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What you need to know before getting a tragus piercing

Looking for a new place to get pierced? The tragus is an easy-to-hide spot that's gaining in popularity.


John-Michael Bond


Posted on Dec 14, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 9:39 am CDT

Piercings have exploded in popularity in the last decade. Celebrities have them, high school teachers have them, particularly cool lawyers have them. From the ears to the nose to the holiest of holy’s, piercing has become a part of modern life.

For years septum nose piercings have been the fad, but if you’re looking to expand past your earlobes, might we suggest another super easy-to-hide place to get a piercing: your tragus. 

The tragus is the small triangle of cartilage that rests right above your ear canal. Try to stick your finger in your ear. That little flap that’s getting in the way? That’s your tragus.

Many urban professionals see it as a compromise from more outlandish piercings, a way to express yourself without getting in the way of office standards. If you’re thinking about getting your tragus pierced, here’s what you need to know. 

Can anyone get their tragus pierced?

Whether you can get your tragus pierced depends on the size of your tragus. For most people, it provides a viable piercing spot, but always listen to the advice of your piercer at a professional parlor. Don’t go to Claire’s. Don’t get it done at the mall. Go to a professional shop and talk to a professional piercer. This is a medical procedure—make sure you treat it as such. It typically costs between $30 to $50 in the U.S.

Does a tragus piercing hurt?

A tragus piercing is different from a traditional ear piercing because you’re dealing with cartilage instead of simply flesh. The tragus’ cartilage is thicker, requiring more pressure than a standard piercing to go through. However, that doesn’t mean it’s very painful. You’ll certainly feel more pressure during the piercing, but other than that, you’ll experience the basic sting of a needle and not much else.

This is another reason to go to a professional shop. Many mall piercing places use piercing guns rather than the sterile needles of professional piercers. A piercing gun punches a hole in your ear, causing blunt force trauma. Also, they’re nearly impossible to sterilize. A professional piercer will use a sterile, hollow, razor sharp needle to do your piercing, keeping trauma to a minimum and the piercing spot clean.

How does a tragus piercing heal?

It’s important to remember that piercings are a medical procedure, and keeping it clean is medically important. Without proper care any piercing can get infected or migrate out of the body, leaving you with scarring. However, the targus is an incredibly easy piercing to keep clean. Here’s how.


Twice a day, make sure you clean it. Start by washing your hands. Then clean the front and back of your piercing with a sterile saline product like H2Ocean. While you are cleaning, slightly twist and rotate the jewelry. This will help keep buildup from forming and aid in healing. Keep this process up until your piercing has completely healed. If you notice any signs of infection, contact your piercer immediately.

What are the signs of infection?

If you notice any lasting redness, bleeding, smell, or discharge coming from your new piercing, contact your piercer immediately. Do not attempt to remove the piercing yourself. Wash the site with saline, warm water, and follow the instructions of your piercer. A minor infection isn’t a big deal, but a lasting one can lead to scarring in the long run. Be proactive and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

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*First Published: Dec 14, 2016, 7:00 am CST