What Does Gauge Mean In Piercing?

ByScott S.

February 10, 2024
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What Does Gauge Mean In Piercing?

Ever wondered, “What does gauge mean in piercing?“. This seemingly simple term holds significant importance in the piercing world, impacting everything from aesthetics to comfort and safety. So, before you snag that stunning new earring or barbell, let’s delve into the fascinating world of piercing gauges!

What Exactly Does “Gauge” Mean?

The word “gauge” in body piercing refers to the thickness of the jewelry shaft, essentially the piercing hole itself. Surprisingly, contrary to intuition, a higher gauge number signifies a thinner piece of jewelry. Common gauge sizes range from 20g (thinnest) to 00g (thickest), with options like 14g and 10g falling in between. Remember, smaller numbers mean larger diameters, so a 14g piece is thicker than a 16g piece.

Choosing the Right Size

Selecting the appropriate gauge depends on several factors, including:

  • The Piercing Location: Different piercings accommodate different gauges. Thinner sizes (18g-20g) typically suit delicate areas like cartilage or eyebrows, while thicker sizes (10g-00g) are used for larger piercings like lobes or nipples.
  • The Personal Preference: Ultimately, comfort and aesthetics play a role. Some prefer the subtle look of thinner gauges, while others favor the bolder statement of thicker options.
  • The Initial Piercing: When getting a new piercing, your piercer will use a specific gauge based on the healing process and desired final size. Stretching, gradually increasing gauge size over time, requires professional guidance.

Beyond The Basic Understanding of What Gauge Means in Piercing

  • Gauge And Healing: Larger gauges mean it generally takes longer to heal due to more tissue being pierced. Follow your piercer’s aftercare instructions religiously for optimal healing.
  • Jewelry Selection: Ensure your chosen jewelry matches the piercing’s gauge for proper fit and safety. Mixing gauges in piercings can damage the piercing or jewelry.
  • Professional Guidance: When in doubt, always consult a reputable piercer. They possess the expertise to advise on appropriate gauge sizes and safe stretching practices.

Remember, “What does gauge mean?” isn’t just about numbers. Indeed, it’s about understanding the intricate relationship between jewelry gauge size, comfort, aesthetics, and safe piercing practices. Furthermore, by equipping yourself with knowledge, you can navigate the world of body jewelry with confidence, ensuring your piercings remain healthy and stunning expressions of your personal style.

Need to find a piercer? Check out the Association of Professional Piercers.

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