What Are the Different Types of Body Piercings?

 Are you considering getting a body piercing? Are you interested in learning more about the fascinating world of body modification?

Look no further than this comprehensive guide.

There are many more different types of body piercings than you might expect. Each body piercing has its own rich history, and there are endless ways to personalize them. 

Keep reading this body piercing guide for the low-down on every single type of popular body piercing out there today.

Ear Piercings

Let’s get started with one of the essentials. Ear piercings are the most common body modification today. 

In some cultures, it is even common practice to give infants and toddlers ear piercings. They are easy to care for and generally quite safe. 


The standard first ear piercing is an earlobe piercing. Your earlobes are the least sensitive part of your ear, making this an ideal choice for first-timers. 

Many people choose to get multiple earlobe piercings for maximum fashion choices. One timeless look for people with double earlobe piercings is pairing a stud with a dangling or hoop earring. 

Earlobe Gauges 

If a regular earlobe piercing isn’t cutting it for you, you can “stretch” your earlobes with gauge piercings. Stretched ears have long been a staple of goth and scene fashion.

If you’re thinking about stretching your ears, remember that the process requires patience. You’ll have to start with a small size and work your way up to your desired size over the course of months. 

In case you’re wondering: yes, your earlobes can shrink again if you choose to remove your gauges. Results may vary here, depending on how large your size was. 


A helix piercing refers to piercing the cartilage of your upper ear. Cartilage piercings tend to be more painful than earlobe piercings, so be prepared for a sharp pinch!

A standard helix piercing goes on the outside of your upper earlobe. Helix piercings can look like little rings or cuffs. 

Forward Helix 

A forward helix piercing is just like a regular helix piercing, only it goes on the inside (the side closest to your skill) of your upper earlobe. A forward helix is often less noticeable than a regular helix.

Industrial Bar

An industrial piercing is a bar that pierces your outer cartilage in two places. The bar lays diagonally across your upper earlobe. 

Industrial bar piercings are famously painful, so keep that in mind if you’re considering a cartilage piercing and don’t have a high pain tolerance.


A rook piercing goes on one of the visible folds in the upper part of your earlobe. Because rook piercings are inner cartilage piercings, they may be more painful than helix piercings. 


A daith piercing is another type of inner cartilage piercing. A daith goes on the inner fold of your cartilage, lower down than a rook piercing. 


Last but not least, a tragus piercing goes on the small piece of cartilage that sticks out in front of the entrance to your inner ear. A tragus piercing is usually the most painful of the cartilage piercings.

Nostril Piercings 

Nostril piercings rose in popularity in the U.S. in the ’60s as a staple of hippie culture. However, these piercings have certainly stuck around and remain a staple of many alternative fashion subcultures.

Nostril piercings are not very painful. After your nostril piercing is healed, you can leave your piercing stud in, or you can switch to a ring. 

For a more flashy look, you can get double or even triple nostril piercings. This allows you to mix and match studs and rings if you so choose. 

Septum Piercings

A septum piercing is another style of nose piercing. Your septum refers to a patch of cartilage just inside your nose, between your nostrils.

Septum piercings come in two main styles. One is a continuous ring, and one is a ring with an opening on one side. The latter enables you to “flip” up your septum piercing if you want to hide it for any reason. 

Bridge Piercings

A bridge piercing is a bar that pierces the bridge of your nose. A bridge piercing is definitely an unusual fashion statement, but it can do wonders to frame your nose. 

Bridge piercings require close care during the healing process and are fairly painful. 

Eyebrow Piercings

If you’re looking for a subtle statement of your edgy fashion sense, an eyebrow piercing may be perfect for you. Eyebrow piercings are not very painful, but they can effortlessly make your look stand out. 

There are two main types of eyebrow piercings. One is a closed ring, and one is an open ring with two small balls that sit flat against your eyebrow. The latter is the more subtle option. 

Labret Piercings

Here, we move on to the lips and mouth. A labret piercing is a bar that goes through your bottom lip. 

The most common type of labret piercing is the vertical labret, which goes vertically through the center of your bottom lip, with both sides of the bar plainly visible. 

Philtrum (or “Medusa”) Piercings  

A philtrum piercing is a stud that goes through the cupid’s bow of your upper lip. A philtrum piercing is the perfect way to accentuate your lips; especially if you have a very pronounced cupid’s bow. 

Philtrum piercings are often called “Medusa” piercings. Despite the name, these piercings have no relation to the fearsome creature from Greek mythology.

This nickname was chosen, seemingly at random, by a Canadian hairdresser who was looking for a less scientific-sounding name for the philtrum piercing.

Smiley Piercings

A smiley piercing is a ring that goes through the membrane between your top lip and your gums. A smiley piercing is hidden much of the time and shows itself when you talk or smile (hence the name).

Use caution when considering a smiley piercing. If you have a family history of receding gums or have gum disease yourself, this piercing may worsen your oral health. 

The smiley piercing has a less common sibling called the “frowny” piercing. This piercing works just like a smiley, only it goes behind your bottom lip. 

Lip Piercings 

There are several common types of outer lip piercings. Choosing the right lip piercing simply depends on your personal style and the angles of your face. 

Lip piercings aren’t incredibly painful compared to other facial piercings and they require the standard amount of care. Usually, you will start with a lip stud and have the option to switch to a ring after your piercing has healed. 

Eating and drinking with a lip piercing will take some getting used to, especially at the beginning of the healing process. However, you can take your piercing out and pour water through it as a fun party trick. 


The Monroe piercing is named after Marilyn Monroe’s iconic beauty mark. As such, a Monroe piercing goes above your lip, toward the outside corner of your mouth, on the left side. 


Similarly, a Madonna piercing is named for the famous beauty mark of the pop sensation, Madonna! This piercing goes on the right side of your lip, toward the outer corner. 

Snake Bites

Snake bite piercings come in pairs. Two studs go opposite each other below your lower lip. 

Snake bites are named for the way a snake’s fangs stick out below their mouths. 

Spider Bites

Spider bites go below your bottom lip, on the left side of your face. For spider bite piercings, two studs go directly next to each other. 

Canine Bites

Canine bites come in sets of four piercings. They are named for the placement of the canine teeth. 

For canine bites, you will get two piercing studs opposite each other above your top lip and a mirrored pair below your bottom lip. 

Dolphin Bites

Dolphin bites come in sets of two. These piercings go next to each other, right below your bottom lip.

Shark Bites

Shark bites are another set of four piercings. These types of piercings are made up of two mirrored pairs of studs, next to each other and placed below your bottom lip. 

Angel Bites

Angel bites use two mirrored piercings on opposite sides of your upper lip. They fall a little lower than the Medusa and Madonna piercings. 

Dahlia Bites

The Dahlia bite piercings also use two studs; one by each corner of your mouth.

Dahlia bite piercings are named after the horrific murder of the “Black Dahlia,” a young actress who had a smile carved into her face by her murderer. For this reason, these piercings are also sometimes called “Joker” piercings.

Tongue Piercings

Most tongue piercings are comprised of a single small, decorative ball placed near the tip of your tongue. If you want, you can get two small piercings opposite each other on both sides of the tip of your tongue.

Plus, if you’re trying to quit smoking or vaping, tongue piercings can be a great way to cope with oral fixation! We hear they make kissing more fun too. 

Dermal Piercings 

Dermal piercings can go almost anywhere on your body. A dermal piercing is made of a base that goes beneath your skin to anchor the jewelry, and the jewelry, sits on the outside of your skin. 

Dermal piercings are staples in some indigenous cultures. If you have indigenous ancestry, you may want to do some research and find out what sort of piercing traditions lie in your family’s history!

Common places for a dermal piercing include the cheekbones, forehead, collarbones, thighs, and lower back. 

Bellybutton Piercings 

Bellybutton piercings were a staple of late ’90s and early ’00s fashion, but they’re still cute as ever today. There are two popular kinds of bellybutton piercings.


A belly button ring looks like any other ring piercing. It dangles in front of your belly button and makes for a cute accessory with any midriff-revealing outfit. 

Bellybutton ring piercings can be quite painful, but they are relatively easy to care for. 


A belly button bar is a bit more intricate than a ring, so they’re perfect for you if you want a statement piece around your navel.

A bar piercing has two jewels; one that lays in front of your bellybutton, and one that sits on top of it. 

Intimate Piercings 

Intimate piercings are certainly not for the faint of heart. However, they are safe, fairly common, and may even increase pleasure during intimate acts. 

Nipple Piercings

Nipple piercings are a great accessory for anyone who wants to keep a hidden surprise under their clothes. They are by far the most common type of intimate piercing. 

Be warned: nipple piercings are usually quite painful and may be irritated by your clothing during the healing process. 

Genital Piercings 

Genital piercings are usually for body-piercing veterans. Anyone can get one safely, but it is best to have ample experience taking care of sensitive piercings before you attempt this kind.

There are several types of genital piercings, but the most common types are the “Prince Albert” piercing and the clitoral hood piercing. 

Know the Different Types of Body Piercings

Now that you know all about the different types of body piercings, you can decide if one of these piercings sounds right for you. 

A body piercing can be a great way to express yourself and stand out in a crowd. With all of these options on the market, there’s a body piercing out there for almost anyone.

Keep reading our blog for more body piercing tips, unique fashion tips, and more!

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