What Is a Tragus Piercing? Healing, Aftercare, and More January 12, 2021 – Posted in: Informative – Tags: , , , , ,

Tragus piercing highlights:

  • The tragus piercing is located in the triangular flap of cartilage in front of the ear canal.
  • It looks best in super dainty hoops, flat-back earrings, and small circular barbells.
  • Piercings are for fashion only; any additional benefits are not scientifically backed.


The tragus piercing, although it has been around for a long time, is one piercing that has recently gained some mainstream traction. This lesser-known style stands out because of its distinctive look, but it’s small enough to satisfy those who prefer subtler styles. It’s also a perfect addition to any cultivated cartilage look, adding a dainty sparkle in a subtler area of the ear.

But, what exactly is the tragus piercing, and what can you expect when you get this area pierced? Here’s a brief guide.

Tragus Piercing Fast Facts

  • Pain: Mid-high on the pain scale
  • Healing: 6 – 9 months minimum
  • Jewelry: Dainty flat-back earrings, small hoops & circular barbells

What is the tragus piercing?

The tragus piercing is a cartilage piercing that appears in the triangular flap of cartilage in front of your ear canal. (When you plug your ears, it might be that little flap that you fold over to shut the sound out.) 

This teeny tiny piercing location is surprisingly versatile with its jewelry options, and the fact that it’s so small makes it the perfect piercing for those who prefer daintier styles. The tragus piercing is fantastic as a standalone look or paired with multiple lobe and/or cartilage piercings.

How much does it hurt?

Cartilage piercings, in general, tend to hurt more than piercings in fleshier areas. Overall, those who have gotten their tragus pierced agree that it hurts less than they anticipated.

Since pain is subjective, it’s difficult to gauge the pain level that you might feel. But, there are ways that you might minimize that pain. Firstly, you should choose an experienced piercer who can guide you through breathing exercises and conduct the piercing as smoothly as possible. Second, try to remain calm and practice meditation techniques to make the process go easily.

You should expect some swelling and throbbing in the days after your piercing, but it rarely lasts longer than a week.

How long does the tragus piercing take to heal?

The tragus takes at least 6 – 9 months to heal. Keep in mind, however, that these times are the minimum; some people take longer to heal, even if they do everything right.

Your best bet for shorter healing times is to take care of your piercing for the entire healing period. Make sure that you’re cleaning your tragus 2 – 3 times daily with a piercing aftercare saline solution, practice basic hygiene, and touch the piercing as little as possible.

Keep up aftercare practices until your piercer tells you that your piercing has fully healed. It will appear healed on the outside before it’s fully healed on the inside, so you should always have a professional take a look. Don’t just go by the amount of time since you got pierced; it’s not uncommon for piercings to take longer than average to heal.

Tragus Piercing Aftercare

To clean your tragus piercing, spray piercing aftercare saline solution on a cotton swab or clean paper towel and gently wipe the front and back of the piercing. Once complete, dab the area dry. Do this 2 – 3 times daily until a piercer has confirmed that healing is complete. You should also keep pressure off the jewelry (so, don’t sleep on your side or wear headphones), avoid water activities, and do your best to keep it safe from snags and tears.

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What kind of jewelry do you wear in your tragus?

Once your tragus has fully healed, you can try out a variety of jewelry styles.

The tragus is a smaller piercing location, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a wide variety of jewelry that you can wear in your tragus.

Flat-backed, straight-post cartilage earrings are pretty common in tragus piercings. The flat back ensures a flush fit in a tight area, and you can choose cute charms or gemstones to decorate the area.

For a more interesting look, you can also try hoop styles like seamless hoops or captive bead rings. Some opt for circular barbells as well. You can even find studs with small dangles hanging down.

The key to choosing tragus jewelry is to find something that won’t overwhelm the small piercing area. Stick to daintier looks rather than big and bold jewelry options for the best aesthetic.

Can tragus piercings help migraines?

Some claim that the tragus piercing helps to relieve chronic headaches by activating an acupuncture point in this area. However, as mentioned, there is absolutely no scientific data to back this up, and experts agree that any relief felt is likely the result of a placebo effect. We recommend that you seek out the help of a medical professional to address any chronic pain rather than getting pierced.

Whatever reason you’re considering this look, the tragus piercing can be a fantastic addition to any style. As long as you’re able to commit to the significant healing period, there’s no reason why this can’t be the next piercing for you.

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