What is a Tragus Piercing?
The tragus is a small pointed cartilage portion of the ear that extends over the ear canal. When it is perforated it is called tragus piercing.
Most people wear any kind of ring or jewelry in body piercing but some people also like small barbells or any tiny circular rings due to the small size of that perforation.
To pierce this area of the ear, a small gauge hollow needle is required (usually a 16 gauge). This is the most popular method of piercing as compared to others.
There is another method which is known as surface tragus piercing. This method however is not successful because in this piercing only skin is pierced not the cartilage. But mostly the jewelry lies beneath the skin so the body rejects it and tends to push the foreign object out.
Tragus piercing fast facts
It is the small piece of cartilage present over the entrance to the ear canal
According to a rough estimate, its pricing is between $30 – $40, besides the cost of jewelry
Tragus Piercing Pain level:
Six to twelve months approximately. However, it varies depending upon the area of piercing and aftercare.
It needs a lot of care. You should clean it with a sterile, saline-based solution twice a day. Don’t sleep on that side with earrings until your wound heals. Throughout that time, avoid putting any pressure on it.
The Different Types of Tragus Piercing
Besides this general type of piercing which has been described above, there is also an opposite process named the anti-tragus piercing.
This piercing is done on the area which is located in the little triangular-shaped spot just above the ear lobe, and beside the tragus. For better understanding, it can be said that it is present in the area where the cord of headphones usually rests.
In accordance with jewelry, it is a very versatile point. You have a lot of options to wear some kind of jewelry at that point like
- Traditional tragus studs
- Tragus rings
- Labret studs
- Curved barbell
All these are very popular options. However, it is recommended that you should wear all these things especially the barbell after the piercing has fully healed. Therefore, always try to stick to the original titanium piercing.
How should you get prepared for tragus piercing?
- It is not a difficult task so don’t be panic.
- Just relax and sit down on the chair.
- If you have long hair tie them up for your convenience.
- Don’t wear any t-shirt or top that is too tight, especially at the neck. Because when you take off the shirt it may hurt your piercing wound.
- Your bed sheets should be clean to avoid any infection caused by germs entrance in your fresh new piercing.
How the piercing is done?
The piercing method may vary from person to person. For example, some professionals do it from the outside in, while others go from the inside out. However, both of them do it with the help of a sterile needle.
Generally, the professional takes the following steps:
- First, they clean the area with the help of medical-grade disinfectant to prevent germs.
- Then they use a non-toxic marker to mark the area to be pierced.
- After that, a few piercers place any barrier or a cork in your ear canal to protect your canal from the needle.
- Then through the other side, the piercer injects the needle into the tragus.
- Soon after that, they insert any kind of tragus piercing jewelry into it.
- Afterward, in order to stop bleeding, they slightly apply light pressure on that area.
- Lastly, they closed the pierced area again.
What’s the best metal to use for tragus piercing?
Although there are many options for this purpose in the local market. Yet, most people utilize surgical stainless steel because it is the safest one and causes very little infection. Moreover, it is also the most inexpensive.
However, for initial piercing, these metals are most commonly recommended:
- Surgical stainless steel
This is medical-grade steel used for medical purposes. It has inexpensive nickel content which makes it safe even for those people who have some nickel allergy. However, people who have severe nickel allergies should avoid this instrument.
While it may be appealing for anyone to use a metal that has high quality but it is at a lower point. This metal also encourages Tragus Piercing healing and is ideal for people who have sensitive skin. So according to Sobel, people who can afford high prices should use 14 karat gold for piercing.
It is also medical-grade metal, but different from stainless steel in a way that titanium is completely hypoallergenic. It is more expensive than other metals but if you are a nickel allergic patient, titanium is the best choice for your piercing.
- Solid 14 karat or higher gold
If you can afford gold and like the look of a yellow, rose, or white gold then this option is for you. It’s safe. Just make sure it is solid gold and not gold plated because gold plated will expose you to nickel and other alloys which may cause infection and allergy to you.
This metal has the same properties as titanium and it is much safer than others. It doesn’t have the implant-grade designation and never affects its functionality. In addition, it costs less than titanium.
Tragus Piercing Jewelry
When you get healed from your piercing you have now a lot of options of jewelry that you can use in place of the initial piercing items. Your piercing expert can also help you in this matter. The most common type of jewelry however includes the following:
A barbell is an earring with balls on both sides which are connected with a bar in the center. These barbells are the smallest jewelry items for initial piercing. Moreover, they are easy to carry and keep clean.
Studs are the second initial piercing option. They are small and have smooth edges that are less likely to snag on hairs and other clothing items.
Hoops are the third best option for tragus piercings. These are also of small size but we suggest waiting for your piercing healed before you try hoops. They may be of any shape or texture with unique patterns.
What do I need to do afterward?
Your piercer will guide you on how to take care of your piercing. However, the following are some of the aftercare tips for you:
- Rinse your piercing with a saline solution, which you can either buy or make yourself at home, three times a day
- Don’t touch your piercing as it can introduce germs to your wound.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning your piercing wound.
- Use warm water and gentle soap while rinsing any crust or discharge.
- Avoid alcohols, hydrogen peroxide, and perfumes until your wound heals.
- Avoid using earbuds or headphones for at least the first month or two.
- Be careful while wearing sweaters, scarves, or hats as they can snag or catch your jewelry.
- Without the permission of any medical professional avoid using any cream or ointments in the first two weeks of piercing
- Use some thick kitchen paper or non-alcoholic swabs to clean and wash the affected area.
Any potential risks to consider?
The very first complication which happens after puncturing tissue is tenderness and swelling along with some watery discharge and crusting. Due to these, several serious infections and side effects of ear piercings are possible, some of them are described below. Try to read them completely and be careful of yourself.
An open wound caused by piercing can allow bacteria to get into the tissue and can cause infection. This includes redness, pain, inflammation, and bleeding from the pierced area. It can also cause bad smelly puss and a fever.
- Bloodborne infections
You can get a blood-borne disease from a contaminated needle, which includes hepatitis B and C, and HIV, etc. So always ask your piercer to use a sterilized, disposable needle for your safety.
Some of the most common types of bumps associated with cartilage ear piercings include pustules, granulomas, and keloids. Moreover, a few kinds of allergic reactions can also become a reason for a rash or itchiness and create bumps.
- Allergic reactions
Several individuals usually have some allergies to different kinds of metals, especially nickel. And no doubt a lot of jewelry types somehow include nickel in them. That can cause a severe allergic reaction to a metal allergic person. Some of the main symptoms of an allergic reaction include redness, itching, and blisters.
Often a person’s body treats the jewelry items as some kind of foreign object and thus tries to push it away. This process is called a fair rejection. If someone’s body is showing rejection to piercing, she may notice that her ear-piercing hole is getting bigger and bigger each day. Also, he may see his skin flacking or thickening around the piercing hole.
- Tearing or Catching
Wear a tight outfit like a fitting T-shirt may possibly catch your piercing and hurt it when you try to pull it over your head. This can damage your tissue badly which may result in a lot of pain. So, be very careful.
Tragus Piercing FAQs
Q.no.1: How long does it require for tragus piercing healing?
Ans: Most commonly it takes almost 3-6 months to heal from a tragus piercing. But that is not an exact figure. This time period may either become lesser or longer depending upon how well you take care of it.
Moreover, the complications you face throughout this process are also a major factor that determines the time required for healing. Besides them, some other significant factors for estimating the healing time include the following
- Existing medical conditions
- Any medications that are taken regularly
- Lifestyle choices
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Taking good aftercare and many more
All these are the major factors that contribute to the tragus piercing healing time.
Q.no.2: How much does the tragus ear piercing hurt?
Ans: Without any doubt, according to most individuals, it hurts a lot but almost for just a second. The main reason behind this is that it is a type of cartilage piercing and cartilage ones are considered much more painful than pear piercings in other fleshy areas of ears like the ear lobes.
However, the pain caused in this process is so quick though that if you take a deep breath while inhaling a lot of air, the pricking and piercing will be over right before you exhale your breath back.
Some other things that contribute to the Tragus Piercing pain include the following:
- Being drunk or hungover
- Super tired
- Having empty stomach
- Strong feeling sense and many more
Therefore, before going out to have an ear piercing, be sure that you are very well-rested and relaxed. Also, you should contain some food in your belly. In such cases, you will not have to bear a lot of pain though.
Q.no.3: How much will I have to pay for this type of piercing?
Ans: Generally, a tragus piercing costs somewhat between $25 to $50. However, several other factors determine the exact cost that you have to pay, some of those factors are given below:
- The skill and experience of the piercer
- The location and popularity of the studio
- The type of equipment of jewelry the process is going to use
Therefore, while budgeting your piercing process, make sure to consider all these above-mentioned factors and count on additional Tragus Piercing costs. Those extra costs may include the tip amount for the piercer or some after-care products.
Furthermore, you may also want to figure out the total costs of the type of jewelry you are wishing to have in your ears. And remember some stylish metallic jewelry items cost much more than regular ones.
Q.no.4: When can a person change jewelry after having a piercing?
Ans: The best time to wear and change different ear styling items is when the piercing of the individual is healed completely. You can say that like when you can swap any jewelry item through it. However, the most probable time for inserting or changing ear jewelry is when
- Your ear piercing is no longer tender.
- After the passage of the minimum healing time prescribed by your piercer.
- Any discharge, crusting, or water weeping has stopped completely.
Still, if you are in keen need to change your ear jewelry beforehand from Tragus Piercing healing time, then ask your piercer to change your jewelry for you.
Q.no.5: How to know if there is something unusual or a problem with your tragus piercing?
Ans: After having a tragus ear piercing, if you are noticing any prominent symptoms that stay and get worsen day by day, then it is a pretty good indication that there is a problem that is making things going south.
Some of the most common symptoms that you must watch out for include the following
- Severe pain or redness
- Worsening or persistent inflammation
- Swelling lasting more than 48 hours
- Thick and smelly pus or discharge
- Excessive bleeding
- The warmth of the ears
- A small bump at the site of a piercing
- Continuous high fever
- Flaking or thickening around the piercing hole and many more
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, then immediately consult a doctor or your piercer to double-check. Only they can help you well and guide you about the tips and tricks to take good care of your ears.
The Bottom Line
Since the tragus piercing of some people might swell quite a bit more than other different kinds of ear piercings.
But the ring caused due to this piercing is unique and sometimes becomes much more challenging to heal in less time as it may not accommodate a lot of room for swelling.
Therefore, after a piercing on the tragus, try to opt for a bar for a few initial days instead of wearing ear jewelry. It is essential because your ear needs some time to heal from the hurt it has just gone through.
In addition to that, although the health benefits of tragus piercing may be lacking till now, any girl can still rock her ear look very well by choosing the pure aesthetics according to her choice and wish.
All she has to do is; Just pick a reputable and trustworthy piercer and ask him for a refined piercing. And after having a piercing, she needs to take good care of it for some days. Rest, she can enjoy wearing different kinds of ear jewelry items and rock her overall look whenever and wherever she may be.