Tragus Piercing Information, Procedure, Healing and Infections

What is Tragus Piercing?

Tragus is the small cartilage nub which projects out from near the way leading to the ear canal. It has been a trend visible among the youth of the present generation to sport shiny and funky rings on this small little part of the ear to enhance their style statement. Usually people who are bold and adventurous opt for this kind of piercing, the methodology of which is slightly different from other kinds of cartilage piercing. The tragus piercing is usually carried out using a hollow, straight or curved small-gauge needle which should be sterilized. It requires a trained piercer as piercing tragus is also risky as there is a possibility of the needle penetrating beyond the tragus. The tragus piercing risks are also quite in number and so we need to take extra precautions while getting the tragus pierced. The tragus is quite susceptible to infections as it is located in such an area over which hairs keep falling and may get caught around the earring and infections may be caused out of this contact with dirty hairs. This leads to tragus piercing infections and problems which can aggravate to tragus piercing complications which may result the need for surgical operations in extreme cases may even cause the tragus to be surgically removed. In order to avoid such risks one must ensure to go for tragus piercing tools and jewellery of a considerable high quality. So let us delve into the knowledge of the proper ways of tragus piercing, and the several precautionary methods that should be followed in order to ensure that even after getting the tragus pierced you can still enjoy listening to our favorite tracks using an earphone.

tragus piercing
Picture 1 – Tragus Piercing
Source – Wikipedia

How to pierce your Tragus?

A successful tragus piercing depends primarily on the efficiency of the piercer as well as the techniques he / she adopts to carry out the process. But this does not negate the responsibility of the person whose tragus has got pierced to sincerely follow the after care measures. In this process the tragus is pierced using a small gauge straight or curved piercing needle which requires the piercer to be cautious so as to prevent the needle from penetrating beyond the tragus as it may harm the ear. In case of vertical tragus piercing, the tragus is pierced on both ends of the tragus which the toughest part of the tragus and requires professional piercing.  A few steps have been mentioned beneath to ensure a safe tragus piercing:-

  • You should lie upside down keeping the head stiff and still.
  • A thick cotton bud or a cock should be inserted in the ear canal so as to prevent any kind of damage to the ear.
  • In the next step, the small gauge( usually 18 gauge) hollow needle, the curvature or the straightness of which depends on the sole discretion of the person getting his/her tragus pierced should be carefully put through the cartilage. This insertion of the needle requires a some extra pressure on the part of the piercer as the tragus is thicker and fleshy than other parts.
  • This is followed by normal bleeding which should be wiped properly using cotton.
  • Lastly the tragus piercing jewellery, usually bead rings made of stainless steel, gold, platinum or titanium should be inserted to the area pierced. Moreover since the tragus lacks enough space for modification, you should go for small sized bead rings and ball closure rings which are relatively safe.

Vertical tragus piercing
Picture 3 – Vertical tragus piercing
Source – bmezine

Does Tragus Piercing hurt?

Unlike the piercing of any other part of the body such as the belly or the nose, the tragus lacks a bundle of nerves and comparatively less blood flows through it. So there are no such chances of experiencing immense pain while tragus piercing. There may be a slight pinch similar to what one normally experiences as in case of a cut but the pain is highly negligible. Initially the area pierced may bleed and develop into a sore but the pain withers away within a very few days. It is necessary to keep the area clean and tidy so as to prevent it from any kind of infection.

Tragus piercing Jewellery

The kind of jewellery that one can wear after a tragus piercing depends on the pace at which the pierced area gets healed. One should also be cautious as not to wear funky artificial accessories or earrings made of poor quality as it may have a harmful effect on the tragus. It is advisable to wear tragus piercing rings, studs, barbells or earrings made of sophisticated metals such as those made of gold, silver, platinum, or titanium which are of non-corrosive nature and shall not cause harm to the ear. The jewellery must be of a good quality and should not be very tight but of a comfortable nature. It must also suit your personality well.

tragus piercing jewellery
Picture 2 – Tragus Piercing Jewellery
Source – Buzzle.com

Tragus Piercing Cost

The cost of tragus piercing depends on factors such as the area where you stay as well as the quality of the piercing method. If the tragus is pierced by a highly experienced and professional piercer, the cost of piercing is very likely to go up. But it is safer to get the piercing done by a trained professional as it does not let you compromise with the part of a vital sensory organ without which living a life shall be rendered extremely difficult.

Tragus Piercing Aftercare

The most essential factor for the fast healing of the tragus pierced is to follow the tragus piercing aftercare measures efficiently. For atleast 4-8 weeks you should take good care of the tragus for the smooth healing of your tragus . But the healing duration also depends on the skin type which may either be oily or dry, the immunary capabilities of the body system, as well metabolic disorders such as diabetes wherein any wound or infection takes a longer time to heal. Given below are some of the aftercare measures recommended by doctors for the fast and proper healing of tragus piercing:-

  • The tragus piercing area must be kept clean and tidy by soaking a clean cotton ball in a disinfectant or a saline solution and gently applying it in and around the pierced area. The solution should be applied in such a way as to alow it to seep into the pierced hole. The tragus piercing jewellery must be twisted gently as and when required in order to ensure the even distribution of the solution all around the tragus. This cleaning procedure must be followed twice or thrice a day.
  • You should not touch the pierced area with dirty or uncleaned hands as it may cause bacterial infections and lead to tragus piercing complications. If there is any kind of irritation in the pierced area owing to the tightness of the jewellery or the discharge of any kind of fluid from the affected area, you should carefully loosen or change the jewellery or wipe the fluid by a hand washed properly by an anti-bacterial soap.
  • While sleeping you should be careful to lie on a clean bed on the either side of the ear affected. The pillow on which you rest your head should be cleaned and changed on a regular basis so as to avoid the area to get infected. Vigilance is also required while sleeping to restrain oneself from touching or itching the ear affected.
  • Similarly you should refrain from scraping any kind of crusty formation over the tragus. Any such irritable cause must be carefully dealt with following the guidelines that have been laid down by the experts and the doctors.
  • No such clothes should be worn which may touch the area pierced. Pull-overs and T-Shirts with collars must be avoided during the healing process as it may hurt the pierced area and aggravate the vulnerability of the same.
  • Putting up earphones on the tragus pierced is prohibited. You should be extra vigilant using the cellphone as under no circumstances the cell should be brought close to the affected ear.

All the above mentioned tragus piercing care measures if carefully and sincerely followed will ensure the healing of the tragus within the normal stipulated time period of 8 weeks.

Tragus piercing Infections

If you fail to abide by the instructions carefully you might end up infecting the tragus, thereby delaying the healing process and leading to tragus piercing complications. Any injury to the pierced area may make it vulnerable to infections. So you must take extra care of the ear and have to avoid swimming for as long as it does not get completely healed as the water is chlorinated in swimming pools. Moreover the infection may cause the occurrence of a keloid or a boil or may also lead to a swollen tragus. This can be treated by the application of tea tree oil with warm diluted water over the affected surface in a calm and gentle manner. One may carefully change the jewellery if required but changing tragus piercing jewellery frequently is staunchly prohibited.However it is advisable to consult a dermatologist or an E.N.T specialist if the tragus gets infected somehow and the problem goes beyond endurance.

So in a nutshell, if you want to look cool and sexy you may get your tragus pierced which may not be everyone’s cup of tea but only by a trained professional who shall help you enhance your beauty and style and thereby improve your personality.

Tragus Piercing Video

Check out this video to know how the tragus piercing is done.

Published on October 9th 2010 by  under Body Piercing.
Article was last reviewed on 31st August 2012.

19 Responses to “Tragus Piercing Information, Procedure, Healing and Infections”

  1. [...] Another type of piercing is conducted at the thick fleshy fold of the ear called the tragus which is actually very painful in nature and takes a long time, not less than 4 months to heal. Read more on Tragus Piercing. [...]

  2. Jessica Shaw says:

    I have both of my tragus pierced and they didnt hurt me, not at all. I felt a small pinch and that was it. However it did bleed and it does take quite a while to heal. I found that getting my hoop changed to a stud was much more comfortable and alot easier to take care of. The only problem I had with mine was i got a small bump on mine which they call a keloid. If you just put crushed up asprin and water on it, it will go away. It may not be for everyone, but I love mine and would go back and do it all over again.

  3. Jessica T says:

    I just got my tragus done two days ago and it wasn’t as bad as most people would say. It is a little sore but the pain is slowly fading away. I used Blue Aqua saline solution to keep it clean :) it was a great choice and i love it!

  4. melissa says:

    i had mine done a week ago! love it but its killing me! they tolled me to put warm salt water on it. its very swolen and i cant sleep on it, i think its infected but i keep it clean every day? any advice?

  5. kate dunn says:

    I got my targus done about 8 days ago and it hurt like hell I refuse to do.the other one. I have kept mine clean and used this cream they gave me and its healing but not healing as fast as I thought. Can I change my hoop out into a stud??? Im scared of jerking the ring out of my ear and that would.b more painful any help anyone??

  6. kate dunn says:

    Dont use salt water omg no that’s an opened hole that will cause infections swelling n Other stuff go to a doc asap!!!

  7. ella says:

    had it done but now thinking off getting it removed as dont like the after pain

  8. Enter Name says:

    I had mine done two days ago, I really like the way it looks. I think the trick to bring down the pain is to constantly rotate it. I use saline solution to clean it. I love the outcome.

  9. Rose says:

    are you meant to take out your tragus when you are cleaning it?

  10. Carol says:

    I had my tragus pierced 4 days ago. The intial piercing was painful, but the pain has receded. Only when i touch it, does it hurt. I’ve been using anti bacterial first aid spray on it a couple times of day and putting neosporin on it, and it’s helping heal it. I was told not to take it out myself, go to piercing salon to have them use the proper tools to remove it. Otherwise, I love my new piercing.

  11. Kari says:

    I’m dying to have my tragus pierced but I’m a wimp when it comes to pain! I’m planning on going today after work, if I don’t chicken out!

  12. Miranda says:

    I got my tragus pierced on both sides in one setting. The right side was a piece of cake (I had gotten it done a few weeks before taken it out so it went through the scar tissue), but when I get the left side done, it was horrible. I have a pretty decently high pain tolerance, (I’ve had 7 other body piercings and had my first and second lobe holes gauged, all with no problems), the second tragus was the worst piercing pain I’ve ever felt. It wasn’t like torture but I won’t do it again. The soreness lasted about 12 hours on the left side, and there was no soreness after that for either side.
    I’ve had them for 3 weeks, and they’ve healed perfectly, I don’t clean mine every day, it’s actually like 3 times a week. I’ convinced that over cleaning causes problems, I just let them heal on their own and it works I’ve never had problems with my piercings and I’ve always used this method.

  13. Serena says:

    I got my Tragus done about 13 day’s ago It didn’t hurt at all ofcourse after It bled ALOT but only a little pain afterwards but now I’m really questioning myself why I got It It hurts so bad my ear Is just swollen everywhere and I have no idea what to do I clean It with warm water and sea salt but nothing seems to be working I just wanna take ibuprofen allllll day becuase of the pain…

  14. Caitlyn says:

    I got my Tragus done 3 days ago wasn’t as bad as i hought it was going to be. I clean mine with Saline Soultion in the morning and at night. Haven’t had any pain except for when i bump it on accident. I abbsolutely love it though!!! Best piercing I have!

  15. Megan says:

    I have had my tragus pierced for over 7 years. Make sure that you get it cared for if you have an infection. My infection (at first) was so bad, that I lost the hearing in that ear. I recently just had my tragus earing changed and now it is infected again. But I do love my piercing and would do it again.

  16. kmac says:

    I got my tragus done on Saturday and it wasnt bad at all. This morning I woke uo and can barely see the gem on the jewelry it is sooo swollen!!!! I’ve had many piercings and have never experienced anything like this!! I couldnt take it out if I wanted to its that swollen!!! Def gonna go to the doc manana!!

  17. Katie says:

    When you get something pierced you are supposed to use warm water with salt water dissolved in it to clean it, or sterile saline solution, or saline wound wash. They should sell this neat little thing in what looks like a hairspray can at the parlour you get your piercing done, its pressurized saline solution, its about $10. Also, I have my left tragus double pierced, and I did both of them myself, and they first one I couldn’t feel a thing, not joking, second one, there was a little pressure that’s it. My second one is healing rather nicely. I have 13 piercings right now and I’ve done 11 of them myself, I’ve also done 2 more that I don’t have currently.

  18. Courtney says:

    I just got both my tragus pierced last week, prob about 1 week ago??? I love them now, but when i got them done the left one was nothing, but right one popped and is still alittle swollen. slowly healing…but overall i really like them. wouldnt do it again but glad i did….

  19. Emily says:

    I have my tragus done, I’ve had it for about 2 weeks, I use Bactine to clean it, I use q-tips to do so, first with water, then the Bactine. It did hurt a little, and bled alot. It doesnt hurt now, and there is no infection, I was able to put my earbuds in after one week and a half. It’s the best piercing I have! :D

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