Enduring Agony for Style: The 10 Most Painful Piercings

Tife is a freelance healthcare and fashion content writer. When she isn't writing, you will…

Body piercings are a form of art and expression, but it’s not always that simple. Some piercings will push your pain endurance to the limit. While all piercings have a certain level of pain, some are excruciating. The reasons for extreme pain include thick cartilage and nerve endings in the piercing site.

If you’re curious about the most painful body piercings, this guide is for you. We’re sharing a list of the most painful piercings, their pain ratings, and why they’re intensely painful.

What are the most painful piercings? 

Here’s a list of the most painful piercings ranked from the least to the most discomforting. 

Septum Piercing

Septum piercing


The septum piercing generally falls around a 4 to 6 on the pain scale. When the needle goes through the thicker cartilage, it can reach 7 out of 10. Some people felt it was a 2 out of 10, especially when the needle goes through the sweet spot, the thin strip separating your nostrils. But that’s not typical, and remember, pain tolerance varies for different individuals.

Nipple Piercing

The nipple piercing typically ranks 6 out of 10 on the pain scale. It’s placed close to the areola, packed with nerve endings, making it extremely sensitive during the piercing procedure. It will also feel sore for about a week and may itch, swell, and produce discharge. It usually takes 6-12 months to heal fully. 

Rook piercing

rook piercing


A rook piercing is done on the upper ridge of your ear, which is characterized by thick cartilage. As a result, it’s one of the most painful ear piercings and ranks about 6 out of 10. It takes about 3  to 12 months to heal, but the good thing is that its location makes it hard to irritate during the healing process. 

Conch piercing

conch piercing


For a conch piercing, the needle goes through thick cartilage, which makes it difficult to puncture. It generally feels like a 6 on the pain scale. It starts as a sharp pain that slowly becomes throbbing, lasting a few days after the procedure. It heals slowly, taking between 6-9 months.

Daith piercing

Daith piercing - Enduring Agony for Style: The 10 Most Painful Piercings


The daith piercing is located on the innermost cartilage of the ear. Like all cartilage piercings, it’s painful, but people with the piercing say they felt more pressure than pain while getting it. This piercing earns a 6 on the pain scale and takes 6-12 months to heal completely. 

Industrial piercing

Industrial piercing


If you’re thinking of a hardcore ear piercing, the industrial piercing should be at the top of your mind. It involves passing a single piece of barbell jewelry through two cartilage piercings in the helix region. The traditional industrial piercing and its other variations typically sit at 7 on the pain scale.  

The healing process can be complicated because it’s easy to irritate the piercing while wearing glasses or bumping it while brushing your hair.  

Anti-tragus piercing

Anti-tragus piercing


The anti-tragus piercing area has thick cartilage, making it rank 8 on the pain scale.  Like most other cartilage piercings, healing takes 6-12 months. The healing process can be delayed by constant irritation from sleeping on the side of your head, wearing head accessories like a helmet, or using a starter post that is too short.   

Snug piercing

snug piercing - Enduring Agony for Style: The 10 Most Painful Piercings


Snug piercing, also known as an anti-helix piercing, is generally the most painful ear piercing. It is rated 8 on the pain scale because of the thickness of the cartilage in the piercing area. Beyond the pain, it doesn’t heal quickly because it’s in a prime spot, vulnerable to snagging and contact. 

Due to the pain involved with this piercing, people commonly opt for the fake snug piercing setup. 

Dydoe Piercing

A dydoe piercing is a male genital piercing done through the ridged edge of the head of the penis. They are typically done in pairs and usually take 3 – 4 months to heal. It’s particularly excruciating and uncomfortable for an uncircumcised man due to the presence of the foreskin. It is ranked 10 out of 10 on the scale because the needle has to go through dense tissue. 

Some people consider this a temporary piercing as it’s common for it to migrate after a while. 

Ampallang piercing

The ampallang piercing is a popular male genitalia piercing that penetrates through the glans of the penis horizontally. It’s one of the most painful body piercings, ranking 10 out of 10. It pierces through a lot of tissue and is sensitive because of numerous nerve endings. 

The ampallang piercing may bleed freely during the procedure and for a few days after because the area has a lot of blood flow. 

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions on the most painful piercings. 

What is the most painful ear piercing? 

The snug, industrial, and conch piercings are the most painful ear piercings. The pain is because the piercing areas of these piercings have thick cartilage that the piercer needs to puncture. 

What is the most painful face piercing?

The septum piercing is one of the most painful face piercings. This is especially true when the piercer cannot find an area with a thin layer of cartilage between the nostrils. 

Is the industrial the most painful piercing?

The industrial piercing is one of the most painful ear piercings. However, there are more painful ear piercings like the snug piercing. 

Ready to endure the pain?

Pain is a subjective feeling, and individuals have varying tolerance levels. Generally, there’s no entirely painless piercing. So, it’s important to know your body and listen to it. If you’re just starting with body piercings, avoiding the most painful piercings and gauging your pain threshold with the least painful piercings is advisable.

If you want a piercing, you should be ready to follow the proper aftercare practices until it’s completely healed.

💎 You should know: We use affiliate links throughout our site. This means we may earn a cent or two when you make a purchase on our site. Thanks for adding to our shine.