What is a Scaffold Piercing?

Diane Goettel

A scaffold piercing is a kind of ear piercing that involves two piercings joined by a straight metal tube with two balls on either end. The metal tube goes through each hole that is created in the ear cartilage and the balls on either end of the piercing keep the tube in place. The piece of jewelry that is worn as part of a scaffold piercing is often referred to as a barbell because of this distinctive shape. This kind of piercing is much different than traditional ear lobe piercings because it is much higher on the ear and involves the piercing of cartilage instead of the softer tissue that makes up the ear lobe.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Other differences between a scaffold piercing and a traditional earlobe piercing have to do with the amount of pain that the piercing causes and also the amount of time it takes for the piercings to heal. In many cases, a scaffold piercing is more painful than an earlobe piercing. It also usually takes more time for a scaffold piercing to heal than a traditional earlobe piercing. As with any kind of piercing, it is crucial to keep the area clean and treat it with antibacterial soap daily to prevent infection.

Scaffold piercings are unique in that they create a tension between two holes. This creates an interesting visual appearance, but also means that the piercing process is more complex than most. The person performing the piercing must make sure to line up the holes properly and to choose a piece of jewelry that will extend perfectly between the two points. If this is done improperly, the earlobe can become damaged and also is more likely to become infected. For this reason and for the basic purposes of cleanliness and safety, it is important to go to a reputable piercing studio for a scaffold piercing.

There are a number of variations to the basic piece of jewelry that can be used in a scaffold piercing. Some of the bars have enamel shapes fitted into the center. There is also a great deal of variation in the closures that fit on either end of a scaffold piercing bar. The closures are traditionally round, and also are available in square shapes and in cone shapes. They may also be embellished with rhinestones or enamel designs.

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