How does anatomy affect a piercing?

How does anatomy affect a piercing?


OOh anatomy. So vastly different between every single person. It is a beautiful thing really. It is a part of what makes us unique. It sets us apart from one another. A small dip in the ocean of who we are.

In terms of Body Piercing, anatomy can pose as a bit of a tricky obstacle to work with. We are already going to be trying to heal a foreign object in our body (jewelry), never mind the area’s shape working against it! One curve that’s slightly too sharp, tissue that is slightly too thin or thick, or a little too flat… and BOOM. Your body screams thank you, NEXT. Here we dive into a few popular piercings that are (unknown to most) HIGHLY anatomy based.


HIGHLY anatomy based. It is common that people cannot have an upper (top/most common placement) Navel piercing at all. Lower navel piercings (bottom) are even worse and in most cases cannot be performed as a regular navel piercing. Lower navel piercings are more often performed as surface piercings.

Now a lot of people believe that weight/tummy size is the defining factor of a navel piercings success. Nay Nay, I say. It is not the shape of the body that defines this, but rather very specifically the navel area itself. For a navel piercing to be viable and successful, there needs to be a proper degree of definition to the upper “flap” (ridge). What a weird word (flap), I know… but hey, it is a thing. There also needs to be adequate room in the navel hole to put jewelry in it. AKA- it needs free space.

If anatomy is squishing, pushing, resting on, rubbing, or interfering with the jewelry sitting properly/straight in any way, this often leads to rejection or very poor healing (if it ever does).

This goes for clothes and everything else as well so do not be wearing tight things, catching it, bumping it, touching it (aside from cleaning ) or irritating it during healing even if you do have a proper anatomy!

Main questions: Is the hole shallow? Is it narrow? Is it flat (not much of a hole)? Is your upper ridge/flap un-defined? Do you have an outtie? Is the hole very small? Does the upper part of your navel overlap/rest on top of the bottom?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is safe to say you may not be able to have a traditional navel piercing. Now that being said, sometimes it is just a matter of using specific jewelry styles that suit your anatomy. You may not have the IDEAL anatomy for a traditional navel piercing, but sometimes there are other options! Alas, the answer may be just plain no. (See our other article “Why we tell you no”). Your piercer will be able to guide you on this- so please heed their advice! If you have a Navel piercing done without proper anatomy/jewelry… you will likely end up with permanent scarring and disfigurement! YIKES.
Here is a small visual guide to safe and unsafe anatomy for traditional navel piercings.

**REMEMBER** It is always best to visit a Professional Piercer in person so that they may properly and adequately evaluate your specific anatomy to ensure accurate advice.


HIGHLY anatomy based. It is common that people cannot have this piercing.
The viability and success of an Industrial Piercing relies heavily on two factors:
A. The definition of the outer fold of the upper ear cartilage.
B. The curvature (or lack thereof) of the inner cartilage (often referred to as either scapha or upper conch).

If you do not have a defined curve/fold at the top AND bottom of where the Industrial Piercing should be… it is likely you cannot hold a traditional Industrial Piercing. Tissue being pierced cannot be altered in any way. It cannot be pulled, pushed, or twisted to CREATE proper anatomy. It needs to be pierced while resting in its absolute natural position. If not, it will lead to rejection, migration, and potentially significant scarring or permanent disfiguration.

If the inner part of your ear under where the long part of the bar sits, curves outward (pushes on the bar or would touch the bar) it is likely you cannot have a traditional Industrial Piercing. Having the bar constantly sitting against/rubbing the tissue and cartilage can cause significant irritation and discomfort. In some cases, the bar will, over time, cut into the cartilage/ear warranting immediate removal. AKA- very painful, permanent scarring, total loss of piercing. YIKES.

Now all this being said, depending on your anatomy, there may be other options for you that will provide the “look” of an Industrial while not actually being a traditional Industrial (search “floating industrial piercing” or “faux industrial piercing” on Google or Instagram!).
Below are a few visual guides to the above-mentioned points.

**REMEMBER** It is always best to visit a Professional Piercer in person so that they may properly and adequately evaluate your specific anatomy to ensure accurate advice.


HIGHLY anatomy based. Now, someone NOT being able to have these piercings is not unbelievably common. However, it is MUCH more common than most people assume.

Let me also state for the record, your breasts and nipples are different from every other pair of breasts and nipples on this planet. Every single person in the world is different. NO ONE, has the same anatomy. This is COMPLETELY normal. YOU are beautiful and unique and that is OK.

Do not forget this fact. Or I will yell it at you.

No, I will not yell at you. But I will repetitively and with no shame remind you that you are gorgeous, unique, cherished, and perfect in your own way.

The tissue of a nipple is very delicate and sensitive. For some people they can be tricky and difficult to heal because of this. Even when a person has the perfect nipple anatomy to hold a piercing, the body may not accept it and instead will either migrate the jewelry (push it out) or simply just never heal. This is not overly common, so don’t fret. However, because of their natural sensitivity they do need tender loving, gentle, consistent care for 6-12 months… or they may get very upsetti-spaghetti.

For a nipple piercing to be viable and successful, the nipple itself (not the areola) cannot be flat. It must protrude outward to a certain degree in order to be properly pierced. It does not necessarily matter how small the nipple is, but mostly to what degree it protrudes.


Inverted nipples are always a case-to-case scenario. Sometimes they can be pierced, sometimes they cannot. This will require a consultation with a Professional Piercer. As most inverted nipples do protrude when coerced to do so, some can still be quite flat. Whether or not they can be pierced depends on the level of inversion, and shape of the nipple.

**REMEMBER** It is always best to visit a Professional Piercer in person so that they may properly and adequately evaluate your specific anatomy to ensure accurate advice.

Sea Dawne
Senior Piercer
Luar Body Piercing

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