Body Jewelry 101: Basic Info on Body Jewelry

April 22nd, 2010

Belly Button Ring
This is a very tradition body piercing and is typically done with a 14 gauge straight or curved barbell and two balls.  The belly button ring takes about 6 to 12 months to heal and in many states requires a person to be 16 or have parental consent.

Tongue Ring
The traditional tongue ring is a 14 or 16 gauge straight barbell that penetrates directly vertical through the center of the tongue.  The web tongue ring is generally a 14 or 16 gauge shorter, curved barbell (similar to and eyebrow ring) that sits horizontal through the “web” under the tongue.

Both of these piercings take a fairly short amount of time to heal and can be ready to change in as little as 4 weeks.  Most states require age 16 or age 18 for piercing.

The industrial is a piercing that penetrates two parts of the outer ear.  It can be done in various places but both holes are generally along the cartilage of the ear and are 14 or 16 gauge.  A ball is secured to each end and this piercing takes 4 to 6 months to heal.

Although the labret and monroe are two different piercings, they are a similar concept.  They each pierce the area directly around the mouth or lips.  Typically the Monroe is on the top lip, off to the side (like the infamous Marilyn Monroe mole) and the labret is on the bottom, usually in the center. These piercings go directly through the lip and use a unique type of ring.  They are 16 gauge and very short; the back is a flat surface that can rest against the gum or teeth and the outside is a ball or decorative gem.

Surface Rings

Surface piercings are exactly what the name implies; they are on the surface.  They do not penetrate one spot on the skin and come out on another, rather they stick into the skin and do not come out the other side.   They stay in the body by using a “fishhook” design.  That is, they can move down into the skin, but as you pull out of the skin, it will be stopped, or stuck, by the hook.  In most cases these rings are professionally removed or changed.

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