Piercing has been a trend for pop culture for years now. It has several types, but the most eye-catching is the rook piercing. Rook piercing is done by piercing the cartilage in the uppermost ridge of your inner ear. It is found just above the tragus in the antihelix. This piercing is performed in a vertical format to allow both sides of the jewelry to be on display. The piercer will use a hollow needle and will pierce through the cartilage of your rook. The jewelry will be inserted right after the cartilage was punctured.
Rook piercings are safe, as well as the other types of piercings. But it should always be done by a professional piercer, using a sterile technique. According to Rhianna Jones, a London-based piercer at the Circle London, rook piercing is suitable for all. But it will also depend on the ear anatomy of the customer as it varies for everyone. Professional piercers know what type of piercing would fit them and what jewelry to use. So, there should be less worry about deciding to get your ears pierced.
The price of piercing varies from place to place. Where you live, and the shop you’ll get it done will determine a price range. An estimated cost for rook piercing is from $30 to $80, plus the jewelry. Of course, prices will vary depending on your jewelry of choice. Over time, your piercing will heal; you may change your jewelry if you please.
For the initial healing process, using a bar and a hoop is recommended. A bar or barbell is a metal bar with balls on its ends, and one ball is removable. There’s also a variation of the barbell, which is the curved one. A 16-gauge curved barbell allows less movement and is more comfortable. Hoops are the favorite option for the fans of rook piercing. However, it heals the hardest depending on its shape and texture. The piercer will let you pick out your starter jewelry, and the next step will be the piercing. You’ll get to choose the tool with which the piercing will be performed. There are two choices: a gun piercing or a needle piercing. The latter is much preferable for rook because it would lessen the possibility of damaging the cartilage.
Piercings that go through the cartilage differ in pain level and healing time. Rook piercing is pretty painful than other cartilage piercings. The cartilage is a thick, hard tissue and will not be easily pierced, unlike the soft earlobes. The rook has more solid tissue because it is a fold of cartilage. It is more challenging to pass through this part than the other cartilage locations, like the top of your ear. You should expect to feel moderate to intense pain from when the needle punctures your rook and after the procedure. This pain will soon become a more general throbbing after a couple of hours. And this throbbing will last for at least a few days before it eases up.
The pain might be an annoyance to your daily routine as the piercing heals. It could disturb your sleep, as you may wake up because of the general throbbing of the puncture. Remember to avoid sleeping on the side with the rook piercing, as this may cause the pain to flare up. The pain, however, is subjective, and it varies from one person to another. So, it is somehow tricky to predict how you would tolerate the pain. If you already got cartilage piercings, you could expect the same amount of pain or more as you get a rook piercing.
It will also heal longer than the other piercings because of its thick location, and it's a hard-avascular tissue. It would take you three to ten months of waiting for your rook to heal completely. And in that duration, it might remain tender, especially if it gets infected. According to statistics, 32% of infection cases from piercings are from cartilage piercings. Once the puncture is infected, it will become more painful than the initial healing process. So, it is crucial to follow the aftercare procedures to minimize your rook's possibility of getting infected.
When getting a new piercing, it is important to have an aftercare routine. Without this, the piercing might get infected after the procedure. For washing your piercing, you could use a store-bought saline solution. If not available, you could also make your solution by making a sea salt mixture. But before doing the cleaning, you must wash your hands thoroughly first. They might contain bacteria that will initiate the infection. If you happen to find a store-bought saline solution, choose the one that is used for wound care and not the saline used for contact lenses. You could make use of a clean, unused gauze or paper towels and saturate it in saline. Wipe it around your rook, and make sure not to press too hard so it won’t get irritated. You can use it at least twice a day to clean the area.
You do not have to, and you should not rotate your piercing during the cleaning process or at any given time. It might cause irritation and lead to infection. Other piercers also recommend using a fragrance-free soap for cleaning your rook area if a saline solution is not available. Another alternative is making a sea salt mixture. Dissolve 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon of un-ionized sea salt into one cup of distilled or bottled water.
Never use tap water or water from faucets since they could be contaminated. Once you already have your sea salt mixture, perform a sea salt bath once per day while the mixture is warm. Tilt your head and hold your ear in the solution for three to five minutes. When drying, only use paper towels because clothes could have bacteria on them. And never remove your jewelry as long as the puncture isn’t healed yet because the piercing could close after a couple of minutes.
Getting a piercing is indeed for brave people. There are risks of getting some side effects when having one, which makes aftercare very vital. If an infection is detected early, it must be given at least a minimal medical intervention. But if it gets worse, serious medical attention must be given. An infection is not difficult to spot because it is detectable once the pain in your pierced area becomes more intense than it usually is. And when you suspect this with your piercing, do not remove your jewelry.
The infected abscess could grow once you remove the jewelry. You can only do so once the doctor tells you to. The signs of infection include red and swollen skin around the rook area; pain and tenderness; yellow or green discharge from the puncture; fever, chills, or nausea; and red streaks. If these symptoms are getting worse and last longer than a week, then the infection is already getting worse, and medical attention is advised.
The swelling of your rook area after it is pierced is normal. You could also notice bleeding, bruising, and crustiness. You may confuse this with an infection, but this is usually normal and can be treated by anti-inflammatory medications. To relieve the swelling, you could use a clean cloth or paper towel soaked in a distilled ice water. But if this gets worse instead of better, you may consult your piercer or the doctor.
Another one is the bumps; these are common for cartilage piercings and may develop soon after the piercing. There are different bumps that may infect the rook. One is a piercing pimple, which is a small pustule next to the puncture. Another one is a keloid scar; this is a buildup of collagen that seems like scar tissue and is usually painless. Lastly is an infection bubble that could be full of puss.
Getting your rook punctured is easy as the piercing happens. But the real deal comes after the job is done. It takes firm commitment when getting this piercing because it will take several months to heal. Aftercare may be bothersome, but it is a must.
If rook piercing takes a lot of effort and pain, why are people getting one? Well, it’s simple. There are also piles of benefits that you could get from getting your rook pierced.
Ear piercings are often considered to be an extension of someone’s personality. But apart from this, piercings became a form of an alternative and holistic approach to medicine, which we all know as acupuncture. The parts of our ears happen to have a connection with the other parts of our body. Piercing a specific spot in our ears could stimulate the reflex points in that area.
This can improve the flow of energy within the body, alleviate certain pain, and regulate our body’s functions. Some clients come to have their ears pierced to help with pain, addiction, weight loss, and etc. So, piercings are not just for fashion statements; it is more about the health benefits. Having a rook piercing, in particular, releases tension and lowers stress levels. It is also reported to cure migraines and headaches.