Beauty & the Blog

Needle Piercing vs Gun Piercing

Ear piercing with a gun has been the traditional form of ear piercing since the early 1960’s.

The system uses a “gun” to fire an ear piercing stud that is loaded into it.

Improvements in recent times have included that the stud loaded into the gun is completely encapsulated in plastic so that the operator who places the stud into the gun, does not touch the stud ensuring that no form of contamination takes place. This allows the piercing process to occur in a cross contamination free, sterile environment. Note that ear piercing systems like Sterilear use an encapsulated stud system and Sterilear is exclusive to Essential Beauty salons.


The gun can only be used for an ear lobe piercing and no other part of the ear or body.


Some people argue that the back of the ear piercing stud is not razor sharp, yet this is what creates the piercing hole. By contrast, a needle creates a cleaner piercing being razor sharp.

This is certainly one view point and can be accepted but at the same time, with the hundreds of millions of ear piercings that get performed worldwide using the gun system, one can accept that piercing the lobe with a gun is acceptable and has minimal risks.


The Gun is also the best form of piercing for children as it is quick, easy and effective. It is also very effective for those people who have a needle phobia.


By contrast, piercing with a needle uses a catheter needle which is a surgical needle with a plastic sheath (catheter) around it, which when pierced through skin, can be removed leaving the catheter to remain in the part of the anatomy pierced.

The selected jewellery is then inserted into the catheter and pushed through. The catheter is single use and can be used on all parts of the body.

The two systems can happily co-exist with the limitations as mentioned.

Confusion occurs when ear piercing guns are used for other parts of the ear other than the lobe and for (say) nose piercings for example, which should not be allowed.

In summary, ear piercing guns, are just for ear lobes and no other part of the ear or body.

Salons like Essential Beauty offer both needle and gun piercing, allowing customers greater flexibility in the decision-making process.

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