Here’s What to Expect When Getting a Tragus Piercing

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The tragus piercing is a chic and appealing piercing type. Ever since its inception in the 1980s, the popularity of this piercing has only increased. The tragus piercing trend was further popularized by celebrities like Rihanna, Zoe Kravitz, and Scarlett Johansson, who have been seen donning jewelry in their tragus on several occasions. 

If you plan on getting a tragus piercing soon, you’re in the right place. This guide shares the types, piercing process, healing, and aftercare. We’re also sharing tragus piercing jewelry options to consider.

What’s a tragus piercing?

Piercings chart


The tragus is a protruding piece of cartilage located on the outer ear that partially covers the entrance of the ear canal. A tragus piercing goes through the tragus. The piercer typically uses a hollow needle, then inserts a piece of jewelry, such as a stud or a hoop. 

Tragus piercings are a popular form of body modification and self-expression. They’re typically considered a relatively safe and low-risk type of piercing, but it’s essential to carefully research and select a reputable piercer to ensure proper hygiene and technique.

What does a tragus piercing symbolize?

A tragus piercing is said to symbolize the lively nature of the wearer. This type of piercing is often chosen by those who want to express their adventurous and vivacious side without going too extreme.

What is the tragus piercing good for?

A few people are aware of the benefits a tragus piercing can offer. It’s been suggested as a potential remedy for migraine headaches and pain. 

Some also believe that a tragus piercing may aid in managing aggression, regulating energy levels, and even controlling appetite.

What are the risks of getting a tragus piercing?

Compared to other areas, cartilage piercings like the tragus have fewer blood vessels, which means fewer white blood cells are available to combat infections. 

Piercing infections can be severe and may result in tissue death or necrosis. They can sometimes spread into the bloodstream, potentially leading to sepsis.

It’s crucial to conduct thorough research, locate a reputable piercing studio, and adhere to all aftercare instructions provided by your piercer.

Types of tragus piercings

The two types of tragus piercings are the traditional tragus and surface or vertical tragus piercings. Here’s a little bit about them.

Traditional tragus piercing

traditional tragus - Here’s What to Expect When Getting a Tragus Piercing


A traditional or “true” tragus piercing goes horizontally through the tragus (flap of cartilage in front of your ear canal). Studs, hoops, and barbells are the typical jewelry choices for this piercing.

Surface tragus piercing

surface tragus


A surface tragus, also known as a “sideburn piercing” or “vertical piercing,” sits in front of the tragus under the skin, giving a double-pierced look. The best piece of jewelry for this piercing is a surface bar. It might not be a good choice if you shave around your sideburn area.

Getting a tragus piercing

woman with tragus piercing


How much do tragus piercings cost?

The cost of a tragus piercing can range from $25 to $50 and depends on various factors, such as the piercer’s experience, the studio’s location and popularity, and the type of jewelry.

Does a tragus piercing hurt?

Yes, it hurts, but most people say it feels more like a pinch. The pain level depends on the individual—on a pain scale of 1 to 10, people generally rate it between 3 and 6. The process only lasts a few seconds and may cause a sharp, intense sensation before quickly subsiding.

What size is a tragus piercing?

Like all other ear cartilage piercings, piercers use a 16-gauge needle with a thickness of 1.2mm for tragus piercings. The studs for tragus piercings typically come in two different post lengths; 5-6mm for a tighter fit and 7-8mm for a looser one.

Healing and aftercare

tragus piercing


Any ear piercing guide would tell you to practice diligent aftercare for your piercing to ensure a smooth healing process. This section explains more about the process.

How long does the tragus piercing take to heal?

The healing time for a tragus piercing varies significantly among individuals, so it’s difficult to provide a definitive answer. Experts suggest it can take three months to a year, depending on the individual’s body.

Do tragus piercings reject easily?

Traditional tragus piercings are known to have a low rejection rate because the jewelry embeds deep within the tissue, making it difficult to force out. However, surface tragus piercings are more prone to rejection.

How do you clean the inside of a tragus piercing?

Follow these steps to clean your new tragus piercing twice daily:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Dip a clean cloth or cotton ball into the saline solution.
  3. Gently place the cotton ball onto the pierced area and hold it firmly to allow the solution to seep into the piercing site.
  4. Dip another clean cotton ball in plain clean water and clean the site to rinse off the saline solution.

💡 Take Note: Be careful not to drip the saline into your ear, as salty water can damage your ear canal. 

Tragus piercing jewelry 

Tragus piercing jewelry comes in various designs, styles, and materials to suit different preferences and needs. Let’s look at a few options to consider.

MODRSA tragus piercing jewelry

MODRSA 16G Forward Helix Earring Cartilage Tragus Earrings Stud 8mm Stainless Steel & Clear Flexible Lip Rings Labret Studs Monroe Piercing Jewelry

This pack of 10 earrings is all you need for your piercings. While five are perfect for your tragus piercing, the other five are great if you have a helix piercing. You get ten different designs at an affordable price. However, some buyers had trouble wearing them, especially the helix ones. 

BodyJ4You labret tragus stud

BodyJ4You 3PC Labret Tragus Stud Earrings | 16G Surgical Stainless Steel CZ Crystal | Monroe Helix Cartialge Conch Medusa Lip | Body Piercing Jewelry Set

These surgical stainless steel tragus studs will be excellent for your piercing. Since these come in three sizes, find one that fits your piercing perfectly. Also, these are made from surgical stainless steel, which might be suitable for healing piercings. 

Mayhoop cartilage earring stud

Mayhoop 16g Cartilage Earring Stud Hoop Tragus Stud Earring Cartilage Piercing Jewelry Forward Helix Earrings Hoop Rook Daith Conch Stainless Steel Piercing Jewelry

If you’re all about options and variety, this 24-earring set is a must-have. These earrings are made from high-quality surgical steel, making them durable, hypoallergenic, and non-corrosive.

The set comes with one free velvet bag to store all your earrings. 

Do you need a special earring for the tragus?

You don’t need a special earring. The tragus can accommodate a modest stud or a tiny hoop. 

Frequently asked questions

Do you still have some questions regarding tragus piercings? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Can you sleep on a tragus piercing?

It’s advisable to wait until your piercing is healed fully before sleeping on it. The friction from your pillow can also cause the jewelry to move around, which will irritate the piercing and slow down the healing process. Instead, lie on the other side (if you have a tragus on one ear) or use a neck pillow while you sleep to keep your ears off the beddings. 

Can a tragus piercing hit a nerve?

There’s a common misconception that an incorrectly pierced tragus can cause nerve damage, which concerns many people. However, experts state that this isn’t the case. 

Although veins, arteries, and nerves do run up and branch into the side of the face, the idea that piercing one in the ear can cause nerve damage is a widespread myth.There are no nerve endings in close enough proximity to the ear to be pierced.

Can a tragus piercing damage your hearing?

Getting an ear piercing doesn’t directly result in hearing loss. However, if an infection develops in the concha or tragus area of the pinna, the fluid could enter the ear canal and cause further issues. The infection may spread, and the ear canal may get blocked, affecting sound transmission.

What hurts more: helix or tragus?

When it comes to pain levels, tragus piercings tend to be slightly more uncomfortable compared to helix piercings. On a pain threshold scale of 1 to 10, tragus piercings are generally rated around 6 out of 10, while helix piercings are usually rated around 4 out of 10.

Daring tragus, bold you!

A tragus piercing is a bold way to express your individuality. Remember it’s important to research and choose a reputable piercer to ensure a safe and successful experience. Proper aftercare is also essential to prevent infection and promote healing. With good care and attention, a tragus piercing can be a unique and eye-catching addition to your style.

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