How Much Does An Industrial Piercing Cost

What is an Industrial Piercing?

An industrial piercing is two or more piercings through the skin that are joined together by one solid piece of jewelry. Growing in popularity since 1992, these special piercings are most commonly made in the ears, though they can also be made in the lip, the tongue, the belly button, and elsewhere.

Is this a fairly new type of piercing? Actually, it's quite old. In fact, body piercing in some form or another has been around since the ancient Egyptians, making it one of the oldest forms of self adornment. Of course, back then it was more a showing of wealth, power, or position, while today it is more about self expression, allowing one to become a living work of art.

Throughout this article I will show you several popular industrial piercings while I familiarize you with the terminology, the proper care of such piercings, and where you can find industrial piercing jewelry online. So, sit back and enjoy the show.

Various Ideas for Industrial Piercings

The most common industrial piercing is a barbell through the ear, as shown below:

An industrial piercing of the ear with a barbell inserted
An industrial piercing of the ear with a barbell inserted

The bridge of the nose is another common area for such piercings, providing an accentuation of the eyes:

An industrial piercing through the bridge of the nose
An industrial piercing through the bridge of the nose

Moving downward, we have a double piercing of the lip that looks more like something out of sci-fi. This version of industrial piercing is more common for men, though women have been known to get them as well. Considering the tenderness of the lips, I'm not so sure I recommend this one:

A double piercing of the lip
A double piercing of the lip

Another popular location is the tongue, but I couldn't find a good picture of that one. Suffice it to say, it looks a lot like the single piercing, and makes one wonder how these people eat. After all, who wants a piece of jewelry sloshing around in their mouth with their food? And what if you accidentally swallow the piece of jewelry? Proceed with your own caution on this one.

And that brings us down (literally) to one of the finer forms of self expression, the naval piercing, which is highly popular. Here's an excellent picture of one:

An industrial piercing of the naval
An industrial piercing of the naval

The Ear Cage

When a person places more than one industrial piercing across the ear canal, it's called an 'ear cage'. I have provided a picture below to illustrate what one looks like:

An ear cage
An ear cage

How is it Done?

An industrial piercing is performed much like a normal one, with the skin being pierced by a needle. Except, in this case, the skin is pierced twice, creating two separate holes that will later be joined together by a single piece of jewelry. Most people that perform this procedure do both holes at once, but there are a few artists out there who do each hole separately. Myself, I recommend having both holes done at once so they line up properly.

The video below shows an industrial piercing being performed on someone's ear:

Will it Hurt?

It might! After all, the skin is being pierced, and we all know that can cause some pain; However, the real pain will comes afterwards if you are one of those who doesn't learn how to care for your piercing properly. For you see, like any other hole made in your skin, it opens the chance to getting an infection until it is properly healed.

Proper Care for Your New Piercing

Typically, a barbell is inserted through the piercing when it is done and this is left in the ear for three months to a year while the piercing heals. Another alternative to the barbell is captive bead rings, shown below:

A captive bead ring
A captive bead ring

Either way you go, it's important that you keep something in the newly formed holes to keep them from growing shut, and you also need to clean them daily.

As for cleaning and caring for your new piercing, I recommend doing the following twice daily (once when you wake up and once before you go to bed):

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly (to prevent contamination of your jewelry) then use a damp cotton ball to clean around your piercing. Wipe away any dirt or anything else that has accumulated around the piercing.
  2. Rub liquid soap with your fingers around the site of the piercing and rub it on the piece of jewelry as well.
  3. Rinse the jewelry and the piercing site with warm water to remove all of the soap.
  4. Dry your piercing with a paper towel

Things to note:

  1. Never use a hand towel to clean or dry your piercing or your jewelry, as these can harbor germs. By using something disposable, such as a paper towel, you help prevent infecting the site of your piercing as it heals.
  2. Never rotate the jewelry when cleaning it or wearing it. All this does is introduce the risk of rotating bacteria under your skin where it will cause a very painful infection. The part that's inside your ear will stay germ free if it never sees the outside of your body. Also, it does little to help the healing process, so while some will recommend turning the jewelry I highly recommend against it.


Remember, it will take three months to a year for the piercing to heal Yes, it's a bit of a process, but once it becomes a part of your routine you won't mind it, and when your piercing is finally healed you will never need to do this again. Also, the healing will take place much quicker if you follow this routine as it will allow the ear to heal naturally, with no intruduction of bacteria to complicate the process.

Two things most people don't know:

  1. Never use any product containing rubbing alcohol (AKA isopropyl alcohol) to cleanse the piercing, as it will dry the skin and irritate the piercing. It could also cause an infection.
  2. Never use hydrogen peroxide to clean your piercing. though it seems like a good idea, as it kills bacteria, it also kills the white cells that participate in the healing process, making it take longer.
  3. Also, avoid ointments and ear care solutions, as they tend to clog pores or irritate the site of the piercing.

Just go with the cleaning method I prescribed above and you should be all right.

An Addendum From Brat

One of my readers, by the name of Brat, has offered some very good info! Here it is:

"A Very Informative article, Yoshi! I would like to add though, that the Saline Solution for contacts is A) pre-sterilized and B) actually quite comforting to a slightly irritated ear piercing, mainly because the ph is already balanced and it's made with the proper amount of saline to complement the human body. I happen to find quite a few piercings attractive, and just recently pierced my 11 yr old sons ears. He's borrowing my 14g captive balls. Thank you for researching this info and sharing it with us."

We all learn something new everyday day! Thanks Brat! :)

How Much Does an Industrial Piercing Typically Cost?

Typically, they run anywhere from $40-$70. This includes the cost of the piercing and a barbell to keep the piercing from closing. By watching for local specials you might be able to find yourself a deal for far less. Just remember, this is not the kind of piercing you want done by someone who isn't a professional.

Also, the price could vary, according to what area of the body you are having pierced, so ask before proceeding.

Types of Industrial Piercing Jewelry

The most prevalent form of industrial piercing jewelry is the common barbell, as shown below:

The common barbell is the most popular piece of industrial piercing jewelry worn today
The common barbell is the most popular piece of industrial piercing jewelry worn today

Another popular piece of industrial piercing jewelry is the zig-zag, pictured here:

The zig-zag
The zig-zag

Another somewhat less popular design is the corkscrew:

Corkscrew barbells
Corkscrew barbells

Well, That's All I Have Today

So, by now you know all about Industrial Piercings and the jewelry associated with the art. I hope I did a good job of informing you on this topic, and as always, all questions are welcome. 

And, you may ask, do I have an industrial piercing? Well, far be it to say, I have an extreme fear of needles piercing through my skin, so no, I don't have one. However, one day, when I'm a little more brave, I just might go through with this. Until then, good luck!

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As Always, Your Comments are Welcome 42 comments

BrianS profile image

BrianS 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

I really don't like piercings, not for me this one.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

Yikes, not for me either!

I never could understand how people would like to have their different body parts pierced that way! I know it's considered as art form, I just don't like it.


lyricsingray 7 years ago

Oh Yoshi, what's next, Grrrr, Thanks


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Nope, I'm not a big fan of piercings either. However, I'll admit that I like belly piercings on a girl with a flat tummy (obviously) and traditionally-normal ear piercings on a girl as well. A single-stud on the nose is okay too. Back when I was in fifth-grade, I got my left-ear pierced and had throughout high school. In my second year of college, I got tired of it and took it out. I haven't worn an earring since. Thank you Yoshi and yes, you did a great job showcasing this.


crystal 6 years ago

when cleaning the piercing with the cotton ball do we use just plane water or do we use salt water to clean it first then use soap?


yoshi97 profile image

yoshi97 6 years ago from a land called 'what if?' Author

Use plain water first and then use soap. The salt in salt water just provides another possible contaminant to cause an infection - though I think the odds of salt infecting you is very low.

Of course, they also speak of 'pouring salt in people's wounds', so I should think that salt water would burn quiet a bit. Also, salt itself has no cleansing or antiseptic qualities.

I hope this helps. :)


Amanda 6 years ago

Thinking about getting an industrial but not sure yet...I'll probably have my lobes re-pierced for the third time first


Brat 6 years ago

Very Informative article. I would like to add though, that the Saline Solution for contacts is A) pre-sterilized and B) actually quite comforting to a slightly irritated ear piercing, mainly because the ph is already balanced and it's made with the proper amount of saline to complement the human body. I happen to find quite a few piercings attractive, and just recently pierced my 11 yr old sons ears. He's borrowing my 14g captive balls. Thank you for researching this info and sharing it with us.


Crazdwriter 6 years ago

so that is what it's called. never knew what it was called when someone had a piercing like that. huh I learned something new in the wee mornings of Cali lol. Great hub and a lot of cool pics even though it totally looks painful. My brother has on in his nose and he said it hurt a lot because when they did it...they pierced a nevre OW!!! lol great job yoshi!


marcel285 profile image

marcel285 6 years ago from New Zealand

Jeeze Louise those are some ugly piercings, except for the belly button piercing.


Daisy 6 years ago

Great article! Don't forget, however, that soap can be too harsh for piercings like this one before it's slightly healed. Soap shouldn't be used on this piercing for about 3-4 weeks after it's pierced. Bar soaps, such as Dial and Zest, shouldn't be used at all, however. They dry out the piercing completely and that can cause infection! Before that, contact solution or warm (as hot as you can stand without it burning) salt water is best! I clean mine daily with salt water twice, and Satin Microbial Liquid Non-Scented soap once a day in the shower, and I've had mine for about a month.


larenna 6 years ago

dude i want this piercing soooo bad! the one in the ear looks so sick and b.a!


yoshi97 profile image

yoshi97 6 years ago from a land called 'what if?' Author

hehe ... If I were younger I would be getting one, but I'm afraid a 43 year old man with an industrial piercing would turn far too many heads ... :)


Drama 6 years ago

thank you so much, i want this sooo bad but my parents say i need a 3.5 gpa first and i hav a 3.48 i think its close enough! lol great article though.


mic 6 years ago

i think you are a little off on the belly button one that is not an industrial in the picture it is just a naval surface piercing the most common one yet an industrial would involve the top and bottom being pierced and connected and a double industrial would be that plus both the sides so it forms a cross


BEX 6 years ago

industrial zig zag piercings look cool but the normal barbell gets thumbs down.


thecelt profile image

thecelt 6 years ago

Very informative and great illustrations to show the most popular piercings.


jc 6 years ago

Just got this piercing done yesterday :) so awesome lol doesn't even hurt that much. maybe im just weird. mine goes through the inner shell of my ear and through the upper ridge (if that makes sense)


Ginger 6 years ago

What about the swelling? how long before that goes down? Is it typical for the ear to be swollen after getting an industrial? The person who did mine didn't say anything about it.


yoshi97 profile image

yoshi97 6 years ago from a land called 'what if?' Author

It's not unusual for a piercing to remain swollen for about a week. Sometimes taking Ibuprofen helps reduce swelling. Above all, keep the ear and the piercing clean (as prescribed above) and be on the lookout for and puss, oozing, or crusties around the piercing, as these could be the signs of an infection.

Like any hole that pierces through your body, keeping it clean and sanitized prevents infection from entering the body and causing problems. Also, it's best to leave the piercing in during this period of swelling, unless it poses a physical health risk (such as, the piercing folding into the skin). The reasons are twofold. First, you can infect the skin by pulling the piercing through it, and leaving the hole out in the air is also an easy way to get an infection.

Keep your piercing and the skin around it clean and sanitized and you should be fine. Also, don't move the piercing around unless you are cleaning it, as this is another way for bacteria to squeeze its way into the body.

I hope this helps. :)


monique 6 years ago

i love the industrial piercing i am getting it done some time this week bc my dad says i cant get nothing else don't besides my ear soim looking at them and they look really good i don't know what one i want n you did great on the page


Delia 6 years ago

I'm getting an industrial in my ear and I'm still doing some last minute research! Thank you!


jewellery channel 6 years ago

really informative hub yoshi97....thanks


ash 6 years ago

just got mine done a couple hours ago......it hurts a little but not much....he didn't do it like in the video like he didn't prepare with the marking he just said "this is going to be quick there is a lot of people in here today" and the basic info about industrial piercings he just stuck me with it in mid conversation. It hurt A LOT but I tensed up a bit and a little zoned out.....but he bent the bar before putting it in because it will make it less painful through healing because the cartilage is in a more relaxed position compared to at an angel like a straight one would give and in a month or so i can put in a straight barbell


La La 6 years ago

i'm gettin my industrial done 2maro so i wanted 2noe xactly wat 2do & get. this was perfectly informative so i bookmarked it :) i'm sooooo super stoked!!!


Lee 6 years ago

this article helped me really. I just wanted to collect informations because I wanted such a kind of piercing already more than 1 and a half year but I thought that there could be many risks. But now I know that there is no risk wich is 'abnormal'.

Thanks a lot to the author. :]


cutiii 5 years ago

wll im just researching this percing cuz i really want it but im stilll stuk up on it . wll the author did a great job on the article and i learned lots wll im trying to convince ma parents but they still say nooooo


lyn 5 years ago

very very helpful info, i wish i would of read this before i got mine done. i just got the industrial barbell in my ear, but the guy put it too close to the top, so my ear lobe kindof folds over the bar,, grrr, so, maybe thanks to his mistake, ill probly have to go and get a piercing a little lower to make the bar show like in the illistration, cause mine doesn't.. ppl, make sure they mark you and u see where its going to be.. a mistake i regret :/


Skuddlez 5 years ago

I have the cartilage of my ear done and it didn't hurt too bad. I've also got my labret, tongue, belly button, nose and two holes in each ear. The only one that hurt was the belly button and I plan to get the ear cage when I move back to Washington! Any idea if it's going to hurt someone with a high pain tolerance? My cartilage was more annoying than anything; it itched a lot!


yoshi97 profile image

yoshi97 5 years ago from a land called 'what if?' Author

People with a high pain tolerance tend to not feel pain like the rest of us, but they still feel pain nonetheless ... just not as much. This being the case, for someone with a high pain tolerance it would hurt less. :)


rhonda 5 years ago

I want an industrial piercing soo bad but idk how old u have to be to get it in new jersey :(


Jasmine 5 years ago

Should this piercing be done only with needles? One of the closes places to me that would do it wants to use a piercing gun.


Jessi 5 years ago

@Jasmine, NO. Do NOT let TE piercer pierce your cartilage with a gun EVER. Piercing any part of your cartilage may result in shattering your cartilage, which is basically a very thin piece of bone. This is obviously not an experienced piercer, I suggest finding another one. I got my industrial done with needles and honestly the pain wasn't too bad, I've had it for about 2 months now and it's healing beautifully.


yoshi97 profile image

yoshi97 4 years ago from a land called 'what if?' Author

Jessi is right, the piercing gun is bad news. For one thing, it's not nearly as sanitary as a needle. For another, having your cartilage shattered is much more painful than having a needle poked through, and this can and does happen. Google 'piercing gun cartilage' and prepare to read some horror stories.

The only upside to the piercing gun is it 'can' be less painful, but it can also be 'more' painful if the piercing becomes infected, which happens much more often with gun percings.

I can't believe I never included this when I wrote about piercings. I thought people had said 'no' to the gun long ago. Thank you, Jasmine for bringing this question to the table, and thank you Jessi for providing the right answer.


Sarah 4 years ago

I have had my industrial done for about a year now. I have found for myself that the best way to clean it is with warm water and sea salt. It did hurt to get done yes, but you have to just think about something else and make sure you breathe. It will hurt to sleep on for a while until the swelling goes down and while it is healing and whatever you do, don't let it get bumped! Mine got bumped a few days after I got it done and I wanted to cry. Just make sure you keep it clean and you shouldn't have any problems with it!!


Lexi 4 years ago

This was very helpful! Thank you!

I want this done now!


Josh 4 years ago

I only have one piercing (tongue) and didn't know what to get next but after that video I definitely want to go get my industrial done! This helped me decided what I wanted next!


Victoria 4 years ago

I was wondering how old you have to be to get this is florida??? And I kinda scared!


Bree 4 years ago

Thanks for the article!!!! I can't wait to get one done :)


jaydlovesu 4 years ago

well im getting my industrial done not this friday but the one after this weekend and im excited about it


Tayler 4 years ago

Im getting mine done Saturday and if my hair is over it will it bother the piercing?


Ash 3 years ago

Really want an industrial piercing but have to try an convince my mom to let me get one. Everyone's main objection is that it is gross and a stepping stone into becoming what they call "A piercing covered tattoo lady". It really sucks.

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