Tragus Piercing – A Complete Guide

Tragus piercing is one of the cutest & adorable piercing to get done. It involves the perforation of the tragus right at front of the ear canal.  Usually done by a small piercing needle, tragus piercing can be decorated wearing very beautiful jewelry including studs, rings and others. Time has changed swiftly and ear lobes are no more the only preferred pierced parts. Both guys and girls are getting this thick oval cartilage called tragus pierced as well and wearing a beautiful tragus jewelry which marks as the center of whole ear. It looks kingly just like the center jewel in a queen’s crown.

Tragus piercing is very safe and less painful but must be done only by a trained piercing expert because there are lots of tissues through which the piercing needle needs to go through to make the fine hole.

Tragus Piercing Pain – Does it Hurt?

You are going to get a part of your body pierced, should you not expect pain? Yes obviously. Tragus is a cartilage and made up of thick tissues which has very little nerves within it so the pain will be much lesser as compared to other body parts piercing like belly or nose. But since its also quite thick so considerable pressure has to be applied to pierce the full layer of tissues. That is one of the reasons why a hollow and small gauge piercing needle is used for this purpose.

The major pain which has to borne is during the piercing procedure which can always be minimized using local anesthesia. It all depends upon the pain bearing capacity of an individual during such task. Some feel like shouting so high that entire town folk will want to gather outside and some just sit quite relaxed and ignore the little pain. However because of little nerves, sensitivity is much lower in the tragus making this a very pain friendly piercing. Sharper the needle, greater the comfort. Do always try to divert your mind thinking about other stuff like your upcoming wedding or your new boy friend’s hot car, that has always worked for me at least.

Another weird problem many people face is a strange popping sound while getting their tragus pierced. That is completely normal as tragus is very close to the ear drum so the sound of the tissues breaking due to the needle is very loud to the ears. Some feel like the bones are breaking but actually those are just normal tissues and the only reason for such feeling is the loud noise as its lesser than an inch close to the ear drum. In fact there are no bones at all in the tragus, its just a thick piece of cartilage. Tragus piercing pain is very much bearable.

Tragus Piercing Jewelry – Best Options

Tragus piercing is really very attractive so it must be graced with some worthy piece of jewelry. This single jewel can sometimes look more appealing than all other 6 at several locations on your ear. There are variety of jewelry options which can be worn in the tragus piercing. Few of them:

1. Captive Bead Ring: These are very common but elegant rings being worn by girls for ages. The both ends of the ring are joined into one single bead kept as a captive. The bead can be replaced by stones or gems to get stunning luxurious look. Rings are preferred for the ease of wearing and removing them. They make excellent tragus piercing jewelry.

tragus piercing captive bead ring jewelry

2. Barbell: They look absolutely fantastic when worn in the tragus. Its usually a metal piece with balls at both ends just like the dumb bells you see in the gym. However they come in variety of shapes like circular (just like a ring but with a gap), semi circular or slightly bent. Since both the round ends will appear from the side, barbell is most preferred jewelry for tragus piercing.

tragus barbell piercing jewelry

3. Labret Stud: It looks much like a barbell but with a flat disk at one end and beautiful jewel at the other. This gives a more luxurious and distinct look and precious gems can be used in this. One can glorify her style statement with a couple of  them. 8 out of 10 women will be found wearing these in the tragus. Labret studs  are highly popular.

tragus labret stud jewelry

Refer to our detailed tragus piercing jewelry guide to get answers for all tragus jewelry related doubts.

Tragus Piercing Cost – How Much Price?

It doesn’t cost you a fortune as its quite a simple procedure though it depends on many factors like the reputation of the expert, location of salon and the jewelry options offered to you in the whole package. The rates vary anywhere from $20 to $50 for tragus piercing in the USA and in Britain you will need to spend around 15 to 40 GBP for the job.

Many salons also charge extra for the high quality sterilization and aftercare accessories they provide. Tragus piercing is very prone to infections while its still sore because of continuous hair fall upon it. If you have dandruff then it may worsen the situation. So clean and sterilized needle should be used and good maintenance products are necessary. You should not mind paying few extra $s for the same and care consultancy as well.

The charges are much higher for the internal threaded jewelry offered by the salon. Should I go for internal thread tragus jewelry? 

That is not compulsory but a recommended option if you are highly concerned of the possible infections and pain. The reason is that internal threaded jewelry will not cause any infection or irritation by rubbing against the sides of the puncture. But yes you can’t get it changed every other day and boredom of same jewelry is often. You may want to consider it for first few months and then switch to external jewelry once the healing stage is over.

Tragus Piercing Infection

Just like any other piercing, tragus piercing is also prone to infection. Reasons can be many but the main ones include improper procedure adopted by the piercer and lack of proper aftercare. Tragus is a thick cartilage piece and blood oozes out during the piercing procedure and also for a couple of hours after before its fully clotted. Any longer periods of blood flow should be reported immediately to the doctor as they are abnormal.

After piercing, the area normally swells up for a week or up to 10 days. If it continues to swell further or starts bleeding and turning yellow, immediately consult your doctor. Healing also depends on the skin type and other specific ailments like diebetes which delay the natural healing process. For few who work in area with lot of ash and dust (mining or welding jobs) are likely to get infected during this period. If you notice any bad smell from the tragus or your ear, it is a clear sign of an infection.

In case you develop an infection in the tragus, do not complicate the condition by removing the jewelry and leaving it for few days to heal as that will make the hole get closed with infected bacteria inside leading to very serious situation. Always visit your piercer or the doctor for any removal during infections. Apply palm tree oil using a soft cotton pad daily to speed up the healing. All aftercare instructions must be strictly followed to avoid any tragus infection.

Another reason for infection is accidental injury or irritation due to various devices like mobiles and headsets. Be very careful with everything that touches your ear to make sure it doesn’t directly hit your swollen tragus. Once the soreness disappears, just treat it like you never got any piercing done as its so easy to maintain.

Tragus Piercing Healing Time

There is no conclusive answer yet to this question as it differs from one person to another. Many girls get their tragus fully healed back to normal within 2 months however few still feel pain even after 8 months. The average healing time for tragus piercing has been observed to be around 3 to 6 months. It all depends on the aftercare methods followed and how much care you take of your new piercing. Following your health expert’s guidance is must to avoid any serious complication which may even need a surgery later if you keep ignoring it.

Using natural treatments like coconut oil or palm tree oil helps in curing speedily and regular cleaning using a disinfectant is must. For diabetic patients, its strongly advised to consult their doctor before they go with any piercing on their body. Do not change the first jewelry for a couple of months as you may infect your tragus due to rubbing while removing and wearing new jewelry. In case of serious discomfort, take the help of an expert or risk damaging the unhealed puncture.

Tragus Piercing Aftercare – DOs & DONTs

Getting your tragus pierced is very simple and almost pain free procedure but taking good care of it afterwards is such a pain especially if you develop any infection. Apart from the regular instruction of your piercer, you can take into account the following suggestions for speedy recovery and a healthy tragus piercing:

    • Proper Cleaning is must: Clean the tragus daily both in the morning and before going to bed using a soft cotton ball dipped in sea salt water. Gently rub the cotton both at the front and the rear side trying to make the liquid get inside the hole as well. But you need to make sure not to irritate the area too much. Be very gentle especially during the first 5 days.
    • No Touching at all: To avoid any infection, the best practice is to keep the area clean which is a big hurdle. First you need to make sure that your hair do not touch it every other minute. Tie them in a bun nicely. Avoid working in too polluted area. Do not touch your tragus directly with your hands. Be extra careful while bathing as harsh soaps can be a serious threat.
    • E-devices are dangerous: I know you like your earphones, mobile and headset much like I do but they must be kept away from the pierced tragus for few days or they are going to injure you badly. Avoid direct contact of tragus with these devices while its still sore.
    • Sleep Well: If you have a habit of sleeping sideways or turning sides too much while sleeping, then I am going to disappoint you as that is one of biggest causes of waking up with a bleeding ear. Make sure you do not move around a lot in bed and sleep straight (yeah its difficult but manageable though).
    • Good Hygiene: Change your bed sheet and pillow covers daily and wash them using a good detergent as any harmful bacteria or germs are not invited for a healthy piercing.
    • Don’t scrape Crust: After few days, you should start seeing a crust around the area which is quite itchy but you must not try to peel it off. Its the sign that healing is going on properly and disturbing it will only create trouble. It will go away on its own just like it came, do not try to do it manually.
    • Do Not Swim: Swimming is a big no no, as the water is chlorinated in the pools and it can seriously affect the tragus and lead to serious infection. Don’t do any type of tough exercise which has possibility of putting strain on your ear. The wounded area has to be kept untouched to be healed faster.
    • No Playing with ear: Removing or changing jewelry is strictly prohibited during the first few weeks. Some girls have habit of playing with their earrings and rotating them while their mind is busy of finding solution to tough mathematics problem. Give your hands something else to play with, leave the ear alone for your own sake please.
    • Dressing Sense: Choose your dress wisely. Avoid tops with high rise collars or jackets with hoods as they will rub against the pierced tragus all day. Wear round neck tops or buttoned shirts, they also look pretty decent anyhow.
    • A Girl’s Tale: A truck passed by and blew loud horn. Even if you could tolerate it, keeping hands on ears tight and showing off to your friends of serious discomfort to your very delicate ear drums becomes necessary because you are a girl. Well you need to keep that girlish habits aside for few days or risk getting your beautiful tragus piercing turned into a massacre.
  • Comfortable Jewelry: If your jewelry is too tight, then loosen it a bit as the wounded area needs some fresh air for natural heeling process to show its effects.

Tragus Piercing Procedure

A video will describe this much better than words. Here is the perfect one you must watch:

Follow the above guide and you should face no problems at all. Tragus piercing is one of the easiest and healthiest piercing you can get done. It doesn’t hurt much and lots of jewelry options are easily available. Give it a try and you won’t regret. If you have any suggestions, queries or complaints regarding anything related to tragus piercing or this article, kindly leave your comment below.

9 thoughts on “Tragus Piercing – A Complete Guide”

  1. My piercer pierced my tragus with a gun,, but i have done that before on my helix, and it went well. But this time, the stopper was nt there behind the stud, so i had to do it manually after i came home with another studs stopper. I feel like its tight, the stud is small. What should i do?

  2. I taking my tragus piercing out almost two years ago and my right ear still continues to swell where I had it pierced. I don’t have any pain but I hear when it swells it can press on your optical nerve in your brain and cause you to have upper respitory infections. (Which I have now) does anyone have any advice or know what I can do about this?

  3. Hi
    Thank you for the info on tragus piercing cause i was begining to get worried had mine pierced in April and not healed still feel some slight pains and i have been cleaning with dettol water but had to go to d phamarcy yesterday i was asked to use the surgical spirit that it would help heal very fast which i started yesterday using it to see if there would be a diffrence but since you said it takes 8months for some to heal am calmer now cause i was begining to think if it was going out of hand and i need to stop rolling the ear rings as adviced . hope the spirit works better and of no harm?

  4. I had my Tragus pierced today & have just read about no swimming
    My problem is I’m going to Florida in a week & even though I’m not a swimmer we will be visiting water parks & was hoping to try a few water slides.
    Is there anything I can do to enable me to do this?
    Many thanks

  5. i had just gotten my tragus pierced with a gun yesterday…And honestly after reading all of this and more,it has me nervous especially of the pain and infections…I just want to know was she suppose to use a gun!?!…Can i use curad around my piercing until i get the right products!? Does this also affect people who wear glasses!? and could i maybe put a bandaid around the area while i go to sleep!? i could try to lay on my back,but I know i may wake up on my side..and i have it done on both sides.

  6. I had both my tragus pierced with a gun 2 days ago but with a normal stud earring, so it makes it a bit hard to clean especially the back of it.Will this cause a problem later on or should I go back to the piercer or another for a barbell or labret? And if yes is it too soon to do that or change the ring because she put this huge ass pearl in my tragus. I’m now call Pearl, as in Mr Crabs daughter.

  7. I got my tragus pierced 3 months ago. It’s still sore, red and a little swollen. A tiny bump of skin has grown right next to the piercing. I’m pretty sure it’s a keloid scar but it’s itchy and it’s sore.
    What can I do to help my piercing heal? Right now I put H2ocean on it every morning and every night and I put ‘tea tree on the keloid every night. What can I do besides just take it out? I really like it and would like to keep the piercing.


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