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An industrial piercing (North America), sometimes called the " bar " (UK/IRL), scaffold piercing or construction piercing, is any two pierced holes connected with a single straight piece of jewelry (compare to orbital piercing); however, it typically refers to a double perforation of the upper ear cartilage specifically. Two piercings are made, one fairly close to the head (anti-helix piercing) the second further down the cartilage, on the opposite side of the ear (helix piercing). A straight barbell is inserted through the first piercing from behind the ear, travels diagonally across the front of the upper cartilage, then goes through the second piercing, and is secured with a screw-on bead behind the second hole.
The piercings themselves are made with a sterile hollow piercing needle, usually 14g, and the barbell jewelry is worn during the healing period. Sometimes, a pair of captive bead rings (CBRs) are used instead, and are exchanged for a barbell after healing is complete. Although the use of CBRs often results in faster healing, proper alignment of the piercings is difficult when this technique is used. It can be pierced with a flexible plastic tube and swapped for the metal bar when it has healed. It can also be pierced with a 16g barbell. After that has healed it can then be switched to a 14g barbell. Industrials typically take anywhere from three months to one year to fully heal and are considerably more painful than conventional piercing.
Cleaning the industrial piercing is significantly more complex than an average ear piercing. In order to clean the inside folds of the piercing, patience and care is required. It is best to use a cotton swab (not cotton balls, as they can be caught on the piercing) drenched in warm, uniodized salt water (or unscented antibacterial soap). Cleaning of the industrial piercing should occur 4 times a day during the first month of the healing process. Over a course of 5 months after this, the piercing should be cleaned 2 times a day. Although it is possible to make the cleaning solution, purchasing it is much more healthy and effective. Scar tissue build up is quite common with these piercings, and it is usually recommended to wear CBRs if this occurs. Migration is also common with the industrial piercing.
Two or more of this type of piercing located on the same ear is typically referred to as a cage.