Here's what you need to know about tragus piercings
Tragus - pronounced "tray-gus" - piercings have grown in popularity since they were first seen in the 1980's and have now become one of the most popular ear piercings after the earlobes. They can be a great addition to your ear stack and whether you are shopping for something classical, bright or bold, there are plenty of great designs to choose from.
So, if you are wondering if you should have your tragus pierced, or you are looking for a new piece of jewellery for your tragus, keep reading for some tips around the piercing process, the types of jewellery available and some inspiration on your next jewellery purchase.
What exactly is a tragus?
The tragus is the small area of protruding cartilage which sits at the opening to your ear canal. Interesting fact time: the tragus is a key component in Bats – while we don’t quite use it to direct sounds to find food in the same way they do, it has become a great platform for decorative jewellery.
What is it like to get your tragus pierced?
Not everyone has a suitable ear for having their tragus pierced, but generally speaking, most people do. A reputable piercing specialist can advise on your ear’s suitability and if for some reason yours isn’t suitable, there are many other options for an interesting piercing on the ear.
Here comes the good news! Due to the fact that there aren’t many nerve endings in the tragus, having that area pierced is less painful than some other areas of the ear. There is a certain amount of pressure that needs to be applied due to the thickness of the cartilage, but many people report that this is more uncomfortable than painful as you can hear the piercer fiddling around in that area.
It is worth noting that for a few weeks after, you will need to be careful with the tragus area to allow your piercing to heal properly. This can be difficult with things like phones to the ear and in ear headphones – but the less contact made with the area, the quicker the healing time.
It’s all in the aftercare!
With any type of piercing, making sure you look after the area, so it heals properly is super important.
It is recommended that you look to clean the pierced area at least twice a day for 2-3 months. Using a warm saline solution should do the trick. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or essential oils to clean it as this can make it sore. Other than cleaning it, it is best to leave it alone so it heals nicely without being fiddled with – we know this can be difficult!
When can I change my tragus piercing?
The million dollar question! This can vary greatly from person to person but you can always go back to your piercer who can advise you if it is ready to be changed. Cartilage heals much more slowly than the softer flesh on the earlobe and it can take anywhere from a few months to a year to be fully healed.
It is important to talk about the material you will wear in your tragus. The tragus should be pierced with a piercing grade material, usually titanium and sometimes bioflex (a special biomaterial plastic designed for use in the body) or surgical steel. If you have had sensitive piercings or reactions to jewellery in the past it is probably better to stick with wearing piercing grade materials.
If you are planning on changing to a material that isn’t piercing grade such as sterling silver or 9ct gold then it is imperative you wait until your piercing is FULLY healed before doing this as anything that isn’t piercing grade can cause a reaction and make your new piercing sore. If you change your jewellery too soon and have a reaction then I advise changing it back to the same material you had in previously.
What type of jewellery can I have in my tragus piercing?
Now for the fun bit! After having your tragus pierced and caring for it in the right way, you can start to think about what jewellery you would like in there.
A tragus is usually pierced with a 1.2mm (16 gauge) hoop or bar. After having your tragus pierced, some people stick with that size, or you may want to reduce the gauge and wear more dainty tragus jewellery. We can always offer up advice as to the correct size for your tragus, feel free to drop us a message here.
These can be a small and simple way to decorate your tragus, but that doesn’t mean they have to be unassuming! These studs can come in different formats, colours and styles. The labret bars come in different lengths, to optimise comfort.
Check out our silver skull labret bar earring here. At Midwinter Hollow you can buy these singularly or as a pair. There is also flexibility in the fact that you can have these with a bioflex labret bar, which is a flexible and biocompatible bar and perfect for difficult piercings or as a standard earring post with a butterfly back. This means you aren’t restricted on placement!
Hoops work naturally with the contour of your ear and tragus, meaning they can fit in a snug way and be really decorative with various options to add to them.
Here, we create hoops in all different sizes and also using either gold or silver. Our gold hoops can come in the perfect tragus piercing size and can add some gold to any ear.
If you are looking for something dainty, decorative and colourful – we also offer a range of silver hoops, decorated with opals and silver bead detail. There are lots of options to choose from to suit your style. You can find some of our collection here.
Gold and silver aren’t your only options! We also offer black surgical steel earrings, which work really well for more sensitive piercing’s areas, as some people react differently with other metals.
You can wear your colours with pride by shopping our collection of pride earrings, which are now available in black surgical steel. Check them out here.
Living with your tragus piercing
The great thing is, once your piercing has healed, with all the options available, you can really enjoy looking through different designs and creating different looks for your ear.
This means you can have a range of different options which suits your mood for any given day. There is also the opportunity to bring full ear collections to life and compliment your other piercings with similar designs. If you are looking for something curated and bespoke – we make jewellery by hand from our workshop, feel free to contact us with your requirements and we will see if we can help you!