Risks of Piercing "Cauliflower Ear"
May 25th, 2012
I was asked a question recently that I hadn't heard before:
At one of the tattoo shops I work in, one of the apprentice tattoo artists wants me to pierce a helix on both ears. No problemo. However he has "cauliflower ear" in both. I've been doing some research about specifically what causes it, also I've talked with him about it. He told me that he used to be a boxer, which is somewhat common. But he never had them drained.
I have never pierced a cauliflower ear, and honestly I've never been presented with this question. So I'm curious to know if its something that I should or should not do ? I'm also curious to know what your experience is, and what you think. :) Thanks.
That's an awesome question! It is one I have never been asked before. And in all my years of experience, I've never had a request to pierce an ear that has been injured in this way.
From my understanding of the situation, I'd be very wary about piercing such anatomy. As I imagine you know, the condition itself results from the surface tissue being separated from the cartilage, and is a problem that is caused by a lack of vascularity. To me that would indicate that the healing capacity of the area is even worse than usual (and we all know cartilage is rather finicky when it comes to healing).
If he can bring you a doctor's note that says piercing is not medically contraindicated in his case, I'd consider it. Short of that, I'd personally stay away from an area that is highly likely to be problematic healing.