How Can You Tell If a Tragus Piercing Is Infected?

According to WebMD, symptoms of an infected tragus piercing include red streaks under the skin that extend from the piercing site outwards, increased pain around the piercing, swelling, redness, tenderness, and pus or discharge. Other symptoms may include an elevated skin temperature around the piercing or a generalized fever.

Wikipedia explains that the tragus is a small projection of cartilage located near the front of the ear next to the ear canal. Though less conventional, it has become a popular site for ear piercings. Tragus piercings should be done by a licensed practitioner because they involve perforating the cartilage, rather than the soft tissue of the ear lobe.

WebMD suggests following aftercare instructions diligently, applying ice or cold packs for minor discomfort, and keeping the infected site clean to avoid infections. Since the tragus is made up of cartilage, it will take longer to heal and will need more care than a traditional earlobe piercing.

The Mayo Clinic advises people to avoid swimming or touching the piercing until it has completely healed. Some slight swelling, discomfort, scabbing, and pus is a normal part of the healing process and does not necessarily indicate an infection.

The Mayo Clinic recommends prompt treatment for infections to avoid any serious complications. If home treatment has no effect or if the infection does not clear up within 24 to 48 hours, the patient should contact a physician.