Tragus Piercing - The Ear piercing Series
What is a tragus piercing?
A tragus piercing is an ear piercing located in the little piece of cartilage or little ‘flap’ that covers your ear canal.
Anatomy wise, most people can get it. The little ‘flap’ needs to be big enough to support jewelry safely.
If this ‘flap’ is too small, I have seen the tragus be pierced more inward towards the face, but this can cause a lot of issues during healing and after. This can result in problems with chewing, migration, excessive swelling, ugly scars and the back of the jewelry; that will at that point be located further in the ear canal; can be very frustrating in the long run. So always check your piercers reviews and portfolio before making an appointment.
What to expect when getting your tragus pierced.
Like every piercing, a tragus can be pierced in multiple ways.
Some piercers pierce this from the inside out and simply use a curved blade needle and give pressure using their fingers. Most piercers will pierce from the outside in and will use some kind of tool to help with the backpressure.
In both of these techniques, you will feel some pressure a very short and fast needle prick and that’s it.
There is also a technique where a piercer uses clamps around the tragus, there is nothing wrong with using clamps, but I’m not a big fan as they more often than not distort the natural position of the skin that can lead to a very shallow or very deep piercing. It can also add extra trauma or swelling to the piercing and skin.
When getting pierced by an experienced piercer, a tragus piercing doesn’t hurt that much. Most of my clients rate it 4/10.
How does it heal
When a tragus is freshly pierced, the jewelry will be a bit longer, so your piercing has room to swell.
After 8 weeks give or take, your piercing is ready for a downsize so your jewelry fits nicely. This doesn’t mean your piercing is healed, it means you are entering the 3rd stage of healing. It’ll still take a couple of months for your piercing to be fully healed, so keep doing your aftercare.
On average a tragus piercing takes 6 months to heal in a Belgian climate.
Tragus piercing Aftercare
Aftercare for a tragus is similar to all cartilage piercings. Rinse once a day with streaming water, for example your shower, so any crusties you might have can come loose and rinse away on their own.
Use a sterile saline aftercare like Neilmed piercing aftercare, 2 times per day.
And lastly keep your piercing dry.
I do not personally recommend using q-tips for daily cleaning, but when you do have crusties that just won’t come off, it is better to rinse the crusty and use a q-tip with some Neilmed on to get rid of those stubborn crusties.
Avoid pressure at all times while healing your tragus piercing, so no sleeping on the piercing, not using any earbuds or earphones.
Also be careful when applying make-up, foundation or fly away powder can get into your piercing wound and cause issues or infections in the first stages of healing.
Does it fit my lifestyle?
I do not recommend this piercing for:
Doctors if you need to use a stethoscope on a regular basis.
Boxers or any sports that need you to put on headgear or have a higher risk of putting a lot of pressure directly on the piercing.
When you usually sleep with earbuds and would be restless if you have to avoid these for a longer period of time.
Myths vs reality
Some of the myths I have heard about tragus piercings, is they can cure migraines, reduce hunger and help losing weight. A piercing will never cure anything. Piercings are decorative and an expression of identity, style or fashion statement.
Another myth is that you could go deaf after getting your tragus pierced. If you go to a reputable piercer, who knows what they’re doing and use quality jewelry, you will absolutely be in safe hands.