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Tragus Piercings- All You Want to Know About a Tragus Piercing

Tragus piercings are so called after the part of the ear where the piercing is done.

“Tragus” refers to the small oval cartilage flap that is situated just above the ear lobe.

what is tragus

Conventionally, the earlobes have been the most popular parts of the ear for flashing a piece of jewelry though other types of ear piercings have also gained popularity of late. One of the most popular of these is the tragus piercing, which has become a rage with fashion conscious people, particularly over the last decade.

You might want to read: Different Types of Ear Piercings, How to Store Your Designer Handbags?

Tragus Piercings- The Procedure

A hollow needle (usually curved) is used to get a tragus piercing and the piercer has to be very careful to avoid damage to any parts of the ear other than this. More so because it lies dangerously close to the ear drum.

The tragus appears quite stiff as compared to the rest of the ear due to which a layman gets the impression that getting this portion pierced might be extremely painful. For all this who are deterred from this procedure because of the fear of pain associated with it, let me assure you that getting a tragus piercing is not as painful as it might appear initially.

Besides, the equipment at the disposal of professional piercers these days can make the whole procedure quite bearable!

Now, each person is different and has a different anatomy. For people whose tragus is thicker and harder than usual, it might cause a little more pain. In extreme cases, it might not even be possible to go ahead with a piercing.

Do it yourself kits which are available in abundance over various online stores should be strictly avoided. Not only can that cause damage to underlying parts of the ear but also yield results which are not aesthetically appealing after enduring all that pain. Now, who would want a tacky and repulsive looking piercing after going through the painful procedure?

Steps involved:

  • The piercer will make you lie down straight and hold your head steady. I have lots of friends who have the tragus piercing. Some tell me their piercer wanted them to lay down straight on their back for the procedure while others tell me they were made to lie upside down. Well, if you trust your piercer, do as he says!

Tragus Piercings procedure

  • Since the tragus is very close to the eardrum (as we have mentioned earlier), he will insert a small cock inside the ear canal. This cock helps to keep the cartilaginous piece of flesh in place during the procedure.
  • He will then clean the tragus carefully. If he does not do that, you can ask him politely if he has forgotten to clean the tragus to avoid any infections. Do not shy away from doing so if you are keen to avoid an infection later.
  • After washing his hands and putting on his gloves, the piercer will proceed with the actual thing- that is, pushing the needle through your tragus with a little pressure because of thicker flesh in that area.
  • You might lose a drop or two of blood during the process. But that is not unusual and do not let it rattle you.
  • After that, the piece of jewelry you have chosen before the beginning of the process is inserted. And there you go!

That gives you a funky piece of jewelry to enhance your style quotient!

Choosing the Tragus Jewelry

As before any ear piercing, you must choose the piece of jewelry you want with utmost care and with great deliberation. We have written at great length about getting the right jewelry for any piercing.

However, these are general guidelines. The most popular types of earrings used to enhance the tragus piercing are:

  1. Simple plain earrings: Simple stud earrings look great with this particular style of piercing. If you do not want a piece of jewelry that shouts for attention, you could go in for simple studs. The clasps of these studs are towards the inside of the ear and do not show. Understated elegance!Tragus Jewlery- stud earrings

2. Barbells: These barbells might be plain or colored and might even be studded with precious or semi precious stones. I have seen diamond studded barbells and also barbells with dangling accessories to make them look more appealing.

Tragus jewelry barbells3. Captive earrings: These look like simple loops. They come in a variety of designs these days, beaded ones being the most common.

Tragus jewelry captive earrings

Since a lot of people (particularly, youngsters) are going in for such piercings these days, there is a whole range of tragus jewelry in the market to choose from. Besides, your piercer can also give you some cool suggestions!

Tragus Piercing Cost

Now, the cost involved with this type of piercing would depend upon which part of the world you are in. more than that, it would depend upon the skill of the piercer, the location of his store and the clientele he has.

I would again advise all my readers NEVER to attempt a piercing like this at home. Make sure to go to a good piercer. If you have a limited budget, wait till you have enough nickels in your pocket.

Tragus Piercing Pain

Because of thicker flesh around the tragus, most of us feel scared of getting this part of the ear pierced thinking that it will hurt a lot. Nothing could be farther from truth!

Tragus piercing pain is nothing but a figment of imagination!

Infact, a piercing in this area does not hurt much more than an earlobe piercing, because there are very few nerve endings in this portion of the ear. Now, an area which does not have too many nerves CAN NOT feel the pain. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

There might be more discomfort involved than a normal piercing because more pressure has to be applied over the thicker flesh to get the needle through the skin. That does not necessarily make it more painful.

Now HOW painful you find the whole experience depends, to a large extent, upon your pain threshold. It also depend upon how determined you are to go ahead with the piercing. A lot also depends upon the skill of the piercer and how comfortable he can make you feel!

After the initial pain has subsided, the area around the piercing will feel sore for a few days. And you will have to sleep carefully on your side to allow for faster healing and to avoid snagging.

I don’t have any tragus piercings myself but here is the first hand experience of someone who did get one:

The pain is pretty intense and there is a lot of pressure. When the needle finally pushes through the other end of the cartilage, there is a distinctive pop sound and feeling. You actually feel and hear the crunch. That was yucky! Then there is mild to moderate discomfort while they feed the jewelry through the needle.

All in all its a good 30-60 seconds of actual pain, then some discomfort while putting on the jewelry.

The first time I got my tragus pierced, the guy botched it. I took out the jewelry and let it close up. I got it pierced again in the same spot once it healed. So I guess it wasn’t such an awful pain to prevent me from doing it again.

So, Yes! It hurts more than a lobe piercing, as a lobe is more of a pinched feeling then a sting. There’s more pressure. It also hurts more than the top of the ear. Tragus piercings are not unbearable & are not excruciating.

But you know pain is relative. It only lasts for a very short moment. If you just resolve yourself to get through it, you’ll be fine.

My tragus piercing took about 2 full months to heal. Now it’s fine and I can tug on it and there’s no sensitivity.

I would rate a tragus at about a 6 on the pain scale (1-10)
My piercings pain scale would be:

Tongue: 2 Not painful at all. After having it pierced, it jumped up to a 5 because it swelled up and I had to relearn how to chew and to talk
Lobes: 3- Just for the hot sting afterwards
Top of Ear: 3
Tragus: 6-7
Nose: 8 Ouch!! That hurt when it was being pierced, but it healed sooo fast!

Now that you know that tragus piercing pain is bearable, you might probably want one too. Right?

Tragus Piercing Healing Time

Healing time for various types of piercings differ widely.

Tragus piercing healing time can be anywhere from 2-4 months initially. That is the minimum time this needs for you to stop feeling the sting and be able to sleep comfortably. At the end of 4 months, most people are even able to change the piece of jewelry comfortably.

However, complete healing might take upto one year, though some people say they feel no pain or sensitivity after 8-9 months. Even if you are not that lucky, you will feel no sensitivity around the area at all at the end of a year.

The duration of the healing process also depends upon how sensitive your skin is & the type of jewelry used. People suffering from problems like diabetes, etc might take a little longer to heal than others.

Considering that some piercings can take much longer to heal, tragus piercing healing time is not something that should deter you from getting one.

Tragus Piercing Infection

A tragus piercing calls for proper after care to avoid infection. It is good to see that you are gathering information about the procedure because it always pays to be well informed! :)

We have written at length about ear piercing infection earlier.

Read in detail: How to avoid an infected ear piercing?,    

How to Clean Gold Jewlery?
Besides taking all those precautions listed therein, you need to take a little extra care to avoid a tragus piercing infection. That is largely because this piercing is located in an area over which hair keep falling. The dirt and germs in the hair can become a source of infection.

Tragus piercing infection

  • Clean the area around the new piercing with a cotton ball dipped in warm slated water or an antiseptic solution 2-3 times a day.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before you do that.
  • Do not overdo it and do not apply too much force.
  • Do not try to change the jewelry for the first 2 months, so as to allow for initial healing.
  • Take care while brushing your hair, shampooing and changing your clothes to avoid snagging incidents. Not only can they cause a lot of pain but also delay the process of healing.
  • Say NO to earphones completely for at least 8 weeks.
  • Be careful while attending phone calls as well. If possible, try holding the ear piece against the other ear.
  • After 10-12 days, rotate the earring gently 2-3 times a day.

Appearance of a transparent crust around the piercing indicates that the healing process is underway. Though it can be itchy, resist the temptation to do so and also take care NOT to scrape off the crust whether with your bare hands, nails or any other tool.

Symptoms of tragus piercing infection begin with the formation of a lump around the piercing site and more pain than usual. Redness might also be seen. If it gets really bad, pustules might develop and a foul smelling greenish-yellow discharge might also follow.

If you do see any such telltale signs, rush to your physician without any delay. He will be able to guide you best. He might give you some antibiotic ointment or tablets as well to take care of the infected area.

Any delay in visiting the doctor can only aggravate your pain and agony.

Taking these simple steps can help you avoid a tragus piercing infection and taking better care of an existing infection as well.

That was a detailed write-up- telling you all about tragus piercings: tragus piercing cost, tragus piercing healing time & tragus piercing pain.
If you want to share your experiences about this type of piercings or have any queries regarding that, write to us!

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About Ambika Choudhary Mahajan

Hi, I am Ambika. A hands-on, stay at home mom (by choice) to two cheeky devils. I am a freelance writer and eBook author turned blogger. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to get regular updates.


  1. Tragus piercing is the stylish one, it looks awesome especially on girls. Your suggestions are very useful for the person thinking to get tragus piercing.

  2. The above Tragus Piercing are realy amazing.I like them aot.It was a great idea to post an article about Tragus piercing.THANK YOU AlOT FOR SHARING THIS ARTICLE !!! And thank you for giving us the chance to comment and give us our opionions about it.

  3. I would suggest to consider to appear for a excellent tragus jewelry simply because you will require to use it for at minimum eight weeks to three months to avoid the hole obtaining closed up.

  4. I got my tragus done about 4 days ago after wanting it done for the past 2 years. I had the money, I was at the beach (where they do piercings) and I had supportive friends. I wasn’t sure about getting it done at the beach, but the guy was very sweet and knew what he was doing and definitely knew how to calm me down. The pain was not bad at all, (at least not what I thought it would be). All I did was pretty much a little hiss I guess you could call it. The pain wasn’t bad after at all. The only thing was that the guy didn’t really tell me how to take care of my piercing. Yesterday, I started to move it while I cleaned it because I felt like the whole earring should be cleaned, but it almost felt like it was getting stuck when I would move it. I think it’s the crust though. This page definitely helped me so thank you to whoever wrote this up! I read everything, even though I already went through the piercing process. Lol. If you’re hesitating to get this done, just go for it! It’s so cute and the pain was like nothing I would have thought. If you haw had your nose pierced, but are hesitating to get this piercing done, GO FOR IT! My nose hurt WAY worse. Hope this helped someone who was a little scared to get this done(:

  5. I like the barbells that are shown above. I think the plain barbells are painless.

  6. I just got my tragus pierced yesterday and I absolutely love it! No pain really, just feel pressure when I smile and stuff. But I love it. And this is a very informative article! I have a small diamond stud that shines brighter than all my other piercings :) (2 lobe piercings and 1 helix)

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