How to Tell What Size Gauge Your Piercing Is?

Written by si kingston
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How to Tell What Size Gauge Your Piercing Is?
Make sure the gauge is correct before putting a new piercing in your body. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

The gauge, or thickness, of a piercing must match the hole size in your body. A gauge that is too thick will stretch your hole and can aggravate the area. A gauge that is too narrow can causing swelling and possibly lead to infection. To find out what size gauge your piercing is, you can measure it yourself. Gauge sizes run from 22 to 00. The higher the number, the thinner the gauge is. Normal ear piercings have a gauge of 22.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Place the bar of the piercing against a ruler, so you can measure its width. For plugs and eye jewellery, the gauge is measured by the diameter.

  2. 2

    Measure the thickness in millimetres. For example, the gauge, or width, is 11.5mm. If you are measuring the diameter, measure it in inches. For example, 1/8 of an inch.

  3. 3

    Round up the figure to the closet even number. For example, 11.5mm must be rounded to 12mm. A 12mm piercing has a gauge of about 1/2 inch.

  4. 4

    Look on a gauge reference chart to match the measurement in millimetres or inches to the actual gauge.

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