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Common Ear Gauge Sizes

Updated on July 27, 2012
00 gauge piercings are the largest common ear gauge sizes that it is recommended to go to.
00 gauge piercings are the largest common ear gauge sizes that it is recommended to go to.

Ear Gauging and Ear Gauge Sizes

Ear gauging has become a common practise across the world and especially in the western world over the last few years. Adherents of this practice often start off by using the most common ear gauge sizes to test the waters and many do stop at this level, seeing the gauge as no more than a body decoration. Others, however, become quite engrossed with the whole ritual and start to push the boundaries by going for larger ear gauge sizes.

Experts in the field of ear gauging have always encouraged those just starting out in the practice, to have a small sized gauge initially. Although fans of extreme body art often want to jump to the larger gauge sizes, this is known to significantly increase the risk of infection, whilst a gentle and gradual stretching will allow the body to adapt and provides a much healthier option. Generally speaking, it is advised that you should start off with the smallest size possible and then leave this for a minimum of two weeks before moving on to the next size, thereby allowing the stretching to take place gently and safely.

00 is one of the largest ear gauge sizes

The usual starting size for an ear gauge is the 20ga which is around 0.8mm in diameter. This is little more than a normal ear piercing and should cause no particular distress. Gauge sizes then usually increase in units of 2 with the smaller the gauge size indicating a lager hole; for example, the next largest size would be the 18ga which measures a fraction over one millimetre. This process continues until one of the largest common ear gauge sizes is reached; the 00 gauge. This is as large as most people are prepared to go and the largest that is generally recommended. However, of course, there are people who wish to continue further and push the boundaries and are prepared to take the risks involved. Generally speaking though, most people will go no further than the 00 gauge.

It is generally considered that going past the 00 gauge size means that the wound caused by the piercing can never heal, whilst smaller sizes will heal over time; obviously the larger the piercing, the longer the time it will take to heal.

Chart of ear gauge sizes
Chart of ear gauge sizes

Having an ear gauge can be a beautiful thing; however, it is not a competition and certainly not one worth risking your health for. Different sized gauges suit some people more than others depending on the size of the person. However, for most people, sticking to the more common ear gauge sizes brings a great deal of satisfaction whilst causing no long lasting damage.

Some good advice about ear stretching


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