Tragus piercings: the pain, the appeal, and more
Learn everything you need to know (and more) about this piercing classic
Last update: 05/07/2021
If there's a type of ear piercing that's remained timeless, it's the tragus piercing. While subtle, the placement catches the eye and even exudes a more discrete way to be rebellious. There's also a daintiness about a piece of jewelry adoring that little fold on your ear that other piercings don't seem to have. It's a mix of badassery and femininity, all in a simple piercing.
You might be reading that paragraph above and you're thinking, what's a tragus? It's basically that flap of skin on your ear that you push down over your ear canal when you want to block out unpleasant noise. But aside from being something to block out undesirable sounds, your tragus can be used to make a statement too.
Why We Love It
Like we previously stated, tragus piercings seem to have an enduring quality about them. Over the years, the demand for tragus piercings has remained consistent, and people with different tastes and preferences seem to gravitate towards them. Tragus piercings also look great on aging ears because the tragus doesn't sag too much over time.
It's also widely popular for its versatility because it's highly customizable. You can start with a simple stud and later switch it out for a glamorous hoop or wrap piercing once your tragus piercing fully heals. Or you can go for something with crystals or a piece with a fun shape. It will always look polished and won't end up looking overdone.
Additionally, tragus piercings are easy to work into your ear curation if you have a particular aesthetic in mind for how you want your piercings to look like. This is largely because of their size and placement in your ear. A tragus piercing will go well with any existing piercings you have. Additionally, tragus piercings are great options for your first piercing because it's easy to plan your next piercings around them.
How Much Does It Hurt?
A tragus piercing hurts just as much as any cartilage piercing will. However, if you don't have a piercing on your cartilage yet, a tragus piercing might hurt a lot for you. If you feel nervous or anxious about the piercing, make sure to choose a body piercer who is patient and can ease you through the whole procedure.
The bulk of the pain likely won't be coming from the procedure though. Since a tragus piercing is located close to your ear canal, it might be easy to hit it when you're reaching for your ear, putting earphones in, or lying down.
Accidentally hitting a new or healing piercing can hurt a lot, and you need to be especially careful with a tragus piercing because of where it is. So while getting the tragus piercing might not be as painful, living with it while it heals might hurt a lot more. You will need to prepare yourself for that.
How Much Will It Cost?
A piercing session will typically cost between $30-$50. However, this range may be higher if you decide to go to a well-known body piercer and shop - which should be a given. It's better to choose an experienced piercer who works at a reputable piercing salon because you are paying for a procedure that will be done safely, properly, and to an extent, painlessly.
Remember that this is a huge alteration that you are making on your body. No amount of infection or deformity is worth a discount, especially when you're getting a more complicated piercing like a tragus piercing.
How Does Aftercare Work?
A tragus piercing will normally take 2-3 months to heal, and while it is healing, it's important to strictly follow the aftercare instructions that your piercer tells you. While your tragus piercing looks to have healed on the outside, the inside may not have fully healed. It's best not to assume and to continue following the aftercare practices while it's healing.
Tragus piercings, in particular, require a lot of effort in terms of aftercare because of where they are located. Tragus piercings are close to the ear canal, which is already laden with bacteria, and that part of your ear that gets a lot of contact from your daily activities. You will really need to keep your ear clean and be careful when you're doing anything near it.
Clean your piercing at least 2-3 times a day. You can use mild, unscented soap or spray a saline solution on the area as tragus piercings are awkwardly placed and may be hard to scrub and clean. Be careful not to move your piercing to avoid causing skin trauma or introducing bacteria and germs to the area. And of course, clean your ear canal as well - you do not want earwax on your piercing.
Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your tragus piercing as well. This means being careful when putting earphones on and not sleeping on the side your ear piercing is on. Moreover, always make sure your beddings are clean.
When it comes to tragus piercings, you cannot afford to take shortcuts or be lazy with your aftercare. The slightest bit of neglect can cause incorrect healing or result in your body fully rejecting your piercing. It may be a hassle, but the end result will be worth the pain and effort.
Just because it's super easy to personalize a piercing to your own preferences, it's not always easy to decide when there's so many options out there! It helps to focus on what metals you want for your piercing and to go from there. If you have more sensitive skin, stainless steel and 14k gold are your best bets to prevent your body from rejecting your piercing.
If you've already chosen a metal but still can't decide on which jewelry style to choose for your tragus piercing, that's okay. We've got you! Check out how your favorite celebrities are sporting their tragus piercings and draw some inspiration for your own below:
The Black Widow star loves changing up her tragus piercing a lot as she's been spotted wearing both studs and hoops. But she keeps things consistent by always wearing gold jewelry whether she's on the streets or on the red carpet. Channel her regal toughness with our picks:
Keep things glamorous and go for bejeweled studs for your tragus piercing just like her. A simple gem might do the trick, but you don't have to get stuck on it. You can play with the styles and get creative with these Crazy Factory piercings:
Be effortlessly sexy and go for studs for your tragus piercing. These simple styles can be sensually appealing if you know how to work them. But don't settle for boring designs, get creative and playful with them too!
You don't need to be young to pull off a tragus piercing! Ear candy has no age limit, after all. Show off your effervescence with piercing styles that wrap around your tragus with these picks:
Tragus Piercing Guide
Originally published on May 10, 2021