Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Rook Piercing, From a Professional

These days, there are so many areas of the ear suitable for trendy piercings that choosing where to get your next (or first!) one can be a big task. Your cartilage consists of several areas — 12, to be exact — that are prime real estate for piercings. For example, there's the tragus piercing that sits on the small flap in your inner ear that's closest to the ear canal; the helix piercing, which is typically located on the outer cartilage; the conch piercing, which goes through the inner back part of your ear; and the industrial piercing, in which a bar is pierced through two different points on the ear.

While the aforementioned styles are great, the rook piercing is an oft-forgotten piercing placement that is just as unique as the others. In the event that you're trying to decide on where to get your next piece of jewelry, we spoke to a professional piercer to get the details on everything you should know before getting a rook piercing.

What Is a Rook Piercing?

A rook piercing is an ear piercing through the antihelix, a folded piece of cartilage in the inner ear that sits just above the tragus. "The piercing goes perpendicularly through the horizontal fold in your ear connecting the outside ridge of your ear cartilage to your head called the antihelix," New York City-based piercer Vicki Rose told POPSUGAR. "In relation to other piercings, a rook piercing is located above a tragus or daith piercing and behind a forward helix piercing."

Who Can Get a Rook Piercing?

Some piercings aren't for everyone, and a rook piercing is one of them. "Some people aren't suited for rook piercings," Rose said. "You need to have a fold of tissue with enough depth and width to sustain the piercing. Each ear anatomy is unique and you'll want a professional to check out your ear to see if the piercing is possible and to help with jewelry selection."

Do Rook Piercings Hurt?

Much like with any piercing, pain is relative. That said, it's likely that your rook piercing might feel about the same as any other cartilage piercing. "If you have any other cartilage piercings it feels very similar with maybe a little more pressure initially," Rose said.

If pain is what you're worried about the most, some professionals say that you can take a pain reliever before or after your piercing appointment.

How Long Do Rook Piercings Take to Heal?

According to Rose, you can expect a fresh rook piercing to heal in six to 12 months, and you might feel a bit of pressure and soreness in the area in the days following.

What Kind of Jewelry Is Used For Rook Piercings?

After getting a rook piercing, your piercer will likely give you one of two different types of curved barbells to accommodate any initial swelling. "Most of the time classic curved barbells are used with or without gem options," Rose said. "Another version of a curved piece your piercer may suggest is a J-curved barbell based off of your anatomy or jewelry choices. A J-curved barbell has slightly more angle at one end and may be suggested depending on the shape of your ear and depth of the tissue."

J-curves, as Rose explained, sit at a different angle and allow the piercing to be more visible.

What's the Best Way to Take Care of a Fresh Rook Piercing?

You should take care of a rook piercing in almost the same way that you would any other piercing: by cleaning it with a saline solution two times a day and making sure you're leaving it alone otherwise.

"The most important thing is not touching the area to keep any bacteria from contaminating the piercing, and just use sterile saline and nothing else," Rose said. "There's no need to twist, spin, or rotate the jewelry."

Additionally, you should refrain from putting any added pressure on the area, as it may lead to a longer healing process.

"Be careful when talking on the phone to not hit your piercing, or when using headphones," Rose said. "After getting any piercing, you also want to wait until it's fully healed prior to submerging it into any water." If your piercing gets infected, you should consult a doctor or a dermatologist as soon as possible.