Tragus and Anti-Tragus Piercings
What Is a Tragus Piercing? And How Is It Done?
These are some of the questions that many people unfamiliar with this procedure ask. Tragus piercings are not as common as other forms of body art, such as nose or ear piercings. The tragus is the small cartilage in the ear that assists in holding in an earbud, and that is the body part that gets pierced.
This article will discuss the risks involved, especially when it is not done properly. Do not try to DIY this piercing. I will also talk about how to clean the piercing, which is very important in the healing process. If it is not cleaned well, then your tragus might end up deformed or something of the sort, and you do not want this to happen to you.
What Is an Anti-Tragus Piercing?
This is the piercing of the inner cartilage of the ear, which faces the tragus. Caring for it is more or less the same as for the normal tragus piercing, so all of the information here applies to both.
Either is beautiful, and many people opt to get both. They are not gender-specific, although women are the ones who opt for them more often.
Instead of a gun, this procedure usually uses a special piercing needle. The main reason for this is that because of the thick flesh of the tragus and anti-tragus, a gun can cause result in an improperly healed piercing and possibly an infection.
How the Piercing Is Done
The tragus and anti-tragus are thicker than the earlobe and therefore require a little bit of extra pressure on the part of the piercer. One piece of advice from me: Do not do a tragus piercing at home yourself. Doing this will lead to a lot of complications. You need an expert to pierce it for you; he or she will also give you the necessary advice for caring for it.
The main reason I am saying this is from experience. By this, I mean that I have had a few friends who have attempted a DIY tragus piercing, only to end up spending a lot more than they saved on medication and losing most of the beauty they hoped to gain because of the way the piercings healed.
Here are the steps that are followed by the piercer:
- Your piercer cleans your ear with an alcohol swab.
- He or she marks where the piercing will go and shows you a mirror to approve it.
- You lie down on you back and hold the head in a still position.
- To prevent any damage to your ear, and to hold the cartilage in place, the piercer clamps your tragus with forceps.
- They then take an 18-gauge hollow needle that is either straight or curved and pieces through the cartilage. It takes some pressure since there is a little more flesh here. There will be some bleeding of course, and this is normal.
- After that, they insert the jewelry.
- You are done!
A piece of advice: It is very important to carefully choose the best starter jewelry since you will have it on for quite some time before the piercing heals. A ball closure ring or CBR are the most common ones used.
Tragus piercing costs depend on where you live. In the United States, many places charge between $45 and $60, and you sometimes have to buy the jewelry separately. But the price tag should not bother you—at the end of the day, we all want a tragus looking good, not one that developed in a deformed manner because of poor care.
Does It Hurt?
If you have ever gotten another piercing, such as one in the nose, belly, or ear, then you do not have any reason to worry since the pain will be more or less the same.
Sore for a Few Days
After it has been pierced, it will be sore at first. But after three to five days, the pain goes away. After this, you will of course still have to wait for it to heal completely.
The main reason the pain is minimal is that the tragus does not have a lot of nerves and not much blood through it, unlike other parts of the body such as the belly or nose. It does hurt, but not much, so don’t be scared to death.
You will also have to sleep on one side during this period to enable it to heal properly.
You are now left with the task of taking care of your new piercing. It usually takes approximately eight weeks for it to heal, and during this period, you have to take very good care of it to ensure it heals properly.
The fact is that different people will respond differently to this procedure. Factors such as the type of your skin (oily or dry) and the state of your immune system and overall health (diabetics wounds take longer to heal) impact the healing process. That being said, here is what you are supposed to do to ensure that your piercing heals smoothly. After it is completely healed, you can go ahead and change out your jewelry.
- Clean it three times a day for this duration with saline solution. Dip some cotton into the solution and clean the tragus on both sides. Gently allow some of the solution to go into the hole. Twist the jewelry a bit, but very gently, to ensure even distribution of the disinfectant solution.
- Consider wearing button-up shirts to avoid getting into contact with the starter jewelry, as doing so will hurt and prolong the healing process.
- Only touch your piercing with extremely clean hands, and by this, I mean surgical clean.
- Do not put on earphones on that ear. I'm not saying don’t listen to music. But when you do, use the other ear (assuming you just did one tragus piercing). The same goes for talking on the phone.
- Only allow your piercing to touch very clean materials. This means ensuring that where you sleep or put your head to rest is extra clean to avoid getting any kind of infection.
- Clean your piercing if any liquid comes out. Do not clean it with dirty hands.
- Do not swim. Swimming can increase the risk of an infection because of chemicals and bacteria in the water, so you will have to wait until the piercing heals completely before swimming at school, the beach, the pool.
If your tragus had not healed within the normal timeframe, the reason is usually the type of starter jewelry used. CBR containing nickel tends to heal more slowly, so it’s better to have surgical-grade jewelry.
Tragus and anti-tragus piercings, like any type of piercing, have a risk of infection. This risk is increased by improper piercing practices (the reason it is important to use a professional) and aftercare.
Your tragus might swell or you might get a boil or keloid. The simple way to treat it is to apply diluted tea tree oil or warm water and sea salt to the area. If these do not seem to work well, then you might consider changing the jewelry to something of a smaller gauge to take the pressure off. If the infection persists, see a doctor.
Types of Tragus Jewelry
After waiting for months for your tragus to heal, you will finally have the pleasure to switching out your jewelry as often as you like. The best options are the ones that best suit your personality and comfort.
All these come in different shapes, sizes, materials. They can either be made from simple metal or something more sophisticated, such as gold or diamond.
Here is a forum where you can be able to learn a thing or two about tragus piercing. Although the forum threads were no longer active are no longer active when I last checked, you can still learn something in addition to what I have explained here.
- Every Kind of Ear Piercing
Learn about every kind of ear piercing. There is also a conversion chart that can be very useful in understanding gauges. I like the way she has used the diagram to explain in detail the different parts of the ear.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 JoanWhite