The tragus is the tongue-like projection of the outer ear and consists of a thin layer of flexible cartilage. The tragus does not have as many nerves as other parts of the ear. Hence, tragus piercing is the least painful as compared to other ear piercings. However, the tragus cartilage is difficult to pierce than regular flesh, which would require the piercer to exert a little more pressure than for other piercings. As a result, you might feel some discomfort during the piercing. Usually, the piercing will typically sting when the needle goes in, but the sting subsides within a few minutes.

Who shouldn’t get their tragus pierced?

It is advisable to refrain from tragus piercing or any body piercing if you have the following conditions:

  • You have skin irritation or an unusual lesion or a rash, lump, cut, moles, or lots of freckles and/or abrasions on the tragus.
  • If you have the following medical conditions that might interfere with the healing process:
  • Your current job or any activity you frequently participate in does not accept this type of piercings (e.g., many corporate and government profiles).
  • You have plans to become pregnant, or you are pregnant.
  • A licensed professional piercer feels that it would be a bad idea.

How is a tragus piercing done?

Make sure you consult a certified professional piercer with several years of piercing experience. Also, ensure that the salon that you are visiting is clean and hygienic with adequately sanitized equipment.

The piercer will make you sit on the chair and mark a spot with the marker and check with you if the position is acceptable. They may also place a cork or other barriers in your ear canal to protect it from the needle. Next, the piercer will clean your ear with a surgical soap or solution.

After cleaning, the piercer punctures the tragus quickly. Next, the piercer inserts starter jewelry and applies pressure to stop bleeding. You need to wear starter jewelry for the first few months while the site heals.

How long does it take for the tragus piercing to heal?

The tragus piercing may take about 4 months to heal. The maximum it would take is a year based on the aftercare. Certain factors may delay healing, including:

  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Certain medications
  • Lifestyle choices, such as smoking

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What are the aftercare instructions for tragus piercings?

There are some things you need to take care of after tragus piercing. The pierced area is sensitive and susceptible to infection. Some of the aftercare instructions include:

  • Avoid unnecessary touching the piercing and pierced area. Even a slight movement of the jewelry would irritate the pierced area.
  • Use a saline solution or spray at least twice a day to clean the area.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before touching the pierced area, especially during cleaning time.
  • While taking a bath, clean the pierced area with mild soap and water. Be gentle while cleaning the ear.
  • Clean the area two to four times per day and pat it dry to prevent infection.
  • Pat drying is the best way to dry the pierced area after washing it. Ensure to use a clean paper towel or cloth.
  • Do not remove your jewelry unless the physician tells you to do so.

Consult your physician immediately if you have these symptoms:

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent or worsening inflammation or redness
  • Swelling that lasts more than 48 hours
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Warmth from the piercing
  • A bump at the piercing site
  • Fever
  • Thickening or flaking around the piercing
  • Thick, smelly discharge or pus

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Medically Reviewed on 3/16/2021
References
Center for Young Women's Health. Body Piercing. https://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/08/07/body-piercing/

FamilyDoctor.Org. Body Piercing. American Academy of Family Physicians. https://familydoctor.org/body-piercing/?adfree=true