The tragus piercing involves a perforation done through the little flap of cartilage that is an extension of the face and covers the opening of the ear canal partially. Though it boasts of a low rejection rate, its location near the bacteria-ridden ear canal makes it prone to irritation and infections. With proper care, however, you can sport different styles of jewelry on it, grabbing eyeballs with its looks. You would be glad to know that celebrities like Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson and Pink have been spotted sporting this cool piercing.
How Is It Done
You need to get an experienced piercer for this one for a hygienic and lower pain experience. The piercing is done with a sterilized needle. Piercing guns should not be used as they house harmful bacteria and use a blunt force to drive in the jewelry that can lead to cartilage bumps and other complications. A little bit of bleeding after the puncture is normal.
Pain Scale: 6/10
Since the tragus is a thin layer of flexible cartilage, the piercing through it can cause moderate levels of pain. It does not hurt that bad as there isn’t much thick tissue filled with nerves in this area as in certain other parts of the ear.
The standard healing time of the tragus piercing is 3-6 months. In some cases, it might take as long as a year. The inside of the hole takes longer to heal than the external part. So it might appear to have healed while it has actually not done so. Hence it is always better to consult your piercer before changing jewelry or stopping the aftercare routine.
Cleaning and Aftercare
- Clean the piercing with a saline solution 2-3 times a day or an unscented antibacterial soap and water once daily.
- Gently dab it dry with a paper towel.
- Avoid sleeping on your side to reduce friction on the pierced area.
- Don’t touch it or move/twist the jewelry and keep earphones away.
- Keep the ear canal clean
- Gently rinse crusts, if any, with warm, clean water and mild unscented soap.
Popular choices of jewelry for this piercing is studs, captive bead rings, circular and curved barbells. You can make this piercing stand out with small gemstones, diamonds, pearls and charms peeking out of it. Among studs, labret studs would be a good choice as they have a flat back that doesn’t hurt your ear canal. You can also choose ones with a bead or ball backing. Tiny flower studs look nice on this. A straight barbell through the piercing gives a similar look to a cartilage stud.
If you like hoops, you can go for seamless rings for a sleek look. Heart, lightning bolt, feather and snake earrings look cute on the tragus. Use earrings that are made of metals that are safe on the skin, like gold and stainless steel. Rose gold and silver earrings look beautiful on this piercing.
How Much Does it Cost
Getting the piercing would cost you around $40 with an additional $120-$180 for the jewelry, on an average. The price of the piercing depends largely on the piercing studio that you visit.
- Surface tragus piercing
- Double tragus piercing
- Triple tragus piercing
- Vertical tragus piercing
The tragus piercing is thought to manipulate the nerves that emanate from the vagus nerve that might help in preventing migraines and headaches though there is no research to back the claim.
The most common gauge is 16G, though you can have them in sizes ranging from 18G to 14G.
The tragus piercing is thought to keep anxiety at bay and give relief from migraine pain, though there is only anecdotal evidence and no scientific research to prove it. According to acupuncture theories, it is also thought to control your appetite assisting in weight loss.
The length of the piercing can be 4.8 mm, 6.4 mm, 7.9 mm or 9.5 mm.
To be on the safer side, don’t take out or change the initial piercing jewelry before one year.
If left without an earring anytime during the first 6 months, the piercing can close in a matter of a few hours. But once it has healed completely, it could take days or even weeks to close. In most cases, it doesn’t close fully, but the hole is visible only on close inspection.
For a tragus piercing, the 2 main bar gauge sizes are 1.2 mm and 1.6 mm
The bar length is commonly 6 mm.
No, since a nose and ear piercing have different gauges.