Tragus piercing

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Tragus piercing
Tragus Ring.jpg
Location ragus
Jewelry Barbell, captive bead ring
Healing time 2 to 12 months

The tragus piercing is a perforation of the tragus for the purpose of inserting and wearing a piece of jewelry. The tragus projects immediately in front of the ear canal. The piercing itself is usually made with a small gauge hollow piercing needle, and typical jewelry would be a small diameter captive bead ring or small gauge post style piercing jewelry. A related piercing is known as the Antitragus piercing.

The hollow, low-gauge needle used for the piercing can be either straight or curved, depending on the piercer's preference. Once the needle penetrates the tragus, it is driven into a tiny cork placed immediately behind the tragus to prevent entry into the aural canal.


The pain caused by the piercing and the application of its jewelry varies from person to person. The needle is driven through very little skin and thicker cartilage than that found in the helix (another common piercing site), but less than that of the conch. Although the tragus itself has no nerve endings, some piercees experience pain. The application of the piercee's chosen jewelry can amplify the pain due to the enclosed space in which the piercer works. Typical tragus piercings use a 16g captive bead ring, though stretching to larger gauge jewelry is not unheard of. Bleeding is typically low when the tragus is pierced due mostly to the lack of flesh on the tragus, but can sometimes bleed for an hour or so, depending on the person. An easy solution for this is to wipe it with a tissue or paper towel, never a fabric towel, as they contain high levels of bacteria which can affect the healing process of the piercing. Use a disposable tissue when drying off after a shower, and while showering, it is recommended to use an anti-bacterial soap to clean any excess discharge built up on the skin or piercing.

More uncomfortable than the pain is the sound made by the needle passing through the cartilage, which the piercee can often hear.


A pierced tragus can take anywhere from two months to one year to fully heal. Like any other external piercing, it should be cleaned several times daily with a solution of warm water and non-iodized sea salt or a pre-mixed saline solution, and a mild antibacterial or antimicrobial soap. Harsh sterilizers like hydrogen peroxide, iodine, betadine and rubbing alcohol should be avoided as they promote scarring. Many piercers instead recommend applying diluted tea tree oil to the site with a cotton swab; doing so can also help treat and prevent the formation of keloids. Be aware that tea tree oil can cause allergic reactions, and its application may also carry a higher risk of infection. Needs citation

External links

See also

Antitragus piercings

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