make you quite sick! Your piercer will walk you through what you need to do to prevent infection.

You must follow these instructions!

It’s important to note here that, while some pain should be expected, extreme pain should not. So, if you experience any significant discomfort, seek professional medical advice.

What are the most painful piercings?

While individual experiences vary greatly, there is some consensus about which piercings hurt the most. The following is a list of how much pain common piercings cause, ranked from least painful to most.

1. Earlobe

As the earlobe is quite a soft, fleshy area, it’s quite easy to pierce. It also suits many jewellery types, with studs, cuffs, and drops being the most common.

How much does an earlobe piercing hurt?

You may feel a bit of a pinch when getting pierced, and the site may be a little sore afterwards, but it usually isn’t too bad. As such, earlobes are a popular choice for piercing first-timers.

2. Lip

A range of piercings can be done on and around your lips, with different names used depending on the exact location and piercing technique.

How much does a lip piercing hurt?

For most lip piercings, you will probably experience a quick sting followed by some soreness and swelling. This should still be bearable for most people.

3. Nostril

As nostril piercings need to push through cartilage, they tend to be a little tougher to do.

How much does a nostril piercing hurt?

You will feel a sharp sting, your eyes may water, and you will probably feel like you need to sneeze. There may be some soreness afterward and you need to be careful not to bump your piercing while it’s healing.

4. Navel

As the skin around your belly button tends to be thicker, it can be a little harder to pierce. But, when it’s done, you’ll have a range of jewellery options, from simple barbells to more elaborate designs.

How much does a navel piercing hurt?

While the skin is thicker, there aren’t too many nerve endings, so you will mostly feel heavy pressure. You also need to be careful while your piercing is healing, as catching it on clothes, towels, etc. can cause significant pain.

5. Eyebrow

Your brow skin is fairly thin, but full of nerve endings, so tends to be fairly sensitive.

How much does an eyebrow piercing hurt?

Most people report feeling a sharp pinch and heavy pressure, but only for a couple of seconds. The piercing site may also feel quite tender throughout the healing process, which takes around 3 months.

6. Septum

Your nasal septum is the middle bit inside your nose that divides it into two separate nasal passages. While your septum is cartilage, there is a “sweet spot” for piercers just below it made of softer tissue.

How much does a septum piercing hurt?

A good piercer will be able to find your sweet spot, keeping your pain and healing time to a minimum. However, if the placement isn’t right, your piercing will be much more painful, as it will be through the cartilage.

Beyond the lobe, there are a bunch of other parts of the ear that can be pierced. 

How much do other ear piercings hurt?

This all depends on the exact location and the thickness of the ear cartilage. For example, helix and tragus piercings go through thinner cartilage, which means more pressure, more pain and longer healing times compared to a Lobe piercing.

Daith and conch piercings go through even thicker cartilage, which means they can be quite painful. And industrial and constellation piercings require multiple holes, with the pain increasing with each additional piercing.

8. Tongue

While your tongue may seem sensitive, it has a higher pain tolerance than you might expect.

How much does a tongue piercing hurt?

Most people say that their piercing hurt less than if they bit their tongue. However, the aftercare can be tough, with swelling making it difficult to eat and talk, and a high risk of infection. The inconvenience alone makes it appear higher on this list!

9. Dermal

As they are set into your skin, dermal anchors can go almost anywhere on your body. They can also be used with a wide range of screw-on attachments.

How much does a dermal piercing hurt?

These piercings require a hole to be punched into the skin and an anchor to be inserted. This process tends to take longer and be more painful than most other piercings.

10. Nipple

A known erogenous zone, your nipples contain a whole lot of nerve endings. This makes them one of the most sensitive parts of your body.

How much does a nipple piercing hurt?

This will depend on how sensitive your nipples are, but most people compare it to a hard pinch or a bite. This only lasts for a few seconds, but the area may be quite swollen and tender for several days. It’s also an area of the body likely to be further irritated by clothing, especially bras.

11. Genitals

Given how sensitive your genitals are, special training is generally required to do these piercings. And, obviously, depending on the genitals you have, your piercing options will vary.

How much does genital piercing hurt?

Unsurprisingly, genital piercings are widely considered to be the most painful. Regardless of what you choose to get done, you should expect significant immediate pain and a long healing time.

So what type of piercing are you going to get?

What piercing hurts the most will depend on your personal pain threshold. Regardless, the worst of it will be over quickly and a skilled piercer will know how to keep it to a minimum.

Most importantly, the short-term pain will be worth it in the long run!

Piercings allow you to express yourself and customise your look. In fact, for most people, the hardest part of getting a piercing is choosing the right jewellery to show it off.

That’s where we can help!

Shop our extensive selection today.