Are Rook Piercings Painful?

Reviewed on 3/7/2021

What Is Rook Piercing?

Rook piercing
A rook piercing, or a piercing of the uppermost part of the ear cartilage, is most often cosmetic. Practitioners of ear acupuncture (auriculotherapy), a form of alternative medicine, say a rook piercing can relieve stress, but there is little evidence to support this assertion.

Rook piercing is the perforation of the uppermost ridge in the ear to wear the jewelry. Rook piercing is done vertically in the ear ridge so that both sides of the jewelry are displayed.

Are Rook Piercings Painful? 

Rook piercing can be quite painful because the needle goes through a fold of cartilage that is even thicker than the other cartilaginous parts of the ear. Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that is tough and not easy to pierce, unlike the earlobe which is soft tissue. Cartilage also takes longer to heal because it has no blood supply.

The scale of pain depends on your pain threshold. You are likely to feel a sharp pain when the needle is pushed through, which later turns into a throbbing pain that may last a few days. The pain can interfere with sleep and it may be difficult to lie on the side of the pierced ear for a few nights.

What Do Rook Piercings Help With?

Just like other body piercings, most people get rook piercings primarily for body ornamentation. Practitioners of ear acupuncture (auriculotherapy), a form of alternative medicine, say that ear piercings have therapeutic benefits, and rook piercing can relieve stress.

Auriculotherapy is based on the idea that the ear is a microsystem that reflects other parts of the body, and stimulating points in the ear can treat conditions that affect the corresponding reflex point in the body.

Auriculotherapy is believed to help with various neurological conditions such as migraines, chronic pain, depression, and insomnia, however, the available scientific research and evidence are limited.

What Precautions Do You Take Before Getting a Rook Piercing?

Rook piercing is a minimally invasive procedure and can be safely done with proper precautions such as the following:

  • Make sure you go to a certified and experienced piercer.
  • Be fully informed of the procedure, the risks and complications involved, and the required aftercare.
  • Make sure the salon is clean and hygienic, the equipment used is properly sterilized, and the piercer wears surgical gloves.
  • Ask for a new, sterilized single-use needle to be used which is immediately disposed of appropriately.
  • Never have your piercing done with a piercing gun because the risk for tissue damage and infection is high.
  • Piercing may not be safe with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, and immune disorders. Check with your doctor first before getting a piercing.
  • SafePiercing.org offers a detailed fact sheet for more information on a safe piercing.

What Is the Procedure for Rook Piercing?

It might be a good idea to be relaxed and well-rested before you go for your piercing procedure. A piercing procedure typically proceeds as follows:

The piercer will

  • Explain the process to you and help you choose the jewelry.
  • Mark the exact spot for the piercing after consulting with you.
  • Clean the piercing site with surgical soap or solution.
  • Make a quick puncture with a hollow needle.
  • Insert the starter jewelry into the hole and secure it.

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What Is the Aftercare Required for Rook Piercing?

Rook piercings can take six to twelve months to heal. Piercings require good aftercare to prevent infection, a major risk while they heal. Following are some of the important aftercare instructions:

  • Avoid unnecessarily touching or moving the jewelry till healing is complete. Wash your hands thoroughly before washing the piercing.
  • Wash the piercing two or three times a day with sterile saline solution or a sea salt solution mixed at home. Do not use any other cleansers, ointments, or antiseptic solutions.
  • After you rinse, pat dry with clean paper towels. Cloth towels can get snagged in the jewelry.
  • Do not rotate the jewelry while cleaning.
  • Do not pick at any crusting that forms.
  • Do not use any beauty care products around the piercing site.
  • Take care not to let hair or clothes get snagged in your piercing.
  • Avoid swimming and getting into a bathtub. Take a shower instead.
  • Eat nutritious food, exercise, and get enough sleep. The healthier you are, the quicker a piercing heals.
  • Be careful when you use your phone, headphones, hat, glasses, or anything that can come into contact with your ear.
  • Do not remove the jewelry until the healing is complete.
  • Keep a watch for infection and go to your doctor immediately if you suspect infection.
  • Do not remove the jewelry if you develop an infection unless the doctor tells you.

What Are the Risks of Rook Piercing?

The risks associated with rook piercing include:

  • Infection, but if caught early it can be managed successfully
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Some initial bleeding
  • Allergy to the jewelry
  • Scarring (keloids)
  • Migration or rejection of the jewelry if improperly placed
  • Accidental snagging of the jewelry and tearing of piercing

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Reviewed on 3/7/2021
References
https://www.medicinenet.com/how_bad_do_rook_piercings_hurt/article.htm

https://www.safepiercing.org/safe_piercing_faq.php

https://www.almostfamouspiercing.com/blog/ear-piercings-as-acupuncture-finding-relief-through-auriculotherapy/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6011381/