Contains graphic details – don’t read on if you’re squeamish.
My right ear has all been pierced using a needle, 1.6mm to be precise. I’ve now got three holes in it (the third one was done a few days ago).
My left ear has two holes pierced in the 1990’s, and one pierced about three months ago. All three were done with the gun.
So what’s the difference, I hear you say?
Well the gun is a bit of a brute force method of piercing your ear. The piercing of choice is limited to ones that fit inside the gun. The gun forces the stud through the ear pushing aside flesh. The hole is left tighter, and although better for thin jewellery, it’s not as good for body piercing pieces or tunnels.
The needle, on the other hand, is a hollow needle which is pushed through a little slower whilst the skin is held in place with forceps. It’s a more accurately positioned hole, and because it’s a hollow object it removes a tube of your skin and other tissues as it goes through. In my case all three are 1.2mm holes, the lower of which I’ve now stretched to 1.6mm to take a small tunnel piece. The hole in it allows light to shine through, although the angle has to be fairly accurate to actually see.
Which do I prefer?
Well the needle pierced ones have given me the least trouble. They took a little longer to heal, and the top one bled quite profusely when first pierced. They’re easier to get my jewellery into, but I’ve lost small studs (on a couple of occasions pulled through the holes).
The gun pierced ones are much tighter at gripping the jewellery, but I can’t get certain things through the holes as easily without risking injury.
Were I to start again from scratch, I’d definitely opt for needles all the way.
As an aside, when I was about 20 I had the helix pierced with the gun. I’ve since found out that this was totally wrong and cartilage should only be pierced using a needle as the gun risks cracking it. This is what happened to me and I had to remove the piercing permanently.