An Industrial piercing refers to one in which a fairly large-gauge
barbell (Or other double-ended metal object) is inserted through a
piece of skin with two separate piecings; ie, the very top of the
ear, with both front and rear tissues pierced. Typically they pierce
both sides, put in temporary studs, and measure for a permanent
earring. My son chose a barbell, about 10 gauge. It looks as though
someone stuck a titanium arrow through the top of his ear and put
knobs on the ends.
The Labret (I don’t know the spelling) is a piercing of the tiny
little triangle of flesh on the ear closest to the person’s face; ie,
the triangular bit contiguous with cheek/face, midway between the
earlobe and the top of the shell of the ear.
Both are gruesome when first pierced, with much blood. Both require
fanatical care or infection will set in, sometimes with accompanying
(irreversible) loss of tissue. We met an ER doc who had taken her
daughter in for a belly-button pierce at the piercing business
(Tribal Ways, Boston). I expressed horror at the bellybutton pierce;
she told me how many kids she sees in the ER with permanent tissue
damage from Industrial and Labret piercings, both of which go through
cartilage. Of course my kids chose the Labret and Industrial.
Recommended cleaning, btw, is warm salt water compresses at least 3x
day, followed by a Bactine swab. These folks insist that alcohol and
hydrogen peroxide destroy healing tissue.
I hate that I know this much, and have refused to allow tatoos as
long as I’m paying the bills.