With a seemingly infinite number of piercings to choose from, it’s definitely important for both piercers and clients to know which piercings are on offer. There are many rare and unusual piercings to choose from outside of classic placements, but it’s really vital to do research and understand which piercings are rare for a reason!
Unsafe or Just Rare?
Whilst there are quite a few unsafe piercings being offered, there are many piercings that are currently getting an undeservedly bad rap. Whilst some piercings are downright dangerous, others are only getting a poor reputation due to being commonly performed by inexperienced piercers. This blog is mostly being written in response to an online movement in piercing shaming – Online groups that share piercing images and their own opinions. We really want to bring some positivity and critical thinking back to the online piercing community. We love piercings, and we want to educate the public on safe, beautiful, and sometimes unusual piercings that get a bad rap for almost no reason at all! Today we’ll talk you through all the different piercings we see and why they might be a little bit rarer to come across.
Large gauge piercings are simply any piercing performed above 14g. People choose large-gauge piercings for a number of reasons – Mainly because they like the look of a larger piercing, and want to minimise the time spent stretching the piercing! These are considered a rare and unusual piercing because very few piercers are skilled and experienced enough to perform them. They require a steady hand, a keen eye for detail, and confidence to perform. Large-gauge piercings are very controversial on the internet, simply because they have brilliant shock value. That’s it!
When performed correctly by an experienced practitioner, large-gauge piercings do not carry any additional risks in comparison to a standard-gauge piercing. Here at Rogue we are large-gauge piercing specialists – Get in touch to book your large gauge piercing with us!
These ones pop up quite a lot! Orbitals are simply two piercing channels connected by a ring, or custom curved jewellery. Various orbitals and custom bent jewellery piercings are commonly used online for shock value, yet are simply an unusual way to express yourself. We love performing custom orbitals of all shapes and levels of complexity – Simply head to our booking system and book a consultation with one of our piercers!
These piercings are generally a little bit more unusual to see simply because they are highly anatomy-dependent, and required a very skilled piercer to pull off correctly. Orbitals and custom scaffolds take extra care to heal as two fragile fresh piercings are connected to each other, and so have a slightly higher failure rate than other piercings. That being said, with diligent care these piercings can and do last a lifetime.
Snug and Antitragus Piercings
Snug and antitragus piercings can be fairly unusual – Not because they are unsafe but again because they are highly anatomy dependent and not many clients have perfect anatomy for them. For a snug piercing to be successful, it requires a very sharp shelf of cartilage where the jewellery can enter and exit the tissue at right angles. These piercings most commonly fail due to being pierced on inappropriate anatomy, where the piercing scoops through a large amount of cartilage and ends up causing lots of irritation.
Another reason that these particular piercings are rare is because they are classed as a more complex heal! These piercings can take upwards of 12 months to fully heal, and usually require at least two downsizes in that time period in order to keep the healing process moving forwards smoothly. Because of this, many clients who are looking for a new piercing can be swayed into choosing other piercings that take less time to settle.
We adore snug and antitragus piercings here at Rogue – They are a real treat to see! All piercings are a team effort between the piercer and the client, and we are here to support you for the entire lifetime of the piercing so definitely book in for this piercing if it’s your dream piercing!
Stretched Septum Piercings
These are gaining in popularity right now, and we love it! These are more rare to come across, simply because it takes a lot of time and committment to stretch a septum piercing. You can read all about that process here. These are actually a lot less dramatic a modification than most people assume, and yet are featured online for their shock value almost constantly.
The reason this is our favourite ‘heavy’ piercing is that once you remove the jewellery… It’s gone! There is no visible scarring, no visible hole. With the use of a simple silocone retainer, you can wear normal jewellery and look like you have a standard septum piercing in the blink of an eye.
People have always had a love-hate relationship with cheek piercings – Given that there are three sets of cheek piercings at Rogue, we know this more than most! We absolutely adore them here at Rogue. Yes, they are complicated, and yes they can be temperamental, but when performed correctly and cared for diligently, they are an absolute pleasure.
We have a very in-depth blog about cheek piercings that you can read HERE. Historically, these piercings have had a high failure rate. This is not because cheek piercings are inherantly a bad idea, but simply because they are not given the respect and forethought they deserve. Cheek piercings should only be performed by highly experienced and well-trained piercers who have a robust knowledge of anatomy, and be undertaken by clients who are experienced healers that are committed to a very extended healing time and are financially stable enough to invest the many hundreds of pounds required for the care of these piercings.
Aiden is one of the top cheek piercing specialists in the UK – You are in incredibly safe hands should you choose cheek piercings! You should book in for a consultation with him, or simply pop us an email with any cheek questions you have.
Rhino and Nasallang Piercings
These are definitely up there with the rarest and most unusual piercings! We must note that these piercings are rare for a reason. They are not something we would generally offer to the general public, simply because they are quite extreme and carry a certain amount of risk. We would class these as ‘piercer’s piercings’ for that reason. That, however, does not make them dangerous or instantly the target of a piercing shaming group!
As with all piercings, these can be performed safely and correctly, and they can be performed incorrectly. The main takeaway is to do as much research as you can, talk to as many experienced piercers as you can, and make an informed decision on wether this is the right piercing for you.
We’ll finish by talking about surface piercings. These have quite a florid history within piercing, and have definitely had their ups and downs! We personally really like surface piercings, but feel that they had been grouped in with unsafe piercings quite unnecessarily.
The main reason that these piercings have garnered this bad rep is because your piercer has to have a robust knowledge of safe placements and jewellery. As a piercer, you need to be highly selective on where you choose to place a surface piercing. It needs to be strong tissue that does not undergo a high amount of movement, and needs to be placed so that the risk of being snagged on hair and clothing is minimised. The number one cause of a failed surface piercing is this vital placement choice not being fully thought through.
We love surface and microdermal piercings! We think they are absolutely the coolest! We also accept the fact that they should be considered a long-term temporary piercing. Think 6 months to a year as opposed to a lifetime. If you go into your surface piercing appointment with this mindset, you will absolutely enjoy your surface or microdermal piercing!
Heavily Pierced People
This is a topic that comes up online all the time – Heavily pierced people being the butt of jokes or having their images spread online. We are clearly not going to support this.
The number one reason that people get piercings is to feel like themselves. Every time we choose to get a piercing, take the time and the energy to heal it, and to adorn it with jewellery we love, it tells the world that we believe that we matter. We are worth the time and the energy it takes. We are worthy of self-care and self-expression.
Unless a piercing is genuinely dangerous and causes acute harm to the wearer, we believe that no person should be judged for the way that they choose to adorn their flesh prison. We really believe that there are better things to do with the short time we have on this planet than waste our lives sharing unwanted opinions about the appearance of strangers!
Here at Rogue we work to the highest standards of safety – Everything we do is to ensure that you leave with a safe, hygeinic piercing that has the potential to last you a full lifetime. The next few piercings are ones that can cause serious damage, and so we do not offer them. These is a reason these piercings should be considered rare, and we are dedicated to continuing to educate the public on this!
Horizontal Tongue Piercings – We have talked about these so much over the last few years! Otherwise known as Snake-Eye, Frog-Eye or Tongue Scoop piercings, these are surface piercings that cross horizontally through the tip or body of the tongue. Not only are these piercings incredibly traumatic to the tongue, passing through many muscle fibres and the two main muscle groupings of the tongue, they can also cause destructive tooth and gum damage. When dental treatment is so difficult and expensive, it is a no brainer to leave these piercings in the past.
Microdermals in Strange Places – This is a less common one! By themselves, microdermals and surface piercings are not inherantly dangerous. They only become so when placed in reckless locations, such as the hands, fingers, legs, ankles, feet and neck. These are all places that are either constantly in motion, or getting dirty, or located close to veins and arteries. These placements often cause damage to the piercing and are not sustainable in the long run.
If you’ve ever been on the internet, or on one of those piercing shaming groups, you will know that quite often the piercings getting shamed the most are not even dangerous – Just unusual!
So what is the difference? A dangerous piercing will, more often than not, cause long term harm or pain to the piercee. A rare piercing is simply an unusual placement, jewellery style or technique that is not often seen or performed, or may have some form of shock value that makes people do a double-take.
Choosing a Safe Piercing
So, how do you go about deciding which piercings are safe, and which piercings are right for you?
- Talk to a Professional. If you have seen a piercing that you love, and want to know why it isn’t more popular, then the first port of call is to discuss this piercing with your high quality professional piercing studio! As professionals, it is our job to educate our clients on why certain piercings are more rare, and which piercings may be suitable or unsuitable for you.
- Ignore Internet Experts. This might sound like a no-brainer, but TikTok and Reddit are not necessarily the best place to get your piercing information! Although there are many good piercers spreading excellent information out there, there are also many non-professionals who are using these platforms to pass off their opinions as fact. Try to take the internet with a grain of salt.
- Get your Anatomy Assessed. Once you have chosen your piercing, it’s super important to book a consultation with your studio and have your anatomy assessed. Not everybody can safely get every piercing – That is what makes us unique! Once you know you can safely get that piercing, it’s time to…
- Consider your Lifestyle. This is super important! Even if you have the perfect anatomy for a piercing, if you feel that your lifestyle or routine will not be compatible with the piercing, it might be best to take a step back and reassess. For example: You have fallen in love with a crazy custom scaffold piercing that takes up most of the upper portion of your ear. You have the anatomy for it! But… You love riding motorcycles and wear a crash helmet daily. This means that your lifestyle and that piercing will not be compatible. Or, you want a Rhino piercing but you have to wear a face mask all day because you are a nurse.
- Employability Matters. This is a touchy subject, we know. However, it is so incredibly important to consider your quality of life and employment. You may absolutely love the look of a 1″ stretched lower labret, however… You’re in Law School. You are customer-facing at work. You work in a primary school. Even though you love this piercing, as your piercer we need to make sure that you are prepared for any ramifications of more heavy and rare piercing work. This is why some piercings are classed as ‘piercer’s piercings’ – We can (to an extent) choose to go slightly more out there with our piercings!
To summarise: The majority of piercings are absolutely viable when performed correctly, using high quality appropriate jewellery, by an experienced practitioner. Piercings can have issues for a number of reasons, most commonly due to being performed incorrectly on inappropriate anatomy. That’s why researching your piercer is so important!
The best way to find your closest high-quality studio is by checking the UKAPP website, or the APP website if you are an international reader. Take the time to research the studio, contact them to ask which piercer is most experienced in the piercing you are looking for, and ask as many questions as you need to! Sometimes, the only option is to go on a road trip and travel to get the best possible piercing experience. Rogue is based in Nottingham in the midlands, and is more than happy to help.