In the summer of 2016, I finally decided to get one of the piercings I had wanted for years – a tragus piercing. After going through the hell that was my GCSE exams and finally having the longest summer that I will probably ever experience, I decided to get pierced and be all ‘edgy’ and ‘cool’. Below I shall write about my own personal experience surrounding the piercing itself, jewellery and healing 1 year on.
I had my tragus pierced at white flame studio in Bournemouth for £25 which is a reasonable price for this particular piercing however you can get it cheaper or more expensive depending on where you have it pierced and what kind of jewellery you choose to have. I didn’t have a choice on what jewellery I had but I actually really liked it as it was a metal bar with a silver ball attached on the end.
My experience actually getting pierced is a very good experience. My piercer was extremely friendly and was very calming and talked me through the whole process which I appreciated. I don’t have a fear/ phobia against needles or injections so being told what was happening was more interesting than calming for me. During my piercing, I chose to have my right tragus pierced so this involved me laying on my left side so I was facing away from my piercer. It is a relatively comfy position to lay in so I wasn’t too worried about flinching at the needle or anything as there wasn’t really any place my head could move towards. A cork was placed in my ear canal to stop the needle slipping and potentially causing damage to the canal but this does mean your hearing goes a little bit funny but after a while you get used to it (plus its such a short procedure that I was in the place under 15 minutes and this involved me filling out all of the forms, paying them and actually getting pierced). Where the tragus is thick cartilage, it makes a popping sound when the needle goes through it and it does sound like its your ear drum that’s burst rather than your tragus BUT DO NOT FEAR AS IT WON’T DAMAGE YOUR HEARING!
Overall, I would rate the pain around a 1/5 but please note I have an EXTREMELY HIGH PAIN TOLERANCE so this will differ from person to person. I have asked a concert friend of mine who has a tragus piercing how she found it and she said it was around a 2/3 out of 5 as she thinks she has a relatively high pain tolerance. She described it as more of a pressure with a sharp pinch rather than a pain and I agree as where its cartilage, I felt more of a pressure around the tragus rather than the tragus itself.
Placing the jewellery in
As you may realise, the tragus is a very small spot to have a piercing. In fact, I was worried that mine was too small to have a piercing but in the words of my piercer – “as long as you have skin, I can pierce it” so if you have any doubts, ask your piercer as they can give you the best information. Where it is so small, the piercer will use a clamp like item to help guide the bar through your ear as it is quite tricky as it feels like you might drop your bar down your ear. Once it has healed completely, it is best to go back to your piercer as they will replace the bar in your ear with a smaller bar ( its a smaller bar as a bigger bar is used at first to allow room for swelling) so this is even harder to actually guide it into your ear. After this time though you might want to change your bar regually or more often so I would advise taking your fore finger from the other hand that isn’t on the side of the piercing and place it on the base of the tragus (The part that connects to your face) and pull it gently towards your face so it is stretched out. This should allow the hole to be stretched and easier to place the bar inside. My top tip (especially when you are new to changing bars) is to add a small piece of cotton wool or an ear plug into your ear as this eliminates the very small risk of the jewellery falling down your ear and will allow you to have more confidence in working out how to actually change your jewellery.
After care + infection
Most piercers will advise to wash your ear with a saline solution (salt and boiling water) at least twice a day for the first 3-4 weeks. After this, its advised to wash your ear at least once a day (preferably before bed as this is when the least control surrounds your piercing). It is also not advised to continuously touch the pierced area as this is how bacteria will enter. You should also refrain from twisting the piercing until over 3 days of your piercing as this will allow the piercing to heal and ‘breath’ before being moved.
Signs for infection
No one wants an infected piercing but sometimes it happens and you shouldn’t get worked up about it. The key is to get any suspicions checked out ASAP to stop them getting worse and turning into anything else. Some key signs are :
- Pus (especially if it is discoloured or smells)
- Redness (only after a few weeks though as it is normal for it to be red in the first few days)
- Bleeding after a couple of weeks
- Bumps forming
There are may more however these are some of the most common. My advice is get any symptom checked out first by your piercer as they can give you the most information as symptoms may occur because its a newer piercing or because you have sensitive skin etc. Then they will advise if you need help from a doctor and potentially medication.
My personal experience
So my ear actually managed to become slightly more irritated than normal so I found that my ear tended to scab and swell more than the average tragus piercing. I did visit my doctor who recommended some medication just to help the healing process and to stop infection that may have occurred. I did clean my ear well, everyday, so sometimes inflammation can be caused by having the jewellery too tight, a certain type of metal jewellery, accidently knocking it and then of course the usual not cleaning it or touching the pierced area excessively or with dirty hands. But I am glad to say that one year on, my ear is completely fine with no scarring or anything showing that it was more inflamed that usual. I love my piercing a lot and it is definitely my favourite (I also have both of my lobes pierced twice on each side and a helix) and I think it looks cool and edgy and it is cool how many different types and shapes of jewellery you can place in the area. The only downside is that it is quite a tricky piercing to change or add different jewellery but after a while, you do get used to it and it becomes second nature :).
My preferred jewellery for my tragus is actually by Claire’s! I like them as instead of having to take out the whole bar to change the stud, the Claire’s ones involve the stud being twisted off without having to remove the bar and just exchanging it with another stud. These are great for beginners however I would advise trying all different studs so you have more experience interchanging your piercing.
I hope you enjoyed this post about my experience but please understand that I am no way an expert or a piercer myself and all knowledge is just what I have personally learnt from my experience.
See you soon,