Cartilage earrings have consistently topped body piercing trends. And with summer in full swing, both brands and bespoke jewelers are experimenting with a range of different styles. Of course, if you're only just thinking about trying on a cartilage earring, there are some things you should keep in mind in order to avoid infections. Getting a piercing in itself can be daunting at first, and switching earrings, if done wrong, can also potentially cause some irritation.
Sage Royal, piercing manager at Studs in New York City, recommends taking it easy to begin with. "Changing piercings on your own can be intimidating. The first and most important thing is making sure you are completely healed before switching from piercing jewelry to fashion jewelry or a hoop," she tells NYLON.
She also recommends watching out for any discharge, swelling, redness, flaking, or soreness, which can be obvious signs of the area not being fully healed.
"When removing a piercing on your own, make sure you're using clean hands and have also cleaned the piercing area," she adds. "Before removing the piercing, make sure you've sanitized the new jewelry and you're putting in new jewelry immediately — your body can quickly start trying to close the existing piercing, even when healed. It's always nice to have some water-based lubricant on the new jewelry to help glide everything through when you’re doing this on your own. It can be a bit trickier to work with but your ear will thank you! Be gentle and do not force anything, it can take a few tries sometimes especially if it's your first time."
While safety is definitely paramount, once you've gotten a hang of things, there's plenty of styles to play with to update your newly curated earscape, from embellished hoops and personalized studs.
Whether you're a novice or a hardcore fan of piercing trends, below, we picked our favorite cartilage earrings on the internet that will work for every occasion.
We only include products that have been independently selected by NYLON's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.