When we say piercings, we immediately think about the ear piercings almost every girl has. But piercings are evolving from these. And no, they are not just about the nose piercings either. Today, we will be talking about tragus piercing and everything you need to know about it. We will cover everything from where is the tragus, how painful it is, the jewelries you can use, and aftercare.
One reason why not a lot of people explore the world of piercing is because of some misconceptions. Many believe that cartilage piercings are extremely painful. Some have this notion that their piercings will get infected. While these do happen, it all depends on the person getting it. Other people do have lower pain tolerance and indeed without proper knowledge of aftercare, piercings can get infected.
If you are thinking of getting a tragus piercing or perhaps just any kind of body piercing, it is best to do your research first. If you have a small tragus, you may not be viable to get this. Still, it is good to ask an expert.
What is the Tragus?
- 1 What is the Tragus?
- 2 How Painful is a Tragus Piercing?
- 3 Factors That Can Affect Pain
- 4 What Happens During a Tragus Piercing?
- 5 The Aftercare
- 6 How Long Does a Tragus Piercing Heal?
- 7 Signs of Infection
- 8 Jewelries for Tragus Piercing
- 9 How Much Will It Cost?
- 10 How to Prepare for Getting One
The tragus is the little triangle shaped cartilage immediately at the front of your ear canal. It helps collect sound from behind you.
More and more ladies are getting their own tragus pierced because of a few factors. First, it is really unobstructive. You would not really feel that it is there unless you are looking at the mirror or you touched it. Apart from that, a tragus piercing does not really get irritated easily like other cartilage piercings. You can easily brush your hair, wear your earphones or headphones, and blow-dry without any fuss.
Another thing is that it is very versatile. There are lots of different types of jewelry you can use and it would look totally cool.
How Painful is a Tragus Piercing?
Everyone who is getting pierced is likely to ask if it will hurt. That is a common reaction and a commonly asked question.
Unfortunately, it is true that you will feel a sting with a tragus piercing. But that is not uncommon. In fact, every piercing you will get will give you that very same sensation; some places a little bit more. That is because your body is being pierced – your skin and even the cartilage is punctured. If the area you want to be pierced has more nerve endings, you will likely feel a little bit more of pain.
Nonetheless, the pain you will feel with a tragus piercing is actually not as painful as any other body part. This is especially so if you are visiting a parlor and you get pierced by a professional.
For the most part, the pain will be during the initial contact of the needle to the cartilage. It may still hurt for a few minutes to hours once you’ve had it, but it will ultimately subside – and much faster.
Note: DO NOT ever get your pierced done at home by yourself or someone who does not know how to pierce. Plus, the tragus requires piercing with a needle, not a gun. Even if you have a gun at home, never try it.
Factors That Can Affect Pain
The pain you will feel is usually based on your own pain tolerance. Some can withstand extreme pain while others would crumple down with a little sting.
But apart from that, there are several other factors that could contribute to the pain you will feel. Here are the following factors if you want to feel less pain:
- How well rested you are
- Whether you recently had drugs or alcohol
- How well you generally take care of yourself
- Use of anesthetic product
It will also help you a lot if you prepare yourself mentally. This does help keep you calmer and knowing you’ll be in pain could help you deal with it much better.
What Happens During a Tragus Piercing?
Knowing what should take place during a tragus piercing help you get prepared – both physically and mentally. The knowledge could also help you know if there are any discrepancies during your own procedure.
Here are what should happen during a tragus piercing or any other piercing in general:
As with any other piercing procedure, your piercer should always disinfect the skin before they get started. Usually, they would use rubbing alcohol on a cotton and rub it on the area. This is to guarantee that the bacteria is removed or killed so that infection will not occur.
The next step involves you getting comfortable. You’ll either be asked to lay down or to recline down in a chair. This also gives the piercer a good view of your tragus. Usually, they’ll also place a cork on your ear canal just to avoid any kind of damage or injury to the ear.
After disinfecting, the piercer will take a hollow needle. This needs to be disinfected or sterilized first as another preventive measure against possible infections. Your piercer will then make a hole on the tragus and then put the jewelry in.
Note: You may experience bleeding. Do not panic since this is a normal occurrence. This usually stops within a couple of minutes or so. If it goes on for a while longer, do not be alarmed. It does happen to some people but not as often.
To be completely honest, the aftercare for the tragus piercing is not hard. It is actually low maintenance just like with the usual lobe piercings you have. Just follow our tips to make sure you are free from infection and your piercing heals in time, on its own, very well.
Proper cleaning is a MUST DO.
You should always clean the area, especially during the first few weeks. You will feel that the wound is a little raw and they might still be redness so you will want to avoid irritating it more. Be gentle with your movements.
First off, clean your hands thoroughly. Use a soft cotton ball or a Q-tip that has been dipped in sea salt water or saline solution. Gently rub the cotton ball/Q-tip on both sides of the tragus. You should also try to get the liquid inside the hole as well. But then again, be gentle while cleaning, especially during the first 5 days.
Avoid using devices for a while.
You can use your phone for calling, but make sure that you use your other ear to answer or make calls. You should also avoid using headphones and earphones for a while. Your tragus piercing could be greatly irritated or worse, injured badly. While your tragus is still store, you should avoid having direct contact to it.
Speaking of avoiding direct contact, you should even avoid touching it with your hands, except when you are trying to clean them. This is to avoid infections from happening.
Apart from your hands, you should also tie your hand in a bun all the time so your hair won’t touch it. It will also help you avoid touching your ears from tucking your hair. Avoid working on a polluted area.
If you are taking a bath, be very careful. Harsh chemicals in soaps and shampoos could be harmful for your tragus piercing.
Change your sheets.
Change your sheets and pillowcases daily and wash them thoroughly. Sure it will be a pain, but good hygiene is important to avoid irritation and an infection.
You should use a good detergent that you know will guarantee the dirt and bacteria will be gone.
How to sleep?
If you have a habit of sleeping sideways, you will probably have a harder time. This is especially if you are likely to sleep on the side of your tragus piercing. It is not uncommon that you will wake up to a bleeding ear and it will likely take more time for your pierce to heal.
If you can’t help but sleep sideways, make sure it’s on the other side to avoid any irritation from happening. However, it is best if you can sleep on your back or if you can try to avoid moving so much at all.
It’s time to say NO to the swimming pool for a while. The chlorinated water could be a great threat to your healing tragus piercing and cause infection, especially when the water enters the hole.
You should also avoid any other kind of workout that could strain your ears.
Do not scrape the crust.
After a few days of having your tragus pierced, you will notice and crust forming around the new hole. As much as you want to and as much as it’s itching. You should never scrape it off. This is actually a sign that the hole is healing well. If you disturb it, you’ll be causing more trouble than actually making everything right. Do not worry, it will take off on its after a while.
Do not play with your jewelries.
There are some people that has a habit of playing with their ear or their earrings. This is a big no no, especially during the first few weeks of having your tragus piercing. It’s pretty much an obvious tip. Be mindful of your actions if you want to avoid any problems.
How to dress?
For a little while, you’ll want to choose different clothes just to make sure your ear piercing does not get infected. If you’re a big fan of hoodies, you’ll have to give it up for a few weeks. It’s also best if you can easily wear your top without rubbing on your ears as you pull them over your head.
How Long Does a Tragus Piercing Heal?
Truth be told, there is not yet any conclusive time as to when a tragus piercing can completely heal. This may all depend from person to person. A lot of factors can help. For example, proper aftercare will likely make the healing time faster compared to someone who actually keeps on fiddling with their piercing.
Nonetheless, the approximate time for healing is around 3 to 6 months. You should try and ask your health expert for other ways to make sure your piercing is cared for. If infection occurred, it can make the healing time longer than usual.
Sure enough, you are waiting for the moment when you can change your earrings and play around with your look. However, you have to be completely and one hundred percent sure that your tragus piercing has healed.
Signs of Infection
There are lots of people who take their health for granted. This is a dangerous way of thinking. If you have a tragus piercing and you think it will be fine even without proper care, you are just bringing yourself closer to danger.
Throbbing pain, redness, discomfort around the area, heat from the area, and even clear or light seepage are to be expected. However, you will want to keep an eye on some of the uncommon symptoms that could mean something else.
One of your main enemies will be an infection. Here are some tell-tale signs of one:
- You experience swelling that does not go down after 48 hours.
- There is excessive bleeding, a long while after you have your tragus pierced.
- Heat or warmth that does not go away or increases and gets more intense.
- Yellow or dark pus coming out from the wound, particularly pus that has an unpleasant odor.
- Inflammation and redness that stays even after 2 weeks after the procedure.
- A visible bump on either side of the tragus.
If you think you have infection, it is best to consult with a professional medical expert immediately. Common treatments include oral or topical antibiotics, and topical steroids. After the infection is treated, your piercing should go back to healing itself.
Jewelries for Tragus Piercing
Perhaps the best part of getting a tragus piercing is after it has completely healed and you can play with how you look. Finding the right kind of jewelry for the tragus is not really hard. Sometimes, it is also a little more about your own person preference rather than what’s best and what’s not.
However, you will need to find a jewelry that has a gauge (thickness) of either 1.6mm (14g) or 1.2mm (16g). For the length or diameter, the most suitable would be between 6mm to 10mm. This does not include the ball, decoration, or thread. For circular jewelries, the measurement is taken on the inner part.
Here are some of our choices when it comes to tragus piercing jewelries:
1. Simple Studs
These are perhaps the most commonly used of all, especially during the initial processes. This is because it’s pretty easy to put and it rather uncomplicated. Your piercing is much easier to clean and it will have the breathing space needed to avoid infection.
Studs can have have a little design, usually with stones attached on it or with different shapes. Its simplicity makes it a great accessory. Since you can’t change it until the wound has completely healed, a simple one works if you are always going out and you need a versatile accessory for your outfit.
2. Labret studs
Labret studs are much better when your tragus piercing has healed. It has the same shape as studs but it has a flat back that is fixed. The top is screwed or pushed in. These are perhaps the most popular as the flat back allows you to use an earphone more effectively than barbells or simple studs.
Nowadays, you can find labret studs made from different materials such as silver, anodized gold, gold plated, and more. There are also various designs you can find that will fit you well. Designs range from the simplest to the most elegant. There are also designs that are cutesy, feminine, and even for bad-ass women out there.
3. Ball Captive Ring (BCR)
These are also fairly common during the initial process of getting a tragus piercing. It is also known as a closure ring. This is a type of jewelry where the ring passes through the piercing. It is then closed off with a ball or a decoration.
These are also used in various other body piercings. However, it can be a little tricky to open and to put so you’ll want to practice doing it before you put it on your tragus.
4. Circular Barbells
These are also known as horseshoe rings. These are popular for tragus piercings but are usually worn when the wound has completely healed.
It’s a little similar to BCR, but it has two ends and each end has a ball or a decoration. Circular barbells are commonly made from steel, titanium, black PVD, and gold plate. There are also various designs you can choose from.
5. Segment ring
Also known as infinity rings because they look like endless loops, these are actually pretty common for piercings as well. They open a lot like closure rings but a little segment pops so you can put or take it off. One end has a dimple and you pop the segment back on it to close it.
You can choose from the variety of colors available.
6. Straight barbells
This kind of jewelry could have jewelled or non-jewelled balls in various sizes. You can even choose a more decorative version where the end is shaped like wings, notes, butterflies, flowers, and more.
While many use straight barbells, they can be a little tricky to take on or off. Usually, this is because the ball that you can take off is on the area closest to the ear canal. One wrong move and it can go inside the ears. That’s why you’ll need to practice using it to avoid such situations.
How Much Will It Cost?
If you want a tragus piercing, you will not really be spending a lot. However, some parlors do charge a little higher than others. This might be because of a few factors such as the reputation of the parlor, location, and the jewelry you are getting.
Normally though, the rates would vary from $20 to $50 in the US. If you are in Britian, it would be around 15 to 40 GBP.
Nonetheless, you can expect that some places have other fees you should pay. For example, some parlors will charge you extra for high quality sterilization. You can also buy aftercare kit from them and that would also cost you. If you want to make sure you are free from infection, you should not mind paying a little extra.
Internal thread tragus jewelry is also a little more expensive. But you can be sure that there is less risk for infection given that it won’t rubbed against the puncture area.
How to Prepare for Getting One
You do not really have to do anything extra, except maybe get some good rest the night before you get yours. All you really have to do is just show up and grit your teeth for the sting. Then the work will really start after you had it.
Still, it would be good to do some research about tragus piercing. It is great to know which jewelries to choose and how to properly take care of it. You should also search for a reputable parlor. If you know someone with this kind of piercing, it is best that you ask them where they got it. Referred places turn out to be better since you already know a past client.
It is also better if you wear clothes that are loose or with bigger neck holes. If you take it off after getting home and it is tight, there is a huge chance it will rub against your newly pierced tragus and it can actually bleed.
Apart from that, you’ll just have to prepare your budget. While the most you can spend is around $50 for the piercing itself, do not be afraid to splurge more especially when you have a budget. This is to guarantee you have the best accessories and procedure possible.