If you look at your ear canal, you will see a flap of cartilage right in front. This is called a tragus. In most cases, it will look like a rounded triangle. The actual shape and size will vary a little from individual to individual. You may not have much of a tragus or yours may be rather pronounced. What you may not realize is this is an excellent place for a great piercing. Before you get a tragus piercing, read all the important information below.
Facts About Tragus Piercing
Due to the unique location, your piercing will really stand out, Even the simplest cartilage stud with an extremely small gemstone will enable you to make a statement both eye-catching and understated. You do need to be aware your tragus is very close to your ear canal. This means it is more susceptible to the dead cells of skin and bacteria carried by your ear wax.
The more fleshy areas of your body have a greater blood supply than your cartilage. You will need to be more careful with your aftercare than with most other piercing types due to the higher risk for scarring and infection. Just because this piercing is not for everyone does not mean it will not work out beautifully for you. Once you understand everything pertaining to this piercing, you can decide what is best.
The Reasons to Avoid a Tragus Piercing
If you are not prepared to vigilantly follow the practices for aftercare or are unable to follow a set cleaning schedule, this is most likely not the right piercing for your needs. Since the shape and size of the tragus are different for everyone, you may not be able to have this piercing. Your tragus may be too small, thin or in a difficult to reach location. You can find out if you can get this piercing by asking your piercer.
You can ask about the other cartilage piercings such as the anti-tragus. This is not your best option if this is your first piercing. The procedure can be somewhat unnerving. You may want to consider any easier piercing to prevent you from becoming alarmed from getting another one.
If you have had bumps or keloids in any of your cartilage piercings, you need to really think before you have this particular piercing. During the healing process, you can form cartilage bumps. In some cases, surgery is necessary to have them removed.
The Healing Process
Despite your tragus consisting of thicker cartilage, you will not experience any more pain than from any of the other cartilage piercings. If you already have a piercing in your ear cartilage such as a conch, auricle or helix, you will already be prepared for what to expect regarding pain. The difference is your tragus is right by your ear canal.
This means in addition to the pressure and pain of the procedure, you will hear a popping noise when the needle goes through your tragus. Some people find this sound a bit unnerving. Just like with all piercings, your pain level is dependent on the skill of the piercer. If you are concerned, find an experienced piercer with enough patience to help you through the process.
You will need a few months after your piercing to heal. In most cases, the tragus requires two to three months to heal. Depending on the individual, this process can take as long as a year. You need to be certain you are completely healed before you change your jewelry. You should talk to your piercer first because even if your piercing looks completely healed on the outside, it may not be on the inside.
Your Aftercare Rules
You must be extremely careful with your aftercare due to the location of your tragus. The bacteria in your ear canal makes you more susceptible to scarring and infection. In addition to the typical aftercare, there are some unique tips specifically for tragus piercing. You need to be exceptionally careful when using headphones. If you place any pressure on your piercing, the result can be trauma leading to complications.
Due to the location of your tragus, headphones will usually place pressure on the area. Even if the pressure is slight, it can cause issues over an extended period of time. Your best option is wearing earbuds instead. Make certain they are not putting pressure on the backing of your jewelry. If you insist on wearing headphones, make certain the cushions are situated around your ear without touching your tragus.
Be careful you are not sleeping on your piercing. Just like when you wear headphones, you will put pressure on your piercing if you sleep on your side. If you have no choice but to sleep on your side, you need to place a limit on the time. You also need to ensure all of your bedding is clean to help avoid any exposure to harmful bacteria.
Keep your ear and piercing clean. Earwax is there to keep foreign substances including bacteria out of your ear because it can cause harm to your eardrum. This prevents harmful entities from entering your ear. Unfortunately, this means the stuff in your earwax must be kept away from your piercing. Each time you clean your jewelry, you also need to clean your ear canal.
Do not move your jewelry. This is a typical rule for all cartilage piercings, but it is even more important with this piercing. Moving your jewelry can cause skin trauma, slow down the healing process and cause piercing bumps. You can eliminate crusties by using a saline solution or salt bath to wash them away.
Tragus Jewelry Styles
The most common size for the tragus piercing is 16G. The sizes can vary from 18G to 14G. Your sizing is dependent on the size of your tragus and your personal preferences. You should discuss your options with your piercer because shrinking a piercing is more difficult than stretching it.
The most popular jewelry styles for tragus piercing are cartilage studs. Due to the unique location, a small charm or gemstone will really make your piercing stand out. Your best option is a stud. Choosing a flat disc backing will prevent the back of your jewelry from sticking right into your ear canal. You can also choose a bead backing.
Another option with a similar appearance to a cartilage stud is a small, straight barbell. You do have options besides a cartilage stud. You may enjoy the look of a seamless, sleek hoop. If you prefer a bolder look, consider one of the many stunning hoop options or a captive bead ring. One of the best parts of getting a piercing is your ability to be creative and express your individuality.