Not everyone's anatomy is suited to the popular industrial piercing, and far too many piercers are willing to pierce them anyway. This could potentially result in a shallow industrial placement which- rather than cleanly passing perpendicularly through the rim, bisects the body of the cartilage on a shallow angle.
As a result, you're basically asking your body to heal an unviable surface piercing in your cartilage. Best case, it rejects it with minimal scarring until it relocates itself to the rim (if you have one there). More likely though, a keloid, or other scarring will build up around the piercing to compensate. Additionally, the chances of infection — which can be quite serious (see the entry on Ear Collapse) — are dramatically increased.
If your anatomy is not suited to a mod, don't get it!
The reader who sent in the (bad) picture shown here added,
"I was the sad owner of that poorly placed industrial... at the time, I was so stuck on getting an industrial I went for it, although now (after I was forced to remove it) I know my ears just werent made for the fine thing... I'm frustrated that the piercer did a poor placement job and/or didn't warn me that my body just wasnt anatomically correct to get it done. Now the industrial is gone and left some slight scar tissue that will never go away... Let this be a lesson to us all, don't do it if your body can't handle it!"
Many other readers have written in with similar stories unfortunately. Caz writes,
"I had an industrial for almost three years. I loved them, still do. But unfortunatly my ear resembled the 'bad' picture up above. I have one massive keloid on the outer rim of my ear. It will never go away and I'm not happy. I should have been told of the effects and that it was poor placement on me, not 'it's just the way my ears are' when I complained. I hope I can encourage people to ask more questions than I did when getting this piercing. Good luck."
"I too had a poorly placed industrial. I was so in love with the look of the piercing that after seeing it I went out to get it right away. It looked as though my right ear would take the piercing no problem, so I was pierced. To this day I think he should've told me no, because he placed it really shallow to get it to work. I was going through the basic healing process when I noticed it getting closer to the edge of my ear, and staying red the whole time. To make long story short, my ear was caving in, and the cartilage was getting really soft on the side of my ear to make a path for the piercing to come out (ie. it was migrating). I took it out before i had a permanently v-shaped ear and was sad to have to give up on the best piercing ever."
Kadee later had her other ear re-pierced successfully by a more experienced piercer.