Many people have helix piercings, although they may not realize it. Many people refer to their helix piercing as “my cartilage piercing” and the area in question is the upper portion of the ear. It is very common to see someone with their earlobes pierced, and one or two other piercings located high on the ear. This is not a “cartilage piercing” as so many people proudly proclaim. It’s a Helix Piercing.Calling a Helix Piercing a cartilage piercing is a misnomer, because your entire ear (sans earlobes) is made of cartilage. Any piercing not on your earlobe (which is most peoples first ear piercing) is a cartilage piercing. The stereotypical second and third holes ascending from the earlobe are cartilage piercings; in this article, we shall call this particular high on the ear piercing by its proper name – the Helix.After the earlobes, the Helix is the most popular piercing in America. For many people, the Helix is their first venture into the wonderful world of body piercing. Unfortunately for many people, it was probably pierced in a mall via a piercing gun. If you are considering getting your Helix pierced, don’t get it pierced in a mall – go to a professional piercing parlor and get pierced with a sterile, safe, piercing needle instead of an unhygienic and damaging piercing gun. Having said that, once you have committed to a Helix piercing, your piercer will have no trouble piercing it for you – the Helix is incredibly easy to pierce.Your piercer will probably recommend getting pierced with a hoop or captive bead ring, on this particular piercing, and I highly suggest complying with this recommendation. Of course, you may really want a barbell, and your piercer may think that’s a viable option for you, so do what you feel comfortable with. The only real advantage a hoop or ring has is that it accommodates swelling better and holes pierced with rings and hoops tend to heal faster, but to each their own!You will sit in the piercing chair, which almost always looks like a dentist chair, and your piercer will make mark on your ear. You get to look at the mark and approve or disapprove of the location, once the location has been agreed upon, your piercer will push the needle through your ear on your exhale. The jewelry is practically instantly inserted, and once the ball has been secured, your fabulous new piercing is done! The Helix piercings will not affect your hearing, speech, nervous system, balance, etc. These are all rumors – ignore them. It’s a very safe piercing, and the pain should only last for a split second.You can also get a Helix Orbital, which is two piercings on the Helix conjoined by one piece of jewelry. This piercing is slightly more complicated because the piercer has to measure the space between the piercings correctly, but it should not be a problem for a professional.Cartilage does take longer to heal than the earlobe – and this piercing will take up to a year to completely heal. It may look fine and feel fine after six months, but that doesn’t mean it’s fully healed; twelve months seems to be the magic number for Helix Piercings. Cell phone use, sleeping on it, gel from your hair, dirty fingers touching the piercing, and ignoring proper aftercare procedures will probably result in an infection. This can be avoided by not touching the piercing, soaking it in warm saline solution, not banging objects against it (cell phones really are the biggest offenders), and having a gentle touch will go a long way in preventing infection. Even with constant care, swelling, redness, and bleeding are still common occurrences for the first couple weeks, but these should all subside by two months or so.As many people do, you can get multiple piercings in your Helix. This is a wonderful way to express your individuality and creativity, but just allow time for your body to heal before changing the jewelry. Good luck with your Helix piercing, and remember with Helix piercings, your imagination is the only limit!